I may not be a career politician, but I know when I’m being taken for a ride. The Prime Minister’s laughable excuse that he cannot legislate his dud integrity commission proposal because the opposition won’t support it is totally absurd. He’s never applied that standard to any other legislation.
The Prime Minister has taken me, the crossbench, the opposition and his own backbench for a ride when he said that he wanted to work on a bill in a bipartisan way. The facts are clear. He had no intention on working on this in a bipartisan way.
The Prime Minister has also taken for a ride hundreds of Australians who gave feedback on his dud proposal. There has been over a year of what is now clearly fake consultation, and not one change has been made. He played the public for a patsy, but they are smarter than that.
Make no mistake: this is a deliberate decision by the Prime Minister to avoid accountability.
Make no mistake: this Prime Minister doesn’t want a cop on the beat at this forthcoming election, when he’s about to pork-barrel and rort with total abandon. There will be no consequences for that while this Prime Minister is in charge.
Don’t think you can fool me. This is not respectable leadership. MPs on both sides think that—not just the crossbench and the opposition. Strong leadership creates bipartisanship, and, as it stands, that has not been achieved.
The majority of MPs right here right now support my gold standard Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill. It’s sitting here right on the Notice Paper. I say to this government: what has all this lording over us with punitive standing orders achieved? You should show up and face the music. Have a debate. Support a bill that can bring to fruition legislation that all the nation wants.
The 46th Parliament is coming to a close, and this government has failed the nation. It has failed the nation on integrity. I will never stop bringing this to the attention of this House, even in the dying days of this parliament. Our nation deserves so much better than this.
The legislating of a federal integrity commission was a character test for this Prime Minister and his government, and I stand here today saying he has failed that character test. And it’s not just me who knows it; the nation knows it.