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The Federal Government’s announcement today that it’s proceeding with a woefully inadequate integrity agency will deeply disappoint and alarm many members of the community. The country is crying out for an effective integrity body, even more so in recent times on account of the avalanche of dodgy goings on in Canberra.

But what’s been confirmed by the Government today is dreadful and worse than useless because it will leave some people thinking the job is done. Frankly we would have been better off with nothing than the appallingly designed integrity agency the Government is pursuing.

What’s needed instead is a powerful independent body that can hold public hearings, make findings of guilt, lean on a broad definition of corruption and accept referrals from any member of the community. What the Government is working on is the opposite of that and begs the question again, what have they got to hide?