HAINES: My question is to the Prime Minister. This week I introduced my end pork-barrelling bill. My bill would stamp out the practice of the major parties using taxpayer money to win votes. More than 80 per cent of Australians think this is corrupt conduct. They’re sick of it and they want to see it end. Prime Minister, do you agree that pork-barrelling is corrupt conduct, and will you commit to working with me to stamp it out?

ALBANESE: I thank the member for Indi for her question. I appreciate the work that the member has undertaken and her very strong and longstanding interest in ensuring that taxpayers’ money is effectively managed through these grants programs. The member for Indi was a very strong supporter of the creation of a national anticorruption commission, and one of the first acts of my government was to introduce the legislation, to carry the legislation, to put it in place, and it is now up and running. It is effectively funded and operating out there. It’s an important piece of legislation, where we caught up with what most states and territories had done some time ago.

I am aware of the member’s bill that she has introduced into the parliament, and we’ll go through this like any other piece of private member’s legislation or senator’s legislation in the usual methodical way that we do, following proper process.

I can inform the member for Indi that the finance minister, in the other place—the good senator—has asked her department for advice to strengthen the Commonwealth grants framework, including possible enhancements to the Commonwealth grants rules and guidelines to improve integrity, accountability, probity and transparency. As part of this work, recommendations that have been put forward by the Australian National Audit Office and the JCPAA, the joint committee, in this place in relation to grants are being considered. Enhancements to the grants framework are under consideration, and the finance minister will be making announcements once they are finalised.

Sign up

Keep up to date with the latest news and information