SHADOW MINISTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL REFORM
MEMBER FOR ISAACS
MORRISON'S NON-EXISTENT INTEGRITY COMMISSION BILL
This Prime Minister never takes responsibility and always blames others for his own failures.
Now Mr Morrison is trying to blame Labor for him failing to even bring legislation to Parliament to establish a Commonwealth anti-corruption commission.
Contrary to the Prime Minister’s statement today, the Government has no bill.
All they have is an exposure draft languishing on a website for a year that was concocted by Mr Morrison and his former Attorney-General Christian Porter to cover up corruption.
Former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal, the Hon Stephen Charles AO QC, described this proposal as 'an attempt to protect ministers, politicians and senior public servants from investigations into serious corruption'.
The Centre for Public Integrity says it’s 'a sham designed to cover up corruption' and 'the weakest watchdog in the country'.
The Law Council says it 'has significant shortcomings – both in the scope of the corruption it can investigate and in the unnecessary complexity of the mechanisms it requires'.
The Australian Federal Police Association says the proposal has 'serious deficiencies' because it doesn’t allow the public to refer cases to the commission.
The Police Federation of Australia is rightly outraged that while inquiries into police officers would be held in public under this plan, inquiries into members of parliament will be held in secret.
Geoffrey Watson SC, former counsel assisting the NSW ICAC says the it is 'designed to cover up corruption, not expose it'.
Former Victorian Supreme Court judge, the Hon David Harper AM says it is a 'toothless watchdog that fails to hold politicians to account and risks further eroding confidence in our political and democratic processes'.
Under Mr Morrison’s plan, they would establish a commission that:
- would be unable to instigate its own independent inquiries into Government corruption;
- would be unable to hold public hearings when a corruption investigation relates to politicians or public servants; and
- is likely to be prevented from investigating any of the multiple past scandals of the Morrison Government.
Sports Rorts, Grassgate, fake documents, the Airport land rort – the ever-growing list of scandals surrounding the Morrison-Joyce Government have graphically illustrated why Australia needs a powerful and independent anti-corruption commission – and why Mr Morrison and his colleagues will do everything in their power to stop it.
THURSDAY, 25 NOVEMBER 2021