Kylea shares her week
Week 3: Integrity and Accountability at the Forefront
Integrity and accountability in politics have been hot topics this week with a number of media outlets picking up on my call for a binding Code of Conduct to be introduced for federal Parliamentarians as matter of urgency.
In context, I was shocked to learn that while there is a Ministerial Code of Conduct, there is no equivalent Code in place for Parliamentarians in general. To me, this just didn’t make sense particularly when I considered that there has been no workplace in my entire career that has been without a standard Code of Conduct, clearly outlining the governing principles expected of all employees to hold them to account, from the most junior staff member right through to the CEO.
Surely the people we elect to represent us in Canberra then should have that same basic operating principle: a set of easily articulated, common principles on which they can base their day to day behaviour and are used to inspire the highest of standards within these offices.
Specifically my comments focused on the potential role of a Federal Anti-Corruption Commission as a potential “monitor” of behaviour as again for me, I believe such a commission can play as an important role in not only holding parliamentarians to account but importantly fostering integrity.
Currently, there is a Code of Conduct for the staff of Parliament House, but it does not include MPs and I believe this needs to be addressed. Why should an MP not be held to account in the same way as a staff member in the Parliamentary Giftshop or in the security team?
I am advocating there could be a range of outcomes to sanction someone in breach of the Code of Conduct, and in this context, it is worth considering that in the most severe breaches of the Code, there could be the possibility that a parliamentarian could be dismissed. It’s important to note though that the mechanism by which an outcome this extreme would occur would require significant consultation and review and could only be reasonably carried out via a decision made within Parliament itself.
Pleasingly, the role and place for a Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians was indeed something that came up during discussions between myself and others on the crossbench when we met with the Attorney-General, the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP to discuss the design of the National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
While these were only initial discussions about the design principles for the NACC, it was encouraging to know North Sydney is able to play a role in the development of the NACC with integrity a key election issue. I look forward to continuing to pursue this on behalf of our community.
Until next time.
Other relevant posts
week 23: Cutting vehicle emissions with our new Private Members Bill
Earlier this year, in the months before the election, I promised to develop and introduce a Private Member's Bill that would deliver better, cleaner fuel to Australians and reduce pollution from our cars. That Bill was tabled in Parliament this week.
North Sydney's Reducing Vehicle Pollution Bill will bring Australian fuel quality in line with European standards, reducing the levels of sulphur and aromatics that they can contain.
Week 22: The National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill Passes the House
With just one sitting week remaining for Parliament in 2022, the past week in Canberra has definitely been full of robust debate, constructive discussion and ultimately some landmark legislative developments.
Week 21: What we're doing to strengthen the Anti-Corruption Bill
Our democracy will only ever be as strong as our willingness as citizens to actively contribute to any debate, and just on six months into this role, the capacity for me to truly listen to the many voices of North Sydney as they discuss proposed or needed legislative reform at the national level is without a doubt the most rewarding thing I get to do on a daily basis.
week 20: Speaking out for our community on climate change
Week 19: Getting IR Reforms Right
This week, I've been looking at the Government's 'Secure Jobs, Better Pay' Bill, a package of Industrial Relations (IR) changes that was introduced in Parliament in Budget week.
Week 18: What the Budget Means for North Sydney
This week, my team and I have been hard at work determining what the newly released Federal Budget means for North Sydney's priorities, and what needs to be done to ensure government initiatives actually deliver the changes that our community wants to see.
Kylea's newsletter hits the inboxes of people right across our electorate of North Sydney. Stay up to date with Kylea's plans and progress as she tells us about her week speaking with people in our community. We'll also highlight the latest community events and initiatives to get involved with.