Tax payers want honesty in politics and want to know their hard earned tax dollars are being used to better the nation, not line some politician's mate's pockets.
Because of a spate of corruption, all Australians states have established their own independent commissions against corruption (ICACs) because they have found rotten apples in their ranks. To restore the community's trust, the creation of an ICAC was found to be the best tool. The NSW ICAC has exposed countless numbers of crooks, from Eddie Obeid and Ian MacDonald to corrupt bureaucrats and local councils who were using our tax dollars dishonestly.
The Australian National Audit Office has delivered scathing reports about the way public funds are being abused and although programs had clear objectives, politicians were corrupting the way funds were spent.
Misappropriation of public funds in sports rorts, regional grants, carparks, safer community grants and the Great Barrier Reef are all examples of corruption. Politicians are charged with spending our tax dollars responsibly and not using it as their political party's private slush fund to get re-elected.
The Prime Minister's recent statement that the NSW ICAC is a kangaroo court is patently false. The separation of powers is the most basic tenant of democracy. He also says we have a judicial system that can catch all this wrong doing, but that is not correct either, as much corruption is not necessarily illegal.
The Centre for Public Integrity (CFPI) says there is currently no institution with the remit and powers necessary to investigate allegations of misconduct involving federal parliamentarians or the public service. They also say that not all serious corrupt conduct constitutes a crime, that forms of corruption that are "insidious and damaging to the public sector" need investigation.
The Prime Minister says he has legislation to put to Parliament, but the ALP would not accept it. If that was the case, Governments would not ever put any legislation into Parliament.
Prominent and respected legal minds say the legislation is far too weak and would serve little purpose to fix corruption. The CFPI says the Bill must be able to operate retrospectively and it must be able to have findings of corrupt conduct for parliamentarians and public servants in any final report.
The Commission must be empowered to conduct its own investigations and begin investigations based on a broad range of referral processes, which include complaints from the public and whistleblowers. Importantly it must also have the power to hold public hearings in respect of any kind of corruption issue.
There can be no more important issue than corruption - an insidious disease that permeates through Government, poisoning all that comes before it. Australians have lost trust in their Parliaments. We need a strong federal ICAC to restore it.
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