Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently attracted criticism for describing ICAC as a “kangaroo court” that had “destroyed people’s reputations and careers before it’s even made a finding” and could turn Australia into a “public autocracy”.
The NSW government has defied these criticisms and will provide the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) with increased funding in the upcoming state Budget. Premier Dominic Perrottet says the new funding arrangements were made following meeting with the heads of the state’s key integrity bodies, which include ICAC, the Auditor-General and the Electoral Commission:
Perrottet indicated the Icac would receive a funding boost in next month’s budget, saying the changes would “better reflect current and future resourcing needs”. He also committed to a “re-baselining” of the agency’s budget in 2023.
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“I believe this strikes the right balance, I accept that it is not completely in line in terms of from the Icac’s perspective in relation to the model that they proposed,” Perrottet said on Tuesday…
Funding for the state’s key integrity agencies has been a subject of contention in NSW since former watchdog chief commissioner Peter Hall told a 2019 inquiry that funding cuts proposed by the government would leave the agency with a $4m shortfall that would have an “immediate and serious” effect on its ability to fight corruption.
Good stuff. If an ICAC had been operating at the federal level, then many Coalition MPs would likely have been investigated and prosecuted.
Thankfully, Labor has promised a genuine anti-corruption commission at the federal level if it is elected.
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