The Government has today used its numbers in the lower house to narrowly avoid voting on a motion to pass the Greens’ bill for a national corruption watchdog with teeth.
“Today the Prime Minister has once again dodged scrutiny and integrity by gagging and delaying a vote on whether to have a strong federal corruption watchdog,” said Greens Senate Leader and democracy spokesperson, Senator Larissa Waters.
“The Government did not even allow any debate on the motion, just gag and delay so they can continue the dodgy conduct of their Ministers without any independent body to hold them to account.
“The procedural games can’t conceal that this government is running away from integrity and transparency as fast as new corruption scandals emerge.
“The Prime Minister now has a reputation for ignoring corruption and conflicts of interest that the pub test says breach Ministerial Standards - and he’s now also the guy standing in the way of a corruption watchdog.
“It raises the serious question - what further immoral behaviour does the Prime Minister and his scandal-ridden ministers have to hide?
“The best antidote to corruption and conflicts of interest is sunlight.
“The Government reluctantly conceded a federal corruption watchdog was needed 16 months ago but there is still no draft legislation and everyone is sick of waiting while the snouts remain in the trough.
“People, the Senate and almost half the House of Representatives are calling for the Prime Minister to clean up the sideshow of scandals. He ignores them at his peril,” she said.
The vote on whether to vote on the motion to bring on and vote on a Greens ICAC bill was very close, dividing along party lines at 72:70. The Nationals and Llew O’Brien voted with the Government.