Australia needs a National Anti-Corruption Commission

An Albanese Labor Government will establish a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.  The ever-growing list of scandals surrounding the Morrison Government shows why Australia needs a powerful and independent anti-corruption commission and why Mr Morrison and his colleagues will do everything they can to stop one from being established.  

Virtual town hall on 18 August

Griffith electorate residents are invited to join Terri Butler MP and special guest the Hon Mark Dreyfus QC MP, shadow Attorney-General, for a virtual town hall about Australia's need for a National Anti-Corruption Commission.

The event will be held as follows:

  • online (via Zoom, link to be provided)
  • 6 pm to 7 pm
  • Wednesday, 18 August, 2021

Registration for this event has now closed.

How will the National Anti-Corruption Commission work?

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. 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. 

The Albanese Labor Government’s National Anti-Corruption Commission will operate as 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.  
 
Labor’s National Anti-Corruption Commission will also be able to ‘follow the money’, meaning it can also investigate private individuals and companies involved in systemic and serious corruption by public officials.
 
This is in stark contrast to Mr Morrison’s weak and conflicted proposal which 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 Government.

 

The Liberal National Government's woeful record

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 Government’s refusal to honour its election promise is allowing corruption to go unchecked, enabling ministers to avoid being held to account for their actions and undermining public confidence in the Australian Government. The Liberals deny there is a problem, make endless excuses, and have put forward a draft bill for a commission designed to be so weak, so secretive and so lacking in independence that instead of exposing corruption, it would cover it up. 

An Albanese Labor Government will put an end to the Morrison Government’s shameful inaction by establishing a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission.  

Terri Butler has spoken in the House about the Liberal National Government's failure to make good on their own election promise to establish a national integrity commission. Here's one of her recent speeches:

Labor's anti-rorts bill

Labor has a bill to improve the transparency and accountability of ministerial decisions with grant programs that Scott Morrison is addicted to rorting.

"The Bill is being introduced following systemic rorting of public funds by Scott Morrison and his Minister with hundreds of millions of dollars of public money being used as Liberal Party election funding, including:

  • Sports rorts, where $100m was used to target marginal and targeted seats including during the 2019 election campaign.
  • Safer communities rorts, where 91% of the $30m third round ended up in government-held, independent or marginal seats.
  • Car Park rorts, where $660m was allocated based on a “top 20 Marginals” electorate list shared with the Prime Minister’s Office.
  • Regional rorts, where hundreds of projects were funded by a panel of ministers despite not being recommended by the public service.

This abuse of public money must stop.
 
The Bill will force ministers who approve grants rejected by their departments or who award grants in their own electorates to report the decision to the Finance Minister within 30 days. 

The Finance Minister will then be required to table those reports in the Parliament within five sitting days of receiving them.

This will dramatically reduce the time Ministers are able to hide their dodgy decisions from the Australian community from 16 months down to just a couple of months. 

Labor shouldn’t have to introduce this bill but we have been left with no choice. 

At a time when the Morrison Government is racking up more than $1 trillion of debt and hundreds of millions of dollars of new spending, every dollar must be spent wisely, carefully and in the interests of the Australian community. 

This bill won’t stop the Morrison Government rorting but it is one small step that will shine a light on dodgy ministerial decision making." 

-- Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Finance