Transparency & Accountability PolicyHetty Johnston
It is clear that Australian’s are disillusioned by our governments and, to some extent, the decisions of the public service. Regardless of the huge amount of clever, honest people working in the system, the ‘Canberra bubble’ continues to shock us with decisions that are neither transparent nor fair.
It seems that every time we turn on the news, there is a story of another politician or senior leader being paid to meet someone, using travel or other funding for personal reasons, or simply allowing lobbyists access they simply shouldn’t have. It makes you wonder whether Australian politics are for sale?
I believe that Australians want to believe again.
We have a right to expect that our parliamentary democracy is honest, accountable, transparent and that decisions are based on the best interests of the community. We should be able to trust that decisions, importantly those that include funding, are made in the best interests of the broader community and are done so with clear accountability andfairness.
I believe we must adopt the recommendations of Transparency International, an organisation that I have been a member and/or supporter for many years. If elected to the Australian Senate I will do everything possible to promote the adoption of the following five-point plan to a more equitable and transparent political system.
- A strong and properly resourced National Integrity Commission– one that goes beyond punishing corruption and fosters the highest level of integrity across our government and parliament.
- Fair, transparent and nationally consistent rules for controlling political donations – so that our elected representatives put the public’s best interest first, not those who pay the most.
- Strong rules around lobbying and a parliamentary code of conduct to stop conflicts of interest and put the public’s best interest first.
- A strong whistleblower protection authority – because whistleblowers’ contribution to exposing wrong-doing helps us all.
- We need to be a better member of the international community – and act to stop the flow of dirty money into Australia, reform foreign bribery laws, stop the use of anonymous shell companies as vehicles for corruption and wrongdoing, and join important global initiatives to promote transparency.’