Mark Dreyfus MP

Member for Isaacs
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(03) 9580 4651
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National Integrity Commission

I have been clear about the need for a national integrity commission - a national integrity commission that is worthy of its name and role, established with the independence, powers, and resources of a standing royal commission into corruption in the federal public sphere.

"The ever-growing list of scandals surrounding the Morrison Government shows why Australia needs a powerful and independent national integrity commission – and why Mr Morrison and his colleagues continue to show such little interest in establishing one.

Some examples that spring to mind are the Government's scandalous $30m Sydney Airport scandal, Robodebt, Sports Rorts, Mr Dutton’s ministerial interventions for au pairs, the awarding of lucrative government contracts without open tender or transparent processes, including, for example, a $423 million contract to a company called Paladin and the $591 million contract awarded to a company called Canstruct; water allocations in the Murray-Darling Basin, and former ministers accepting positions as lobbyists in apparent breach of the Ministerial code of conduct.

All the states now have anti-corruption bodies, and we have seen that no matter how carefully the political parties vet their candidates, no matter what steps are taken to ensure integrity in government, there is always a danger of corrupt conduct occurring.

We invited the Liberal Government to work with us on this initiative because we believe that corruption is something that harms our nation. But we never did hear back from the Liberal Government about it.

Under pressure from Labor, the Liberal Government announced the same commitment but the Government has not so much as publicly released what it has done to establish such a body.

The Liberal Government continues to delay its proposal and recently used the coronavirus crisis as yet another reason not to release it. The Government began working on its draft in 2018 and now it is 2020 and we still have nothing 

And as many scandals and much questionable conduct over recent years have shown us, despite the existence of the many Commonwealth agencies and parliamentary processes designed to ensure integrity, there are significant gaps between them.