Legal expert backs ICAC after criticism over timing of Berejiklian probe

Written by James Massola, Megan Gorrey and Tom Rabe. Originally published in the Age, October 3 2021 Constitutional law expert Anne Twomey says the NSW corruption watchdog acted appropriately by ignoring the political implications and announcing it was investigating Premier Gladys Berejiklian. As the fallout deepened from Ms Berejiklian’s announcement on Friday that she would… Read More

Media Release – CIC would be Australia’s weakest watchdog

The Government’s proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission would be the weakest watchdog in the country if implemented, according to new research by the Centre for Public Integrity. The analysis of State and Territory integrity commissions concludes that the strongest and most effective integrity commissions in New South Wales and Queensland share the following powers: –         The ability… Read More

We need a federal watchdog with teeth, now more than ever

Written by Centre for Public Integrity Board Member Stephen Charles QC. Originally published for 9Fairfax on Sept 18 2021 The Coalition has been promising Australia a federal integrity commission for nearly three years, and Christian Porter (when attorney-general) produced an exposure draft for a commission over 12 months ago. Why do we not now have… Read More

Labor lashes Phil Gaetjens’ ‘hubris or cowardice’ for no-show at national cabinet secrecy inquiry

By Finn McHugh originally published int he Canberra Times SEPTEMBER 27 2021 Phil Gaetjens has been lashed for “hubris or cowardice” by Labor after failing to appear before Parliament to explain a government to push to make key details on national cabinet inaccessible to the public. A Senate inquiry began on Monday looking into a… Read More

Ministers to follow ‘letter and spirit’ of rules as pressure on Porter grows

By Nick Bonyhady originally published in the Sydney Morning Herald September 19, 2021 Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has said the government expects ministers to follow the “letter and spirit” of its code of conduct as the Prime Minister waits for advice on whether the standards have been breached by frontbencher Christian Porter’s decision to accept… Read More

Grace Tame criticises handling of Christian Porter’s resignation

Originally published by SBS news 20 September 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame has criticised the handling of Christian Porter’s resignation as a minister, suggesting his departure from cabinet over the use of a trust fund sends the wrong message. Mr Porter resigned from the government frontbench on Sunday after revealing his decision to… Read More

Transparency expert dismisses claims MPs don’t have to declare source of gifts

By Paul Karp originally published in the Guardian 21 September 2021 Labor and transparency experts have rubbished claims that MPs and senators may not be required to declare the source of gifts, a loophole that could make further action against Christian Porter more difficult. Porter resigned from the Morrison government ministry on Sunday, but Labor… Read More

Going gangbusters on crime while integrity watchdog goes missing

Centre for Public Integrity Research Director Dr Catherine Williams for the Sydney Morning Herald June 10 2021 The Prime Minister had cause to celebrate on Tuesday when he joined AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw in announcing the success of Operation Ironside. He used the opportunity to call for stronger powers to combat organised crime and claimed that… Read More

Australia’s funpark for felons leaves the nation vulnerable to hostile foreign powers

By Peter Hartcher, originally published by SMH on the 16th of February 2021. You could be forgiven for thinking that the Bergin report that damned Crown casinos last week was only about greed and crime. It was not. It’s bad enough that Crown casinos effectively had become bankers to some of the world’s worst crime… Read More

Critics blame ‘sickening’ rules after hidden political donations worth $1 billion are revealed

By Tom Stayner, originally published by SBS on the 1st of February 2021. Critics are calling for an overhaul of Australia’s electoral finance laws after a new analysis revealed political parties had pocketed more than $1 billion in “hidden donations” over the past two decades.  The Centre for Public Integrity has warned that a creeping trend towards… Read More

Media release: 46% of 2019-20 donations came from just 5 donors: AEC disclosure

February 1 2021 The most recent AEC donations disclosures confirm the need for urgent reform of ourpolitical finance system. The data shows that big donors are dominating the funding ofour political parties, with 46% of all donations coming from just 5 donors. Total donations 2019 – 2020 $18,020,970 Biggest donors Mineralogy $5,910,341 Pratt Holdings $1,550,000… Read More

Audit office ‘critical’ to democracy: Former judge backs call for funds

By Sally Whyte, originally published in the Canberra Times 30 September.Funding cuts to the Australian National Audit Office threaten the integrity of the country’s democracy, a top former judge says. Anthony Whealy QC, who served as a justice of the Supreme Court of NSW and an assistant commissioner for the Independent Commission Against Corruption in… Read More

Program released for National Integrity Forum: Strangling Accountability

The National Integrity Forum: Strangling Accountability will be held on 19 March at the University of Sydney Law School. Speakers include: The Hon Mary Gaudron QC on secret government The Hon Marilyn Warren AC on the judiciary Professor John McMillan AO on the Ombudsman Tony Harris on the Auditor General Richard Beasley SC on Royal… Read More