HAVE YOUR SAY: The anti-corruption commission we need

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Years of pressure for a federal integrity commission has forced Morrison's hand. But his Government's proposal is far too weak. A public consultation process – now open – is our best chance to push for a commission with real powers to fight corruption.
Have your say now. We'll show you how!

Former defence minister Christopher Pyne's lobbying firm is helping yet another weapons manufacturer in their bid to win a bigger slice of the government's massive military budget.1

Pyne stepped into a lucrative new defence consulting role just days after leaving politics, triggering an inquiry into ministerial standards.2 His lobbying work even prompted a warning from the Attorney General.3

Seemingly every day, politicians use their position to promote their ideologies, maintain their power, and line the pockets of their friends. And despite an endless parade of political scandals – from sports rorts to private jets – the Coalition are dragging their feet on establishing a federal integrity commission, like ICAC.

But years of public pressure have forced Scott Morrison's hand. His Government was pressured to promise and then finally propose a watchdog. Now it's getting slammed for being far too weak by the media, public, and other political parties.4,5,6 It's even been lashed by vote-deciding independent Jacqui Lambie as a "lapdog with dentures".7

With a public consultation process now open, it's the best chance we have to show there are thousands of us backing calls for a stronger integrity commission with real power to fight corruption. Having your say is simple, fast, and we'll guide you through the process.

Click here to make your submission to shape a strong anti-corruption body now – we'll give you all the information you need.
 
Write your submission! ❯

It's hard to keep track of all the scandals, backroom deals and political misbehaviour. But if you're searching for arguments for a strong integrity commission, here are a few to jog your memory:

  • Sports Rorts. The sport rorts scandal saw the Morrison Government favour marginal electorates over other communities in dishing out $110 million of grants, leaving some clubs with decaying toilets and old tin shacks while a lavish sailing club in one of Sydney's richest suburbs received $500,000 for upgrades.8,9

  • Great Barrier Reef Rort. The Coalition gave $443 million of Great Barrier Reef funding to an obscure foundation set up by corporate interests – including fossil fuel corporations – that has failed to deliver on its promise to raise hundreds of millions of dollars desperately needed to save the embattled reef.10,11

  • Fraudulent Documents. Angus Taylor used altered documents to attack the climate credentials of independent Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore and was accused of misleading parliament.12

  • Jet-Setting Ministers. Scott Morrison approved over $100,000 in luxury jet flights for ex-Minister Matthias Cormann while Liberal Minister Stuart Robert made us pay $38,000 for excess data on his internet bills despite repeated warnings.13,14

Whatever scandal sticks in your mind, there's a clear need for a strong public body to stem the tide of political misbehaviour and drag these dealings into the light.

Don't forget these political scandals as you explain why an integrity commission is important to you!

For years we've seen just how effective a robust integrity commission can be, with state corruption watchdogs taking down dodgy politicians like Eddie Obeid and Daryl Maguire.15,16 So it's no wonder four in five voters support a powerful federal integrity body to keep a watchful eye on Canberra.

But Morrison's proposed commission would be virtually powerless. He wants hearings behind closed doors, secret findings, and an extraordinarily narrow definition of corruption.17 Our states have shown exactly why anti-corruption work must be out in the open and spearheaded by a well-funded public body with broad investigative powers – things you can demand in your submission.

We know the Morrison Government feels vulnerable after years of community outcry and grassroots campaigning. That's why we've already pushed them so far.

Now with an election looming, the public are demanding action and Labor and the crossbench are on the attack. With Morrison in a corner, it's the perfect time to ramp up the pressure, and fight for the strong anti-corruption commission we need.

Will you make a submission and demand an anti-corruption body with real power to keep our politicians honest?

It's time to clean up Canberra.

In determination,

Chandi, Oliver, and Tosca – for the GetUp Team

PS – For an integrity commission to really work it must hold public hearings. It must start its own investigations when alerted of potential corruption. And it must take a broad view of what corruption in politics can look like including undeclared interests in corporations that profit from government decisions. Call for these powers in your submission.

[1] Christopher Pyne's lobbying firm hired by a second weapons manufacturer, The Guardian. 1 February 2021.
[2] Christopher Pyne had discussions with EY while still a minister, The Guardian. 13 August 2019.
[3] Christopher Pyne formally warned he is banned from lobbying for defence contractor, The Guardian. 15 January 2020.
[4] Crossbenchers say federal Icac won't be operational before next election, The Guardian. 4 November 2020.
[5] Proposed federal Icac won't be able to prevent corruption, critics say, The Guardian. 4 November 2020.
[6] 'Weak powers' to expose federal MPs: former judge blasts corruption watchdog plan, Sydney Morning Herald. 4 November 2020.
[7] Lambie lashes proposed corruption watchdog, The Canberra Times. 4 November 2020.
[8] Coalition gave out $100m in pre-election grants favouring targeted seats, audit office says, The Guardian. 15 January 2020.
[9] Clubs despair missing out in sports rorts, The Canberra Times. 10 March 2020.
[10] Barrier Reef Foundation grant 'unthinkable, mind-blowing', former board member says, ABC News. 9 August 2018.
[11] 'A mockery': Great Barrier Reef Foundation raises just $21m of $357m target, The Guardian. 20 July 2020.
[12] Angus Taylor won't answer questions about allegations of misleading parliament on Clover Moore letter, The Guardian. 25 November 2019.
[13] Scott Morrison defends taxpayer-funded private jet for Mathias Cormann's OECD bid, Sydney Morning Herald. 25 November 2020.
[14] Robert's office contacted on 'multiple occasions' over mega internet bills, The Australian. 20 December 2018.
[15] NSW corruption watchdog has brought down premiers, ministers and corrupt police, The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 November 2019.
[16] ICAC case almost over but still a long way to go for Daryl Maguire, ABC News. 16 October 2020.
[17] Toothless tiger? Five problems with the Coalition's anti-corruption commission, The Guardian. 3 November 2020.
 
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