Questions in Parliament

More Navel Gazing on Integrity

Today in Parliament I asked the Attorney-General if he would finally agree that the Integrity Commission has failed in its mission and establish a fit for purpose Anti-Corruption Commission with some teeth.

I drew the Attorney’s attention to the views of Geoffrey Watson, Centre for Public Integrity Director in his assessment of our so-called integrity commission:

“…they make no announcements and don’t bring anything to a head. It’s produced very little public work at all, it’s never conducted a public hearing and it’s done nothing to expose corruption or prevent corruption. It’s hopeless.”

All the Attorney could do was to rely the agreement between the Government and the Jacqui Lambie Network, in that the Integrity Commission “will be reviewed” within 12 months.

This is nonsense. There’s no terms of reference, no guarantee that this review will be independent.

This Government continues to kick this can down the road when there is ample, creditable work done on what is needed for an effective integrity body.

In July 2022, the Government committed to implementing most of the outstanding recommendations from the Cox Review, as well as addressing some of the deficiencies raised since then. These included solutions to address disclosure of official secrets, unauthorised access to computers, and jurisdiction over Members of Parliament during election campaigns.

Back then the Government committed to developing draft legislation to address these and many more issues.

Two years and several scandals later and still no such legislation has been released.

Enough reviews. Time for action.

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