Scott Morrison’s 2018 promise for a federal ICAC ‘with teeth’ still haunts the Coalition

The federal government promised to introduce a federal anti-corruption commission “with teeth” but failed to deliver. It stands as a key broken promise.

It has falsely blamed Labor for stopping one being legislated. During the election campaign, Coalition figures have said it’s not an issue the public cares about, with the prime minister denigrating a powerful NSW-style ICAC as a “kangaroo court”.

Where the others stand

Labor has affirmed that it will establish a “powerful, transparent and independent national anti-corruption commission” by the end of the year if it wins office. It would have “all the independence, resources and powers of a standing royal commission into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government”, according to its policy statement. 

Put a fork in them, the election is almost done.

Understand what happens next with our best ever discounts.

JOIN TODAY

The Greens have advocated several measures to clean up federal politics, including a “strong federal integrity commission” where “corrupt politicians” are held accountable.

Independent MP Helen Haines, backed by independent candidate Zali Steggall, has been a strong advocate for a federal anti-corruption commission. She introduced a bill in 2021 which attracted the support of Tasmanian Liberal Bridget Archer. 

The independent “teal” candidates — backed by Climate 200 and targeting mainly metropolitan seats — all list integrity in government among their top three issues. 

Coalition’s position 

At the end of 2018, with an election around the corner, Scott Morrison pledged that his government would introduce a Commonwealth integrity commission (CIC). It was to be a “serious” commission “with teeth, resources and proper processes”.

It would “protect the integrity of Australia’s Commonwealth public administration” while avoiding “the pitfalls, weaknesses and abuses of systems introduced by state jurisdictions and being proposed in alternative models”.

Morrison has been fudging the issue ever since. Last week he dodged a question about where the Liberal Party stood on the CIC, saying his concern was “jobs, jobs, jobs”.

In late 2020, following criticism that the government had moved slowly on its promise, then attorney-general Christian Porter tabled an exposure draft of the government’s CIC bill.

The AG’s office received more than 300 submissions on the bill. An analysis by the Centre for Public Integrity — an independent organisation including judicial figures with direct experience of corruption bodies — concluded the bill required “substantial amendment” if the government wanted to make it “truly fit for purpose.”

The centre determined there were six key flaws in the draft bill:

  • The proposed splitting of the commission into two divisions (one dealing with law enforcement agencies; the other with the public sector)
  • The narrow definition of corrupt conduct in respect of public sector corruption 
  • The limited ability of the commission to undertake own motion investigations, and the restricted referral process in respect of public sector corruption (including the preclusion of public and whistleblower complaints being investigated)
  • The “reasonable suspicion” threshold in relation to public sector corruption
  • The lack of power to hold public hearings in relation to public sector corruption
  • The lack of power to report publicly in relation to public sector corruption.

Its analysis of submissions found that only two organisations backed the government’s model. One was national law firm Allens Linklaters; the other was the Institute of Public Affairs, the libertarian lobby group which refuses to reveal its backers. 

News Corp through The Australian also campaigned strongly against any commission modelled along the lines of the NSW ICAC.

The Coalition refused to make any meaningful amendments to its draft bill and ultimately failed to pass any legislation.

Expect more from your journalism.

Crikey is an independent Australian-owned and run outfit. It doesn’t enjoy the vast resources of the country’s main media organisations. We take seriously our responsibility to bear witness.

I hope you appreciate our reporting and consider supporting Crikey’s work. Join now for your chance at election themed merch.

Peter Fray

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief

Join now

Note: This article have been indexed to our site. We do not claim legitimacy, ownership or copyright of any of the content above. To see the article at original source Click Here

Related Posts
'Remember 'safe, legal, and rare'?' Texas OB/GYN and abortionist says 'abortion is a blessing, abortion is an act of love, abortion is freedom' [video] thumbnail

‘Remember ‘safe, legal, and rare’?’ Texas OB/GYN and abortionist says ‘abortion is a blessing, abortion is an act of love, abortion is freedom’ [video]

Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley informed us today that pro-life laws are “rooted in patriarchy and white supremacy,” which is why they hurt LGBT people, BIPOC, immigrants, and the disabled the most. Pressley’s sentiments were echoed by Texas Equal Access Fund community organizer and abortion activist Maleeha Aziz:Abortion activist Maleeha Aziz: Prohibiting taxpayer funding for abortion…
Read More
Turkey ratifies Paris climate deal ahead of key summit thumbnail

Turkey ratifies Paris climate deal ahead of key summit

The last G20 country to do so, Turkey had not ratified the landmark agreement for five years arguing it should not be considered a developed country.Turkey ratified the Paris climate accord on Wednesday, joining the global fight against climate change weeks before the start of a critical summit in Glasgow, Scotland. Though Turkey was among…
Read More
Three private casinos led the collection ranking in Mendoza in 2021 thumbnail

Three private casinos led the collection ranking in Mendoza in 2021

Se trata de Enjoy, Sun Plaza y Arena Maipú. El Casino Central, del Estado, aparece en el quinto lugar. Hubo salas que obtuvieron de beneficio más de 1000 millones de pesos.domingo, 30 de enero de 202206:18hsLos casinos tuvieron uno de sus peores años, económicamente hablando, durante el 2020 por la pandemia, ya que apenas abrieron…
Read More
'Dune' dẫn đầu đề cử BAFTA với 11 hạng mục thumbnail

‘Dune’ dẫn đầu đề cử BAFTA với 11 hạng mục

Bộ phim sử thi khoa học viễn tưởng Dune chuyển thể từ tiểu thuyết cùng tên phát hành năm 1965 của Frank Herbert dẫn đầu danh sách đề cử Giải thưởng Viện Hàn lâm Nghệ thuật Điện ảnh và Truyền hình Anh (BAFTA) với 11 hạng mục.Tiếp theo sau Dune (tựa Việt Hành tinh cát)…
Read More
Index Of News
Consider making some contribution to keep us going. We are donation based team who works to bring the best content to the readers. Every donation matters.
Donate Now

Subscription Form

Liking our Index Of News so far? Would you like to subscribe to receive news updates daily?

Total
0
Share