Labor stands for integrity and transparency in government, and we have no tolerance for corruption. That is why an Albanese Labor Government will establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission as a priority.
Anti-corruption commissions are powerful and independent investigatory bodies that serve the public by uncovering corruption and by ensuring that members of a government, including politicians, are held to account if they engage in corrupt conduct. Every state and territory in Australia has its own anti-corruption commission and Labor believes it is now long past time for a Commonwealth body to be established to tackle corruption in the federal government.
In contrast to Labor’s clear commitment to stamp out corruption in the federal government, the Morrison-Joyce Government was dragged, kicking and screaming, to announce it would establish a “Commonwealth Integrity Commission”. But after years of increasingly desperate excuses for failing to deliver on that commitment, the Morrison-Joyce Government is now proposing to create a sham integrity body that would be so weak, so constrained and so secretive that it has clearly been designed not to reveal corruption in the federal government, but to conceal it. For example, Mr Morrison’s body would be unable to instigate its own independent inquiries into Government corruption, prevented from holding public hearings into politicians or public servants, and banned from investigating any of the multiple past scandals of the Morrison-Joyce Government.
In contrast to Mr Morrison’s weak and universally condemned proposal, the Albanese Labor Government’s National Anti-Corruption Commission will operate with all the independence, powers and resources of a standing Royal Commission into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government. It will have a broad jurisdiction to investigate and hold to account Commonwealth ministers, public servants, statutory office holders, government agencies, parliamentarians, personal staff of politicians and other Commonwealth public officials.
After eight long years in office the Liberals have failed to take any action to tackle corruption, leaving the Commonwealth the only Australian government without a body dedicated to tackling corruption by public officials.
The Morrison-Joyce Government’s refusal to honour its election promise to establish an anti-corruption commission is allowing government ministers to avoid being held to account for scandal after scandal, which is undermining public confidence in their government.
An Albanese Labor Government will put an end to the Morrison-Joyce Government’s shameful inaction by establishing a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.
You can find details about our commitment to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission and detail on the design principles around which Labor’s Commission will be designed here.