24.07.2017

Tony Fitzgerald enlisted in campaign for a federal ICAC, as territories follow states


As both territories follow the states and move to establish some form of integrity commission to investigate public sector corruption, a concerted lobbying campaign led by a section of the legal fraternity is keeping up pressure on the federal government to follow suit.

Among its supporters is Tony Fitzgerald, the former justice of the New South Wales and Queensland Supreme Courts whose name is synonymous with his work in the 1980s uncovering extremely widespread corruption that infected the Queensland public sector.

Fitzgerald has buddied up with The Australia Institute to campaign for the integrity upgrade and recently exposed how few federal members of parliament care about engaging on the issue. The eminent jurist came up with a set of seven basic integrity principles in April and the progressive think tank surveyed parliamentarians to see how many agreed with them, but the results were not encouraging: only 53 agreed, 36 refused to be involved in the survey and 137 did not reply at all.

“The refusal of a majority of politicians to commit publicly to normal standards of behaviour puts the need for an effective anti-corruption commission beyond doubt,” said Fitzgerald. “The major parties surely realise that the public wants politicians to behave honourably and that the scandals which are causing Australians to lose faith in democracy involve their members.”

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