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Integrity Commission - Public Trust Issues


Cassy O'Connor MP

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 10 March 2022

Tags: Integrity Commission, Integrity

Ms O'CONNOR question to PREMIER, Mr GUTWEIN

What a feeble defence. Premier, as you know, a damning report into the state's Integrity Commission released today confirms it is still ineffectual. The Australia Institute report finds the Integrity Commission is weak and losing public trust. It has never held a public hearing and has run fewer investigations than any other state's integrity body. In the 13 years since its establishment, the commission has only ever referred two people for prosecution, the lowest number of any state. We know that is not because corruption is less of an issue here than on the mainland.

It has been six years since the 2016 independent review into the Integrity Commission and your Government has yet to implement the recommendations of that review. Indeed, your Attorney-General hides behind the review. Do you acknowledge that six years of inaction following a statutory review of a critical independent body is not good enough and that there are serious deficiencies that need to be resolved? What is your Government going to do to address these public trust issues?

 

ANSWER

Mr Speaker, I thank the Leader of the Greens, Ms O'Connor, for that question. Whilst you can cherrypick from the report, I have made a number of observations about the report which indicate that on a number of measures our Integrity Commission is faring quite well. I point to the recent submission made by Labor of the Cox review in 2016 17.

Ms O'CONNOR - Mr Speaker, point of order under standing order 45, relevance. This was not a question about Labor's submission. It was a question about the Government's actions.

Mr SPEAKER - On the point of order, Ms O'Connor, as you know I cannot put words in the Premier's mouth. You have put the question. The Premier is allowed an appropriate amount of time to answer it. In my reading, he was talking about the Integrity Commission, which your question went to. Premier, you have the call.

Mr GUTWEIN - Mr Speaker, we continue to work with the Integrity Commission. We have introduced first tranche reforms. We have provided additional funding to the Integrity Commission and the Attorney-General continues to work with the Integrity Commission on second tranche reforms.

In terms of systemic corruption in this state, which you believe exists, I suggest that if it did and you had examples of it, you would be raising it in here, but you have not. Like the former shadow attorney-general of the Labor Party, Lara Giddings, I firmly believe that systemic corruption does not exist in Tasmania. I point to the report that was released which indicates on a number of measures our Integrity Commission performs quite well.