That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Indi from moving the following
That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) on 8 September 2021 it will be 1,000 days since the Prime Minister made an election promise to establish a federal integrity commission;
(b) the Prime Minister has failed to introduce a bill to Parliament to do so; and,
(c) Parliament will rise in two days’ time for a six-week break, during which the Prime Minister could call an election at any moment.
(2) calls on the Government to:
(a) abandon its Commonwealth Integrity Commission proposal, which retired judges and academic experts have described as ineffective and unamendable;
(b) establish a strong, well-funded, wide-ranging, and independent integrity commission through the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill that I introduced to this House almost a year ago;
(c) admit it has deliberately stalled progress on a reform that over 80 per cent of Australians across the political spectrum have called for as a matter of urgency;
(d) admit is has failed to meet a key election commitment to the Australian people; and,
(e) acknowledge that their inaction has compounded falling trust in government at a time where trust in government is crucial to our safety and prosperity.
Next week it will be 1,000 days since the Prime Minister promised the Australian people an integrity commission.
Australians are still waiting. It’s blindingly obvious the Prime Minister will not deliver one. Right now, Australians are putting their faith in government in ways we’ve never seen before. From lockdown orders to the vaccine rollout, Australians are living up to their side of the bargain, and, in exchange, when it comes to integrity this government is taking them for fools.
The Prime Minister knows his Commonwealth integrity commission is a dud. He’s been pretending to consult on it for over three years. Of the 333 submissions in the latest round almost a
year ago, only two had anything positive to say and none supported it as a whole. It’s dead in the water. It would never pass the Senate. From former High Court Justice Mary Gaurdon and to Tony Fitzgerald it’s been called ‘toothless’ and ‘unamendable’. The government knows that, the opposition knows that, every Australian knows it.
Over eight in 10 Australians want a robust integrity commission. And, with respect to colleagues on both sides, a bill for an integrity commission would be ill-fated if it came from a major party. An important reform like this is best placed to come right through the middle, from the crossbench. That’s why I introduced the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill over a decade ago. It’s a consensus bill that has been regarded as the most robust model in the nation. It’s learnt from the failures of state ICACs and it builds on over a decade of merry-go-round
consultations and inquiries in this place. It’s sensible, it’s balanced and it’s written in the public interest. It’s sitting there right now, ready to be debated and voted on.
Questions of integrity have plagued this parliament. Australians do not want to head into another election without a robust federal integrity commission. There is no excuse for this anymore, Prime Minister. Introduce a robust bill or step aside and let the parliament vote on mine. With that in mind, I seek leave to table this document which lists the names of thousands of Australians calling on the Prime Minister to do the right thing or step out of the way.