The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, will join the Independent Member for Indi, Cathy McGowan, to discuss the motion that they have tabled today calling on the Government to finally reform parliamentary entitlements.
“In February the review led by John Conde and David Tune gave its recommendations to the Government on how to improve the entitlements system,” Mr Wilkie said. “But here we are eight months later and virtually nothing has happened.
“If there’s one thing we learned from the litany of expenses scandals over the last few years, it’s that the current entitlements system is out of step with community expectations. It’s too generous, too lenient and lets politicians get away with expense claims that might be within the rules but are clearly improper and not acceptable to the community.
“Implementing Mr Conde and Mr Tune’s recommendations would be good. But the Government needs to go further. For a start we need an audit of all Members’ and Senators’ claims during this and the previous Parliament so we can identify any fraudulent claims.
“There should also be real-time online reporting of expenses and there needs to be more detail given about the substantive reason for the expenditure.
“The Government should also implement provisions to refer misuse which forms a pattern of misbehaviour to the Australian Federal Police.
“It’s good news that the Prime Minister has revived plans to abolish the Life Gold Pass in response to an appalling High Court challenge from some former MPs. But this commitment needs to be implemented immediately and we still need to go much further.
“Once again it’s left to the crossbench to stand up for common sense. It’s time for the Government to put political self-interest aside and make the changes that the community demands.”
Please find the Notice of Motion attached.