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Parliament passes National Anti-Corruption Commission bills

The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP
Media Release

Prime Minister
The Hon Anthony Albanese MP

Cabinet Secretary
The Hon Mark Dreyfus KC MP

Joint media release

The Albanese Government has today delivered on our promise to the Australian people to return integrity, honesty and accountability to government by legislating a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission in 2022.

The Albanese Government's National Anti-Corruption Commission will:

  • Have broad jurisdiction to investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the Commonwealth public sector by ministers, parliamentarians and their staff, statutory officer holders, employees of all government entities and government contractors;
  • Operate independent of government, with discretion to commence inquiries on its own initiative or in response to referrals, including from whistleblowers and the public;
  • Be overseen by a statutory Parliamentary Joint Committee, empowered to require the Commission to provide information about its work;
  • Have the power to investigate allegations of serious or systemic corruption that occurred before or after its establishment;
  • Have the power to hold public hearings in exceptional circumstances and where it is in the public interest to do so;
  • Be empowered to make findings of fact, including findings of corrupt conduct, and refer findings that could constitute criminal conduct to the Australian Federal Police or the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions; and
  • Operate with procedural fairness and its findings will be subject to judicial review.

The legislation also provides strong protections for whistleblowers and exemptions for journalists to protect the identity of sources.

Australians waited years for the former Government to implement their pledge for a Commonwealth integrity commission. They never even introduced a bill.

This is a historic day for our Parliament, and the nation.

The Government has already begun the search for Australia's first National Anti-Corruption Commissioner through a merit-based, transparent and robust recruitment process, adhering to the highest standards of integrity and accountability.

With today's vote, we now look forward to the establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Commission in mid-2023.