Calls for probe into Tasmanian political grants, amid revelation club where Liberal family member is treasurer wins $50k

An integrity expert has called for an independent inquiry into the Tasmanian Liberal Party’s use of a controversial grants fund during the 2021 election campaign, arguing millions of dollars of taxpayer money may have been misappropriated. The Liberals established the Local Communities Facilities Fund as an election promise, and a “Liberal Party Policy team” internally… Read More

Labor to introduce real-time disclosures and slash donations thresholds

Politicians would have to declare political donations over $1000 in real time as part of a sweeping package of integrity measures Special Minister of State Don Farrell hopes to introduce by mid-2023. Labor also wants to introduce “truth in political advertising” laws and potentially double the number of senators allocated to the Northern Territory and… Read More

Stronger safeguards around lobbying are a must

In any democracy, lobbying is a vital component of the political process, ensuring that varied interest groups can make their case on specific issues to elected officials. It is a source of reforms to policy, from neighbourhood planning to our response to global issues such as climate change. But in all democracies there is the… Read More

A life dedicated to the law and justice, without fear or favour

This interview with our committee member Nicholas Cowdrey AO QC by Peter Fitzsimmons was published in The Sydney Morning Herald on July 3 2022. Nicholas Richard Cowdery AO, QC, is the longest-serving director of public prosecutions in Australian history, having served in the role for NSW from 1994-2011. I talked to him on Friday morning.… Read More

Voters care about integrity – the Andrews government should pay heed

The Age Editorial published on June 30 2022. 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. These… Read More

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

‘I take responsibility’: McKenzie doesn’t know who changed grants list

By Katrina Curtis, originally published by the Sydney Morning Herald on the 12th of February 2021. Former minister Bridget McKenzie doesn’t know who in her office changed a list of sports club projects receiving taxpayer money after she signed off on it and wouldn’t tell a parliamentary inquiry whether she had tried to find out.… Read More

Federal anti-ICAC forces ‘to exploit sympathy for Gladys Berejiklian’s plight’

By Stephen Rice, originally published on October 19 in The Australian. The last time Stephen Charles QC heard the words “my little mate” at a corruption inquiry was 34 years ago, as a young barrister probing the scandal that nearly ended the reign of legendary NSW premier Neville Wran. A few days ago he listened… Read More