30 November 2022
Thank you, Mr. Deputy speaker. Standards are expected of a member of this House and I think it's really important that we remember this. It's so important that Australians have trust in government. We know transparency and accountability have to be the absolutely most important values and it's also really important to show leadership at times. Sometimes it will be easy and circumstances are going well and in your favour, and sometimes it will be hard. It might be hard swallowing pride, but leadership and real moral compass, I would say, and real strength of character, is acknowledging error and apologising. I was not going to speak on this motion. I think it's an incredibly important time in our political history. It's a very important motion, a censure motion on the ex-Prime Minister and I am very aware of the risk of it descending into political tit-for-tat that this becomes too much of that. The wording of the motion, and I thank the Leader of the House for that, the very important and stern findings of her Honour Justice Bell. They say it all in the report; there really was very little that needed to be said above beyond acknowledging the importance of her findings. And I do disagree with some of the more political comments that have been made in some of the speeches this morning. But unfortunately, the facts raised in justification by the member for Cook make it necessary to speak and to indicate why I do support this motion because what was said did not, in any way, justify the secrecy and the attempt to justify it on the extraordinary circumstances of COVID. I strongly reject in particular when it relates to the resource portfolio and PEP 11. Democracy is fragile and we all have a responsibility to protect it. Politics of accountability is important and so I support the motion.
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