Tuesday 17 October 2023
New integrity body must not be a Labor protection racket
After almost a decade of integrity scandals, the Labor Government has announced a new Parliamentary Integrity Commission to investigate allegations of misconduct by Members of Parliament.
Implementing the Commission forms part of the recommendations from the joint IBAC/Victorian Ombudsman’s Operation Watts report, which examined the misuse of public resources and found ‘extensive misconduct’ by Labor MPs.
The Operation Watts recommendations were tabled almost 18 months ago, and the Labor Government has stalled on reforms ever since, including repeatedly voting down attempts by the Liberals and Nationals to implement recommendations from several anti-corruption reports.
Shadow Attorney-General, Michael O’Brien, said: “With five separate corruption reports naming the Labor Government in just 15 months it is difficult to believe that Labor suddenly cares about cleaning up politics.
“Victorians will be rightly sceptical of Labor’s belated introduction of the new Parliamentary Integrity Commission, but Liberals and Nationals will work in good faith to implement genuine integrity reforms.
“It is now up to the Labor Government to provide further details beyond a media release. How Commissioners will be chosen, what their powers will be, how the Commission will interact with other integrity agencies and whether the Commission will have retrospective powers are key questions.
“After nearly a decade of scandals, any new Commission can’t simply be a toothless tiger or act a protection racket for improper behaviour during Labor’s time in office.”
Media contact: Ben Greenwood 0409 123 001 email@example.com