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Greens call on Parliament to unite and tackle corruption

Media Release
Adam Bandt 16 Jun 2020

The House of Representatives will today be forced to debate the implementation of a national integrity commission, after the Senate expressed frustration over further delays.

Following further allegations of corruption within the ALP, Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP and Greens Democracy Spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters have today urged the Australian parliament to pass a Greens bill - which has already passed the Senate - to create a federal integrity watchdog through the House of Representatives.

Mr Bandt said after speaking with members of the Government backbench that a loss for Scott Morrison would signal growing discontent about the refusal to even discuss a Federal ICAC since the Greens’ bill passed last September.

“With a new rort or scandal hitting the front pages every day, people are losing faith in politics and we need an anti-corruption watchdog to hold politicians to account,” Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt MP said.

"The Government promised to produce a version of an anti-corruption watchdog, but there have been more sightings of Bigfoot than that legislation since the promise was made 18 months ago. The Liberals’ latest excuse was that they couldn’t deal with an ICAC because of coronavirus, an excuse that doesn’t even pass the smell test.

“The Liberals are neck-deep in scandals where they've helped out their big business mates and Labor is still controlled by factional warlords who don’t care about integrity.

"We need to cut out the rot and that means a national anti-corruption watchdog. The Greens have a bill, crafted with the help of the best legal minds in the country, that will go to the heart of corruption in Canberra.

"I've been speaking with members on the Government backbenches who are furious that the government has nothing to show for a supposed attempt at creating an integrity commission.

"If the House is made to debate and vote on the Greens’ Senate Bill by June, as the Senate is asking, the Liberals can no longer make excuses for endless delays. We should get this done today."

Lines from Australian Greens Democracy Spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters:

“Community confidence in political leaders has plummeted following scandals involving both major parties, and there is no longer any excuse for running a protection racket for politicians engaged in corruption and dodgy dealings.

“We are now up to six grants funds having been used as pre-election slush funds to retain government seats, numerous contracts for mates scandals, and policy for donors has become the norm.

“Enough is enough. We could have an effective Federal corruption watchdog by the end of today if the Prime Minister acted with integrity today.

“Last night the Australian Senate sent a message to the Prime Minister that it wants a federal corruption watchdog with teeth, voting for a concurrence motion compelling the Government to bring on my National Integrity Commission Bill in the House of Representatives. 

“Today the motion will go to the House where it will be a test for new Deputy Speaker Llew O’Brien and the rebel Nationals – will they follow through and cross the floor to support greater integrity and push for a vote on the Greens Federal ICAC bill?

“Trust in public institutions has been trashed thanks to major parties representing their corporate donor mates, not the rest of us. Australians are overwhelmingly in favour of a national anti-corruption body yet the Liberals are blatantly ignoring them.

“It’s time for the Prime Minister to stop this sideshow of scandals.

“Australians deserve to have their voice and values represented in parliament, not corporate sponsorship of politicians and the undue influence of big donors including the mining industry, property developers and gambling industries.

“The Greens have pursued a national anti-corruption body for more than a decade and we will keep up the pressure until we get the job done."

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