Finance Minister repeats NSW ICAC attacks | The mail

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The Federal Government has reiterated its criticism of NSW’s independent anti-corruption watchdog after its commissioner called its critics “buffoons”. Two commissioners from the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption launched thinly veiled attacks on the Prime Minister during a parliamentary hearing on Monday, saying descriptions of the commission as a ‘kangaroo court’ were misleading and untrue. Finance Minister Simon Birmingham backed Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s comments, describing the commission as a star chamber designed to grab headlines. “I’m not interested in insults,” Mr Birmingham told ABC TV on Tuesday. “What we don’t want is the type of Star Chamber model that brings down people like (former NSW Premier) Gladys Berejiklian before conclusions are even made. “We want to make sure that c is a model that provides procedural fairness to all individuals prior to this. “These types of models (ICAC), which are all about Star Chamber models, headline-grabbing type approaches – they’re not about integrity. “They seem to be about grabbing headlines.” The government federal government had several hundred pages of proposal Ms Berejiklian quit parliament last year after the corruption watchdog announced she was under investigation for possible breaches of the trust of the , which revealed Ms Berejiklian once had a personal relationship with him.Last month, Mr Morrison criticized the NSW ICAC while resisting pressure to commit to a federal anti-corruption body. “I’m very critical of some of the ICACs, particularly in NSW,” Mr Morrison said. In November, he compared the ICAC’s model of holding public hearings to a “kangaroo court”. , claiming that Ms. Bereji klian had been “overwritten by a bad process”. “What was done to Gladys Berejiklian… was an absolute disgrace,” he said. Two of the ICAC commissioners on Monday launched impassioned defenses of the corruption watchdog during a parliamentary scrutiny. “To those buffoons who have repeatedly portrayed this commission as a puppet court, I would say three things,” Commissioner Stephen Rushton said. “First, it is deeply offensive to the commission’s hardworking staff. It undermines the institution. “Second, there are big differences between the functions of the commission and those of a tribunal. “Describing us as a kangaroo court is not only misleading, but wrong.” The “uninformed comment” could undermine the commission’s work as well as public confidence in the body, he said. ICAC chief commissioner Peter Hall also hit out at Mr Morrison, saying his comments were ‘misguided and baseless’. “Corruption involves acts done under conditions of great secrecy, often concealed and rarely witnessed by an eyewitness,” he said. “A good understanding of the legal conditions, the processes of the surveillance guarantees, will reveal to the misguided critic that he or she is simply wrong.” He acknowledged the broad powers of the ICAC, but said all public inquiries were considered to protect against reputational damage. Australian Associated Press


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