July 2022

Truth in Political Advertising Breakthrough Win for Democracy

Special Minister of State Don Farrell’s move to legislate truth in political advertising laws is a breakthrough win for democracy. The Australia Institute’s polling research has consistently shown that Truth in Political advertising laws are a popular, possible, and practical way of ensuring voters are not mislead on the way to the ballot box and

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

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

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

Truth in Political Advertising: Its Time Has Come

The Australia Institute welcomes the ALP Campaign Review recommendation for “truth in political advertising legislation based on the South Australian model be investigated and pursued in the Australian Parliament” (pp 64). In the Australia Institute’s submission to JSCEM highlighted the South Australian model as a demonstration of how Truth in Political Advertising legislation currently works in other jurisdictions, and noted

August 2019

We Can Handle the Truth: Proven and Popular Political Advertising Laws Required

New research from The Australia Institute shows that the vast majority of Australians (84%) support the introduction of rigorous truth in political advertising laws, which could force untruthful claims to be removed or retracted during election campaigns or see political parties that breach the law hit with fines or reductions in their public funding. That

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

June 2018

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

Voters across political spectrum want greater accountability of Tasmanian politicians

Transparency and accountability of politicians and the public service may be one of the sleeper issues of the upcoming state election.  A recent poll of 781 voters in Bass undertaken by ReachTEL on the night of January 16th for The Australia Institute found that 85% of respondents wanted more powers and resources available to Tasmania’s

Federal ICAC demands reaching fever pitch

The pressure on Federal politicians to establish a national corruption watchdog has reached fever pitch as the extraordinary public support in polls and open letters combines with a push from legal experts and anti-corruption campaigners. Today television advertisements will commence running across the country outlining the need for a national corruption watchdog – with teeth.

Victorian IBAC not the model for federal watchdog – former judge and IBAC adviser

The Hon Stephen Charles AO QC, former judge and adviser to Baillieu government on IBAC design, has today launched a briefing paper with The Australia Institute outlining the flaws in the operation of Victoria’s corruption watchdog. The paper finds that: IBAC has significant flaws that mean it is not a suitable model, in its current

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

September 2017

Mining lobby dominated by foreign interests

New research released today by the Australia Institute shows that the mining industry is dominated by foreign corporate interests that are spending hundreds of millions of dollars influencing our political process. The report finds that: Total revenue of mining lobby groups over the last 10 years is $524,150,431, with the Minerals Council of Australia accounting

August 2017

Federal ICAC needed to fill the gaps

New research released today by The Australia Institute identifies significant gaps in federal anti-corruption measures, as calls grow for a federal anti-corruption commission. The report [full report see PDF below] finds that: There are significant gaps in the jurisdiction and investigative powers of the federal agencies responsible for scrutinising the public sector and government No

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