Does Australia need a separate Integrity Branch?

It’s useful to review old critiques when new ones emerge, particularly to see if time has changed what’s important. Here’s a 2017 paper on integrity bodies. It suggests that, to secure funding against a recalcitrant Executive government, there should be a “special branch” of integrity agencies that get rum and rations directly from Parliament. What a good idea! Bring on a national ICAC with teeth.

Restoring trust: CLA calls for two initiatives to win back the people

CLA will appear before the Inquiry into Nationhood, National Identity and Democracy on Friday 13 November 2020. The inquiry is being held by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Reference Committee. In its submission, CLA has told the committee two initiatives are needed to win back the trust of the people of Australia in our federal parliament: a National Anti-Corrupt Commission, with robust powers to investigate the actions or inactions of politicians and bureaucrats, and a bill of rights to power to the people enforce their liberties and freedoms when government tries to take them away.

Australia’s national security suffers from ‘rubber stamp’ syndrome

A recent explosive parliamentary committee report has revealed the failings of the UK’s security agencies in relation to tunnel vision. But no such close review, monitoring, questioning and analysis emanates from Australia’s equivalent parliamentary committee, the PJCIS, security specialist Dr Tony Murney says. Has the unrepresentative Australian committee fallen captive to local and foreign security interests?

Big leap for Aussie MPs as they go video

Australia’s parliamentarians are on trainer wheels as they enjoy the benefits of video meetings partaken of by the rest of the population for about six months. Parliament and committee expert Dr Sarah Moulds points out that Spain has been holding such meetings, and remote voting (which is still barred in Australia), for nearly a decade. Time Australia’s parliaments caught up, CLA says.

Coronavirus Pandemic: Statements by CLA

For all the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, then in the longer-term recovery to normal phase, civil liberties and human rights must be integrated into every decision of all authorities. While a health and emergency policing response is vital, so too is ensuring that the maximum freedoms of Australians are respected at all times. Premiers and others are in danger of forgetting peoples’ rights matter too!

Museums suffer as politicians drink waters of lethe

Bodies like museums, arts entities, orchestras and the ABC are preparing for another financial savaging in the upcoming budget. Every year, increasingly greater amounts are spent on bigger weapons and more over-the-top security. Each year, spending on the lifeblood of any civilised nation, culture and education, is constricted further to a barely survivable drip, Dr Des Griffin AM says.

How Parliament’s fences lock people in to danger

Camouflage green fences exude precisely the wrong symbolism for a parliament building purpose-designed to be an accessible People’s House. From one angle, the most prestigious building in the National Capital looks like a jail, with slum attached. Are we keeping the prime inmates protected, or locked away behind our own ‘Berlin Wall’? Gates and upward-rising bollards – which have hoisted Commonwealth cars skywards – are further barriers to openness, security expert Dr Tony Murney says.