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Greens to force debate on National Integrity Commission Bill

Media Release
Larissa Waters 5 Oct 2021

In the wake of the NSW ICAC investigating former Premier Gladys Berejiklian, the Greens will move a concurrence motion in the next parliamentary sitting week to force the House to debate the Greens’ National Integrity Commission Bill, which the PM has refused to bring on despite the Senate passing it more than two years ago.

Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:
 
“The NSW ICAC has seen a Premier appropriately stand down so an investigation can be completed, but there is still no federal equivalent body, despite more than half the Morrison Cabinet having been the subject of integrity scandals. 

“The Australian public know that corruption and lack of integrity are rife at the federal level, and they know the Government's long overdue proposal is deliberately weak. 

“Under the Morrison proposal many of the misconduct scandals involving current and former Government MPs would not be caught.

“It wouldn’t hold public hearings nor be able to initiate investigations without a referral from the government - a toothless watchdog by design.

“The PM’s comments this morning that the NSW ICAC assumes guilt before an investigation are patently wrong and are designed to justify his pathetically weak proposal for a toothless body that wouldn’t have applied to or stopped many of the scandals we’ve seen plaguing his government.

“By contrast, the Greens’ bill to establish a strong, independent, effective National Integrity Commission allows for public hearings, retrospectivity and the ability to investigate anonymous tip-offs, balanced with appropriate safeguards and privacy provisions.

“It passed the Senate more than two years ago - the PM just needs to bring it on for debate in the House and the Australian people could have a federal anti-corruption body in place by Christmas.

“When parliament resumes, the Greens will attempt to force the PM’s hand by moving a concurrence motion, compelling the government to bring on my National Integrity Commission Bill in the House of Representatives.

“The PM needs to listen to the Australian people and get this done.”

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