House debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Questions without Notice

National Integrity Commission

2:16 pm

Photo of Zali SteggallZali Steggall (Warringah, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

To the Prime Minister: trust in politicians is at an all-time low and it is dipping day by day. This is our responsibility to fix. Parliament is paralysed by these allegations that need to be investigated by an independent body. Could you please inform the House when the government's bill on a national integrity commission will be introduced? Will the bill include powers to investigate parliamentarians and their staff?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for her question. In relation to the first matter—I understand she was referring to the matters that were raised within this House yesterday regarding the issue that the Leader of the Opposition has raised—that matter is being dealt with by the New South Wales Police Force. I for one have total confidence in the New South Wales Police Force. As the son of a retired member of the New South Wales Police Force, I'm not going to cop any assertions made by the Labor Party about the integrity of officers of the New South Wales Police Force. I have total confidence in their ability to undertake investigations on any matter at all. In relation to the second matter you raised, I'll ask the Attorney to update the House.

Ms Plibersek interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

Before he does, the member for Sydney is warned.

2:17 pm

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

Member, with respect to the second part of your question as to whether or not the body would have investigative powers over parliamentarians as part of its jurisdiction, the answer is yes. On the first part of the question, with respect to timing, these were matters that I raised at the National Press Club in a quite long speech last week. It's my intention to have a draft out for public consultation either early next year or later this year. That draft at the moment is up in excess of 300 pages. It is a complicated matter. Not the least of which reason is to ensure that this body fits into the myriad existing bodies that already do a range of investigative and oversight responsibilities for a range of different agencies and departments in the public sector. I'm very happy if you wish to seek a briefing on the progress of that to give it to you personally, or with other members of the crossbench.