The need for an National Anti-Corruption Commission

Today is International Anti-Corruption Day.

With the Federal Government still facing a wide variety of corruption claims, there is still societal pressure for them to introduce an Anti-Corruption Commission, akin to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

However, it has been made very clear that the Morrison Government does not want to introduce such an integrity body.

Deputy Prime Minister believes that ICAC (or anything similar) would be like the Spanish Inquisition (it was not made clear whether or not he meant this one).

While others were right to condemn him for this very silly claim from a very silly candidate, it does leave Australia in a very poor position. There are still questions about the behaviour of Angus Taylor, from his role in Watergate, in Grassgate, and in the doctored documents scandal about Sydney mayor Clover Moore. He has also been involved in the vast sum of money paid for land for Western Sydney Airport.

The current model proposed by the Coalition for the Commonwealth Integrity Commission would not cover any of the existing scandals. That includes:

This is not an exhaustive list – I am sure that I, among others, have missed content. Obviously, the issue around Christian Porter and the Legal Services Trust is another example of something worthy of investigation. While some Coalition MPs may be tired of having to defend Christian Porter, the reality is that the Coalition does not want to go looking for corruption. Its thin margin on the government benches means that it has focused on electioneering, rather than policy.

The unwillingness to bring forward such an agency should not be taken for granted, and could restore some much needed trust in public service. Satirical news outlet The Betoota Advocate summarized the mood around the trust in politicians in the current age in Australia.

The general dislike for politicians these days is underpinned by the Coalition’s lack of transparency. It could be at the center of the ALP’s election campaign – they just need to point to all these scandals, along with the Coalition’s problems around women, the environment, worker’s rights and welfare.

What do you think? Have I missed any scandals? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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