Cook Labor Government politicises the Corruption and Crime Commission again!

The Cook Labor Government yesterday abused its parliamentary majority to pass the Corruption, Crime and Misconduct Amendment Bill 2023 unaltered, despite the Opposition’s attempt to restore integrity to the way the leaders of the Corruption and Crime Commission (CCC) are appointed.

The new law will remove the need for bipartisan support of Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on the CCC before Commissioners and Deputy Commissioners to the agency are appointed.

The Opposition argued to restore the bipartisan support provision, but the motion was defeated by the Government’s numbers.

“This is another dangerous step on the road to politicising the CCC,” Shadow Minister for Justice Tjorn Sibma said.

“The Attorney General has now achieved what he sought out to do four years ago and that is to remodel the CCC in his own image.”

“Mr Quigley was not satisfied by ramming through the unprecedented reappointment of the current Commissioner in 2021.

“He decided to come back for another bite and delete the need for future CCC leadership appointments to require majority and bipartisan support of the standing committee before they can proceed.”

“My simple view is that it is morally wrong to make such a powerful and important agency as the CCC a political plaything. It is also an indictment of Roger Cook’s leadership that he has let the Attorney General get away with it.”

The Opposition maintains that the Government’s argument for introducing and passing the Bill has been based on distorting historical facts and casting sleazy, damaging, and unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against previous and serving members of parliament.

The collapse of Operation Betelgeuse revealed these allegations never lived up to the hype.

“The best protection parliamentarians can provide the CCC and its leadership, is to ensure that they are not unfairly perceived as being partisan. This protects the integrity of their investigations and will preserve public confidence in their work.” Mr Sibma said.

The Opposition is committed to preserve the institutional integrity and independence of the CCC.