Labor pledges integrity bill within months

A national anti-corruption commission will be legislated by the end of the year if a Labor government is elected on May 21.

The pledge from Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese comes as the Morrison government seeks to clarify its own position on the issue.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison promised at the 2019 election to establish a national integrity commission but did not subsequently introduce legislation to parliament. The establishment of a watchdog is fast turning into an election issue as voters call for increased transparency and accountability of political decision-making.


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The prime minister this week argued the Liberals’ model did not have enough support to pass parliament, adding that he would not introduce a so-called kangaroo court.

Government frontbenchers Stuart Robert and Simon Birmingham on Friday insisted the coalition would try again to establish a corruption watchdog.

Mr Albanese said electing a Labor government was the only way to ensure it would happen.

“Mr Morrison has delayed and obfuscated for over three years – and then this week it became clear he has absolutely no intention of honouring his promise to deliver a national anti-corruption commission at all,” he said.

“So the question for Mr Morrison is – why do you fear an anti-corruption commission? What is it you’re afraid they will find?”

The prime minister is meanwhile promising additional support for agricultural shows and field days disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr Morrison said the $2.8 million funding package would assist events cancelled this year, as well as events cancelled last year that did not apply for previous assistance.

“We’ve all missed our big royal shows and our local ag festivals and this investment is about ensuring we don’t lose them,” he said.

“These events aren’t just about showbags, rides and competitions, they bring regional leaders together to share skills and experience and they open doors for new jobs and investments.”

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud said agricultural shows and field days contributed more than $1 billion to the economy every year.

Both leaders will resume their pitch to voters today after honouring an election truce on Good Friday.

The campaign is expected to pause again on Easter Sunday.

© AAP 2022