Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a new anti-corruption commission which will be established alongside the department keeping boat arrival numbers secret.
Morrison said it was crucial the public had confidence in Commonwealth employees and agencies and this secret agency would restore that confidence by being secret.
“We will regain the trust of the Australian people by making an integrity commission that cannot hold public hearings and can’t accept complaints about corrupt politicians from the public,” Morrison told reporters.
“The commission will not be able to investigate retrospectively because I know as a fact that no one I speak to outside the Canberra bubble would want to see any of our members of parliament held to account.”
The integrity division, which will investigate parliamentarians and their staff, will only be able to investigate a specific set of criminal offences and can’t make findings of corruption.
“We have to be very careful in implementing bodies that investigate people breaking the law that made the laws.”
“Often we just vote them through and don’t even read them.”
The announcement was made just after the last sitting day of parliament for the year and just prior to the start of a very long break, with the government hoping it will be forgotten about by February.