Thursday, 1 August 2019
Thank you, Mr Speaker, for the guidance. Standing orders should be suspended because it is long past time for this parliament to be considering legislation to establish what the government seeks to call a Commonwealth integrity commission but, either way, a national integrity commission—an integrity commission that is capable of looking at the scandals after scandals that have beset this third-term Liberal government. The reason standing orders should be suspended is that this parliament is not being given an opportunity to debate, and, unless standing orders are suspended, we won't have an opportunity to debate why it is that this country needs to have a national integrity commission now, why this government needs to keep to the promise that the Prime Minister made as long ago as last December, that the Attorney-General made as long ago as last December and confirmed after the election. Yet we see from the list of legislation produced by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet that this government has no intention of bringing legislation before the parliament this year. We have no indication that they ever intend to bring legislation before this parliament to establish the national integrity commission that is sorely needed. We have had no indication from this Attorney-General when he is going to do this. All we have is the negative indication that the Prime Minister has no intention of doing it because the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has not even listed legislation to establish a Commonwealth integrity commission for even introduction this year, let alone passage this year.
We have been given a list of legislation by the government that lists a whole lot of other bills that the government may be bringing into the parliament, including a small number of them that the government has indicated are for passage this year, but not one of them deals with this vital subject of the establishment of a Commonwealth integrity commission, which this tired third-term Liberal government promised to do at the election and has failed to do.