Leader of the Australian Greens, Adam Bandt MP, has said the Government’s much anticipated response to growing concern about rorts in parliament looked like a protection racket for politicians that would fail to discourage and root out corrupt behaviour.
Instead of the government’s toothless model, Mr Bandt called on Morrison to allow debate on the Greens model for a Federal ICAC, which has been approved by both integrity experts and the Senate. It has already passed the upper house and could become legislation by next Monday.
“The Liberals are still running a protection racket for corrupt politicians,” said Mr Bandt.
“After 18 months of delay, the Liberals have rejected the Greens’ model.
“Instead of a tough watchdog, it’s a toothless tiger.
“In announcing his model, Christian Porter pushed back hard against the Greens’ model for a Federal ICAC and it’s not hard to see why.
“The Liberals’ model is limited only to serious criminal conduct, meaning many of the misconduct scandals involving current and former Government MPs would not be caught. It won’t hold public hearings, so politicians could escape scrutiny for years. The public sector branch won’t be able to start investigations under its own steam, so whistleblowers will need to jump through hoops to warn about political corruption.
“This consultation draft could push back action for another 12 months. This sends a green light to any corrupt minister that they’ve got another year to milk every last cent out of our democracy.
“Christian Porter warned that the Greens National Integrity Commission Bill would be too powerful for them to support, so he has come up with a defanged model.
“People are fed up with politics. Every day they see it work for big corporations and developers, but not for the public. This sham ICAC will do nothing to change that.
“With a Greens bill for a Federal ICAC with teeth already through the Senate, we could be rooting out corruption by lunchtime Monday. Bring on the Greens bill for a National Integrity Commission in the House and we can start rooting out corruption next week.”