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Mitchell supports anti-corruption commission

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MEMBER for McEwen Rob Mitchell has thrown his support behind a Federal Government push to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission, NACC.

Attorney General Mark Dreyfus introduced the National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022 in parliament on Wednesday last week, proposing the establishment of a federal integrity watchdog.

The NACC would have the power to investigate and report serious and systemic public-sector corruption at federal level, with the jurisdiction to investigate ministers, members of parliament, government staff, the heads and employees of government agencies, Australian Defence Force employees and government contractors, among others.

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The commission would operate independently of government, with discretion to commence inquiries on its own initiative or in response to referrals from whistleblowers and public. It would also have powers to retroactively investigate allegations of corruption that occurred before its establishment.

Mr Dreyfus said most of the commission’s hearings would be held behind closed doors, only holding public hearings in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

The NACC would be overseen by a statutory parliamentary joint committee that required the commission to provide information about its work, and its findings would be subject to judicial review.

Mr Mitchell said he supported the commission’s establishment.

“During the 2022 federal election, voters across McEwen told me they wanted to elect a government which would return integrity and trust to parliament,” he said.

“The Albanese Government introduced legislation to establish a powerful, independent and transparent National Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the entire federal public sector.

“As part of this commitment, the government has also announced $262 million to fund the establishment and ongoing operation of the commission over the next four years.

“This will ensure the commission can hit the ground running. It will have the staff, capabilities and capacity to triage referrals and allegations it receives, conduct timely investigations, and undertake corruption prevention and education activities.

“We now look forward to the entire Parliament coming together to support this clear mandate to establish a National Anti-Corruption Commission.”

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