Last night on Q&A, Bronwyn Bishop used the opportunity to once again attack Gillian Triggs about the AHRC report into children in detention
“It has made you a very political figure. Therefore, you are subject to criticism,” Bishop told Triggs.
“You have to make the decision: are you a statutory officer, carrying out an obligation with the protection of that office, or do you wish to be a political participant? If you do wish to be a political participant, then you have to be no longer a statutory officer and stand for office.”
Perhaps Ms Bishop should inform herself of the role of the Human Rights Commission which includes leading the promotion and protection of human rights in Australia by “keeping government accountable to national and international human rights standards.”
Their statutory responsibilities include human rights complaints, compliance and policy and legislative development. They are obliged to “provide advice and submissions to parliaments and governments to develop laws, policies and programs.”
It is painfully obvious that this government will not accept oversight or criticism or advice from anyone including those whose statutory responsibility requires them to do just that.
And whilst on the subject of responsibility, let’s examine the role of Speaker of the House.
“In representing the House the Speaker represents and is responsible to the House and all of its Members, whether in government or opposition. He or she is not responsible to the Executive Government and seeks to preserve the House’s independence from it.
An important part of the Speaker’s task is to protect the rights of individuals and minorities in the House and make sure that everyone is treated fairly within the framework set by the rules.
The Speaker supervises rather than participates in proceedings. He or she does not normally take part in debate.
Notwithstanding the fact that the Speakership in Australia has long been regarded as a political appointment, successive Speakers have striven to discharge their duties with impartiality. As a rule, Speakers have been sufficiently detached from government activity to ensure what can be justly claimed to be a high degree of impartiality in the Chair.
Members are entitled to expect that, even though the Speaker belongs to and is nominated to the position by a political party, his or her functions will be carried out impartially.”
I would suggest, Ms Bishop, that your actions in Parliament and outside have shown that you are in no way impartial. You clearly favour the executive government which is a breach of your responsibilities. The use of your offices for Liberal Party functions is highly questionable. If you want to put your hand up for the significant pay rise associated with this position you must stop being a partisan political warrior or resign.
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