31 January 2023

Global corruption index reveals Australia may have turned the corner but still lags on international scale

After ten years of democratic backsliding, Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) report released today has put Australia in 13th place behind countries including New Zealand and Denmark scoring 75 points on the 100-point scale.

Australia’s score is a huge 10 points lower than in 2012, though a two-point increase in this year’s report – from its lowest ever score of 73 last year – shows Australia may be turning the corner off the back of the landmark National Anti-Corruption Commission.

To be a leader in tackling corruption, Australia should introduce a whole of government anticorruption strategy including comprehensive whistle blower protections, reforms to political donations, expenditure, unfair lobbying and strong laws to stop money laundering.

Transparency International Australia CEO, Clancy Moore said:

“To further restore trust in our democracy, the government should introduce reforms, including caps and real time disclosure of political donations and expenditure.”

“Greater oversight and transparency of lobbying and longer cooling off periods to reduce the ‘revolving doors’ of lobbying must also be prioritised.”

“We also need stronger laws to stop corrupt officials, criminals and business people laundering money and hiding their abuses of power, through poker machines, casinos and real estate.”

“Across Asia-Pacific corruption poses a direct threat to national and regional peace and security. The government’s foreign policy should prioritise promoting democracy, good governance and civil society accountability efforts.”

Transparency International Australia board member and whistleblowing expert, Professor A J Brown said:

“After 17 years of advocacy, Transparency International is delighted at the historic establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Commission.”

“However, Australia’s reputation is only likely to be fully restored once the world sees the commission actually perform, and other issues central to our credibility in the region are seriously addressed beyond simply the public sector.”

“This needs to start with a comprehensive approach to whistleblower protection, including a whistleblower authority, and ending our role as a safe haven for corrupt actors across the region and the world.”

View full CPI 2022 report and results for our country and region.