September 26, 2022
Joint Statement – Crossbenchers committed to delivering anti-corruption commission with teeth
As members of the crossbench in the House of Representatives and the Senate, we were elected by our communities for our commitment to fight for integrity in politics and hold the Government to account when it comes to delivering a federal integrity commission.
Some of us have been in Parliament for many years, and others for just months. Our electorates are diverse, representing different states and territories, cities and the regions. But we are united in a will for a better standard of politics, and an integrity watchdog that will be respected by the public and improve trust in our democracy, just as our communities are.
As we prepare to see the Government’s legislation for the National Anti-Corruption Commission when it is introduced to Parliament this week, we reiterate our commitment to continue to work constructively with the Government to ensure the model that is implemented is the best it can be, will stamp out corruption, and improve integrity within government.
We have worked constructively with the Government in consultations on the bill and intend to continue in that manner as it is considered by committee and debated in both houses. We have been raising our detailed concerns with the Government for many months now in a good faith attempt to have them addressed in a timely way. We won’t delay the process for political games or point scoring, but won’t be rushed to vote in favour of a Bill that doesn’t make the grade.
We want to ensure the Commission is properly set up to do the job it needs to do, and is given the supporting infrastructure necessary to ensure its success in the future. This means:
- Strong whistleblower protection, including through a whistleblower protection commissioner
- Statutory oversight mechanisms that protect the independence of the commission
- Budgetary protection, independence and funding transparency
- Ability for own-motion investigations into so-called ‘grey corruption’
- Funding for pro-integrity measures including prevention and education
- Jurisdiction over third parties who seek to improperly influence government decisions and funding
These points have already been raised with the Government through formal and informal consultation, private meetings and in writing. They are not minor issues, but based on the lessons from integrity bodies in other states and territories, and from experts who have worked on these issues for many years.
It is now up to the Government to deliver an anti-corruption commission that is independent, strong, and trusted by the Australian people. We look forward to seeing the bill and working to ensure it is fit for purpose and fulfills its role for many years to come.
Member for Melbourne and Leader of the Australian Greens
Member for Curtin
Member for Goldstein
Member for Indi
Member for Kennedy
Member for Fowler
Senator for the Australian Capital Territory
Member for Kooyong
Member for Mackellar
Member for Mayo
Senator for New South Wales and Australian Greens Spokesperson for Justice
Member for Wentworth
Member for Warringah
Member for North Sydney
Member for Clark