NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) commissioner Stephen Rushton, SC, appeared before state parliament’s ICAC oversight committee yesterday.
Rushton told the committee that people who have referred to ICAC as a ‘kangaroo court’ were “buffoons”, and that such comments risked eroding trust in ICAC and undermining public trust in governments.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has referred to ICAC as a ‘kangaroo court’ on a number of occasions as part of his opposition to the establishment of a federal integrity body.
There are 958 words left in this subscriber-only article.
Get your first month for $1
From The SMH:
Campaigning in Tasmania last month, Morrison doubled down on his criticism of the ICAC.
“I have lived with that in NSW. I have seen the lives destroyed by a commission such as that, which becomes a kangaroo court and goes around and seems to operate through politics and shaming people,” Morrison said…
However, Rushton used his opening statement to the NSW parliament’s ICAC oversight committee to launch a fierce criticism of Morrison’s comments.
“To those buffoons who have repeatedly described this commission as a kangaroo court, I would say three things. First, it is deeply offensive to the hardworking staff of the commission. It undermines the institution… To describe us as a kangaroo court is not just misleading, but untrue”…
“To make uninformed comments that this commission is a kangaroo court has the real capacity to undermine the commission’s work, and just as importantly, public confidence in public administration,” Rushton said.
Memo to Scott Morrison: if you don’t want MPs to be ‘shamed’ by an ICAC, then they shouldn’t do corrupt things. It’s not rocket science.
Transparency International’s (TI) latest corruption index revealed that Australia scored its worst ever rating in 2021 after suffering a massive 12 point fall over the past decade – mostly under the Coalition’s watch:
The US-based anti-corruption alliance has also threatened to pull Australia’s membership following the Morrison Government’s failure to implement anti-corruption measures.
The fact remains that if an ICAC had been operating at the federal level, then many Coalition MPs would likely have been investigated.
The only way to restore integrity to the federal government is to boot the Coalition out of office. At least Labor has promised a genuine anti-corruption commission.