Australia needs a National Integrity Commission, but we also need an integrated and properly funded integrity system of agencies that can adequately perform their vital roles – preventing corruption, ensuring transparency and stopping the rorts. They must have investigative powers, report to the Parliament and be able to act independently of government.

Accountability spokesperson, Leonie Green:

Our platform is broader than just a federal ICAC. We want reform of politicians’ salaries and entitlements, conflicts of interests, “jobs for the boys”, electoral and campaign spending and donations.

1.A National Integrity System
National Integrity Commission (new) 
Office of the Australian Information Commission
Commonwealth Ombudsman  
Whistleblower Protection Authority (new)  
Australian National Audit Office.
Commissioner for Ministerial & Parliamentary Ethics (new)
Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity
Independent and appointed by the Governor-General on advice of parliament.

Investigative powers of a royal commission.

Funding determined by the parliament.

The Government’s failure to introduce an integrity commission with teeth shows contempt for accountability. We also need an ethics commission and a whistleblower protection authority.

Putting limits on donations and wasteful campaign spending are arguably the most important measures for reducing the undue influence of corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals. Donations are undoubtedly the reason why there is little action to address climate change, why mining companies can bulldoze sacred sites with impunity and money is wasted on ‘gas-led’ recoveries’, and costly land deals.

Big donations come with big expectations – the vested interest is obvious, albeit only well after the election when donations are finally disclosed.

2.Caps on campaign spending and donationsCaps in line with NSW.
Public disclosure of donations over $1,500 within 7 days.

3.Consequences for rorting and bad decisionsMinisters required to step down, take responsibility for serious errors.
4.Jobs for the boys/girlsMake appointments based on merit.
3-year cooling off for ministers taking up jobs in related private sector
5.Reform of entitlementsConflicts of interests not tolerated,
Audits by Auditor-General of use of entitlements
6.Codes of conductMinisters must stand down if they breach the code.
Protect the public service from spin-doctor policy-making.
Make ministerial staff accountable to Senate committees.
7.Less advertising, data, and spinAds to be approved by an independent body.
Ban party logos on government announcements.
Penalties for lies and misleading statements.
Require political parties to disclose how they use our data.

Grant expenditure since 2013 is just one example of the misuse of public money for political purposes. Marginal Coalition seats, received $184 per person, compared to $39 in safe Labor seats. In other/independent seats that blows out to $206 per person (The Australia Institute, Nov 2021). This kind of pork barrelling is blatant, unjust and wasteful and should not be tolerated.

See here for our Rorts Watch – a litany of waste and mismanagement that has now become commonplace.

The Government failed to submit its latest Open Government Partnerships Action Plan and has stalled completely under the 2018-20 Action Plan specifically in the areas of anti-corruption and political donations. This is both embarrassing internationally, and an example of the Morrison government’s focus which is on anything but anti-corruption.

The Morrison Government resisted the Banking Royal Commission and continues to drag its feet on the recommendations. When we follow the money (to the extent transparency is possible) we see that the banks have consistently been major donors of the major parties (around $1 million each year). Similarly, donations from the fossil fuel industry to the major parties enable them to fund the type of expensive campaigns we are seeing in Kooyong and similar at-risk electorates this election. 

For more on this see here and contact Leonie Green here: [email protected]

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