Thursday, December 13, 2018

Australia finally acts on corruption

After years of dismissing federal corruption as a "fringe issue" and complaining about state-level corruption investigations "persecuting" people, the Australian government is finally going to establish a federal anti-corruption agency:

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a new anti-corruption commission, having come under sustained pressure from crossbench MPs with the balance of power.

Labor, the Greens and minor parties have long campaigned for a corruption watchdog, arguing current systems are woefully inadequate.

During the final sitting weeks of the parliamentary year, Mr Morrison had said his Government was not against a national anti-corruption watchdog but described it as a "fringe issue" being pushed by the Opposition.

Speaking today, Mr Morrison said it was crucial the public had confidence in Commonwealth employees and agencies.

But most importantly, it will have jurisdiction over federal politicians, who are currently ignored. And with widespread corruption among political parties, that seems vitally important. No democracy should tolerate corrupt behaviour by politicians and officials, and it is long past time Australia solved its corruption problem.