Today the federal government introduced legislation to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC).
This represents a truly historic step forward in integrity reform.
So far, there are many promising signs that this legislation will set up a strong and effective agency to prevent and stop corruption.
One area of concern, however, is the default use of private hearings. This means many of them will be shrouded under a blanket of secrecy. Public hearings are vital to building the public’s trust in the commission, and importantly they prevent and raise awareness of corruption.
In a healthy democracy, we should feel confident that our highest offices have strong mechanisms for accountability. This body is the first —but not the last— step to ensuring that our elected leaders represent the best interests of our communities.
The NACC is an important piece of the puzzle in our Framework for a Fair Democracy, but it cannot tackle corruption alone. It needs to be part of a broader reform agenda.
A big congratulations is due to all the members of parliament, across the political spectrum, and the public servants who have worked tirelessly to make this happen.
We also know that many people in our community were a powerful voice for this commission. You saw a better way of doing politics and you spoke up for it.
Whether that was taking part in our biggest-ever integrity survey, speaking with your community and MP, writing letters to the editor or simply staying engaged with our campaign – all your actions helped to ensure that this reform stayed squarely on the government’s agenda.
We applaud you, and we look forward to achieving so much more together.
Thank you for supporting a fair and healthy democracy.
We partnered up with Transparency International Australia to dissect the legislation. You can watch a full breakdown of the legislation from integrity experts here.