Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has managed to get independent MP Helen Haines to start pushing Labor’s lies in the media regarding the proposed secret hearings at the National Anti-Corruption Commission.
Anthony Albanese and Labor have already done a dirty deal with Liberal Leader Peter Dutton to support a National Anti-Corruption Commission where all hearings will be in private except in exceptional circumstances. One of the ways they are trying to fool the public into believing that is the norm is by arguing that is what the NSW ICAC do, and therefore acceptable, but they are cooking the books with fake statics.
Albanese and Labor do that by confusing and counting public hearings and private examinations that the NSW ICAC has as all being “hearings”. They aren’t and I have written about it here: “Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus cooks the books to justify secret hearings at the National Anti-Corruption Commission and video you won’t see at a Federal ICAC” and here: “NSW ICAC Commissioner John Hatzistergos exposes the lie being told by federal Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus to justify secret hearings” and the SMH followed my lead and wrote about it here: “Public hearings show our accountability: NSW ICAC boss“.
The independents cannot stop the fake National Anti-Corruption Commission we are about to end up with because Peter Dutton and the Liberals are supporting it.
But the independents can take a stand and argue against the secret hearing element which would mean they retain their reputations and could fight for a true National Anti-Corruption Commission at the next election. Independent Helen Haines seems to have fallen for some fast taking from Labor to help promote their fake NACC.
Helen Haines went on ABC Radio Melbourne on Monday (31/10/22) and said “she expects the legislation for the new federal integrity commission to pass this year” and:
She also spoke in favour of the default position being private hearings, similar to the Victorian Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission rather than the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
“The default is for a private hearing and good reasons for that,” Haines said. “If everything’s out in the public very early, then that actually limits the investigation. In some cases … people can be unfairly compromised by a public hearing.”
She said it was important for there to be public hearings when it was clearly in the public interest.
Helen Haines seems to be confused or she is deliberately pushing the confused spin by the Labor government where they are trying to blur the issue.
She says, “The default is for a private hearing and good reasons for that,” Haines said. “If everything’s out in the public very early, then that actually limits the investigation.” But they are not hearings, they are private examinations she is talking about and of course, they should be private until there is enough evidence to go with a public hearing.
I explain the difference between private hearings, public hearings and private examinations in the below video:
What the government is doing is trying to sneak into the legislation that all hearings are private except for in exceptional circumstances and that means there will rarely be public hearings even if they are in the public interest.
The government appointed Helen Haines deputy chair of the Joint Committee on National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC) Legislation to review the NACC legislation, but she seems well out of her depth if she hasn’t worked out the lies and spin the government is pushing.
That’s a great get for Anthony Albanese and Labor but possibly the most damaging thing for an independent’s reputation since the 2010 election when Julia Gillard convinced independents Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott to support her government in a hung parliament. In fairness, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott could only choose between Labor’s Julia Gillard or Liberal leader Tony Abbott.
Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott were accused of being Labor Party puppets for the full term from 2010 to 2013. If they hadn’t both retired at the 2013 election, I have no doubt they would have struggled to keep their seats as Labor lost in a landslide and some of that would have rubbed off on them. Windsor and Oakeshott ran again at the 2016 election but failed to win.
The point I am making about Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott is not whether they were right or wrong in supporting Julia Gillard as they had to support someone. But when independents do support the major parties, they can rapidly lose their own identity, credibility and be seen as puppets for the major party they are supporting. If that happens, they are in big trouble with the voters.
What would make it worse for Independents like Helen Haines to support the National Anti-Corruption Commission legislation as it currently stands is that they would be supporting a lie. If Helen Haines continues to support secret hearings except for in exceptional circumstances at the NACC she might get 15 minutes of fame when the legislation is passed in parliament, but she will pay for it forever by becoming known as the independent who sold out her own voters.
It’s well known the Liberals and Nationals want secret hearings to try and hide all their corruption over the last 10 years and I’ll publish an article soon looking at why there are many Labor politicians and some members who also want secret hearings except for in exceptional circumstances.
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Categories: Anthony Albanese