Fitzgerald Principles survey results


The Fitzgerald Principles survey

The Australia Institute released a survey which asked parliamentarians a range of questions on acting with integrity, based on principles outlined by the Hon Tony Fitzgerald AC QC, former judge and leader of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, in an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 12th April. The survey asked all MPs and Senator to answer yes or no:

“As a member of Parliament or the Executive Government, are you ethically obliged:

  1. To act honourably and fairly and solely in the public interest
  2. To treat all citizens equally
  3. To tell the truth
  4. Not to mislead or deceive
  5. Not to withhold or obfuscate information to which voters are entitled
  6. Not to spend public money except for public benefit
  7. Not to use your position or information gained from your position for your benefit or the benefit of a family member, friend, political party or other related entity?”

For more information on the principles, please read Tony Fitzgerald QC’s opinion piece on the ABC and listen to his interview on RN Breakfast. For a broader discussion on the importance of political ethics please listen to the Policy Shop podcast with Tony Fitzgerald QC and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis.


44 prominent Australians, including David Harper AM QC, Paul Stein AM QC, Margaret McMurdo AC, George Williams AO and Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, have already joined with Tony Fitzgerald in calling on parliamentarians to commit to the Fitzgerald Principles:

Name Position
The Hon David Harper AM QC Former judge Supreme Court of Victoria, Senior Fellow Melbourne Law School
The Hon Paul Stein AM QC Former judge of the NSW Court of Appeal, former President of the Anti-Discrimination Board
The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC Former president of the Qld Court of Appeal
George Williams AO Dean, UNSW Law
The Hon Kevin Rozzoli AM Former speaker NSW Parliament, member Accountability Roundtable
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC Former Director of Public Prosecutions, NSW
The Hon Peter Wellington MP Speaker of the Queensland Parliament
Ged Kearney President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
Andrew Dettmer National President, Australian Manufacturers Workers Union
Gary Crooke QC former senior counsel assisting the Fitzgerald Inquiry
Robert Richter QC Barrister
Carmel Benjamin AM Director of Accountability Roundtable and Founder, Australian Citizens Against Corruption
Geoffrey Watson SC Barrister
Brian Walters AM QC Barrister
Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM, ASSA ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra
Emeritus Professor Barbara Pocock School of Business, University of South Australia
John Menadue AO Public commentator
Jonathon Hunyor CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Kristine Hanscombe QC Barrister
Dr Ian Reinecke AM technology consultant, founding CEO NEHTA
Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs Associate Dean, Adelaide Law School
Professor Cameron Hazlehurst Adjunct Professor, ANU
Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham Melbourne Law School
Associate Professor Lynne Chester Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney
Tony Kenyon President, Australian Lawyers Alliance
Stephen Keim SC Barrister
Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA
Founding editor, Griffith Review
Benedict Coyne President, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
Joshua Jones Barrister
Professor Graeme Orr TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland
Dr Colleen Lewis Adjunct Professor, Monash University
Maxine Mckew John Cain Foundation
Howard Whitton Visiting fellow, University of Canberra
Professor Tim Prenzler Program leader, Criminology and Justice, University of Sunshine Coast
Professor A J Brown Public Integrity & Anti-Corruption, Griffith University
Peter Koutsoukis Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Josh Bornstein Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Richard Carew Partner, Carew Lawyers
Alex McKean Barrister
Rodney Hodgson Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Klaas Woldring former Associate Professor, Southern Cross University
Corinne Grant Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn
Dr Richard Gould Australian Citizens Against Corruption
Evelyn Doyle FOI advocate

To join us in supporting the Fitzgerald Principles, add your name to the above list by emailing


At the time of publishing the results, which occurred on the 11th July 2017, 53 parliamentarians had agreed to the Fitzgerald Principles of good governance, 36 declined to participate and the remaining 137 did not reply. At this time, 39 members of the ALP had agreed to the Principles, 7 members of the Australian Greens agreed to the Principles; 4 members of the Nick Xenophon Team agreed to the principles, 1 member of One Nation, as well as 2 Independents.

These results will be updated as and when more responses are received. The full and up to date list of those that have responded is below.

House of Representatives results

Where a respondent said no for one of the questions, they typically explained their reasoning.  The full explanations are detailed below the table.

Electorate Q1 – Public interest Q2 – Citizens Q3 – Truth Q4 – Not mislead Q5 – Information Q6 – Public money Q7 – Private benefit
Dr Anne Aly Cowan
Mr Adam Bandt Melbourne
The Hon Linda Burney Barton
Ms Terri Butler Griffith
The Hon Jason Clare Blaxland
The Hon Julie Collins Franklin
Mr Pat Conroy Shortland
The Hon Mark Dreyfus Isaacs
The Hon David Feeney Batman
Dr Michael Freelander Macarthur
Mr Andrew Giles Scullin
Mr Luke Gosling Solomon
Mr Tim Hammond Perth  ✔
Mr Ross Hart Bass
Mr Stephen Jones Whitlam  ✔
Ms Justine Keay Braddon
Dr Mike Kelly Edon Monaro
Hon Dr Andrew Leigh Fenner
The Hon Jenny Macklin Jagajaga
The Hon Richard Marles Corio
Ms Emma McBride Dobell
Ms Cathy McGowan Indi
Mr Brian Mitchell Lyons  ✔  ✔
Mr Rob Mitchell McEwen  ✔  ✔
The Hon Brendan O’Connor Gorton
Ms Clare O’Neil Hotham
Ms Cathy O’Toole Herbert
Mr Graham Perrett Moreton
Ms Rebekha Sharkie Mayo
The Hon Bill Shorten Maribyrnong
Ms Anne Stanley Werriwa
The Hon Wayne Swan Lilley
Ms Meryl Swanson Paterson
Ms Susan Templeman Macquarie
The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith
Mr Andrew Wilkie Denison
Mr Josh Wilson Fremantle

Partial completions: Ms Susan Lamb

Explanations for answers

Ms Terri Butler

  • Q2: Constituents, and people in situations of special disadvantage, receive priority treatment from me.
  • Q7: Assuming the reference to “political party” means the private interests of members of that party.

Mr Andrew Giles

  • Q1: I’m not sure what this means – as an ethical standard. Of course, I believe I should act in the public interest, and that in doing so I should conduct myself properly.
  • Q2: I think the obligation is to have equal regard to the interests of all citizens. To treat all equally would be to entrench inequity.

Mr Ross Hart

  • Q5: This involves a value judgment. Private citizen’s rights might be adversely affected. No harm should be done to others.
  • Q7: This question is poorly drafted. Of course we will seek to advance our political party. If the question was a bout misuse of position to unfairly benefit etc, the answer would be Yes.

Mr Stephen Jones

  • Q2: Not well worded. I’m committed to equality which can’t be achieved by equal treatment.

Senate Results

Q1 – Public interest Q2 – Citizens Q3 – Truth Q4 – Not mislead Q5 – Information Q6 – Public money Q7 – Private benefit
Senator the Hon Doug Cameron
Senator Sue Lines
Senator Claire Moore
Senator Richard Di Natale
Senator Janet Rice
Senator Rachel Siewert
Senator Larissa Waters
Senator Pauline Hanson
Senator Lee Rhiannon
Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins
Senator Carol Brown
Senator Murray Watt
Senator Patrick Dodson
Senator Nick Xenophon
Senator Stirling Griff
Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore
Senator Scott Ludlam
Senator Nick McKim  ✔  ✔
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson  ✔  ✔  ✔
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Senator Anne Urquhart
Senator Gavin Marshall