28 September 2022
SENATOR ANNE URQUHART
SENATOR FOR TASMANIA
CHIEF GOVERNMENT WHIP IN THE SENATE
National Anti-Corruption Commission
During the 2022 Federal election, voters across Braddon told me they wanted to elect a government which would return integrity and trust to parliament.
Today the Albanese Government introduced legislation to establish a powerful, independent and transparent National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the entire federal public sector.
As part of this commitment, the government has also announced $262 million to fund the establishment and ongoing operation of the Commission over the next four years.
This will ensure the Commission can hit the ground running. It will have the staff, capabilities and capacity to triage referrals and allegations it receives, conduct timely investigations, and undertake corruption prevention and education activities.
The Albanese Government’s National Anti-Corruption Commission is built on the following design principles:
- Broad jurisdiction: The Commission will have broad jurisdiction to investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the Commonwealth public sector by ministers, parliamentarians and their staff, statutory officer holders, employees of all government entities and government contractors.
- Independent: The Commission will operate independent of government, with discretion to commence inquiries into serious or systemic corruption on its own initiative or in response to referrals, including from whistleblowers and complaints from the public.
- Oversight: The Commission will be overseen by a statutory Parliamentary Joint Committee, empowered to require the Commission to provide information about its work.
- Retrospective powers: The Commission will have the power to investigate allegations of serious or systemic corruption that occurred before or after its establishment.
- Public hearings: The Commission will have the power to hold public hearings in exceptional circumstances and where it is in the public interest to do so.
- Findings: The Commission will be empowered to make findings of fact, including findings of corrupt conduct, and refer findings that could constitute criminal conduct to the Australian Federal Police or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions.
- Procedural fairness: The Commission will operate with procedural fairness and its findings will be subject to judicial review.
The election of the Albanese Government on May 21 shows we have the support of the Australian people to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission.
We now look forward to the entire Parliament coming together to support this clear mandate to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission.
28 Sept 2022
Media contact: Susan Wallace 0418 372198