Ministerial Conduct

6 February 2020

Senator GRIFF (South Australia) (12:36): I, and also on behalf of Senator Patrick, move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes a number of recent examples of questionable conduct by Government Ministers that may fall under the purview of an independent anti-corruption commission, if one existed federally, including:

   (i) numerous allegations against the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, Mr Angus Taylor, including questions over the $80 million purchase of overland flow water licences and his ties to a company accused of clearing endangered grassland, and claims of document falsification in relation to the Sydney Lord Mayor,

   (ii) Senator Bridget McKenzie and the 'sports rorts' affair, and

   (iii) suspected leaks of classified information from Minister Peter Dutton's office about the costs of medically evacuating refugees, where the confidential information was reportedly de-classified at a time the Australian Federal Police was still investigating the leak; and

(b) further notes that the Government's proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) would not have the ability to make public findings of corruption, and can only refer potentially criminal behaviour, and will fail to expose improper conduct of Members of Parliament and public servants; and

(c) calls on the Federal government to strengthen its proposed CIC and introduce a bill to create a federal anti-corruption commission that will have the power to hold public hearings and to make public findings of corruption.

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