The Greens are calling on the Prime Minister and the opposition leader to back the formation of a National Anti-Corruption Commission in the wake of the Obeid criminal conviction and the resulting vindication of the role of the NSW ICAC.
Greens Grayndler candidate Jim Casey and Greens democracy spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon are working closely together on the Greens campaign for a national ICAC.
Senator Rhiannon said, “The Turnbull-Joyce government and the Labor opposition are now on notice to establish a federal anti-corruption watchdog.
“The Coalition and Labor parties refused to support the establishment of a National Anti-Corruption Commission in the previous parliament.
“Under current federal laws there is a limited ability to build a case so corruption practices can be prosecuted. If Mr Eddie Obeid had been a federal MP it is doubtful that his case would have ever made it to court.
“It was only through the use of the NSW ICAC powers that evidence was gathered on the corrupt activities Mr Obeid was involved in. This evidence was critical to securing a guilty verdict.
“In the period of this election campaign there have been a number of cases that could have been referred to a federal anti-corruption watchdog if one existed.
“The possible fraudulent use of Joe Hockey’s Cabcharge account, the alleged Liberal Democrats deal involving a half million dollar donation in exchange for a position as lead candidate, and the case of the Liberal Party using its own software company Parakeelia to recycle parliamentary entitlements into political donations all warrant investigation,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“The NSW ICAC has revealed systemic corruption of politicians and it would be foolish to think it stopped at state borders,” Senator Rhiannon said.
Greens candidate for Grayndler, Jim Casey said “More than ever the community needs to be able to trust that politicians are making decisions based on the community interest, not corrupt backroom deals that advantage individuals at the cost of communities.
“There is a dangerous trust-deficit emerging across many democracies at the moment. In Australia we must act to reinforce the scaffolding of good governance that keeps our democracy alive and strong and that begins with a national ICAC.
“Public support for a national ICAC is very high, with most polls putting approval at between 80 to 90%” concluded Casey.