HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [5.26 pm]: I rise tonight to make some comments about concerns that have been raised about me that have now made their way to the media about the appropriateness of me being appointed, as a Greens member, to the committee that oversights the Corruption and Crime Commission. I wanted an opportunity to respond to some of those comments.

I say from the outset I have no issue with anyone in this place at all and I thank particularly those members of the Liberal Party who have been very kind to me. I also acknowledge that this house undertook a very thorough process — it was certainly comprehensive — of trying to ensure that everybody was accommodated in nominations to committees. I note that we achieved a consensus outcome that was ultimately voted on. I am aware that it can be difficult in this place to accommodate such a large number of members who are not members of either the Australian Labor Party or the Liberal Party and so it poses a genuine challenge when we talk about the changed make-up of the way this house in particular now operates.

I want to respond to some particular points that have been made about me. I would like to make it very, very clear that I am not a member of the government and that the Greens have absolutely no arrangement with the government about power or anything at all. I thought that would have been self-evident by the way that we are undertaking the debates even in the short time that we have been in this place and that we are quite genuinely engaging in every single matter on its own terms. I will make a snide comment and say that if I am in government with the ALP, I would like to have an electorate office, please, and, on top of that, I expect to be made a minister and I am now putting in my dibs to be the Minister for Mental Health; Disability Services! However, as I am not a member of the government and I am part of one of the six parties that make up the opposition, I recognise that that is a wish that will not be granted any time soon. I want to make that very clear.

One of the things I am particularly concerned about is the suggestion or imputation, if you like, that has now been made in the media that I, as a member of the Greens, would somehow ever use a position on a committee such as the Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission to side with members of government to somehow overlook issues of corruption. I say how offended I am by that, because the Greens pride themselves on trying to be absolutely diligent around issues of corruption and around inappropriate use of power .

It is one of the key issues that we talk about a lot. I personally try to hold myself worthy of being a member in this place who would never even consider engaging in that sort of conduct. I can say in all confidence when I look around this chamber that there are many people in this place about whom I would be confident that, despite political differences, they would never allow party allegiances to stand in the way of good governance and good oversight. I want to particularly refer to Hon Nick Goiran and Hon Adele Farina, who have both sat on that committee previously. I have absolutely every confidence that both those members applied the utmost level of diligence and integrity to that role, and I can say that, even though I am not a member of either the Labor Party or the Liberal Party, because I recognise that there are people in this place who are absolutely committed and able to rise above whatever allegiances may or may not be filled in order to exercise best judgement.

In any event, I am not a member of the government. I am really concerned about some of the things that have been said about me. I want to be really clear: in terms of where the final make-up goes, I do not care whether it is going to be one Green, two Liberal and one Labor, or one Green, one Liberal and two Labor. Either way, it does not affect the way I intend to operate and the scrutiny that I will bring to that committee. As far as I am concerned, it is really important that we are able to ensure that these sorts of committees are able to be open to parties other than just the Labor and Liberal Parties. That is obviously a view that was understood and shared by members in this place when they made the decision, and for that I am grateful to them for nominating me to be on that particular committee.

I hope this can be resolved and, as I say, I am not particularly wedded to any outcome in terms of what the final make-up of that committee will be. I want to be clear that I will not be resigning and I think it would be outrageous if anyone were to suggest that I would. I felt it was really important that I made it quite clear that I take great umbrage at any suggestion that I would side with anyone to try to stop corruption being exposed or, indeed, any of the important measures that are undertaken by this committee. I try to operate with the highest level of integrity. People can throw all sorts of accusations at me about all sorts of things; I get accused of being a bleeding heart all the time. The reality is that I do not think anyone who knows me could ever suggest that I would do anything improper and not in good faith.

I wanted to make those comments because, as I say, this is now subject to media interest and I felt it was important to make my views known.

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