A gift for corrupt politicians


NOTE: This article is older than 12 months
The Coalition's proposed corruption watchdog is a complete "sham" designed to protect corrupt politicians – according to a former judge of Victoria's highest court.1 

He's not the only one. Senior lawyers, judges and even the former NSW anti-corruption commissioner, have come out in force to label Attorney-General Christian Porter's proposal a "disaster".2 And it's not hard to see why. 

Operating completely behind closed doors, with limited powers, no ability to investigate public complaints, and no public visibility of its findings – it'll do more to help cover up corruption than to expose it.3 

But the Coalition can't pass their sham proposal alone. Labor, the Greens and the entire crossbench have committed to genuine reform – but they'll face enormous political pressure from corporate interests and the Coalition to wave through this toothless watchdog when Parliament returns in February.4 

That's where you come in. If thousands of us sign a petition rejecting Porter's sham watchdog, we can prove that ordinary people want our leaders to stand strong against corporate pressure and vote down the Coalition's worse-than-nothing proposal. 

We need to show Labor and the crossbench that we're paying attention to the details – and we don't like what we see in the fine print. 

Will you sign the petition calling on Labor and the crossbench to throw out the Coalition's sham watchdog, and demand our politicians get serious about stamping out corruption? 

From the Fitzgerald Inquiry in Queensland to ICAC in New South Wales, we've seen corruption watchdogs take down MPs, State Premiers and even governments, when they've abused their power and betrayed our trust. 

But the Coalition's toothless watchdog is nothing more than a smoke screen. It won't have any of the powers required to root out corruption. 

Government ministers who abuse their powers to provide favours for their mates will continue to go uninvestigated. Huge mining corporations like Adani will be able to continue buying political influence to wreck our climate and our reef. 

That's why the Coalition's sham watchdog is so dangerous. And that's why together we must demand a corruption watchdog with enough powers to root out corruption at every turn. 

But with Parliament returning in just a couple of weeks, it'll take thousands of us standing up right now to send a message straight to Canberra: if politicians won't hold themselves to account – then we will do it for them. 

Can you sign the petition demanding Parliament replace Attorney-General Porter's sham proposal with a corruption watchdog that will truly tackle political corruption? 

For too long our democracy has been corrupted by corporate interests, political nepotism, and the revolving door of business lobbyists. And our communities have paid the price. 

But there is hope. Genuine reform proposals are before Parliament as we speak. Independent MP Cathy McGowan has introduced legislation that would create a strong corruption watchdog. It has support from the ALP, Greens and the entire crossbench.5 

And if we want to live in a society where politicians no longer serve their corporate donors, but rather the communities they are elected to represent – we have to do everything we can to ensure Labor and the crossbench don't trade genuine reform for the Coalition's sham. 

Click here to add your name to the call for Labor and the crossbench to reject the Coalition's toothless watchdog. 

Change doesn't come from governments. It comes from everyday people standing together and fighting for a better society. Together, let's fix the system. 

In determination, 

Ed, Jai, Patrick and Ezreena - for the GetUp team. 

[1] Coalition's plan for anti-corruption body a 'sham' set up to protect MPs, former judge says, The Guardian, 24 January 2019. 
[2] Federal anti-corruption body must have power to make arrests and conduct searches, judges say, The Guardian, 23 January 2019; Senior lawyers slam Federal Government integrity commission model as 'a disaster', ABC News, 14 December 2018. 
[3] Government's proposed federal ICAC 'a sham', say former senior judges, Sydney Morning Herald, 26 January 2019. 
[4] Ibid. 
[5] Coalition passes federal ICAC motion to avoid minority government defeat, The Guardian, 26 November 2018. 
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