Establish a Federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog

In 2022, the Federal Parliament passed legislation to establish the National Anti-Corruption Commission, a watchdog that will investigate potential corruption at the highest level. It passed with cross-partisan support. The Commission will be operational by mid 2023.

It is clear the National Anti-Corruption Commission will fill a huge gap in Australia's integrity system.

Altogether, 19,000 people signed Australia Institute petitions calling for an effective anti-corruption watchdog at the federal level. Now, thanks in no small part to your support, the National Anti-Corruption Commission is law.

Read more about the Commission.

To Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

It’s time to create an independent anti-corruption watchdog to investigate and expose corruption and serious misconduct at the federal level, including among federal parliamentarians.


The public is sick and tired of the lack of accountability revealed by repeated scandals involving federal politicians and others.

In NSW where an anti-corruption commission is active, serious cases of corruption in political and government circles have been uncovered. Ongoing federal scandals involving federal politicians, whether concerning breaches of travel entitlements, political donations or otherwise, show that the serious wrongdoing uncovered in NSW is unlikely to be limited to the state governments and state politicians.

This is a national issue that cannot be ignored any longer.

Research shows that corruption hinders growth, increases the cost of doing business, and makes genuine reform on issues we care about more difficult. A new commitment to accountability will not just help our democracy, but our economy.

Professor Geoff Gallop AC WA Premier (2001-2006)
Nicholas Cowdery AM QC Former NSW Director Public Prosecutions, barrister, and UNSW Visiting Fellow
The Hon Kevin Rozzoli AM Former speaker NSW Parliament, member Accountability Roundtable
The Hon David Harper AM QC Former judge Supreme Court of Victoria, Senior Fellow Melbourne Law School
George Williams AO Dean, UNSW Law
Ged Kearney President, Australian Council of Trade Unions
Andrew Dettmer National President, Australian Manufacturing Workers Union
Tony Windsor Former member for New England (2001-2013)
Robert Richter QC Barrister
Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM, ASSA ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra
John Menadue AO Businessman, public commentator
Professor Graeme Orr Professor of Law UQ
Hon Michael Beahan AM former President of the Australian Senate
Emeritus Professor Barbara Pocock University of South Australia
Tony Kenyon National President, Australian Lawyers Alliance
Steven Keim SC Barrister
Carmel Benjamin AM Director of Accountability Roundtable and Founder, Australian Citizens Against Corruption
Alex McKean Barrister
Corinne Grant Comedian, writer and author
Dr David Morawetz Economist, Founder and Director of Social Justice Fund
Josh Bornstein Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Associate Professor Lynne Chester University of Sydney
Professor Spencer Zifcak Director, Accountability Round Table
Howard Whitton Visiting Fellow, University of Canberra
Ben Slade Principal, Maurice Blackburn
Professor Cameron Hazlehurst Adjunct Professor, ANU
Hon. John Hassett Retired County Court Judge
Jo-Anne Bragg CEO, Solicitor, EDO Queensland
Richard Carew Solicitor
Jonathon Hunyor CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre
Joshua Jones Barrister
Sean Reidy Barrister
Evelyn Doyle FOI advocate
David Barnden Lawyer, Environmental Justice Australia
Dr Andy Schmulow Senior Lecturer in Law, The University of Western Australia, Advisory Board Member, Australian Citizens Against Corruption (ACAC)
Dr Steven Hatcher Orthopedic surgeon
Dr Richard Gould  
Benedict Coyne President, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights
Dr Christine Hill Clinical psychologist & Adjunct Research Associate, Monash University
The Hon Dr Ken Coghill Associate Professor, Monash University
Dr Colleen Lewis Adjunct Professor, Monash University
Ariane Wilkinson Lawyer, Environmental Justice Australia
  John Cain Foundation
Ross Knowles Co-founder and Chair of Ethinvest, Chair Australian Impact Investments, founding co-President Responsible Investment Association Australiasia
Emeritus Professor Roger Scott Executive Director, TJRyan Foundation Queensland
John McKinnon Chair, The Australia Institute
Professor Carmen Lawrence Psychologist, Premier of Western Australia (1990-1993)
Kristine Hanscombe QC Barrister
Professor Barry Jones AC Former National President of the ALP (1992-2000 & 2005-06), Director Accountability Round Table

We the undersigned urge you to help restore integrity, accountability and trust in the Federal Parliament and Australian Public Service by immediately establishing a Federal Independent Anti-corruption Commission.

5,147 signed