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Liberals Back Integrity Loophole

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 30 June 2021

Tags: Transparency, Democracy, Integrity Commission, Misconduct in Public Office

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

The Liberals tonight voted against fixing the integrity law loophole which allows Members of Parliament to slip under the radar during election campaigns.

While all other members supported our Bill, Government MPs squibbed - using weak, ridiculous excuses. 

The Attorney-General’s contribution was full of hyperbole and reference to potential risk of unintended consequences, yet she was unable to identify a single, specific issue.
During an election, while an incumbent may no longer be a sitting Member of Parliament, they still retain all the benefits of that office. These benefits include staffing and resource allocations, formal and informal influence during the caretaker period, access to electoral rolls, and general community influence.

Our Bill, supported by the Opposition and the Independent Member for Clark, would have seen all incumbent Members standing for election still able to be investigated for misconduct such as:
• Misuse or unauthorised removal of property belonging to a public sector organisation
• Accepting a gift or benefit for a particular decision or action
• Failing to declare or appropriately manage a conflict of interest
• Looking up or releasing information without proper authority

Why are the Liberals so afraid of being held to these standards during an election campaign?

The answer likely lies in both the 2018 and 2021 state elections.