The Coalition has been promising to introduce a national integrity commission (NIC) since late 2018 to investigate corruption. However, after 1,000 days, the Coalition is yet to take action.
Yesterday, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan outright rejected the establishment of a federal Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) after watching NSW’s equivalent take down Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Canavan instead claims that existing structures are adequate:
“The government has announced plans to introduce additional anti-corruption institutions at a Commonwealth level – we do have a Crime Commission currently, we do have cases that go forward on these matters,” he told the ABC.
There are 909 words left in this subscriber-only article.
Get your first month for $1
“I would certainly say that the NSW ICAC is not wholly a model I’d like to adopt. It itself has been involved in some pretty major shortcomings in its time, and some judges have been very critical sometimes of its conduct.
“As I say, there’s always the question here of who polices the police. And I do think that, ultimately, that’s up to the people in our democracy that that’s the best way, the best system of all the others.”
Federal Coalition MPs obviously have a self-interest in covering up their bad behaviour. Corruption runs deep and accountability is not in their interest.
Recent examples of the Coalition’s poor conduct include the sports rorts scandal and the dodgy Leppington Triangle land deal, which saw the Department of Infrastructure (DOI) purchase land from a billionaire family at 10 times its market value in what the Australian National Audit Office labelled a “significant and unusual transaction” related to the Western Sydney Airport.
The owner of the airport land, Leppington Pastoral Company, is a major donor to the Liberal and National parties. Thus, this deal has the stink of corruption and graft all over it.
The 2016 Four Corners report, “Money and Influence”, also showed unambiguously that the money-for-favours culture runs deep in Australian politics.
Thus, a federal ICAC is a no-brainer to stop these types of shady deals, to hand out appropriate penalties, and to restore faith in Australia’s political system.
Both Labor and The Greens have previously supported the establishment of a federal ICAC. It will be interesting watching whether Labor has the same enthusiasm if it wins the upcoming federal election, meaning the ICAC spotlight would be turned on them.
- Time to close the gap between JobSeeker and the pension - October 25, 2021
- Crispin Hull destroys immigration charlatans - October 25, 2021
- Job hiring picks-up as Sydney and Melbourne reopens - October 25, 2021