Dear Prime Minister,
If you are interested in combating corruption in Australia, you have no choice but to establish an Independent Commission Against Corruption as suggested by former ICAC head Mr. David Ipp, QC.
We look forward to hearing from you in due course.
Unity Party WA
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Former ICAC head wants federal anti-graft body
Date – June 23, 2014 – Linton Besser
The recently retired head of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption, David Ipp, QC, has called for the establishment of a federal anti-corruption agency with the powers of a standing royal commission, lamenting a grave ”breakdown of trust” in the political process.
Mr Ipp has also warned that Victoria’s anti-graft body, the Independent Broad Based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC), is weaker than its counterpart in NSW and therefore may be unable to unearth political corruption.
Mr Ipp’s comments to ABC’s Four Corners program come amid a sensational ICAC inquiry investigating the Liberal Party’s alleged laundering of illicit campaign finance by routing cheques via Canberra, where there is no dedicated corruption-busting agency.
Mr Ipp said the establishment of a federal anti-graft commission was ”very important”.
”There is no reason to believe that the persons who occupy seats in the Federal Parliament are inherently better than those who occupy seats in the NSW Parliament. Corruption is endemic to the human being.”
But Mr Ipp also said the creation of such an agency was unlikely.
”Most politicians … do not like to be subject to a body such as ICAC and you can see that in all the new similar bodies that have been created in South Australia, Victoria and Tasmania. They really do not have the [same] powers of investigation as ICAC and that is because politicians don’t want that.”
He said these other anti-corruption agencies would never have been able to uncover the Eddie Obeid plot that delivered his family $30 million from a rigged coal allocation tender in 2008.
”It would have been difficult for them, not because they don’t have the ability but because … it really did take the kind of powers that ICAC has to realise and prove the kind of corruption found.
”ICAC is able to uncover corruption which other bodies with similar names in other parts of Australia cannot uncover. Now the fact that they can’t uncover it doesn’t allow a person honestly to say there’s no corruption here.”
Victoria’s IBAC recently complained that restrictions around what it can investigate meant that some corruption allegations were not being probed. In April, Premier Denis Napthine said he would review changes to the integrity regime recommended by IBAC.
Emily Broadbent, a spokeswoman for federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the government ”is developing new anti-corruption measures.” She did not elaborate on what they might constitute.
Four Corners -Watch Linton Besser’s report on ABC 1 at 8.30 on Monday night.