The public should be able to trust the government of the day to act with integrity in the best interest of the people. There must be no actual or perceived corrupt conduct from our representatives.
It took 1,142 days for the Labor/Greens coalition to establish an Integrity Commission and have it ready to receive reports. The Commission expects to have its own, purpose-fit office including a hearing room, computer forensics, exhibits storage, and general office space ready by August 2020. That’s 3 years and 10 months in to a 4 year term of government.
The Commission has already received more than 80 referrals, and begun investigations on 15%. Of those, 3 have proceeded to full investigations for “serious and systemic corrupt conduct”.
The Commission employs 10 staff, are recruiting more, and will need funding to recruit enough to handle the current workload.
The Labor/Greens budget will dictate if the Commission will have enough resources to move forward properly with their investigations into corruption. When the government of the day controls their resources, how independent can the Commission be? Crossbench scrutiny can help strengthen the independence of the Commission.
This Commission has not been given the opportunity or resources to foster trust in the Labor/Greens government before the 2020 election, or beyond. I will ensure that it has the funding and the opportunity to meet their legislated intentions.
I hope to see a fully empowered and resourced Integrity Commission with nothing left to do. Just as with car insurance, I would rather have it in place just in case, but never need to make a claim.
- Seek additional funding for the Integrity Commission.
- Ensure resources needed by the Integrity Commission are available.
- Ensure legislation adequately reflects the needs of the Integrity Commission, and the desires of the public.