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PM denies delay to integrity commission

integrity commission
Scott Morrison has denied the government is delaying work on a federal integrity commission. Photo: AAP
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Scott Morrison has denied the government is delaying work on a federal integrity commission, despite the coalition rejecting opposition calls to introduce legislation.

The prime minister had promised a federal integrity commission as an election commitment before the 2019 poll but has yet to bring forward debate before parliament.

Mr Morrison reiterated Labor needed to support its version for the commission before it was introduced.

Labor has indicated the government’s model does not go far enough.

“The government has a proposal for such a commission, (independent MP Helen Haines) has a proposal, the Greens have a proposal, Labor have no proposal,” Mr Morrison told parliament on Monday.

“The government has set out legislation which will be made available, and carefully decided upon.”

It comes after Liberal backbencher Bridget Archer crossed the floor of parliament last week to back an independent push to bring about the debate on the commission.

The legislation is unlikely to be introduced this week, the last sitting week for the year.

There are only expected to be 10 days of sittings left before an election.

Government frontbencher Paul Fletcher told parliament the government was ready to bring on the legislation, should the opposition back the approach.

“Our government has a well-developed model for a commonwealth integrity commission,” Mr Fletcher said.

“The full exposure draft of the bill underpinning our model is in the public domain and has been there for many months.”

Labor questioned the government about whether the commission would be able to investigate incidents such as the purchase of the Leppington Triangle near the future Western Sydney Airport.

It comes as a new analysis from the Australia Institute revealed 71 per cent of grants have been awarded to government-held seats since the coalition came to power in 2013.

Of the nearly $4 billion in federal grants in the past eight years, $2.8 billion has been awarded to coalition electorates.

Greens deputy leader Larissa Waters said the findings reinforced the need for a federal commission.

“If we had an effective anti-corruption body, more than half of the PM’s cabinet would be facing serious questions about their integrity,” Senator Waters said.

“Morrison’s own ICAC proposal is a fraud.”

The prime minister previously referred to the NSW ICAC as a “kangaroo court” and its proceedings against former premier Gladys Berejiklian as an “absolute disgrace”.

– AAP