Union backs integrity pledge
The public sector appears to support the latest push for a federal corruption court.
In his first speech to the National Press Club this year, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten saidd voters were disaffected with politics, and want the system cleaned up.
“The political news is dominated by the minority who do the wrong thing, the travel rorts and dodge donors and sinecures where cabinet ministers walk straight into cushy jobs in the same sector, then we’re going to have a hard time convincing the Australian people that we’re serving their interests, not ours,” Mr Shorten said.
He outlined a national integrity commission dedicated to “resolving the gaps and inconsistencies in the current framework”.
“It has to be independent and well-resourced, secure from government interference. It needs a broad jurisdiction, effectively operating as a standing royal commission, with all those investigative powers, into serious and systemic corruption in the public sector.”
Mr Shorten said the commission would be an independent statutory body with the powers of a Royal Commission to investigate serious and systemic corruption by Commonwealth parliamentarians or their staff, public sector workers, statutory office holders, the Commonwealth judiciary and the Governor-General.
The CPSU supports the idea, according to National Secretary Nadine Flood.
“We strongly support the creation of a National Integrity Commission, and are satisfied with the model the ALP has outlined to deal with corruption involving the Federal Government, parliamentarians or the public sector,” she said.
“Our union has a long history of supporting measures which give our community trust in our democratic institutions and the public service.
“The CPSU’s key workplace leaders voted unanimously to back the need for a Commonwealth anti-corruption body at a meeting of the union’s Governing Council late last year. The model advocated was very similar to what is now being proposed by the ALP.
“Numerous surveys and polls have shown the strong community support for an integrity commission.
“Public sector workers recognise the importance of restoring public confidence in Commonwealth institutions and the people who provide them, as well as in the Government itself and all parliamentarians.”
“The most recent survey by the Australian Public Service Commission found a rising number of public sector workers are witnessing corrupt conduct such as nepotism and cronyism. Our members believe this trend is linked to the ever-growing and often questionable use of consultants, contractors and labour hire arrangements in agencies, making this a key issue they’d like to see the Commission address.”