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.

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 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 Barrister
Carmel Benjamin AM Director of Accountability Roundtable and Founder, Australian Citizens Against Corruption
Geoffrey Watson SC Barrister
Brian Walters AM QC Barrister
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 Barrister
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
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
Josh Bornstein Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Richard Carew Partner, Carew Lawyers
Alex McKean Barrister
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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