NEWS THAT MATTERS

Still no anti-corruption commission

Today marks 1,000 days since Scott Morrison promised the Australian people a national anti-corruption commission.

8 September 2021

 

JOHN F Kennedy’s entire time as President lasted just over 1,000 days.  

Gough Whitlam’s entire time as Prime Minister lasted just over 1,000 days. 

Which just goes to show that when you’re committed to action, you can get a lot done in 1,000 days.  

So the only conclusion we can draw from the fact it’s now been 1,000 days without the national anti-corruption commission Scott Morrison promised us back in 2018 is he never had any interest in introducing one.

 

On 13 December 2018, after five years of scandal under the Liberal Government, Scott Morrison and his former Attorney-General Christian Porter stood before the Australian people and, grudgingly, promised them a national anti-corruption commission.

 

Scott Morrison said: "I’m joined by the Attorney General to announce two important decisions the Government has made that I believe are absolutely central, along with so many others, to the proper functioning of the successful modern democracy in which we live. The first of those is the Government's response to the religious freedoms report that was undertaken by Phillip Ruddock and his panel. The second is to announce the establishment of a Commonwealth Integrity Commission."

 

Morrison then went on to say "We think it is always important to raise the bar and maintain the bar to ensure the public can have confidence in the integrity of Commonwealth public administration.

 

"We're about having a robust, resourced, real system that will protect the integrity of Commonwealth and public administration.

 

"We actually have a formal, carefully considered proposal... This is a real proposal, with real resources, real teeth, but one that I think protects our Commonwealth public administration from the weaknesses of many other systems."

1,000 days later nothing has happened. Scott Morrison has not even brought a bill before the Parliament.

Scott Morrison’s only feeble effort was an “exposure draft”, which was a document that was so badly drafted, the Centre for Public Integrity said that if it ever became law it would be “the weakest watchdog in the country”.

The Morrison Government is a government that lives in fear of accountability and what a powerful, independent, and transparent anti-corruption commission would reveal about what his government has been up to.

 

They are terrified of an independent inquiry into their unlawful diversion of over $100 million into the Sports Rorts fiasco.   

They are terrified of an independent inquiry into their Car Park Rorts.  

They are terrified of an independent inquiry into the payment of $30 million to a Liberal Party donor for airport land worth a tenth of that. 

This is a government that lurches from scandal to scandal and survives on secrecy and cover-up.   

This is a government that lives in fear of accountability.   

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

 

When Mr Morrison holds his National Cabinet meetings, the other eight leaders around that table know their actions are open to scrutiny by a dedicated anti-corruption body. That’s because every state and both territories now has one. 

In contrast, Mr Morrison knows he and his ministers can get away with just about anything - Sports Rorts, Car Park Rorts, Grassgate, Angus Taylor’s dodgy documents, the Airport land rort, and that’s just since the last election!

 

The Morrison Government’s refusal to honour its election promise is allowing corruption to go unchecked, enabling ministers to avoid being held to account for their actions and undermining public confidence in the Australian Government.

 

It’s time Scott Morrison and his cohorts realised that it’s time to act for the nation, not for themselves.

It’s time the for the Morrison Government to put an end to its shameful inaction by establishing a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission, as it promised it would do.

Grapevine News Online

Central Coast NSW

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