The Victorian Greens will tomorrow introduce a bill that would expand IBAC’s jurisdiction to investigate corruption, bringing it in line with other anti-corruption commissions around the country.
The Greens’ Ending Political Corruption Bill would empower IBAC to investigate ‘grey level’ political corruption by removing the current requirement that prohibits an investigation unless criminal conduct has taken place.
Around the country the definition of corruption is much broader, enabling anti-corruption commissions to investigate ‘soft’ corruption and drive higher political standards.
Notably, the new National Anti-Corruption Commission that opened earlier this year was specifically designed to investigate non-criminal conduct.
Victorian Greens integrity spokesperson, Dr Tim Read, said IBAC had been hamstrung for too long and that it was time the state’s watchdog was granted the same powers as others around the country.
He added that until IBAC’s powers were expanded, grey level political corruption would persist unchecked in Victoria.
A string of recent IBAC investigations including Operations Watts, Daintree, Sandon, and Clara have exposed appalling behaviour from Victorian Labor Government MPs, despite the fact IBAC is limited in what it can actually investigate.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens integrity spokesperson, Dr Tim Read:
“While IBAC remains hamstrung in what it can investigate, political corruption will persist in Victoria.
“For too long Victoria has fallen behind the rest of the country when it comes to parliamentary integrity.
“Without stronger checks and balances, how can Victorians trust in the integrity of government decisions?
“Our IBAC bill would give the anti-corruption watchdog more teeth and bring it in line with other watchdogs around the country, so it can better investigate corruption.”