After a motion of no-confidence was moved against NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Abigail rose to speak about the recent revelations and the high standards of behaviour we should demand from our representatives.
Ms ABIGAIL BOYD (11:43:55): I contribute to the debate on the motion of no confidence. Watching the ICAC hearing on Monday I, like so many others, became increasingly angry and very disappointed in the Premier. I do not care at all about the Premier's personal relationship with Mr Maguire; it is, in my view, completely irrelevant. I reject a lot of the assertions that have been made which are, quite frankly, quite sexist in relation to the Premier's role in the relationship she had with Mr Maguire. The fact that it was a personal relationship should be used neither to attack nor defend the Premier.
Instead, let us focus on the fact that the Premier knew that her colleague, a member of the party that she has a leadership role in, was not only not focused on his job as the member for Wagga Wagga but was also actively using his position as a member of Parliament to progress his business interests. Is this such normal behaviour in the Liberal Party that it was so unremarkable to the Premier that she did not think to report it, let alone to object to it—regardless of whether or not the Premier is found to be in breach of rules by ICAC, or Mr Maguire for that matter? I note the reports from the ICAC inquiry today are not looking good—is it okay to the Premier for any of her colleagues to be so distracted and conflicted by their private business interests?
When a person becomes a member of Parliament they are and should be subject to a higher standard of behaviour than members of the public. I would not accept this behaviour from my colleagues. Members of The Greens are not permitted to have secondary employment when we become MPs, but nor would we want to. It is more than a full-time job to be a member of Parliament. Not only must members of Parliament act with integrity, as a matter of protecting the reputation of Parliament as a key institution in our democracy they must uphold the perception of integrity as well. It is not enough to rely on MPs to disclose their interests.
As Premier, Gladys Berejiklian has an incredibly important role in ensuring that no member of Government acts in a manner that brings the Parliament into disrepute. There is no doubt that the Premier failed to intervene to prevent Daryl Maguire from misusing his position as an MP for his own personal interests. The fact that she is now claiming to have done nothing wrong convinces me that this misuse of power is not only accepted in the Liberal Party but it is also encouraged by the Premier. It is unacceptable for such a culture to be left unaddressed. The Parliament deserves better. The people of New South Wales deserve better from the Government and from the Premier. The Greens, very sadly, have no confidence in the Premier and support the motion.
For the full transcript of the debate visit the NSW Parliament website.