May 29, 2024

Anyone who has closely watched the tortured evolution of the Corruption and Crime Commission in WA over several iterations and more than 30 years of blunders, abuses of power, blatantly illegal acts and other zealous excesses would realise that the design of such powerful bodies is fraught with difficulty.

This should have been obvious to Federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus when he started work on Labor’s promised national corruption fighter after the election victory in May this year.

The Albanese Government is now rushing to get a Federal anti-corruption commission legislated before Christmas to meet its promises of improving the “integrity” of Canberra politics.

However, it appears that the integrity of the legislative process and the necessary safeguards against bureaucratic over-reach are being sidelined along the way.

The new row over who would have the power to authorise investigators to tap the phones of anyone from the Prime Minister to the head of ASIO shows that Dreyfus has little idea of what has gone wrong with similar bodies in different jurisdictions.

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