For major parties, spending arms race means odds are ever in their favour

Leading integrity experts have advocated for a revision of Victoria’s political donation laws, suggesting that they currently favour Labor and the Coalition. The Centre for Public Integrity, Australia’s leading anti-corruption think tank, made a submission to a review of the 2018 donations reforms initiated by the Andrews government. While acknowledging some improvements, the Centre expressed… Read More

Greens want please-explain from Labor ministers who ignore reports

The Greens are pressing Labor ministers to provide explanations if they overlook or miss deadlines for parliamentary reports, aiming to ensure community and MP efforts aren’t wasted. A former Labor MP highlighted the government’s failure to address a homelessness report presented two years ago, even though ministers should usually respond within six months. Greens MP… Read More

IBAC committee brawls amid claims of ‘interference’ from Andrews’ office

The group of state MPs who oversee Victoria’s corruption watchdog have turned on each other amid claims Premier Daniel Andrews’ office directed a politically charged statement that took a swipe at the agency. Veteran Liberal MP and former treasurer Kim Wells has accused Andrews’ office of “direct political interference” into the Integrity and Oversight Committee,… Read More

Victorian government under pressure from Greens, opposition to speed up integrity reforms

The Victorian government is under pressure to speed up promised integrity reforms, following a scathing report detailing “extensive” misconduct by its MPs. The Operation Watts investigation — a joint probe between the state’s ombudsman and the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) — uncovered rampant nepotism and the widespread misuse of public resources within the Victorian… Read More

Voters care about integrity – the Andrews government should pay heed

The message could not have been clearer at the last federal election. Voters do not see integrity, transparency and the misuse of public funds for political purposes as esoteric topics for think tank discussion groups, but fundamental issues that go to the heart of good government.
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Siblings’ planning ties highlight flaws in lobbying laws

Lobbying is an undeniable reality of government decision-making in Australia, and the OECD has recognised that it can make a valuable contribution to the democratic process. It also cautions, however, that lobbying can lead to “undue influence, unfair competition and regulatory capture to the detriment of the public”.
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The minister and the lobbyist: Blandthorn siblings face conflict questions

Premier Daniel Andrews’ appointment of new Planning Minister Lizzie Blandthorn has raised conflict-of-interest questions due to her lobbyist brother representing major development, construction and infrastructure clients. In an appointment that has unsettled some senior government and Labor insiders, the premier named Pascoe Vale MP Blandthorn to the sensitive planning role. Her brother, John-Paul Blandthorn, heads… Read More