Major parties say no to federal corruption commission

THE major political parties in Canberra have passed up a chance to create a national corruption-busting commission styled on the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption.

In parliament on Thursday, both government and Opposition Senators voted against debating a Greens private senator's bill to create a new National Integrity Commission.

The bill, from Greens Leader Senator Christine Milne, has been before both this and the previous parliament, but both major parties have largely ignored it.

It would create a new integrity commission to investigate claims of corruption or wrong-doing by federal MPs and Senators.

The Greens on Thursday used their time to bring the debate forward for debate, after the unprecedented fallout in recent weeks from NSW ICAC hearings.

But both government and opposition senators instead filibustered debate on whether a debate on the bill should even proceed, leaving the bill to gather dust in parliament.

While several senators supported the idea, including Labor Senator Doug Cameron, the government and opposition voted together against a debate going ahead.

Other government senators said in the chamber there was no need for such a new body, given existing agencies like the Australian Crime Commission could handle complaints against federal politicians

Senator Milne said she was "disgusted" that the major parties had prevented a debate going ahead, labelling the political move "cynical delay tactics".

"It is ridiculous to suggest that corruption stops at state borders. Our federal politicians must be subject to the same scrutiny that has exposed so many abuses of public trust in New South Wales," she said.

"If Labor or the Abbott government have suggestions to improve the national anti-corruption legislation then my door is open and the Greens are ready to negotiate.

"This bill has been before the parliament since last year, but so far we've heard nothing."



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