A federal anti-corruption watchdog is long overdue

No matter the frequency or severity of scandals that emerge from federal government, the major political parties can always agree on one thing: we don't need to do anything about it.

The Science Party disagrees. Our newest policy outlines the need for oversight of the national public sector (see Democracy 5.3).

Calls for a federal anti-corruption watchdog are unrelenting, from sources including former judges, with 80% support from the public. 

Still, the current government will not submit to an anti-corruption body. Senator Dio Wang headed the Select Committee on a National Integrity Commission in 2016 Senate inquiry. This committee charged with this inquiry made one recommendation: to further research the need for such a commission. 

The Science Party is in favour of thorough research, but the time for deliberation on this topic is through.

The opposition supported a renewed Senate Inquiry into the Establishment of a National Integrity Commission in 2017. The main recommendations of the committee were to:

  • "strengthen the [existing] national integrity framework"; 
  • give "careful consideration to establishing a Commonwealth agency"; and
  • to re-review the question, again, at a later date.

These are the actions and findings of a political class that doesn't want to accept public scrutiny.

All Australian states have an anti-corruption body and the ACT and NT are each committed to establishing one. It's time for our federal government to commit to accountability, to give Australians confidence in its integrity.

As they are quick to tell us: if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear.


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