A National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) is set to be established in Australia after legislation was given the tick of approval from the Federal Government on Wednesday.
Prime Minster Anthony Albanese promised a Labor Government would form an anti-corruption commission if elected, which would exist to investigate systemic corruption in the public sector. Now the legislation has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate, one of his major election promises has been fulfilled in his first term as prime minister.
Per the ABC, the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill passed the Senate on Tuesday night with an amendment from the Greens submitted by Senator David Shoebridge, which gives the NACC inspector more powers.
Independent senator David Pocock attempted to have an amendment approved that would explicitly include pork-barrelling — the act of misusing public money for political gain — but was smacked down late on Tuesday evening.
Labor, Libs and Nats just voted against the entire crossbench to defeat my amendment for the NACC to explicitly include pork-barrelling, be able to investigate 3rd parties who try to corrupt & also add more transparency around NACC funding. pic.twitter.com/FS44CNKkUw
— David Pocock (@DavidPocock) November 29, 2022
The bill was then sent back to the House of Representatives for final approval, which was more of a formality considering Labor currently holds a majority in the lower house.
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said in the second reading of the bill in September that the NACC will operate separately from the government. It will have the power to investigate ministers, parliamentarians and their staff, employees of all government entities and contractors.
“I’m proud that the bills which will pass the parliament include amendments that reflect our cooperation and our willingness to work with all sides of the parliament and stakeholders to make the National Anti-Corruption Commission the best it can be,” he said on Wednesday per the ABC.
“This legislation delivers the single biggest integrity reform this parliament has seen in decades.
“When you change the government, you change the country, and the national anti-corruption commission will change this country forever.”
We’ve got a NACC! After more than decade of pushing for an anti-corruption watchdog, it’s passed the Senate with two Greens amendments.
Now, the big work to clean up the corruption of the last government begins.
— Adam Bandt (@AdamBandt) November 29, 2022
Now it’s all eye on what — or who — will be investigated by the newly-approved National Anti-Corruption Commission. Anyone taking bets on who’s the first cab off the rank?