Zali

MEDIA RELEASE: COVID-19 should not grind accountability to a halt

15 October, 2020

National Integrity Commission is needed now, not after COVID-19.

Zali Steggall OAM MP is calling for the government to ditch their talking points leaked today and get on with their commitment prior to the election to establish a National Integrity Commission.

“The government’s talking points show that it is being disingenuous about its reasoning not to introduce the NIC,” she said. “COVID-19 should not grind accountability to a halt. To the contrary, record breaking spending could see record breaking pork barreling.”

“In the budget, The Australian National Audit Office lost some of its funding for performance audits – and yet it is the only mechanism keeping track of how the government spends public money.”

“Now it’s confirmed what we suspected – this government is using the cloak of COVID-19 to delay the release of the draft NIC legislation.

“I call on the Attorney General Christian Porter to introduce the Government legislation to the House without delay, or support Dr Helen Haines Private Member’s Bill to implement an Australian Federal Integrity Commission (AFIC), which she is introducing to the House on October 26.

“This Government has twice been presented with a strong bill to create a National Integrity Commission, passed by the Senate but the Coalition won't even debate it in the House.

“We cannot sit by as scandals continue to emerge without a fair and proper integrity mechanism. If we do, we will continue to be shocked by revelations such as the Leppington Triangle payment scandal and the Sports Rorts scandal.”

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