POLITICS

Greens Call for National Anti-Corruption Watchdog In Wake Of Sussan Ley Expenses Scandal

Richard Di Natale is talking tough on corruption.

14/01/2017 10:41 AM AEDT | Updated 16/01/2017 10:47 AM AEDT
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Richard Di Natale wants the federal government to establish a national anti-corruption watchdog.

The Greens have backed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's move to create an independent authority to police political expenses but say more needs to be done to combat government corruption.

Turnbull this week promised there would be more transparency on political entitlements following a series of expense scandals and after Health Minister Sussan Ley resigned on Friday amid a probe into expense claims she made for trips to the Gold Coast.

In response to the latest scandal, Turnbull announced the establishment of a new body to oversight political expenses, describing it as an "independent parliamentary expenses authority".

"It will monitor and adjudicate all claims by MPs, senators and ministers, ensuring that taxpayers' funds are spent appropriately and in compliance with the rules," Turnbull said on Friday.

Speaking on Saturday, Greens leader Richard Di Natale said he supported independent oversight of MP expense claims, throwing his support behind Turnbull's idea.

"We welcome an independent authority," Di Natale told the ABC.

"It is critical that there is this authority created and it has an advisory and auditing function. We think that is a positive step."

However, the Greens leader urged the government to do more to tackle corruption across the public sector.

"It is really important that it has to sit within a broad anti corruption body," Di Natale said.

"The Greens want to see a national anti-corruption watchdog, an Independent Commission Against Corruption, like we have got in other states.

"It would deal with not just politician's entitlements and abuses ... but also to look at broader issues of corruption. The idea that the federal parliament is immune from corruption in the way that state parliaments have been exposed over recent years is ludicrous."

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has given the Turnbull proposal in principle support.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was confident the new independent body would restore public trust in the expenses regime.

"Hopefully that restores public confidence because we want the public to have confidence in the way in which MPs are spending money and if we're talking about these issues we're not talking about the big issues that are most important to Australians," Dutton told Macquarie Radio.



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