Unwarranted ‘Kangaroo Court’ Attacks on Integrity Commissions Undermine Crucial Accountability Role in Our Democracy

“Attacks on integrity commissions as ‘kangaroo courts’ show a misunderstanding of the role they play in our democracy,” said Bill Browne, Head of the Australia Institute’s Democracy & Accountability Program.

“Every state and territory in Australia has an integrity commission, and none has turned into a ‘public autocracy’ because of it. Premier Dominic Perrottet was right to warn that the Prime Minister’s comments risked undermining confidence in a key accountability institution.

“In fact, many senior Liberals, including NSW Treasurer Matt Kean and senior Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, have said that Australia needs a strong integrity commission at the federal level.

“State integrity commissions have exposed corruption from politicians and public servants, and warned about corruption risks in lobbying, procurement and development.”

“The weak integrity commission model proposed by the Federal Government risks worsening public confidence, with the National Integrity Committee of former judges warning that it would bring the government into contempt and harm Australia’s reputation.”

“This Government announced plans for national integrity commission over 1,200 days ago, and Australians are still waiting.

“The overwhelming majority of Australians want an integrity commission, as Australia Institute polling consistently finds. When asked which from a list of eight powers are necessary for an effective integrity commission, most say all eight are needed.”

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