National Integrity Commission - six months and no progress

Today marks the six-month anniversary of Bill Shorten’s announcement that Labor will legislate for a National Integrity Commission within 12 months of government.

THE HON. MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY-GENERAL
SHADOW MINISTER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY
MEMBER FOR ISAACS 
 
NATIONAL INTEGRITY COMMISSION – SIX MONTHS AND NO PROGRESS
 

Today marks the six-month anniversary of Bill Shorten’s announcement that Labor will legislate for a National Integrity Commission within 12 months of government.
 
At the National Press Club, Bill laid out detailed principles which would guide the design of the Commission, and made a compelling argument for why we can no longer ignore the calls for a federal anti-corruption body.
 
And the response from the government? Crickets.
 
The last official communication, from Attorney-General Christian Porter in a letter to me, was that the government “sees no persuasive evidence” in favour of establishing a National Integrity Commission.
 
The government’s casual dismissal of this very important idea is deeply disturbing.
 
Mr Porter and Mr Turnbull are not just ignoring Labor. They are also ignoring former judges, former Premiers, eminent lawyers, and civil society groups who are calling for this change to happen.
 
The evidence is building, and more alleged corruption is being uncovered at a state level. Meanwhile, at a federal level, the government twiddles its fingers and refuses to do the work.
 
Labor has responded to increasingly louder calls for this change to happen, and taken a bold policy step. We are not afraid of more accountability and transparency in government. In fact, we see both as necessary to a healthy democracy.
 
Turnbull is such an arrogant, out of touch and struggling leader, that he no longer has the capacity to make important policy decisions.
 
You have to ask yourself – just what has the government got to hide?
 
MONDAY, JULY 30 2018