While many parties, including Labour, promise a federal ICAC, FIN is the only party truly committed to stamping out government corruption, writes Ross Jones.
THE Federal ICAC Now (FIN) POLITICAL PARTY got its start in the pages of Independent Australia on May 12, 2020.
Two years later, in May 2022, the Party is running above the line on the Senate ballots in WA, NSW and Queensland for the 2022 election.
On the formation of FIN, the original article noted:
A cornerstone of FIN is that all of the major problems facing Australia today are rooted in corruption.
As sausages across Australia prepare for their big day, voters face a stark choice: Scomo or Albo?
Corrupt refugee management, corrupt fossil fuel deals that exacerbate environmental destruction and greenhouse gas emissions, corrupt welfare system that causes unnecessary suffering – the list goes on.
That is why FIN is an anti-corruption party with no other baggage: fix corruption and let democracy do the rest.
A federal ICAC is just one component of FIN’s suite of anti-corruption policies that cover matters from donations to whistleblowers.
Labor has an anti-corruption committee policy, as do the Greens, as do the Teals, as do several of the non-parliamentary parties vying for that open seat in the Senate.
This is a good thing.
It is unequivocally good if it means that the legislation to create a federal ICAC is passed before the year is out.
More or less, because be careful what you wish for.
Despite the apparent zeitgeist being felt in bubbles across the country and opinion poll predictions of a Labor victory, perhaps cast in a teal hue, Sportsbet’s $4 payout for a Labor victory the Coalition could be a very generous chance.
No matter which party is chosen to lead the nation this year, Federal ICAC Now will continue to be integral to rooting out political corruption.
Go to almost any cafe in the country and Rupert Murdoch will sit down with you for coffee. The strange place could have a couple of other marks for the reading pleasure of its customers. There may be an Age or a Sydney Morning Herald (now owned by Nine Entertainment and controlled by former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello) here and there. But for the vast majority of cafes, it will be the Daily Telegraph, the Herald Sun, the Advertiser, the Courier Mail, or the Mercury, depending on where you get your egg and bacon sambo.
Go into a pub. Pick up the paper from the bar. Murdoch.
Only Western Australia is spared the Murdoch miasma, being owned by Seven West Media.
This is scary propaganda. He speaks quietly when his victims are at their most vulnerable, eating or drinking, defenses down, brain neutral.
Even users who can’t read that well are served by bold 60-point headlines of one-syllable words.
With the exception of WA, work canteens across the country are more or less exclusive territory for Murdoch. And there are plenty of them.
It is this get to the polls and the pundits missed last time. It hasn’t gone.
If the Coalition beats the odds and re-enters, there will be no chance of any kind of integrity commission other than a star cam crushing the enemy.
Federal ICAC Now (FIN) is approved! Australia’s anti-corruption party is a reality.
In this terrifying eventuality, a FIN senator, free from other niceties or trade-offs, might be just what we need.
But on a lighthearted note, let’s just say Labor is stepping out of line.
The kind of ICAC we see will depend on how far Labor goes.
Right now, in the heat of battle with a hot-button ICAC, Labor is talking about a good game and who could blame him?
But there are signs that his heart isn’t really in it.
Labor is a great party with powerful competing voices.
Just under three years ago, in August 2019, the Sydney Morning Herald noted:
Labor has made much of hindsight, a component popular with angry voters, but makes no mention of future ICAC funding or oversight. No mention at all. Not even a clue.
A political party with the sole purpose of rooting out corruption in the Federal Government has registered in time for the next election, but may not make it to the starting gate.
These two components are absolutely crucial if any ICAC is not going to be a politically compelled plaything.
Can you imagine the backroom of the Labor Party if it takes power after a decade in opposition?
Deals will be made. Compromises will be made.
There is a real chance that there will be enough independents to force any government to adopt a Helen Haines-style bill.
There’s also a real chance that it won’t.
The Senate will have a vital role to play.
Finally, thanks to all IA FIN members and donors.
You have enabled an above the line polling destination for voters who understand that corruption is the biggest problem facing Australia.
Research Editor Ross Jones is the National Coordinator for FIN and a candidate for the NSW Senate. Ross is also a Licensed Private Investigative Agent and the author of ‘Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia’s Speaker’. Follow Ross Jones on Twitter @RPZJones.