Labor Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has confirmed that the Albanese Government will implement a robust national corruption watchdog by mid next year. Among other things, the anti-corruption commission will allow retrospective investigations as well investigate pork-barreling:
“It’s going to deal with serious and systemic corruption, it’s going to be able to receive allegations from a whole range of sources,” he told the ABC.
“It’s going to be able to, at its discretion, hold public hearings.”
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The Attorney-General insisted Labor’s proposal would also allow for retrospective investigations.
“We think that it’s completely inappropriate to suggest that an anti-corruption commission, once set up, would only be able to look at matters that arose after it was set up,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“That can’t be right.
“None of the state and territory anti-corruption commission’s function on that basis, they’ve all been able to look back into the past at their discretion when they think it’s appropriate”…
“I’m not going to set limits on this commission,” he said.
“It’s independent, that’s the key to it.
“It’s not there to accept instructions from the government of the day, it’s there to be independent”…
Mr Dreyfus was asked whether such pork barrelling, as Labor described it, could be investigated by a national anti-corruption commission.
“If any program of the Commonwealth government falls within serious and systemic corruption, then that’s going to be a matter which the commission can determine that it will look at,” he responded.
Bring it on. Corruption ran rampant under the Coalition’s term, which is reflected in Australia plummeting down Transparency International’s (TI) corruption index, suffering a massive 12 point fall over the past decade:
The US-based anti-corruption alliance has also threatened to pull Australia’s membership following Australia’s failure to implement anti-corruption measures.
The only way to flush out the corruption is by implementing a robust watchdog.
Retrospectively prosecuting Coalition MPs for their malfeasance is an added bonus.
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