A prominent Liberal backbencher has called for a federal anti-corruption commission as the government declined to bring its bill on for debate on the final parliamentary sitting day of the year.
John Alexander told parliament he agreed with independent MP Helen Haines who has long been an advocate for the establishment of an integrity commission.
But he said instead of engaging in a long-running debate, members should “act as mature adults” and work together to reach a resolution to bring a bill to parliament.
“The one thing the people of Australia want is integrity and our stocks are not high in that at this time,” he said.
Ms Haines told parliament an integrity bill was the most important item of business and it was “very disappointing” the government did not have it listed for debate as the parliamentary year wrapped up.
Liberal backbencher Bridget Archer crossed the floor of parliament last week to back Ms Haines’ attempt to bring on debate about a federal integrity commission.
The government says draft legislation to establish a Commonwealth Integrity Commission has been available for scrutiny for some time, but Labor and legal advocates say it does not go far enough.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Wednesday tabled an exposure draft of the laws, but they have not gone to a coalition partyroom meeting or been formally introduced.
Australian Associated Press