Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (16:31): I am not sure I am pleased to speak on this motion, but I must say I have listened to this with interest. I am sure Mr Somyurek has too. This has certainly been quite a change from the chorus that he normally would have got from that side of the house. This road to Damascus that Mr Somyurek has found has obviously profoundly affected many of the members in here—Mr Finn in particular, it would seem.
This motion has been described to the media numerous times—in fact even as late as this afternoon—as this being the Parliament referring issues to IBAC. It is not. Let us remember that: it is not. We cannot, we do not have that power and it is not what this motion does. This motion refers a wide range of issues, many that have already been investigated by the Ombudsman, back to the Ombudsman. I have heard as I listened closely to this debate how much faith we hold in the Ombudsman—except not now, except when we do not think that she did her job properly and we are asking her to go back and look at her homework and do it again. That is effectively what we are saying here. We are saying that she did not do enough, that she let people off the hook, that she investigated this and said, ‘No, I can’t see this’. We are also asking in this motion to direct her. We are directing her to share information with IBAC. That is what this motion says. That is ultra vires; we cannot do that, yet everyone seems to have looked over that.
I would say that both IBAC and the Ombudsman are independently fierce, and prior to this debate I thought there was unanimous support for that notion and for that position—that we thought our Ombudsman was fierce, she was formidable. She certainly has not appeared to be a friend of this government, and I speak to her regularly. I speak to her regularly, as I am sure many of you do as well. We know that she could be investigating this. We know that Mr Somyurek could be providing this information to IBAC and to the Ombudsman. I hope, with this road to Damascus moment that he has had during the 18 months that he has not been in this chamber and that time that he has had to reflect on what he has done, he has come back to this chamber having reflected and seen the errors of his ways and he is going to provide this saviour for us all to bring back faith and trust in this Parliament—to bring back faith and trust in the politicians like Mr Finn, who says that people at his milk bar say they do not trust him.
I believe in IBAC and I believe in the Ombudsman, and I think this is a jaded exercise. I believe that—
Ms PATTEN: This is why we have an Ombudsman. She is independent. The office of the Ombudsman and the office of IBAC are absolutely independent. If we believe that there is more corruption for the Ombudsman to investigate, then write to the Ombudsman. Send her that information. She is open to hear it.
Mr Davis interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Order! Mr Davis, please, from your place, and please, no more interjections.
Ms PATTEN: I—
Mr Davis interjected.
The PRESIDENT: Did you hear me? Please!
Ms PATTEN: I have sat in silence throughout this. I have been respectful. I have listened, and I have been actually quite surprised by the lack of faith that we have in our fiercely independent organisations. I am not supporting this motion. I am also troubled that we would say that our independent organisations are not good enough, that we have to direct them, that it is up to us as politicians to direct those independent organisations. The Ombudsman can self-refer. IBAC is still investigating this; this is a live investigation with IBAC. So I am not going to support this motion. I do not believe that Mr Somyurek is the saviour; he may have been described as a naughty little boy, if I am going to badly misquote the Life of Brian. But I do not think that this motion goes anywhere near this. This motion to me seems to be absolutely self-serving. This has given the opportunity for a chamber that I cannot say had much nice to say about Mr Somyurek in previous months or previous years—look, I think it is good that Mr Somyurek is finding friends in here and that this motion is supported by some people here, but I do not support this motion.