Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus introduced legislation to the lower house on Wednesday to set up the integrity commission, which will cost $262 million over four years and $90 million more than an earlier coalition proposal.
What will it do?
He said the body — to be known as the National Anti-Corruption Commission — would operate independently of the government and have powers to investigate serious or systemic corrupt conduct across the commonwealth public sector.
Protections for whistleblowers and journalists as well as safeguards to protect reputations are also included in the proposal.
Who will lead it?
“The commission will have a full suite of powers similar to those of a royal commission (and) it will be able to use its powers to undertake an investigation into a corruption issue,” he said.
“It will have the power to hold public hearings (and) it will also have a mandate to prevent corruption and educate Australians about corruption.”
Will the hearings be public or private?
“One of the best disinfectants for corruption is sunshine,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“Public hearings are critical to the work of this national anti-corruption commission.”
Independent MP Helen Haines, who has been a staunch advocate for the commission, said the proposal was the culmination of years of work that would continue.
Why is this important?
She said the NSW model which involved public hearings demonstrated a “greater level of transparency and scrutiny” than other state bodies.