House debates

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Business

Rearrangement

9:47 am

Photo of Christian PorterChristian Porter (Pearce, Liberal Party, Attorney-General) Share this | Hansard source

What we have done is set out a very clear model for what an integrity commission would look like. It may not be agreed with by members opposite but it is very detailed. It is far more than these vague design principles. What's also notable is that we have already gone through a consultation phase. What is also notable is that we allocated in our last budget $106.7 million of new money that will underpin the establishment of the Integrity Commission. What is also notable is that that is in addition to the $40.7 million of existing funding for ACLEI, which will be a very important part of the Integrity Commission that we will build and legislate for. I note that Labor's commitment of $58.7 million is $89 million less than the financial commitment that we have made in our forward estimates for the establishment and operation of this body. So this motion, I think, has at its heart a complete and ridiculous double standard.

One of the reasons why you have to be cautious and detailed in your approach and take the time that is necessary to design an integrity commission properly and soberly—and not on the basis of wild accusations of impropriety or lack of integrity on the part of members of this side of the House or indeed any people in civil society—is that, if they are not designed properly, cautiously and cleverly, they result in very significant injustices. The history of integrity commissions is that the poorly designed ones very often exhibit those injustices at their peak and most egregious in the early operation of those integrity commissions. Having been tasked with the design of this Integrity Commission, I think back very often to a case in 2008 of a very senior public servant by the name of Mike Allen in Western Australia. I will read directly from the report into the Corruption and Crime Commission's investigation by the Parliamentary Inspector for the Corruption and Crime Commission. Mike Allen was a very senior and very well-respected public servant. It was noted that the CCC had made a finding of misconduct against Mr Allen. It had concluded in its report of 5 October 2007 that he had complied with the wishes of one Brian Burke in August 2006 by agreeing to appoint a DPI officer to write a report on a development called the Smiths Beach development in preference to other DPI officers.

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