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 to Question Time
  • Private Members’ business to be voted on
  • A ban on political fundraising events at Parliament House

“Trust in politics is at an all time low and it’s not hard to see why. We know the answer is a strong federal integrity commission – with teeth, that can hold politicians to account. I won’t stop fighting for a robust federal integrity commission in the next Parliament. It’s what Australians want and what we deserve. We need to show both the major parties that we expect better, that they must spend taxpayer money, our money properly, and they must be accountable,” said Helen Haines, Independent Member for Indi.

“The Australian Parliament should be representative of community values and expectations. For too long, that hasn’t been the case. It’s time to take sensible steps towards reform,” said Rebekha Sharkie, Centre Alliance MP for Mayo.

“Throughout my first term in Parliament I have been shocked by Government’s reluctance to fix obvious threats to our democracy. Lies in political advertising are still perfectly legal, there is no code of conduct for MPs, and there is still no Federal ICAC – that promise from the Prime Minister is now 3 years old. I doubt Australians trust that another 3 years will solve these glaring problems,” said Zali Steggall, Independent Member for Warringah.

“With trust in government on the decline, Australia needs new, practical reforms to how our democracy works. We hope the ideas presented today can help spark a debate about what it would take to renew and strengthen our democracy,” said Bill Browne, senior researcher in the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

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