House debates

Monday, 26 October 2020

Statements by Members

National Integrity Commission

1:33 pm

Photo of Kate ThwaitesKate Thwaites (Jagajaga, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

[By video link] Today I highlight the urgent need for Australia to have a federal corruption watchdog. Over the weekend, I read numerous media reports of the Prime Minister's outrage at the CEO of Australia Post's decision to purchase Cartier watches for senior executives. I must have missed all the reporting on the Prime Minister's outrage about the string of scandals that have been plaguing this government!

This government has been delaying the legislation for a national integrity commission for years. Why would the Prime Minister delay such an important issue? Maybe because we've seen scandal after scandal from government members go uninvestigated and without Prime Ministerial outrage. First, it was sports rorts, where the Liberals and Nationals funnelled government funding to sporting clubs in marginal seats, overlooking hundreds of worthy community organisations—including here in my own electorate of Jagajaga—for their own political gain. Then it was Angus Taylor's forged document, used as the basis for a political attack by a cabinet minister on the Mayor of Sydney. And now we have the airport rort, where the government paid 10 times the actual value of land for Western Sydney airport, costing taxpayers $30 million.

So excuse me if I'm sceptical about the depth of the Prime Minister's current outrage. Prime Minister, if you've got integrity, you're prepared to be judged on it. Why won't the Prime Minister establish a national integrity commission? What is he afraid of?