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Labor and Coalition must act to strengthen corruption watchdog

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 15 Apr 2015

Commenting on today’s High Court finding that ICAC had no power to investigate Margaret Cunneen, Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said:

“While this is a setback, the High Court decision should not be used as an excuse by the Coalition and Labor to step away from the fight against corruption,” Senator Rhiannon said.

“ICAC must be allowed to look into the conduct of individuals where it contributes to corruption. 

“If the NSW government fails to update anti-corruption laws, it would weaken ICAC’s ability to investigate bribery, fraud, and misconduct.

“In recent years, ICAC has been instrumental to exposing the scale of the corruption crisis in NSW. Without robust powers, it could not have shone a light on the likes of Eddie Obeid, Chris Hartcher, Ian MacDonald, and many more.

“The community will be anxious to know that ICAC can continue this vital work.

“Greens NSW anti-corruption spokesperson Jamie Parker has already called for legislation to be brought as a matter of urgency. The government must act now to strengthen anti-corruption legislation and give ICAC the power it needs.”

Senator Rhiannon today reiterated the Greens call for both major parties to urgently consider legislation for a national ICAC-equivalent.

“Corruption does not stop at state borders. We will not understand the full scale of corruption until there is a National ICAC. The Greens have a bill before parliament that would finally establish one.

“During the NSW election campaign, Premier Mike Baird and Opposition Leader Luke Foley both assured the public that they were committed to stamping out corruption in their parties. I’m calling on them – and their federal counterparts – to stand with the Greens and act on their commitment.”

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