11 August 2021

Today's MPI is the government's failure to establish a national anticorruption commission. This is generous, as I feel as though the topic could have been truncated at failure. But I fear a thousand MPI speeches wouldn't be enough to cover that broad topic nor shield this government from the fact that on 8 September it will be 1,000 days since the Morrison government promised an integrity commission. That's 1,000 days—about as long as a week feels in lockdown—and it's 1,000 days of thumbing their noses at the Australian people.

This Prime Minister accepts the low standards his ministers have set and is doing nothing about corruption in his own government, despite growing public outrage at the scandal. This Prime Minister, despite promising legislation before the end of 2019, has continued to demonstrate his lack of commitment to integrity. The government's proposed model is weak at best. Although they say they're having consultations and taking written submissions—seriously, how long does it take? As with many other important issues, the Prime Minister ducks, dives and says, 'It's not my responsibility.' I stand in this place today with the support of my community, who so desperately want to see an integrity commission put in place. They want to say to the Prime Minister, through you, Deputy Speaker, that this is his responsibility.

The buck stops with him, but sadly in some cases it seems to start with him, too—the rorts and the rots, it seems, as well. We've had the car park rorts; the sports rorts affair; the Western Sydney airport land rip-off, otherwise known as the Leppington Triangle; the horrendous robodebt; the now first law officer of the land, when she was Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, refusing to cooperate with an Australian Federal Police investigation into an unlawful tip-off of a police raid from within her office; the appointment of dozens of former Liberal Party members, staffers and failed candidates to highly paid government jobs without proper process; forged documents 'Taylor-ed' to do over Clover; the then home affairs minister and the au pairs—look, the list really does go on. The Morrison government is so terrified of being held to account for these and other scandals that it refuses to even allow the need for an anticorruption commission to be debated in this very House.

Why not bring on a debate? Why not flesh out the good, the bad and the ugly ideas? It truly beggars belief. Every single Australian knows why it's being stalled. Every single non-government member and senator in this parliament is united in the call for demanding a powerful, independent national anticorruption commission—everyone here except the government. All of our states and territories have dedicated anticorruption commissions. When all the members of the public see from their government is a lack of transparency and continued delays on a national integrity commission, how can they be expected to have faith in the life-changing decisions that are currently being made by their federal and state governments?

The federal and state governments say every day: 'Stay at home. Get vaccinated. Don't go to work. If you're sick, get tested. Do the right thing.' Australians, by and large, are doing the right thing every day, and they want a government that does the right thing. They want a government that's happy to face the test that they are doing the right thing. My office constantly hears from locals asking with integrity about and seeking the right advice on whether they can go to work and what they should be doing. That's what integrity is. This Prime Minister has to do the right thing and govern with integrity. In Australia we've got this long-held tradition of mateship, from our diggers to our Indigenous brothers and sisters and the migrants who have made it so unique. Yet I hear the member for Dawson whining about his individual freedom. I say to you: COVID is a war. Why are you supporting the enemy? Why is this government not getting on with governing with integrity and honesty for the Australian people at this time?