While many parties, including Labor, promise a federal ICAC, FIN is the only party truly committed to rooting out government corruption, writes Ross Jones.
THE POLITICAL PARTY Federal ICAC Now (FIN) made its debut on the pages of Independent Australia on May 12, 2020.
Two years later, in May 2022, the Party is running above the line on Senate ballots in WA, NSW and Queensland for the 2022 election.
On the formation of FIN, the original article noted:
A cornerstone of the FIN is that all of the major problems facing Australia today have their roots in corruption.
As sausages across Australia prepare for their big day, voters face a stark choice – Scomo or Albo?
Corrupt management of refugees, corrupt fossil fuel deals exacerbating environmental destruction and greenhouse gas emissions, corrupt welfare system causing unnecessary suffering – the list goes on.
That’s 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 part of FIN’s suite of anti-corruption policies covering issues ranging from donations to whistleblowers.
Labor has an anti-corruption commission policy, as does the Greens, as do the Teals, as do several of the non-parliamentary parties vying for that one available spot in the Senate.
This is a good thing.
It’s unequivocally good if it means legislation to create a federal ICAC is passed before the end of the year.
In a way, because be careful what you wish for.
Despite the apparent zeitgeist reverberating in bubbles across the country and opinion poll predictions of a Labor win, perhaps with a teal hue, Sportsbet’s $4 payout for a win of the Coalition could be a very generous rating.
Regardless of which party is elected to lead the nation this year, Federal ICAC Now will always be integral to rooting out political corruption.
Go to just about any cafe in the country and Rupert Murdoch will sit down for a coffee with you. The Odd Place might carry a few other brands for their customers’ reading pleasure. There could 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 overwhelming 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 to a pub. Pick up the paper on the bar. Murdoch.
Only Western Australia is spared Murdoch’s miasma, with Western Australia owned by Seven West Media.
This is terrible propaganda. He speaks silently when his victims are most vulnerable, eating or drinking, defenses down, brain neutral.
Even customers who can’t read well are served by bold 60 point titles of one-syllable words.
With the exception of WA, work dining rooms across the country are more or less exclusive Murdoch territory. And there are many.
That’s what the polls hit and the pundits missed last time. He has not disappeared.
If the Coalition reverses the odds and returns, there will be no chance of any kind of integrity commission outside of a star chamber crushing the enemy.
Federal ICAC Now (FIN) is approved! The Australian Anti-Corruption Party is real.
In that terrifying eventuality, a FIN senator, unencumbered by other niceties or compromises to be made, might be just what we need.
But on a happy note, Labor is overstepping the mark.
The type of ICAC we see will depend on how far Labor has gone.
Right now, in the heat of the moment with an ICAC a hot topic, Labor is talking about a good game and who could blame it?
But there are signs that his heart isn’t really in it.
Labor is a big party with powerful competing voices.
Just under three years ago, in August 2019, the Sydney Morning Herald noted:
Labor made much of retroactivity, a popular element among angry voters, but made no mention of future funding or oversight of the ICAC. No mention at all. Not even a clue.
A political party with the sole purpose of rooting out federal government corruption has been registered in time for the next election, but may not make it to the starting gate.
These two elements are absolutely crucial if the ICAC is not to be a politically beholden plaything.
Can you imagine the backroom of Labor if it takes power after a decade in opposition?
Business will be done. Compromises will be made.
Chances are there are enough independents to force any government to pass a Helen Haines-style bill.
There is also a real chance that there is none.
The Senate will have an essential role to play.
Finally, thank you to all IA FIN members and donors.
You have enabled an above the line ballot box destination for voters who understand that corruption is the biggest problem facing Australia.
Inquiries editor Ross Jones is the FIN’s national leader and NSW Senate candidate. Ross is also a Chartered Private Investigative Officer and author of “Ashbygate: The Plot to Destroy Australia’s Speaker”. Follow Ross Jones on Twitter @RPZJones.