31 August, 2021
Regular surveys show that over 80 per cent of Australians support the establishment of a federal corruption watchdog. With the limited time left in this term of parliament we ought to be concentrating our efforts on things that need to be done now. I'm calling on the Prime Minister to make good on his 2018 promise to establish a federal integrity commission. All states and territories have an integrity commission, yet there is no proper body to investigate serious allegations of abuse of position or power at a federal level. The closest thing we have is the Australian National Audit Office. The Auditor-General is going above and beyond to investigate matters of misuse of funds, but the list keeps growing. Most recently the auditor revealed the car park rorts. There are now questions over donations made by Empire Energy and grants awarded to the company to explore for gas in the Beetaloo basin. Australians need to have confidence that this government is actually working and that their decisions are made properly and on merit. Despite the many scandals that have been revealed, there is little that can be done to investigate and prosecute those accused of wrongdoing because we don't have an integrity commission.
There are three things this government can do to clean up politics in this country, and that would be a great legacy for the Morrison government: to establish a federal integrity commission, to establish a code of conduct for all parliamentarians and to pass truth in political advertising legislation.