After decades as a nurse and midwife, one of the reasons I entered politics was to bring the standards I saw in my professional life, upheld by everyday people, into politics.
On Tuesday, I stood beside 59 eminent Australians who wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister calling on him to immediately establish a strong, effective and independent integrity commission.
The letter was signed by some of Australia’s most formidable legal minds including former Justice of the High Court Mary Gaudron QC, Tony Fitzgerald AC of the famous Fitzgerald police corruption inquiry, as well as the former Member for Indi Cathy McGowan AO. When these people put their name to something, you’d be a fool to ignore it.
But that’s exactly what this government is doing.
The 8th of September 2021 will mark 1,000 days since the Prime Minister promised the Australian people that he would legislate an integrity commission. But still we’ve seen nothing.
I’ve had enough of the government’s stalling tactics, and I’ve been letting them know in Parliament House. While we’ve been waiting for them to deliver on their promise, scandal after scandal has been piling up.
In Question Time yesterday, I asked the PM whether he would deliver an integrity commission before 8 September. In his answer, we saw the same obfuscation and delay he’s brought to getting this body established. A Government clearly not taking this issue seriously.
Last October I introduced the Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill into Parliament, to establish an integrity commission that could hold politicians and public servants to account.
So the PM has two choices. Deliver a robust integrity commission now. Or let Parliament vote on my Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill.
Helen Haines MP
Independent Federal Member for Indi
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