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The independent member for Indi, Helen Haines, says she’s confident that Labor’s legislation to establish a national integrity commission will cover third parties following further discussions with the government.
“What I want to see … is that any person who seeks to adversely influence an impartial exercise of government should be under the jurisdiction of this commission,” she told ABC TV a few moments ago.
“It’s important that this commission can look for corruption in dark places. And if we just confine it to public officials or to contractors, we are missing those other organisations or persons who seek to adversely affect our governments.”
However, the crossbench MP will continue to push the government to act on further protections for whistleblowers.
“I can’t rest as a parliamentarian until I know whistleblowers will be protected. We’ve seen plenty of examples where they come to grief. The attorney general is on the public record saying whistleblower protection will not be built into this legislation, but he is very clear he will undertake the necessary reforms to the public interest disclosure act.
“I don’t want to see a powerful corruption commission set up without whistleblower protections.”
During a subsequent ABC TV interview, Labor MP Ged Kearney said whistleblower protections were something she “feels very strongly about” as a nurse and unionist.
“I think there should be strong protections for whistleblowers,” she said.