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Prime Minister protects vested interests and blocks corruption watchdog

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11 September 2019

The Prime Minister has proven all talk, no action on his support for a national

integrity commission, after the Liberals voted in the House for an indefinite

delay on the Greens bill for a corruption watchdog.

The vote to bring on the bill immediately was only narrowly lost yesterday, with

all crossbenchers and Labor backing the procedural move to deal immediately

with the Greens bill for a corruption watchdog, after that bill passed the Senate

on Monday.

Greens Co-Deputy Leader Larissa Waters said the community and Senate had

sent the Prime Minister clear message that they urgently want an anti-corruption body with teeth that can restore community confidence in democracy

and their elected representatives in Canberra.

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison could have legislated a corruption watchdog

yesterday, but instead he continues to run a protection racket for big corporates

and donors,” Senator Waters said.

“Is it any wonder an overwhelming 85% of Australian believe most politicians

are corrupt when the leader of the country sides with the vested interests of big

money over what’s best for the community and environment?

“All we’ve seen from this scandal-ridden Government is a weak discussion

paper for a toothless integrity commission, almost one year ago. There has

been no progress at all since last November, and their own body is not even

listed as a bill the Government wants to introduce this year.

“The Government’s model for an anti-corruption body is weak, under-resourced, would be conducted in secret and would not take anonymous tip

offs from the public - so it will be useless at deterring corruption or stopping the

influence of big donors out of our democracy.

“Every time a corruption scandal plagues the Government - and they come so

regularly - we will call on the Government to bring on my corruption watchdog

bill and clean up politics.

“We will continue to talk with Government backbenchers about crossing the

floor to support a strong corruption watchdog.

“The Greens are the only party with the courage and integrity to consistently try

and dismantle the hold of big money and big industries such as mining and

gambling over democracy.

“The Greens have been fighting for a corruption watchdog for more than 10

years and we won’t give up until we have a corruption watchdog with the teeth

and resources to stop the scandals plaguing politicians and the major political

parties,” she said.

Sen. Larissa Waters is available for interview

Media contact: Jane Garcia 0419 626 725