What are the Fitzgerald Principles and why won’t our politicians sign them?

in Medium

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:

The Fitzgerald Principles —

Tony Fitzgerald AC QC is a former Australian judge, who presided over the Fitzgerald Inquiry. The report from the inquiry led to the resignation of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland at the time, and the imprisonment of several ministers and a police commissioner.

The Fitzgerald Principles are:

  • 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

Why won’t all our politicians sign them?

The Australia Institute released the results of the Fitzgerald Principles survey of parliamentarians’ principles of good governance.

  • 57 MPs agreed to the Fitzgerald Principles of good governance;
  • 36 declined to participate;
  • and the remaining 133 did not reply.

Forty 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; all 10 members of the Australian Greens, and all four members of the Nick Xenophon Team agreed to the principles, one member of the One-Nation Party, as well as two Independents agreed with the principles.

Full results can be found here.

Top legal and accountability minds are meeting for the Accountability and The Law Conference in Canberra in August as part of the push to see that Federal politicians and institutions get the same scrutiny and investigation we’ve seen recently in NSW.

More information on the Accountability and the Law Conference, including full program and to book tickets > http://www.accountabilityconference.org.au/

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