If the opponents of a Federal ICAC were ever going to lay down their arms this would be the week to do it.
Disgraced former Liberal MP Daryl Maguire has had his grubby dealings laid bare. It’s been excruciating to watch. But not as painful for the Premier who has had her private relationship with Mr Maguire dragged into full public a few. For the record, the relationship between McGuire and the Premier is of no public interest. The only thing that is relevant is what the Premier knew or should have know about his extraordinary dealings. The ICAC will get to the bottom of it.
So why haven’t the events unfolding in New South Wales spurred the Morrison government to introduce its long promised but not delivered legislation for a federal anticorruption body?
The answer is, there is stiff resistance inside the Coalition.
The National Party, whose entire reason for existence, is to trade compliance with their city based coalition partners for mountainous amounts of pork barrelling, oppose any restraint which could interfere with their business model.
We’ve long thought the Liberals, who have lost two state premiers to ICAC investigations, are on the same page.
Outspoken Liberal MP for Mackellar Jason Falinski, belled the cat. This week he not only said there should be no federal ICAC, but called for the termination of the New South Wales corruption buster. This confirms the go slow from Prime Minister Morrison is driven based in an unwritten party policy.
An anticorruption body is needed now more than ever. It’s naive to believe that corruption confines itself obediently to a single state and that the federal parliament or public service is immune. The extraordinary situation where the Commonwealth government has recently paid $30 million for a parcel of land at Badgery‘s Creek that was valued at only $3 million proves the point.
If like me, you think it is in the interests of transparency and a functioning democracy that we have robust anti corruption bodies established at the state and federal level, then it’s time to make some noise. Send a message to the Prime Minister and the liberal and national parties but it’s time to do the right thing.