MEDIA STATEMENT

October 16, 2020

Ten days prior to introducing legislation to establish a federal integrity commission into Parliament, local Indi residents at a virtual Town Hall said they were sick of excuses for delay and most wanted to see action on a federal integrity commission ‘last week’.

At the virtual Town Hall I gave an update on my work establishing a federal integrity commission, and heard from locals about why action was needed.

What I heard absolutely echoes what I’ve heard across the electorate – no matter what happens, don’t lose sight of integrity.

As one constituent from Tolmie told me, ‘we need to be able to trust that our political representatives are acting for the common good rather than for their tribe or for themselves.’

These people joined me because we want to see the establishment of a federal integrity commission that’s strong and stands the test of time. One the Australian people and the people of Indi can trust.

After two years of waiting for the Government to keep its promise to establish a federal integrity commission, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

I’ve worked with people across the political aisle to shape a Bill to establish the Australian Federal Integrity Commission (AFIC) and my model has support of eminent judges, leading ethicists and federal MPs from all sides of politics.

My Bill is practical and balanced. It has the powers it needs to do its job properly and checks and safeguards in place to protect the integrity of its work.

It is neither a star chamber nor a toothless tiger – AFIC is a consensus way forward.

The next step is to allow Parliament to debate the AFIC Bill, and I only needed two government MPs to support this call.

There’s a lot of different views about a federal ICAC. That’s healthy and that’s what a democracy is for. In Parliament, I’ll be asking for my fellow MPs to support my call to bring on debate on my Bill, so we can come to an agreement about what’s best for Australia.

The Town Hall showed me there is a groundswell of support. And the community is now swinging into action to help get the AFIC Bill debated in Parliament.

Promises matter to the people of Indi. The Sports Rorts scandal and the unfolding Wagga corruption crisis leaves a terrible taste in our mouths.

The Government went to the last election promising to establish a federal integrity commission. Almost two years later and we’re still waiting. Why is it dragging its heels?

My AFIC Bill has been fully costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office and, if voted on this year, could open doors on 1 July 2021 – well before the next election.

Leaked Government speaking notes show that legislation for its federal integrity commission was ready to go before the pandemic struck.

Parliament can pass legislation quickly when it wants to. We’ve passed 167 Bills this Parliament. Australians have spent long enough waiting – it’s now time for the Parliament to act.

We know over 80 per cent of Australians from across the political spectrum want a robust federal integrity commission – and they want it now.

Learn more: AFIC Bill

Read Tabling of the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill