Mates investigating mates shows ICAC needed

Revelations that the Finance Department inquiry into Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar was outsourced to the law firm he used to work for is further proof Australia urgently needs a federal corruption watchdog, Greens say.

Greens Leader in the Senate and spokesperson for Democracy, Senator Larissa Waters, said:

“This is just another outrageous example of why we need an independent federal corruption watchdog. Mates investigating mates won’t stop corruption.

“Not only is the Prime Minister choosing not to investigate whether Mr Michael Sukkar breached Ministerial Standards, but now we’ve learnt the Finance Department administrative inquiry into the Assistant Treasurer was outsourced to the very law firm he used to work for.

“The government cannot be trusted to properly scrutinise its own Ministers and is doing all it can to delay setting up a watchdog with teeth that will hold their dodgy dealings to account.

“Just this morning, the Attorney General’s Department revealed an exposure draft of the Government’s bill for a federal integrity body has been sitting in the Attorney General’s inbox since December 2019. And yet the Government is still peddling the excuse that the pandemic has slowed them down.

“After two years of excuses and promises of draft laws being “imminent” and “soon”, it’s clear that the government just doesn’t want a watchdog, and perhaps that’s because with every passing week there is a new scandal.”

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