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Royal Commission into Political Corruption and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in the Australian Political System

The Democratic Reform Alliance is calling for a Royal Commission into Political Corruption and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in the Australian Political System.

The slew of recent political scandals involving senior Government Ministers and politicians from all major parties has called into question the integrity of the Australian political system.

* The Finance Minister has been caught accepting free air tickets from a private business who also happened to be a Liberal Party donor and the recent recipient of a fat government contract;

* The Government has repeatedly issued lucrative business contracts to Liberal Party donors without following defined processes;

* Politicians at all levels claim travel and electoral entitlements for a range of illegitimate reasons including to fraternise with overseas "sugar babies", speak at interstate hate speech rallies, and in the case of Canberra based politicians Zed Seselja (LIB) and Andrew Leigh (ALP) to commute from home to work;

* The Cabinet stacks government boards and important commissions with inappropriate political appointees who are unqualified for the roles or who perform in a partisan manner;

* Politicians and senior government officials misuse political office to gift highly paid jobs to party mates, girlfriends or pregnant staff members without proper scrutiny;

* The Australian Liberal Party routinely sells access to meetings with Government Ministers to raise funds for the party;

* The revolving door between Parliament and lobby groups allow politicians to vote on legislation one day and take up highly paid lobby work the following day;

* Campaign funding laws are lax and the major parties are awash in inadequately disclosed corporate and union cash;

* Kick-backs, favours, and advantageous regulatory outcomes worth in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars are common place.

These are but some examples.

Political corruption, rorts, and institutional conflicts of interest are rife in the Australian political system.

It is not a question of one bad apple but of a systematic failure of accountability with the rorters coming from all the major parties.

The number and extent of the abuse and the institutional nature of the conflicts of interest have reached a the point that can no longer be ignored.

The system of integrity in politics has broken down. The system is in crisis.

The public interest lies in a Royal Commission that will fully examine the conflicts of interests and abuse of entitlements that have come to mark our democracy.

The Democratic Reform Alliance has blown the whistle!

It’s time!

Join us in calling for a Royal Commission now.

Proposed terms of reference;

The proposed terms of reference of the Royal Commission are:

* To investigate the unethical and conflicted practices of our politicians and the major parties over the last decade and recommend criminal prosecutions where necessary;

* To investigate the institutional response to unethical and conflicted practices and critically examine the failure of the relevant enforcement regimes to achieve better standards of integrity in politics;

* To recommend legislative and administrative mechanisms for creating tightened and enforceable standards of accountability and transparency including minimising the opportunity for institutional and individual conflicts of interest within the political system across the following areas:

a) Politicians Entitlements and Accountability;

b) Anti-corruption, Transparency, and Integrity;

c) Campaign Funding and Expenditure; and

d) Mechanisms for increasing political participation; and

* To advise on the creation of an independent and powerful Integrity Commission reporting directly to the Senate.

The major parties will resist the call for the Royal Commission just as they resisted the call for the royal commissions into institutional child sexual abuse and the banking industry for over ten years.

With your support, this Royal Commission will become a reality.

Call for action;

I join with the Democratic Reform Alliance in calling on the Australian Parliament to establish a Royal Commission into Political Corruption and Institutional Conflicts of Interest in the Australian Political System.

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