‘Transparency International Australia calls on the Federal Parliament to endorse the Beechworth Principles for a national integrity commission.’ said Serena Lillywhite, CEO of Transparency International Australia.
‘These five principles set out a clear path to strengthen the accountability and integrity of our politicians and political institutions through a strong, fair and transparent anti-corruption watchdog.
‘After more than a decade of discussion and debate, the previous parliament saw great strides from almost every party and independent MP to advance anti-corruption and pro-integrity reforms. The Beechworth Principles pick up the momentum of the previous parliament and renew the call for a strong national integrity commission.
‘If this government is to leave a legacy of nation-building reform, it must establish a body with strong powers to prevent and tackle corruption and strengthen political integrity. The Beechworth Principles establish a clear and common-sense way forward.
‘Australia has a proud democratic tradition and Australians are proud to live in our democracy. However over recent years, Australians’ trust in their elected representatives to represent them has declined sharply. Transparency International Australia’s research found 85 per cent of Australians thought at least some federal politicians were corrupt.
‘Failing to act on effective anti-corruption and pro-integrity reforms would be a heartbreaking disappointment to the millions of Australians seeking a better kind of politics. To disappoint them would entrench the spiralling cynicism and despondency in our democracy, and loss of trust in government.
‘This parliament must not waste this historic opportunity to tackle corruption, nurture a healthier democracy, and restore the public’s faith in our politicians to put the public’s best interest first, always.’