The Australian Senate has sent a strong message to the Morrison Government that it wants a federal corruption watchdog with teeth, voting 35 to 32 in favour of the Greens Bill today.
Greens Co-Deputy Leader Larissa Waters who introduced the bill said the Senate had sent a strong message to the Government in voting to clean up politics and restore community confidence following a series of scandals.
“Today’s vote for the Greens bill to establish a corruption watchdog with teeth shows the Senate won’t stand for the weak Government model which is already long delayed and ineffective,” said Senator Waters.
“Today’s vote is a great victory for the community who deserve a healthy democracy that works for them rather than for big corporate donors and vested interests.
“Now the pressure is firmly on the Morrison Government to back this bill in the House and do the job properly, or at the very least upgrade their toothless watchdog thought bubble.
“This is the fourth time a Greens bill has passed the Senate, and we hope for many more.
“The Greens have been pushing for 10 years for a corruption watchdog and I pay tribute to the work of Bob Brown, Lee Rhiannon and Christine Milne who were relentless in their decade long pursuit for an end to corruption, and the important work of Cathy McGowan in the House.
“Community confidence in political leaders has plummeted following scandals involving both major parties and there is no longer any excuse for running a protection racket for politicians engaged in corruption and dodgy dealings.
“This is now a test for Prime Minister Scott Morrison – will he hear the strong message for the Senate and clean up this sideshow of scandals or continue to delay and whitewash his weak body which won’t stop corruption?
“Australians deserve to have their voice and values represented in parliament, not corporate sponsorship of politicians and the undue influence of big donors including the mining industry, property developers and gambling industries.
“The Greens have pursued a national anti-corruption body for more than a decade and we will keep up the pressure until we get the job done,” she said.