National Integrity Committee welcomes Labor’s federal corruption watchdog policy

The National Integrity Committee, hosted by The Australia Institute, today welcomed the announcement by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a Labor government will legislate to establish a federal corruption watchdog.

The committee welcomed Labor’s adoption of key elements of its Design Principles for a National Integrity Commission, including the ability to hold public hearings.

Committee member, former Court of Appeal judge and Chair of Transparency International the Hon. Anthony Whealy QC, commented on the announcement:

“A federal ICAC will investigate and expose corruption and misconduct in federal parliament and the public sector. The National Integrity Committee welcomes this commitment to establishing this critical integrity institution,” Anthony Whealy said.

Former Court of Appeal judge and committee member the Hon. Stephen Charles AO QC added “A broad jurisdiction and strong investigative powers, including the ability to hold public hearings, are critical features in ensuring a federal ICAC will be effective in exposing corruption. The committee looks forward to working on the consultation process to develop a broad jurisdiction to investigate any person, public official or not, whose conduct affects the impartiality of public administration.”

“It is now to time for the Federal Government to meet this commitment by establishing a federal ICAC with teeth, to show they are serious about integrity and accountability in government,” Mr Charles said.

“Public trust in politicians is at an all-time low, and still falling. A federal ICAC, with teeth, is the first step in rebuilding public trust,” The Australia Institute’s Executive Director, Ben Oquist said.

“The National Integrity Committee is looking forward to working through the consultation process to ensure Australia gets an anti-corruption body with the powers it needs to deliver accountability and protect the integrity of our democracy,” Oquist said.

Members of the National Integrity Committee, hosted by The Australia Institute:

  • Former NSW ICAC Commissioner David Ipp AO QC
  • Former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo AC,
  • Former Judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal Stephen Charles AO QC
  • Chair of Transparency International Anthony Whealy QC
  • Former Judge of the NSW Court of Appeal Paul Stein AM QC,
  • Former Judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal David Harper AM QC.

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