May 2022

Unwarranted ‘Kangaroo Court’ Attacks on Integrity Commissions Undermine Crucial Accountability Role in Our Democracy

“Attacks on integrity commissions as ‘kangaroo courts’ show a misunderstanding of the role they play in our democracy,” said Bill Browne, Head of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program. “Every state and territory in Australia has an integrity commission, and none has turned into a ‘public autocracy’ because of it. Premier Dominic Perrottet was

April 2022

Allegations of Political Lies Underscore Need for Truth in Political Advertising Laws

In just the second week of the federal election campaign, voters are already seeing heated accusations of lying from all sides, underscoring the need for federal truth in political advertising laws. Key Points: South Australia has had truth in political advertising laws since the 1980s. The ACT Legislative Assembly passed similar laws prior to the

Polling: National Integrity Powers to Investigate and Deter Corruption Crucial

New polling finds that most Australians support the formation of a national integrity commission with the powers it needs to investigate and deter corruption. Key Findings: Seven in 10 Australians (69%) agree that not legislating an integrity commission represents a broken election promise by the Coalition When asked which from a list of eight powers

March 2022

Crossbench Independents Launch Reform Agenda for 47th Parliament

Crossbench MPs, Helen Haines MP, Rebekha Sharkie MP and Zali Steggall MP will be joined by the Australia Institute to launch a new report outlining potential democratic reforms for the next parliament, including: A federal ICAC with teeth Truth in political advertising laws Code of Conduct for MPs Ministerial diaries to be made public Reforms

December 2021

Mayo Polling: Landslide Support for Key Integrity and Accountability Measures

New Australia Institute polling in the South Australian seat of Mayo shows strong support for a federal anti-corruption watchdog with teeth, truth in political advertising laws for Australia and greater integrity in the process of awarding government grants. Over 800 people were polled in the seat of Mayo on the evening of the 13th December

Polling Bass & Lyons: Landslide Support for Key Integrity and Accountability Measures

New Australia Institute Tasmania polling in critical Tasmanian seats shows strong support for key integrity and accountability measures. The polling in Liberal and Labor marginal seats in Tasmania shows overwhelming support for federal anti-corruption watchdog with teeth, and truth in political advertising laws for Australia. Over 800 people were polled in each of the seats

October 2021

Parliament’s Chance to Pass a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The National Integrity Committee welcomes the tabling in the Senate today by Senator Rex Patrick of Helen Haines’ Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill to establish a Federal Integrity Commission. Recent events have highlighted the urgent need for a well-designed commission, with the powers of a standing royal commission and with safeguards against misuse of those

Statement from the National Integrity Committee Regarding Changes to the South Australian Independent Commission Against Corruption

The National Integrity Committee is deeply concerned about the recent changes made by the South Australian Parliament to the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012. As we all well know corruption in public office is insidious, well hidden, and erodes trust in our public institutions. We unreservedly endorse the need to ensure that reputations are

September 2021

Landslide Support for Commonwealth Integrity Commission with Public Hearings and Whistle-blower Complaint Capability

The Australia Institute commissioned uComms to conduct a survey of residents across the federal electorates of Brisbane (622 residents), Braddon (632 residents), Boothby (641 residents) and Bennelong (629 residents) on the nights of 4th and 5th of August 2021. Key Findings: Seat of Brisbane – 78.2% of Brisbane voters support setting up a Commonwealth Integrity

June 2021

The giant gap in our federal integrity systems

Australia still has no federal anti-corruption commission, more than 2 years after the Coalition government promised to enact one. Worse, there are several serious flaws with the government’s proposed model for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission. Join two former judges, the Hon Anthony Whealy QC and the Hon David Harper AM QC as they explain why

Open Letter: 59 Eminent Australians & Legal Fraternity call on PM to Fulfil Election Promise and Legislate National Integrity Commission

59 eminent Australians, former Judges and members of the legal fraternity have penned an open letter to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, calling for the urgent establishment of a National Integrity Commission, citing the Government’s election promise to have such a body legislated within 12 months of taking office. Signatories to the open letter include The

May 2021

Budget reveals Integrity Commission off the table

Background: The Commonwealth Integrity Commission staffing changes from 76 in last year’s October Budget down to zero in this year’s Budget reveal that it is not expected before the election. However, note that the Gov hasn’t erased all mention of the integrity commission. They do say it will be legislated, and ACLEI does receive some

March 2021

Porter’s Federal Integrity Commission Could Leave Ministers Exempt

The Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation as currently drafted could see Ministers left exempt, according to the Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of retired judges. The National Integrity Committee submission, made in the public consultation period for the draft legislation, outlines a number of key shortcomings of the draft legislation. Critical shortcomings of this draft legislation

December 2020

Former Judges, Opposition, Crossbench, Federal Police, Academics, Civil Society, Majority of Australians: Establish a Federal Integrity Commission with Teeth

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of Former Judges have joined with Federal Parliamentarians from all sides of politics, the Australian Federal Police Association, academics, and civil society to call on the Attorney General to establish a federal integrity commission with teeth. The Attorney General’s Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) model which has been re-released for

November 2020

Commonwealth Integrity Commission Draft Bill Falls Short

Today the Attorney-General Christian Porter has released the exposure draft of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation for public consultation. The National Integrity Committee intends to participate in the consultation process as outlined by Minister Porter and looks forward to making a submission regarding the draft legislation and to an invitation to participate in a roundtable

