Independent Commission Against Corruption Funding

Independent Commission Against Corruption Funding

(Contribution to Motion, 7 May 2014, Legislative Assembly, NSW Parliament)

I strongly support the motion. In Parliament we repeatedly hear accusations from the major parties that the other side is corrupt, with both sides attempting to paint a picture of themselves as honest, trustworthy and having integrity. But it is an unfortunate truth that when decisions can deliver profits some of those who stand to gain from those profits will seek to place undue influence over decision-makers. While those with executive power are expected to act in the public interest, it is a fact that some will put personal benefit first and make corrupt deals. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is critical to exposing this corruption and ensuring that those who engage in it are accountable. It prevents corruption through the threat of scrutiny and exposure, and through its recommendations for changes to legislation, policy and practice. It improves standards.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption recommended a ban on political donations from developers and has made submissions on planning laws against centralising decision-making powers. It has investigated and questioned former Premiers, former Ministers, members of parliament, councillors and public officials. I understand that in 2009 and 2010 then Commissioner David Ipp reported a doubling of investigations and inquiries in a request for additional funding. The past few months have shown how busy the Independent Commission Against Corruption continues to be, with investigations of Ministers of this and former administrations. The investigations highlight how effective the commission is and why it is critical to our democracy. In fact, they highlight why all jurisdictions should have an equivalent commission, and I call on the Commonwealth Parliament to introduce its own independent corruption commission. We cannot put these or future investigations in jeopardy.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption needs proper resources to investigate serious complaints, hold hearings, report and make recommendations. Ensuring that those who wield power operate with integrity and standards that reflect the public interest requires scrutiny and accountability, which is provided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. The commission plays a vital role in holding all of us accountable and should not be subject to any budget cuts. I commend the motion.
To read the motion on Independent Commission Against Corruption click HERE.

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