Responding to today's reported deferral of legislation to enable a federal integrity commission, the Greens will push to bring on for debate and vote legislation to establish a national anti-corruption watchdog when Parliament resumes in June.
A Greens integrity commission bill has already passed the Senate with support from Labor and the crossbench and could pass the House if as few as two backbench government MPs cross the floor, as they have threatened to do. The Bill passed in September of last year.
"This latest delay by Christian Porter is the last straw. As soon as parliament resumes, the Greens will move to force action on a Federal ICAC," Leader of the Australian Greens Adam Bandt said today.
"The government and its MPs will have a clear choice. They can either work in good faith with the Greens, crossbench and opposition to pass a federal integrity watchdog with teeth, or decide that the era of sports rorts and rampant corruption will continue.
“It has been two years and two Prime Ministers since the Coalition first opened the door to a Federal ICAC under pressure from the Greens and community, yet over that time we've seen nothing but delays and further corruption scandals.
“Over the past few weeks, community pressure has forced the government to enact reforms that successive Liberal leaders have opposed for decades. With the vast majority of the community standing behind a federal integrity watchdog, this can be the next in a string of progressive reforms."
“The COVID crisis is exactly when we need more integrity in government decision-making to ensure Australia’s recovery is fair, effective, and serves the public interest," said Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Senate Leader and spokesperson on Democracy.
“As the government prepares to spend millions of dollars on its COVID recovery, big questions remain unanswered about Sports Rorts 1, Sports Rorts 2, numerous Angus Taylor scandals, bushfire recovery funding and other scandalous misuses of public money.
“The Greens Bill to establish a strong federal corruption watchdog passed the Senate in September 2019. In February, the Senate called for that Bill to be brought on for a vote in the House of Representatives.
“The Senate has sent a clear message that it won’t stand for the Government’s weak integrity model which is already long delayed and ineffective. We need a federal body with teeth, and we need it now. The Greens Bill is ready and waiting – the government must bring it on for debate."