October 2020

Timeline: Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog Overdue

The Australia Institute has today published a timeline which highlights key milestones and moments on the road towards a federal anti-corruption watchdog, including a log of claims from the Attorney General that such legislation was forthcoming. “A federal anti-corruption watchdog won’t fix democracy but it is a prerequisite to a healthy functioning one,” said Ben

September 2020

Crossbenchers, Judges, Majority of Australians Urge for Establishment a Federal Integrity Commission in 2020

The National Integrity Committee of former Judges today call on the Morrison Government to release draft legislation for a National Integrity Commission. It has been nine months since Attorney General Christian Porter stated that legislation for the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) would be released ‘shortly’, and 20 months since the consultation paper for the

National Integrity Committee Statement

Today, the National Integrity Committee calls on the Morrison Government to release draft legislation for a National Integrity Commission. Such a body is required urgently to have the power to examine allegations of malfeasance and corruption at the most senior levels of Parliament and the Australian Public Service and restore trust in our democracy. It

February 2020

Beechworth Principles Strong Step Towards Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog

The Australia Institute and National Integrity Committee has welcomed Independent MP Helen Haines’ Beechworth Principles as a positive step towards the legislation of a proper Federal Anti-Corruption watchdog with teeth. “After joining the crossbench’s strong call for a federal anti-corruption watchdog, it is encouraging to see Helen Haines backing those sentiments with action with the

November 2019

Statement in response to the Attorney General Hon. Christian Porter’s National Press Club Address

In November 2017, the National Integrity Committee formed to design a blueprint of design principles to be used to advise policymakers on the best model for a federal anti-corruption watchdog. Former NSW ICAC Commissioner David Ipp AO QC, former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo AC, and Chair of Transparency International Anthony

July 2019

Crossbench: Legislate National Integrity Commission with Teeth

Crossbench MPs and Senators have joined with eminent retired Judges and corruption fighters to call for the Federal Government to legislate for a National Integrity Commission – but one that has real teeth. In particular, the Coalition Government’s proposed NIC model is deficient in two key areas: the inability to hold public hearings if the

April 2019

Poll: 80% of Australians support a Federal Integrity Commission with strong powers

Four in five Australians support a Federal Integrity Commission and 76% agree it should have the ability to hold public hearings, according to new research from the Australia Institute. The Australia Institute polled a nationally representative sample of 1,536 Australians about levels of trust in Federal Parliament, their support for a Federal Integrity Commission, and

December 2018

Response to Federal ICAC Announcement by Government

“Today’s announcement by the Prime Minister is a welcome acknowledgement that the Government sees tackling corruption is important for the health of our democracy and we need new structures to address the problem,” said Ben Oquist, Executive Director of The Australia Institute. “However, while the problem of corruption has been acknowledged, only half the solution

November 2018

Anti-Corruption Watchdog Needs Teeth, Analysis of State Bodies Shows

New analysis from The Australia Institute has shown that the different designs of various anti-corruption bodies at a State level yield significantly different results and has reinforced the need for a proposed Federal body to have adequate resourcing and powers. A panel of former judges that make up The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee have

October 2018

Former judges welcome Dr Kerryn Phelps’ support of National Integrity Commission

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of retired judges and corruption fighters today welcomed Dr Kerryn Phelps announcement of her support for a National Integrity Commission. The National Integrity Committee published a design blueprint for a National Integrity Commission, which includes a broad jurisdiction and strong investigative powers, including public hearings. Former Victorian Court of

September 2018

National Integrity Committee calls for bipartisan support of integrity plan

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of former judges and corruption fighters is today meeting in Sydney to launch their Implementation Plan for a National Integrity Commission.  In the lead up to the Wentworth byelection, the committee has written to candidates calling for support from all parties of its plan to establish a federal corruption

February 2018

Public hearings key to tackling corruption and public trust

New research released today by the Australia Institute shows that the perception of corruption in Australia will continue to rise while allegations of corruption are either not investigated or are investigated entirely behind closed doors. The report coincides with the release of the latest Transparency International Global Corruption Index which reveals Australia has again slid

January 2018

National Integrity Committee welcomes Labor’s federal corruption watchdog policy

The National Integrity Committee, hosted by The Australia Institute, today welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a Labor government will legislate to establish a federal corruption watchdog. The committee welcomed Labor’s adoption of key elements of its Design Principles for a National Integrity Commission, including the ability to hold public hearings. Committee

December 2017

Poll shows PM backing a winner on National anti-corruption body

The National Integrity Committee welcomes comments from Prime Minister on the establishment of a national anti-corruption body. Polling released today shows overwhelming and increasing support for a federal ICAC: 88% now support a federal ICAC, increasing from 80% in March 2017 and 65% in March 2016 More than four in five (85%) said a federal

November 2017

Corruption fighters and former judges design national corruption watchdog

The Australia Institute’s National Integrity Committee of corruption fighters and retired judges is in Canberra today to launch a blueprint of design principles which will be used to advise policy makers on the best model for a federal anti-corruption watchdog. Former NSW ICAC Commissioner David Ipp AO QC, former President of the Queensland Court of

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