Legislation to establish a National Integrity Commission will be introduced in the first twelve months of a Shorten Labor Government.
It will be a tough anti-corruption watchdog, with teeth. It will have all the powers of a standing Royal Commission, and will hold public hearings where it is in the public interest to do so.
It will be an independent, statutory agency. The Commissioner will be appointed for a fixed, five year term. The Commission itself will be subject to oversight by a Parliamentary Committee.
Faith in the political class in Australia is at historically low levels. Some Australians believe the political system is broken altogether. We can’t let this continue.
If distrust develops between voters and their elected representatives, our democracy is in danger.
Australians deserve to know that those they vote for, and those whose salaries they pay, are working in the public interest and not their own private interests.
Labor has decided to do something before the problem gets worse – our democracy is too important not to protect.
Labor is not making this announcement because we believe there is a serious corruption problem in federal politics or the public service. If we were aware of such problems, we would report them.
Rather, this announcement is designed to set a standard and send a message – that corruption in the Commonwealth is not acceptable.