The National Integrity Committee welcomes comments from Prime Minister on the establishment of a national anti-corruption body.
Polling released today shows overwhelming and increasing support for a federal ICAC:
- 88% now support a federal ICAC, increasing from 80% in March 2017 and 65% in March 2016
- More than four in five (85%) said a federal ICAC would increase their trust in Parliament if it can hold public hearings.
- 83% supported investigating all holders of public office, including politicians.
“Prime Minister Turnbull should take the advice prepared by the National Integrity Committee on the best way to design a federal body,” said the Hon Stephen Charles AO QC, former judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal and former adviser to the Baillieu government on IBAC design.
“The Victorian IBAC’s jurisdiction is too narrow and its threshold for beginning investigations is too high. In its current form IBAC does not provide a suitable model for a federal anti-corruption body,” Stephen Charles said.
“The National Integrity Committee has established a benchmark for an effective federal anti-corruption body,” said former judge of the NSW Court of Appeal Anthony Whealy QC.
“It must have a broad jurisdiction, strong investigative powers and the ability to hold public hearings. It’s now time to get on with the job of investigating and exposing corruption to restore public trust in government,” Mr Whealy said.
“This polling shows public support for establishing a federal ICAC is growing, and done right will increase public trust,” Deputy Director of The Australia Institute, Ebony Bennett said.
“But a poorly designed ICAC without a broad jurisdiction and the power to hold public hearings will actually decrease public trust further. Already at historic lows, we cannot afford to further erode public trust.
“The Prime Minister’s openness to a federal anti-corruption body is welcome, but this polling shows that the public does not want a toothless commission,” Bennett concluded.
The National Integrity Committee consists of:
Former NSW ICAC Commissioner David Ipp AO QC, former President of the Queensland Court of Appeal Margaret McMurdo AC, and Chair of Transparency International Anthony Whealy QC, former Judge of the NSW Court of Appeal Paul Stein AM QC, former Judges of the Victorian Court of Appeal Stephen Charles AO QC and David Harper AM QC.
The National Integrity Committee’s Principles for Designing a National Integrity Commission are available here.