Senate debates

Wednesday, 6 September 2017


Procedure Committee; Reference

4:05 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to amend general business notice of motion No. 447 standing in my name for today, relating to a code of conduct for senators.

Leave granted.

I move the motion as amended:


(1) That the Senate acknowledges the proposal below for a code of conduct:

Parliamentary Code for Respecting Cultural Diversity


The House of Representatives and the Senate have reached agreement on a Code of Conduct which is to apply to all members of Parliament.

Members of Parliament recognise that they are in a unique position of responsibility in influencing the nature of civic conduct in Australia.

Members of Parliament recognise that their words and actions in the Senate and the House of Representatives influence issues relating to multicultural affairs, migration and citizenship, and can assist in guiding respectful public debate.

Members of Parliament acknowledge that parliamentary privilege protects the right of members to participate freely in debate in the Parliament without fear of prosecution.

Members of Parliament recognise the need to exercise their valuable right of freedom of speech in a responsible manner and a failure to do so may have serious implications for individuals and groups of the Australian community and may diminish the social cohesion that is essential to our national character.


1. Uphold the honour of public office

(a) Members of Parliament will take all reasonable steps to represent public office in a manner that is consistent with the values of respect and inclusion.

(b) This includes behaviour and language during parliamentary proceedings.

2. First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples

(a) Members of Parliament recognise the value and contribution of the First Peoples of Australia, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

(b) Members of Parliament recognise that with the exception of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Australia is a nation of migrants.

3. Respect Australians ' diversity

(a) Members of Parliament recognise that Australia has been enriched by the diversity of colour, ethnic origin, culture and religious belief that exists within our nation.

(b) Members of Parliament recognise that principles including respect for religious and cultural diversity, tolerance, and justice should be upheld in parliamentary debate in a respectful manner.

4. Reject discriminatory or exclusionary statements

(a) Members of Parliament will not knowingly humiliate or degrade an individual or community based on their colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief.

(b) This includes acts which are intended to incite hatred or create fear of a community.

(2) That this matter be referred to the Procedure Committee for consideration and report by Wednesday 15 November 2017.

Question agreed to.