Greens push for urgent vote on national ICAC
Parliament resumes next week and the Australian Greens will use their first opportunity on Thursday to push for a vote on the bill to bring a national anti-corruption body into law.
"We must restore public confidence that corruption is being stamped out. The national ICAC can be established quickly and easily. There can be no excuses from Tony Abbott and the Labor party," said Greens Leader Christine Milne.
"Revelations from ICAC and stories this week around shady political donations leave no room for the old parties to hide.
"The Labor party and Tony Abbott's Liberals can't pretend that corrupt activity is limited only to New South Wales, or to one particular party.
"It's beyond time for the other parties to get behind this and restore public confidence in the political system."
The Greens' will push for a vote on the ICAC bill in the Senate on Thursday, 15 May. The bill would establish a National Integrity Commission with three separate integrity officers: the National Integrity Commissioner, the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner and the Independent Parliamentary Advisor.
The National Office of Integrity Commissioner is modelled largely on the successful NSW Independent Commission against Corruption and based on provisions in the Law Enforcement Integrity Commissioner Act 2006.
"It will actively prevent and investigate misconduct and corruption in all Commonwealth departments, agencies, federal parliamentarians and their staff, to fill the largest gap in our country's anti-corruption framework," said Senator Milne.
Importantly the bill provides the capacity for the Commissioner to investigate cases where corrupt conduct is foreseeable, making the Office's role proactive in addressing corruption.
"To have an engaged public, voters need to trust what their politicians are saying and have open access to information," said Senator Milne.
"The Australian Greens believe that integrity, accountability and openness in politics are vital to a healthy democracy.
"If Tony Abbott and Labor are serious about making sure that influence-pedalling has no place at the federal level, all parties need to act and get the National Integrity Commission up and running.
"We need to take urgent action on this, and we can," said Senator Milne.
"I call on all my parliamentary colleagues to unite in an effort to earn back voters' trust."