The latest Australia Institute report on Tasmania’s Integrity Commission is being kind to call the Commission “weak”. More accurate would be “completely useless”. It sure ain’t any kind of watchdog at a time the state needs a rottweiler, not a shih tzu.
This report is a stark reminder that the State Government still isn’t being held to account. The regrettable fact is that we have no lack of serious claims of misconduct in dire need of scrutiny. The public has lost trust in the Government and it’s more important than ever that we now have transparency from our state leaders. It’s essential that the community has faith in the institutions of Government and key to that is an effective, well-resourced anti-corruption watchdog.
But, sadly, Tasmania’s Integrity Commission has limited power, funding and staff to assess and investigate matters when compared to other jurisdictions across Australia. Alarmingly, it hasn’t even held a public inquiry or hearing and has only ever referred two people for prosecution. Making the current situation even more worrying is that the Australia Institute and I raised the same issues more than four years ago and nothing has changed since. A copy of my media release is here: https://andrewwilkie.org/tasmanian-integrity-commission-needs-teeth-85-tasmanians-agree/
It’s beyond time for the State Government to broaden the investigative powers and provide more funding to the Integrity Commission if they’re to garner even an inkling of public trust. We need more bite.