You may recall the motion in Federal Parliament yesterday when Liberal MP Bridget Archer crossed the ground to help a vote to allow debate on Independent MP Helen Haines’ invoice to set up a federal integrity fee (typically known as a federal ICAC, in a nod to the NSW mannequin).
Dr Haines described Ms Archer as “the absolute lioness of the 46th Parliament” for her actions in crossing the ground. A majority of MPs in Parliament supported the vote, nevertheless it failed on a technicality as a result of some MPs had been absent from the House of Representatives.
As Katina Curtis and Nick Bonyhady have reported, Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised a nationwide integrity fee in 2018, taking it to the final federal election, however Parliament remains to be ready for the introduction of laws from Attorney-General Michaelia Cash. The authorities printed a draft model of its deliberate legal guidelines simply over a 12 months in the past and has been consulting on it since.
The mannequin proposed by the federal authorities has a narrower remit than NSW’s ICAC to examine and expose corruption and the previous head of the ICAC, the late David Ipp, QC, stated in 2018 that corrupt former Labor MP Eddie Obeid could be a free man beneath the Morrison authorities’s proposal.
So, what precisely is occurring with the federal government’s invoice anyway? Michaelia Cash was requested about this in Senate Estimates right this moment.
Labor’s Murray Watt requested Senator Cash: “Can you confirm today that this bill to establish a national integrity commission, which you promised to do before the last election, will not be introduced this year?”
Senator Cash replied: “Well, that is a decision ultimately for the government. There is another week of parliamentary sitting … people do seem to have conveniently forgotten that in March of last year, Australia and the world … woke up to a global pandemic.
“I think we’ve made it clear that our priority this week is for religious discrimination legislation.”
She added later that Labor didn’t help the federal government’s invoice and “it is a decision for the government as to when the legislation will be introduced”.
“The position of the government is clear. At this point in time, our priority next week is the religiousdiscrimination bill,” Senator Cash stated.
“At the same time, it is a decision for the government as to when it introduces the legislation. The point the Labor Party seems to conveniently want to forget is we return next year, and the Parliament continues.”