Ms PATTEN (Northern Metropolitan) (10:49): I am sorry to disappoint Mr Finn again, but I do not go along with your line of argument there, and I think where you lost me was that you had not actually contacted the Ombudsman about this. If I was this concerned, the first thing I would have done is write a letter to the Ombudsman asking her to investigate this. I think that is how most of us expect this. But no, you have skipped a step, and you have decided to ask the Parliament to force her to investigate this. Now, yes, we have got every right to do that under the legislation, and I acknowledge that, but I am not comfortable with skipping over the first steps of actually asking the Ombudsman to consider this—just picking up the phone, making a call, speaking to that office directly—rather than taking this heavy-handed approach of asking the Parliament to force a fiercely independent office to investigate something on our behalf.
Now, if this was a referral for us to investigate it, well, so be it. Had you come here and said, ‘We asked the Ombudsman. We didn’t get much of a response, so we thought we’d take it to the next level and do this via the Parliament, do it via the legislation’, then I might have listened more carefully. What do they say? ‘When it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck’. This does sound like political opportunism. I—
Mr Finn: When it sounds like corruption and looks like corruption it is corruption.
Ms PATTEN: Well, in that case the Ombudsman will investigate this, and I am sure—
Ms PATTEN: As I say, up until yesterday I was not aware that we could force the Ombudsman to take on investigations. I am now well enlightened of that—
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Bourman): Order! I am having trouble hearing Ms Patten. If she could continue without assistance, that would be great, Mr Davis.
Mr Davis: No, but she actually voted on that. She cannot say she did not know.
The ACTING PRESIDENT (Mr Bourman): That is great, Mr Davis, but I would like to hear Ms Patten’s contribution, thanks.
Ms PATTEN: I have actually finished my contribution, and as I say, I think there would have been far better means to achieve this.
Fiona Patten MP
Leader of Reason
Member for Northern Metropolitan Region
Motion by Mr Davis 4/8/21