A Daley Labor government would go much further than the Berejiklian Liberals and extend any measures aimed at improving the scrutiny of politicians to include political advisors and senior public servants as well as extending the measures to local government.
NSW Labor Leader, Michael Daley, made the pledge today as the Premier attempted to paper over her own party’s record on curtailing the powers of weakening the corruption watchdog, the Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC).
Labor said tough measures should extend to ministerial offices and senior political advisors within them, as well as to senior public servants. The activities of third party lobbyists who use their influence to advance the commercial interests of clients will also be caught up in the net.
Labor will also extend the crackdown to local councillors and senior staff in local councils as well as all planning panels in NSW.
Mr Daley said there will be zero tolerance of corruption in public life under a government he leads.
“I am calling for these measures not just because of the failings of the Liberal and National governments, but also the past transgressions of senior Labor figures. Sadly there have been people in public life of all political colours who have let the public down. That’s why I want to see an even stronger ICAC.
“I want to send a strong message to anyone, anywhere who is thinking of acting corruptly that, if I become Premier, you will be caught.”
Mr Daley said the Liberal and National Government and the Premier’s record on dealing with corruption in public life was woeful.
Following the resignation of Daryl Maguire from the seat of Wagga Wagga last year after he admitted he sought payment to help broker a deal with a property developer, the Labor Opposition, including Mr Daley, asked the Premier whether she would launch a wider inquiry into the conduct of Mr Maguire and other MPs. She refused to do so.
Mr Maguire was the 11th Liberal MP to leave the NSW Parliament under a cloud following an ICAC investigation.
The Liberals also cut the ICAC budget and restructured it to engineer the removal of Megan Latham, the commissioner who led the investigation into Liberal Party fundraising before the 2011 state election, which ended the careers of a former Liberal Premier and a number of Liberal Party MPs.
Five years ago following the exposure of the activities of former Labor MPs Eddie Obeid, Ian Macdonald and Joe Tripodi, Labor strengthened its own rules to stamp out corruption, including a provision that every meeting between a lobbyist, an MP or a minister relating to a commercial decision will be recorded, and a ban on any MP taking on a second job.
Mr Daley added: “The Premier is paying lip service to the issue of integrity. I will restore ICAC to its former strength and I support any measures that raise the conduct of politicians in public life.”