PM denies delay to integrity commission

Scott Morrison has denied that the government is delaying work on a federal integrity commission, despite the coalition rejecting opposition calls for a bill.

The prime minister had promised a federal integrity commission as an electoral commitment ahead of the 2019 election, but has not yet advanced a debate in parliament.

Mr Morrison reiterated that Labor must back his version for the commission before its introduction.

Labor has indicated that the government‘s model does not go far enough.

“The government has a proposal for such a committee, (Independent MP Helen Haines) has a proposal, the Greens have a proposal, Labor has no proposal,” Morrison told Parliament on Monday.

“The government has established legislation which will be made available and carefully decided.”

It comes after Liberal backbench MP Bridget Archer walked through Parliament last week to support an independent initiative to spark debate on the commission.

The bill is unlikely to be introduced this week, the last sitting week of the year.

There should only be 10 sitting days left before an election.

Government Leader Paul Fletcher told Parliament the government is ready to pass the bill if the opposition supports the approach.

“Our government has a well-developed model for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission,” Fletcher said.

“The full exposure draft of the bill that underpins our model is in the public domain and has been around for many months.”

Labor asked the government if the commission would be able to investigate incidents such as the purchase of the Leppington Triangle near the future Western Sydney Airport.

It comes as a new analysis by the Australia Institute found that 71% of grants have been awarded to seats held by the government since the coalition came to power in 2013.

Of the nearly $ 4 billion in federal grants over the past eight years, $ 2.8 billion has gone to coalition voters.

Deputy Greens leader Larissa Waters said the findings reinforced the need for a federal commission.

“If we had an effective anti-corruption body, more than half of the Prime Minister’s office would face serious questions about its integrity,” Senator Waters said.

“Morrison’s own ICAC proposal is a fraud.”

The Prime Minister had previously called the NSW ICAC a “kangaroo court” and his lawsuits against former Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian “an absolute disgrace”.

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