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Local Communities Facilities Fund - Integrity Commission report

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Wednesday, 15 June 2022

Tags: Electoral Reform, Transparency, Sport and Recreation, Integrity Commission


Earlier this year the Integrity Commission released its report into your party's gross pork‑barrelling during the 2018 election.  The report was highly critical of the use of a secretive slush fund to engage in effective electoral bribery.  Despite being aware that the Integrity Commission was looking at the 2018 election, the Government you are part of then decided to do the same thing in 2021 - another $15 million of taxpayer funds out the door, with no proper process or transparency.

The Integrity Commission has recommended reform to end this practice, including changes to legislation, and introduction of mandatory grant rules.  Will you be the premier who finally has the courage to stop the rot and end the rorts?  Will you commit, today, to introducing legislation and regulation that will put an end to election pork‑barrelling through grants and slush funds.



Mr Speaker, I thank the member for her question.  It is important to note that, like every political party, we take into account a range of views and representations when developing our election policies - as you have.

You speak of our election commitments, Ms O'Connor, that we made in the 2021 election.  I am advised that your alternative budget has maintained those commitments so obviously you support our -

Ms O'Connor - Is that the best you can do?  As if we are going to take money away from small organisations. 

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Members interjecting.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.  The Premier has the call. 

Mr ROCKLIFF - I expected to get a rise, but not such an animated rise from those on the Greens benches. 

Ms O'Connor - We've asked you what you're going to do about it.  Maybe you could mention the words 'Integrity Commission'.

Mr ROCKLIFF - As the Integrity Commission report states, the commitments which were made were all clearly documented in the 2018-19 budget papers and approved by parliament, I am advised -

Dr Woodruff - No, it doesn't say that.  That's misrepresenting the Integrity Commission's findings.

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I am advised that the Integrity Commission has not in any way accused the Liberal Party of electoral bribery.  The board of the Integrity Commission determined to undertake an investigation in February 2019, and subsequently revoked its original determination to conduct the investigation, meaning the matter would not proceed to the board for a determination under section 58 of the Integrity Commission Act.  The board decided it would not be in the public interest to commit further resources to reinvestigate the matter, noting that no misconduct had been identified.  

Ms O'Connor - That investigation went a long way before they pulled the pin. 

Mr SPEAKER - Order.

Mr ROCKLIFF - The board also had requested that confidentiality be maintained on the matter, as - and I quote - 'it had the potential to affect the rights and interests of many'.  I am advised that the Integrity Commission investigation Operation Hyperion found no evidence of misconduct. 

Dr Woodruff - They didn't meet good grant principle guidelines, they didn't have objectives, they didn't have selection criteria, they weren't competitive, they didn't identify decision-makers.

Mr SPEAKER - Order, Dr Woodruff.

Mr ROCKLIFF - I believe we have been very transparent about the election commitments we have made.  I am pleased you were funded; our election commitment is in your alternative budget as well, we welcome that.  I know that many organisations would appreciate the fact that the Greens value those grassroots organisations and your support in the 2021-22 state Budget, so thank you very much.