Anthony Albanese

PM Anthony Albanese channels Julia Gillard as he fools independent Helen Haines to support a fake National Anti-Corruption Commission

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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11 replies »

  1. The hearings are ALL in the public interest. ICAC is the litmus test to see if politics can regain a modicum of respect in the eyes of the public. It’s not looking good. The next election could be very, very interesting.

  2. As I keep saying, the federal commission will be a complete dud, designed to cover up corruption, provide no protection for whistleblowers and used to silence dissent, any public servant who ‘leaks’ against the incumbent government of the day will be hunted down and punished, just shows there is very little difference between past and present administrations. Imagine if in the public arena it was suggested all court cases be heard in private and secret deals made, clearing the way for bribery and corruption. Let’s wait to see who is appointed to run this new pro government commission. Be like the current government stating that they will end the practice of appointing ex MPs to diplomatic positions then immediately appointing an ex Labor MP to High Commissioner’s position in London. They can’t be trusted, LNP or ALP.

    • We only have to see what’s happening to David McBride and Richard Boyle to see how governments of both stripes like to hide their indiscretions.

  3. Since an established NACC will mainly be investigating Coal-ition rorts, it should set the ground rules from the start. Even if Labor were to go with all or most public hearings, who is to say the Libs/Nats will retain the openness if elected in the future? Is Labor trying to avoid their turn at the grindstone when the Coal-ition decides to investigate them when elected?

  4. Does anyone really believe in the true , honest Federal ICAC that is proposed by Albanese & his fellow pollies , which will be run by an ex-politician or some pro-politician appointed “friend” on some enormous pay packet & benefits. Not only do the pollies want to be exempt from investigations or if they are subjected to investigations, they want closed hearings away from public view.
    And now the media moguls want to be exempt, & the pollies just might agree due to the financial donations they receive from the media giants. What a crock this ICAC will turn out to be.

  5. It seems the NACC will be run like the Andrews Victorian governments weak IBAC where Dan Andrews selects his own cronies as commissioners to head the enquiries? He allegedly instructs his commissioner cronies on the outcome of an enquiry to exonerate him of any wrong doing and in return throws his own members under the bus.
    One example is the final IBAC report from the inquiry into Victoria’s botched covid-19 hotel quarantine program which was unable to determine who commissioned the use of private security where almost 800 people died from the virus. Why have an enquiry with no factual outcomes and people are protected from their wrongdoings?

  6. Helen Haines no credibility whatsoever. If she is that simple and can’t work it out for what is happening with the deliberate hidings of corruption then she should not be there at all ,or has she also got lots to hide and is more than willing to partake in this and further corruption. 👎thumbs down to Helen Haines

  7. I think the independents need to be more aware of being manipulated by Labor. The stroke Albanese pulled when he slashed crossbench staff allocations to one adviser each was the start. He did that for the leverage, took something previous member’s had and made it a bargaining tool. It’s clear Australians want public hearings, we should get them. There more I experience this government the more I think they are just like the last lot. The independents need to get off the back foot.

  8. It remains to be seen who will be the head of NACC and whether NACC will be truly independent. When Bob Carr was NSW Premier, he appointed Irene Moss as head of ICAC. She was a friend of his wife, Helena and the wife of Bill Moss the CEO of Macquarie Bank. After Carr resigned , the bank gave him a lucrative consultancy. This conflict of interest was ignored by the media. Under Moss, ICAC became Carr’s lapdog, ignoring widespread entrenched corruption in the NSW government. It only became a watchdog again after she left.

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