The Liberal Party have reversed their position on an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), joining the Greens and a host of Independents and Minor parties in supporting the idea. The Labor Party now is the last significant hurdle to the legislation required.
The Liberal Party has said that they will establish an ICAC if they win the election. This is one of the flaws of the major parties, and where an independent crossbench brings huge value to the community. If the Liberals had worked with the Greens prior to the election, this could have been achieved already.
If the Liberals do not form government after this election should have no bearing on their introduction of legislation for an ICAC. That’s not how our representation is supposed to work. Both the government and the opposition have the same opportunity to introduce bills, debate, negotiate and vote.
I’d like to hope that this is what the Liberals meant, that regardless of the outcome of the election they would pursue an ICAC on behalf of the ACT. They could only guarantee the outcome if they held a majority, but that doesn’t stop them from trying.
An ICAC isn’t a witch hunt. Wanting one doesn’t mean we think everyone is corrupt. Independent scrutiny is a good thing for our politicians, and for the public. That way, everyone can be more transparent and get on with the job of good government.
Other states have ICAC’s or similar bodies to receive and investigate claims of corruption in the government. Why don’t we? An ICAC doesn’t imply that there is fraud or corruption in the government, but it helps to ensure that any fraud or corruption can be investigated impartially, and dealt with accordingly.
New South Wales’ ICAC was formed in 1988.
Queensland’s CCC was formed in 2001.
Tasmania’s Integrity Commission was formed in 2010.
Victoria’s IBAC was formed in 2011.
South Australia’s ICAC was formed in 2012.
Western Australia’s CCC was formed in 2015.