Towards an integrity commission
Trust in politics is at an all-time low. I believe people disengage from politics when they see that that it fails to tackle our big public policy issues. When they see politicians more interested in partisan squabbling than in representing their constituents. And when political gain comes ahead of public interest.
The Beechworth Principles
The Beechworth Principles are core characteristics by which any model for a federal integrity commission can be measured. The Principles shape its scope. I believe such a commission must have:
- Broad jurisdiction
- Common rules
- Appropriate powers
- Fair hearings
- Public accountability
What opinion leaders think
Ethicists and legal figures talk about the Beechworth Principles:
As a means of bringing into public focus a most important national issue, the Principles serve a crucial purpose.
The…Principles establish the ethical foundation on which to rebuild confidence in the integrity of government.
…An excellent basis for the hard work necessary before completing the design of a national integrity commission.
In 1853, at the height of the gold rush on the Ovens goldfield, a young gold digger named William Guest was shot by police. Guest was an innocent man – his death the result of a flagrant misuse of police power.
Political, parliamentary and public service integrity is fundamental to the strength of Australian democracy. The transparency of campaign financing is key to its vitality. Capping donations at a modest limit is a powerful way of ensuring integrity.