We need a National Anti-Corruption Commission

November 26, 2021

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about the more than eight long years of the Liberal government?  

For me it’s this – scandal.

We’ve seen scandal after scandal from the Liberals, and it keeps happening year after year.

Hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent on projects aimed to help the Liberals stay in government rather than helping the Australians that need it the most.

We’ve even seen Barnaby Joyce compare cracking down on corruption to the “Spanish Inquisition” and claiming that it would make politicians “terrified to do their job.”

Scott Morrison himself has even attacked the NSW ICAC for investigating allegations of corruption in NSW.

The growing list of scandals surrounding the Morrison Government shows why Australia needs a powerful and independent anti-corruption commission – and why Scott Morrison continues to stall and criticise. 

Australians are very angry about the Government's scandalous $30 million Sydney Airport scandal, Robodebt, Sports Rorts, Peter Dutton’s ministerial interventions for au pairs, the awarding of lucrative government contracts without open tender or transparent processes, including, for example, a $423 million contract to a company called Paladin and the $591 million contract awarded to a company called Construct.

I raised the issue of the government's lack of integrity and the need for a national integrity commission in my speech to Parliament in October 2020.

It is well over 1,000 days since Scott Morrison promised to have a national anti-corruption body. His draft proposal has been described as the “weakest watchdog” in the country by the Centre for Public Integrity.

This is a government that lives in fear of accountability and what a powerful, independent, and transparent anti-corruption commission would reveal.

Labor is committed to establishing a national anti-corruption commission. One with teeth. One that operates independently of government, and is able to conduct its own inquiries.

Australians deserve a government that puts them, their families, and their local communities at the centre of everything they do.

That’s what Labor would do in government – we’d stop the rorts and we’d stick up for you.  

The National Anti-Corruption Commission established by Labor will operate with all the independence, resources and powers of a standing Royal Commission into serious and systemic corruption in the federal government.  Labor has been working with Australia’s preeminent legal and integrity experts to develop design principles that will ensure the NACC is the most effective anti-corruption watchdog in the country.

It will work alongside existing Commonwealth integrity bodies, including the Australian National Audit Office, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, the Australian Public Service Commissioner and the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, each of which would continue to operate their own specialised jurisdictions.

Find out more on Labor's National Anti-Corruption Commission policy here.