Page 5125 - Week 13 - Thursday, 29 November 2018

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cannot conclude whether or not these were corrupt. That is not the role of the Auditor-General, either. But there are certainly many questions unanswered about each of these events. That is why we are firmly of the view that we need an ICAC in Canberra.

In the past in this place I have also highlighted some other issues, such as the car park issue at the Woden Tradies where huge amounts of money were transferred to the club. We also know that the Labor Club development in Braddon did not attract any lease variation charge or change of use charge, despite the fact that they had constructed three dozen apartments on the site. We also know that the Labor Club brings in huge amounts of revenue. Much of that has already been channelled to the 1973 Foundation. That, of course, supports the Labor Party’s operations in Canberra and, to an extent, federally.

These are all questions that I know many Canberrans want answers to. How is it that all these things happened under this government’s watch? In order to put pressure on this government, the Canberra Liberals took the unprecedented step of having legislation for an ICAC drawn up from opposition. Whilst the feds have an argument about whether an ICAC is needed, what the model is et cetera, unlike the federal opposition that says it is purely in the domain of the government, the Canberra Liberals, from opposition, drafted legislation for an integrity commission in Canberra.

Of course, this took a huge amount of work. There were hundreds of pages of instructions, hundreds of emails, dozens of meetings and many iterations of the legislation before we were in a position to table that legislation in June. The enormity of the work that was undertaken by the opposition cannot be overestimated. It was a huge body of work to get that legislation presented in June.

What I firmly believe the presentation of that legislation did was give a hurry-up to the Labor government to actually deliver some legislation, because prior to that the government had been saying that it was too hard. Prior to that, it was always six months away; it was always in the never-never. But when we got that legislation tabled, it put huge pressure on the Labor Party to actually present legislation. Because of that, we are now in a position where we can and should have an integrity commission in operation by 1 July next year. In fact, the early work of the commission can start almost immediately.

Much of the work that we did in our bill back in June has been incorporated into government legislation. Features of our legislation presented back in June included, of course, the ability for the commission to obtain documents; to subpoena witnesses; to request search and arrest warrants; to seize evidence relevant to a search warrant; and to conduct public and private hearings. Of course, we have a preference for public hearings.

This week the government presented its legislation on the back of their exposure draft that was published in late July. I think that the government had many shortcomings in their legislation. For example, originally, and as recently as last week, the government was still willing to allow politicians to be the ICAC commissioner. It is pretty bizarre. As recently as last week, the government was willing for an interstate politician to be

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