After decades as a nurse and midwife, one of the reasons I entered politics was to bring the standards I saw in my professional life, upheld by everyday people, into politics.
Australians have had enough of the lack of accountability in our politics. It’s time for this to end.
Securing a strong National Anti Corruption Commission
I have fought for integrity ever since I became the Member for Indi. And on 30 November 2022, we finally had a historic victory.
Parliament has legislated a National Anti-Corruption Commission which will be up and running by mid next year.
This achievement belongs to everyone who demanded better from their politicians. Who voted for integrity in the last election. And who told me, everywhere I went, not to give up the fight.
I am proud that the National Anti-Corruption Commission is based on my Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill, described as experts as a gold-standard model. I worked with former judges and integrity experts to develop this model, building on the work of the former Member for Indi Cathy McGowan.
I promised the people of Indi I would work tirelessly to bring improved standards to politics. To every person who made this issue impossible to ignore, I say thank you.
I’m very proud to be an Independent and to finally see our hard work pay off. May this reform be just the start of restoring the trust of the Australian people in politics.
Since being elected in 2019 I have:
- Worked with constituents to develop the ‘Beechworth Principles’, a set of principles to guide a robust federal integrity commission
- Delivered a petition to Parliament, calling for legislation that meets those principles
- Worked with experts to develop a Bill for the Australian Federal Integrity Commission, with robust powers and appropriate safeguards
- Introduced the Bill for the Australian Federal Integrity Commission into the House of Representatives in October 2020
- Delivered a letter signed by 59 prominent judges, lawyers, experts and leaders calling for the government to establish a robust integrity commission to Prime Minister Scott Morrison
- Worked with Senator Rex Patrick to introduce the Bill for the Australian Federal Integrity Commission into the Senate in October 2021
- Re-introduced the Bill for an Australian Federal Integrity Commission into the House of Representatives in October 2021
- Moved to suspend standing orders in the House of Representatives to debate the AFIC Bill in November, with the motion seconded by government backbencher Bridget Archer. While the majority of MPs present in the House voted in favour of the motion, it was defeated on a technicality.
- Worked with MPs from all sides to find common ground and progress on integrity, including Government backbencher John Alexander who spoke in the House of Representatives about the need for collaboration on integrity on the last sitting day of 2021.
Cleaning up political donations
Under current laws, the major parties only have to disclose donations received above $14,500 to the Australian Electoral Commission each financial year. That means that millions and millions in donations from lobbyists, energy companies, gambling enterprises and so on go into their coffers without being disclosed for months and months on end.
Australians deserve to know who is holding the purse strings of the major parties before voting for them. Politicians are meant to represent the people, not their donors. That’s why I hold myself to a higher standard, and why I have introduced a Bill to reduce the threshold for donations to be declared to $1000, in real time.
You can see my donations disclosure policy here.