Corrupt Polititions and ICAC

  1. 2,754 Posts.
    If the NSW system applied to Canberra, Clive Palmer could fully expect to be called before the ICAC now. Why? For a start there's the flagrant conflict of interest. He's a mining magnate. He opposed new taxes that affected his wealth. He started a political party and went into politics. In Federal Parliament, he was pivotal in abolishing the taxes. The carbon tax is now gone. The mining tax is now gone. The crucial swing votes that made it possible were cast by senators from Palmer's party.
    Now Palmer is agitating for a new law to protect bankrupt companies from their creditors, along the lines of the US Chapter 11 bankruptcy law. It is hard to imagine any more blatant clash between a public responsibility and a private interest. "It's a direct conflict of interest," says the former director of public prosecutions in NSW, Nicholas Cowdery.

    Disgracefully, the Australian Parliament does not even have a code of conduct for members and senators. The body that writes thousands of pages of law for the rest of the citizenry every year has not, after 113 years, written a code of conduct for itself.
    There is a valid criticism of the NSW ICAC. It is big on investigation and exposure and poor in securing prosecutions. But that is a design question that could be considered in creating a federal body.
    The Greens have proposed a bill to establish one. It is a dead letter. Neither the Labor, Liberal nor Palmer parties support it.
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