Here’s what you need to know about the debate over Australia’s long-awaited federal anti-corruption commission.
What is an anti-corruption commission and why doesn’t Australia have one federally?
Every Australian state and territory has an individual anti-corruption agency, but Australia does not have one operating at a federal level.
In August, Mr Dreyfus said he hoped a bill to establish the commission would be put forward in the next sitting fortnight.
“Recent polling shows about 88 per cent of Australians want the federal anti-corruption commission so it’s well overdue, and it’s an important reform.”
What is the case for public hearings?
He pointed to several state anti-corruption commissions, which usually hold private hearings apart from instances wherein a case passes a ‘public interest test’, which would then lead to a public hearing.
Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian faced a public hearing by the NSW ICAC in 2021. Source: AAP
What is the case against public hearings?
“I support the integrity commission, we’re working with the government in that regard, and I believe that there’ll be a bill that we can support.”
What will the government’s proposal look like?
“This funding will ensure that the commission has the staff, capabilities and capacity to properly consider referrals and allegations, conduct timely investigations and undertake corruption prevention and education activities.”
It will also include strong protections for whistleblowers and exemptions for journalists to protect the identity of their sources, he said.
“We also want the national anti-corruption commission to be independent, fully funded, have independent oversight, and then have that ability to hold public and private hearings, when they’re in the public interest as well.”