The Coalition is using the Federal Budget to silence public accountability and transparency bodies that have called out this Government’s corruption, Greens Leader in the Senate and Spokesperson for Democracy, Senator Larissa Waters said.
“Once again, this corrupt Government is doing all it can to avoid public scrutiny, this time using the Budget to cut funding to our accountability and transparency bodies,” Senator Waters said.
“The Government is cutting funding to the Australian National Audit Office – the agency that uncovered Sports Rorts – knowing full well that it will be forced to drop the number of audits it does.
“In the absence of a federal corruption watchdog, the ANAO has been a crucial body to expose the multiple rorts of this Government - so naturally the Government wants to shut it up.
“The Government also plans to slash a third of funding for the Australian Information Commissioner from 2022, so we can expect even longer delays if you want to challenge Government refusals of Freedom of Information requests or when every line of text is blacked-out.
“This is on top of a cut to the Ombusdman’s funding, and no new money for a federal corruption watchdog.
“It’s been 687 days since the Government committed to a federal corruption watchdog, and all we’ve had since then is a weak discussion paper and crickets. The Greens bill to establish a federal corruption watchdog passed the Senate over a year ago, and the Morrison Government still refuses to bring it on for a vote in the House.
“The Budget had no new money for a federal ICAC because the Morrison Government is up to its eyeballs in dodgy deals for mates and pork barrelling.
“We are living under the least transparent government in our country’s history, that cares more about working the system for itself and its mates, than helping all Australians through this crisis.”