Legislative Council President

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY (Leader of the Opposition) (14:39):  I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking you, the President, a question about maintaining the honour of the Legislative Council.

Leave granted.

The Hon. D.W. RIDGWAY:  Thank you. Mr President, you would be aware that, in May this year, I referred some information to the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption. The details of that information were outlined in my 2011 motion to parliament, calling on the council to note the credible allegations of serious malfeasance throughout your time with the Federated Gas Employees Industrial Union.

Incorporated in my submission were statements from Mr Allan Cotton and Mr David Butler. Mr President, you may have seen on Tuesday nights Today Tonight program that Mr Cotton he had been interviewed by telephone by the royal commission, and the royal commission did indeed confirm that a phone interview did take place. It now seems apparent that the commission is proceeding with an investigation into the allegations that were made by these men. In the interests of maintaining the honour of the Legislative Council, will you stand down from the presidency while the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption undertakes its inquiry into these specific allegations?

The PRESIDENT (14:40): I think the only attack on the integrity of this council is from the honourable Leader of the Opposition, who has constantly tabled allegations under parliamentary privilege on a number of occasions: first of all, when I became a minister; secondly, when I became the President. I was in parliament for six years, and you had those allegations; nothing was ever raised until I became a minister.

You have politicised this council. I think the lack of integrity comes from you as the Leader of the Opposition, and I think the most appropriate place for this issue to be sorted out, which I request that the last time you raised it, is with the royal commission. The Hon. Mr Wade.

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