House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019



9:31 am

Photo of Mark DreyfusMark Dreyfus (Isaacs, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Attorney General) Share this | Hansard source

I move:

That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Isaacs from moving the following motion on notice standing in the name of the Member for Isaacs being called on immediately for debate and being determined by the House—That the House:

(1) notes:

(a) the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General announced on 13 December 2018 that a Commonwealth Integrity Commission would be established;

(b) on 13 December 2018, the Prime Minister said on 2GB the decision to establish a Commonwealth Integrity Commission "was something I had to resolve by the end of the year";

(c) on 26 May 2019, the Attorney-General said a Commonwealth Integrity Commission was a "priority"; and

(d) the Government has not established a Commonwealth Integrity Commission; and

(2) calls on the Government to keep its promise to establish its Commonwealth Integrity Commission.

This government is not serious about integrity or tackling corruption. If they were, they would establish a national integrity commission now.

I can see why at least some members of this government may not want an integrity commission. It's the sort of thing that may make, for example, the Minister for Home Affairs a bit nervous—the same Minister for Home Affairs who said that he had no sight of the payment of $423 million by his own department to a company called Paladin, which was based in an empty beach shack on Kangaroo Island, all without an open tender or other transparent process. This is the same Minister for Home Affairs who awarded a $591 million contract to a mysterious Brisbane based company to run garrison and welfare services on Nauru without an open tender or a transparent process—a company whose chief executive officer made a personal donation to the Liberal-National Party while the terms of that contract were still being negotiated. This is the same Minister for Home Affairs who agreed to extend that lucrative contract in the same month that the Liberal-National Party received a donation from a related company registered to the same Brisbane address—or did the minister have no sight of that contract either?

I can think of something that the Minister for Home Affairs did have sight of: he personally intervened to award visas to at least two au pairs who were facing deportation for breaking Australian law—au pairs who were employed by the minister's former colleague and the family of a well-known Liberal Party donor. He can't hide behind his department for that one. This Minister for Home Affairs is very lucky to be a member of a government that refuses to set up a Commonwealth integrity commission.

It's a Commonwealth integrity commission that may make quite a few Liberal Party MPs a bit nervous.


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