Today is the 1000th day since Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to establish a federal integrity commission, marking a broken promise from the government on accountability and transparency.
Independent Federal Member for Indi Helen Haines has called for the Government to abandon its flawed draft proposal and legislate her Australian Federal Integrity Commission.
“The Government has struggled to find anyone who thinks its model for a federal integrity commission is up to the job. It is weak, narrowly-focused and would not hold ministers and bureaucrats to account,” Dr Haines said.
“The Prime Minister has clearly taken a leave pass on integrity. The government is stalling because they don’t really believe in integrity, in accountability or transparency. They are afraid of what an integrity commission would find. The Australian people can’t afford to wait on their dithering any more.”
The Government promised to introduce a federal integrity commission before the last election. Since then, Dr Haines has worked hard to consult and draft legislation that would establish a broad, robust, independent integrity commission and a code of conduct for MPs.
“What I have achieved as an independent MP, without a government department, highlights just how little effort the Government is making on this vital project,” Dr Haines said.
“My Bill would create the Australian Federal Integrity Commission, with real teeth, and a professional Code of Conduct for Parliamentarians that is sorely needed. People are crying out for accountability in politics and this Bill provides that.”
Dr Haines warned both major parties that in the face of a tight result at the next election, crossbench support would likely hang on their commitment to a fit for purpose robust integrity commission.
“Both the Coalition and Labor will need to demonstrate they are serious about legislating a strong integrity commission. How they act now on this issue will have consequences in the 47th Parliament,” Dr Haines said.
“When the polls close, the seats are tallied and the major parties come to independents looking for support, we will not forget the broken promise on integrity so lightly.”
On Wednesday Labor would only promise to introduce legislation for a federal integrity commission within a first term of government. They failed to commit to setting one up.
“That isn’t the kind of promise you make when something is a priority. That is why my Bill, that could be voted on before an election, is so important.”