In an apparent defence of the coalition’s proposed federal ICAC model that has so far only been slammed as the weakest commission in the country, prime minister Scott Morrison today continued to attack the independent investigation by the country’s most powerful corruption body into former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian, calling it a “shameful” “pile on”.
The recent comments come after Scott Morrison issued a stunning denunciation of the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) amid its investigation into Berejiklian who he wants to run for the Warringah seat in the federal election for the Liberal Party.
“The way that Gladys Berejiklian has been treated has been shameful. I have been clear about that. Anthony Albanese thought that was the right thing to do to Gladys Berejiklian”.
“What I saw is a pile on and we are all used to pile ons on our side of politics. We have thick skins and we can deal with it and Gladys certainly knows how to. If she wants to have a crack at Warringah for the Liberal Party, I suspect the people would welcome that in Warringah. We will let the people decide,” he said.
Scott Morrison earlier told Parliament he would not meet demands for a stronger federal anti-corruption body because doing so would create a “kangaroo court” like the NSW commission.
The Government’s draft bill on the proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) has been criticised for its lack of powers to conduct independent investigation, and instead being “a sham” and “a fraud” to protect federal politicians from corruption probes.
The Centre for Public Integrity also found it would be the weakest integrity commission in the country:
It would not be able to investigate the 2021 Commuter Car Park Project pork-barrelling allegations, the 2020 Sports Grants scandal, the 2019 Crown Casino scandal, allegations of conflict of interest (such as the 2019 allegations involving Minister Angus Taylor’s family business), or potential breaches of the Ministerial Code of Conduct (such as those alleged in 2019 to have been committed by Christopher Pyne and Julie Bishop).