House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Australian Labor Party Victorian Branch

3:59 pm

Photo of Helen HainesHelen Haines (Indi, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

Today I planned to deliver a speech about an important renewable energy initiative in my electorate where everyday people are getting involved with designing public policy—great participatory democracy. But when I woke up this morning to the appalling revelations of disgraceful corruption in the Victorian ALP, I felt duty-bound to say something. And that's precisely the issue, isn't it? That this festering rot of corruption doesn't just corrode our democracy, it means we spend more time lamenting the depravity of politics than actually solving problems for everyday Australians.

I find the revelations from Victoria disgusting, but I also find it hard to accept the sanctimonious lectures from the coalition. This is a government that has had its fair share of corruption scandals and yet has never disciplined a minister for it. This is a party who, just four days ago, gagged me when I tried to bring on a bill to legislate a federal integrity commission in the House. Today is not a day for anyone in this place to be gloating; it's a bad day for democracy. It's just the latest of the periodic bursts of outrage and disappointment that will continue until politicians grow up and stop behaving like the rules don't apply to them. At least Victoria has an IBAC. We need a federal integrity commission. Attorney-General, it is time to release your bill in this place.