The Greens say that the government’s proposed integrity body would be incapable of investigating new revelations that Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar knew that his office was using public funds to boost the power of his Liberal Party faction, and have called on the PM to bring on the Greens' gold standard National Integrity Commission Bill for a vote.
Greens deputy leader and spokesperson on democracy Senator Larissa Waters said:
“The Greens call on the Prime Minister to thoroughly investigate whether Mr Sukkar has breached Ministerial Standards, to stand down the Assistant Treasurer while that investigation takes place, and to commit to the public release of the Finance Department report.
“The Finance Department investigation into Mr Sukkar last year, which found insufficient evidence to implicate him, remains secret despite FOI applications. With new leaks to the media raising serious questions about what Mr Sukkar knew, the Finance Department must release their report immediately.
“We shouldn’t have to rely on the media to do the work of public institutions. We need a strong and effective anti-corruption body that can hold public hearings, look at past conduct, act on tip-offs and protect whistleblowers. The Greens’ National Integrity Commission, the gold standard model that passed the Senate two years ago, does all those things.
“The PM’s proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission, ranked as the weakest corruption model in the country by the Centre for Public Integrity (CPI), would be unable to investigate the claims against Mr Sukkar.
“We’ve seen state corruption bodies investigate branch stacking, and consequences flow for MPs implicated - but still nothing federally exists to stop this dodgy conduct.
“The PM should end this farce and bring on the Greens’ National Integrity Commission Bill for debate in the House during the final parliamentary sitting of the year.”