Labor’s integrity pledge should be a priority in first 100 days of government

Hobart's iconic Parliament House on a winter morning through the trees


The Australia Institute welcomes Labor’s election pledge to bring integrity, transparency and accountability to Tasmanian politics and urges them to commit to delivering legislation within the first three months of government.

Australia Institute research has, for years, demonstrated that Tasmania’s Integrity Commission is weak and unfit for purpose. Only six of 55 recommendations of an independent review of the Commission have been implemented since its findings in 2016, and Australia Institute research shows that the Commission continues to have jurisdictional, funding and secrecy problems.

Key points:

  • Tasmania needs a new, independent, appropriately funded anti-corruption commission that is fit for purpose and is implemented early in the next term of government
  • The current Commission fails to adequately investigate misconduct and corruption or hold power to account:
    • The Commission can only investigate misconduct of public officers and does not have the power to investigate the conduct of MPs during an election
    • The current Commission has never held a public hearing, despite having the power to do so, and does not publish all misconduct investigation reports publicly
    • It cannot investigate third parties that may be trying to corruptly influence public officials
    • The Commission can only investigate misconduct; all other Australian integrity bodies can investigate corrupt conduct more broadly
    • It cannot investigate conduct that is protected by parliamentary privilege

“Labor’s pledge is an important step, but they need to commit to table legislation within the first three months of the next Parliament, particularly given they passed the Electoral Disclosure and Funding Bill and Electoral Matters (Miscellaneous) Bill last year without amendments,” said Eloise Carr, Director of the Australia Institute Tasmania.

“I challenge all parties and candidates to commit to supporting these measures to strengthen Tasmania’s democracy early in the next term of government.”

“We know what needs to be done to fix Tasmania’s Integrity Commission, and it’s not another review. The Commission needs adequate funding, the ability to hold public hearings, to investigate third parties and an expanded definition of misconduct.”

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