Wednesday, 23 November 2022
Questions without Notice
National Anti-Corruption Commission
I thank the member for Werriwa for her question. Corruption has a corrosive impact on society. It undermines democracy and erodes public trust in government. The Albanese government knows tackling corruption means more than just investigating corruption; it means working to prevent corruption occurring in the first place. The Australian people don't just want to see corrupt activity being caught after it happens; they also want standards to be improved so they have confidence corruption is not occurring in the first place. That's why the National Anti-Corruption Commission will be tasked with education and prevention functions. It's an aspect of our proposed new body which has perhaps not been as prominent in public discussion as the investigation functions, but it is just as important.
The commission will be required to provide guidance and information to support the public sector to identify and address vulnerabilities to corruption. It will educate the public sector, and raise awareness of corruption risks and how to actively take steps to prevent them.
The commission will be able to hold public inquiries into corruption risks and vulnerabilities. It will be tasked with providing broad public education about its role, about corruption risks, and avenues to report corrupt conduct. That work will be informed by the insights the commission draws from its investigations and the intelligence it collects about corruption. In this way, the commission will be able to prevent corruption from happening in the first place.
The Australian people sent a very clear message at the last election: they want a national anticorruption commission without delay, and they want a national anticorruption commission with teeth. They saw that the former Liberal-National government failed to deliver on the promise that was made by the former Prime Minister and the former Attorney-General in December 2018. They failed to establish—
On relevance. You have previously directed ministers back to the terms of the question, and that ought to happen here. There was no reference to the previous government in the question.
Government members interjecting—
Let's be clear about this. The Australian people voted at the last election for a government that had an actual plan and an actual commitment to deliver a National Anti-Corruption Commission. The Albanese government is delivering on its promise to tackle corruption and restore trust and integrity to public institutions. I take this seriously. The Albanese government takes this seriously. It's time to get this done.