Thursday, 1 August 2019
The motion to suspend standing orders expresses the view that there is an urgency to this matter, and I am expressing a view as to why the development of a crime and integrity commission should be sober, cautious and take the time that is needed to get it right. What was found in the case of Mr Allen—and I will read directly from the PICCC report—was:
The CCC should publicly acknowledge that it was in error in finding that Mr Allen was guilty of misconduct, and withdraw not only the "opinion" of misconduct by Mr Allen as expressed in its October report but also its "substituted" opinion of February 13, 2008, as neither opinion is supported by evidence, and both are inconsistent with evidence which the CCC had, but did not refer to in its report, as well as evidence of other relevant witnesses not interviewed by the CCC.
The point is that this highly respected civil servant, in the early days of a poorly designed corruption and crime commission, had his career totally destroyed and his life, in essence, professionally ruined because the design was poor and the findings of corruption were totally unfounded. I think that would send a chill down the spine of every civil servant at the Commonwealth level in Australia—and, indeed, the headlong rush based on wild accusations of a lack of integrity or misconduct by members here or opposite.
The shadow Attorney-General has made a range of allegations of misconduct and a lack of integrity. In fact, one of those was made last night against the Treasurer with respect to an electoral advertisement. I know that props are forbidden, so I will not show this, but I have before me a sign made up to look like it is a Liberal sign. It says 'Liberal' in the top left-hand corner—