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Past wrongs must be priority for new anti-corruption body
Australians have been left confused about the scope of the proposed Federal anti-corruption body with Labor constantly shifting the goalposts.
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson said she was also seeking clarification about the proposed body’s scope to investigate matters retrospectively.
“Labor now wants this proposed body to be able to hold public hearings in ‘exceptional circumstances and where it is in the public interest to do so’, but we need some stricter definitions of these terms – this body must not be used for partisan political witch-hunts,” Senator Hanson said.
“Labor has also shifted from the proposed body being able to investigate allegations of ‘serious and systemic’ corruption to ‘serious or systemic’ corruption. This has the potential to significantly expand the proposed body’s scope, and these terms also need stricter definition.
“One Nation also questions the government about what will be investigated retrospectively, and has a few suggestions: former Senator Sam Dastyari’s links with Chinese donors; the Coalition’s Community Sports Infrastructure Program; legal support provided to former speaker Peter Slipper by the Gillard government; and payments by the government-owned Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) to Al Jazeera for secret footage of the meeting between One Nation officials and the National Rifle Association in the United States.
“The matter which is most frequently raised with my office is the politicians and judges linked to the so-called Bill Heffernan files – this should be a priority too.
“It will be very interesting to see what past wrongs Labor expects will be investigated, but if this body is to be effective in investigating and preventing corruption it must be strictly apolitical and not subject to the partisan whims of Labor.”