Fitzgerald Principles survey results released

The Australia Institute today released the results of the Fitzgerald Principles survey of parliamentarians’ principles of good governance.

The survey, which asks parliamentarians a range of questions on acting with integrity, is 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.

Fifty-three parliamentarians agreed to the Fitzgerald Principles of good governance, 36 declined to participate and the remaining 137 did not reply. Thirty-nine members of the ALP agreed to the Principles, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, and Shadow Minister for Justice Clare O’Neil; 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. Full results can be found here and the page will be continually updated to reflect additional results as they are received. [see: correction note at end of page] 

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

  • To act honourably and fairly and solely in the public interest
  • To treat all citizens equally
  • To tell the truth
  • Not to mislead or deceive
  • Not to withhold or obfuscate information to which voters are entitled
  • Not to spend public money except for public benefit
  • 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

Tony Fitzgerald AC QC said “The refusal of a majority of politicians to commit publicly to normal standards of behaviour puts the need for an effective anti-corruption commission beyond doubt. The major parties surely realise that the public wants politicians to behave honourably and that the scandals which are causing Australians to lose faith in democracy involve their members.”

Australia Institute Deputy Director Ebony Bennett said, “These principles represent an important part of the debate Australia needs to have about the ethics and standards we expect from our elected representatives.

“The Institute’s polling shows a majority of Australians support establishing a federal anti-corruption commission with the power to hold public hearings. A federal ICAC would help restore the public’s eroding faith in federal politicians and institutions,” said Ms Bennett.

The survey was released ahead of The Australia Institute’s Accountability and the Law Conference 2017, to be held in Australian Parliament House on 17 August 2017.

The 37 prominent Australians who have already joined with Tony Fitzgerald in calling on parliamentarians to adhere to the Fitzgerald Principles are listed below.



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 Queensland Court of Appeal

George Williams AO

Dean, UNSW Law

The Hon Peter Wellington MP

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament

The Hon Kevin Rozzoli AM

Former speaker NSW Parliament, member Accountability Roundtable

Nicholas Cowdery AM QC

Former Director of Public Prosecutions, NSW

Robert Richter QC


Carmel Benjamin AM

Director of Accountability Roundtable and Founder, Australian Citizens Against Corruption

Geoffrey Watson SC


Brian Walters AM QC


Ged Kearney

President, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Andrew Dettmer

National President, Australian Manufacturers Workers Union

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


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


Benedict Coyne

President, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights

Joshua Jones


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

Josh Bornstein

Principal, Maurice Blackburn

Richard Carew

Partner, Carew Lawyers

Alex McKean


Corinne Grant

Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn

Dr Richard Gould

Australian Citizens Against Corruption

Evelyn Doyle

FOI advocate

 Correction: 4.18pm 13/07/17 – Figures originally published: 38 ALP MPs, all other figures correct at time of publication. 

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