THE member for Indi has used the swearing in of Senator Bridget McKenzie to the federal ministry to crank up her campaign for a national anti-corruption body.
Helen Haines said given the National Party was seeking a fresh start with a change of leader to Barnaby Joyce it should also mark a new commitment to legislate for an integrity authority.
"New Nationals Ministers will once again have wide discretion over large buckets of taxpayer money that should go where there is most need," Dr Haines said after new ministers were sworn in on Friday.
"How can Australians trust that taxpayer money isn't being rorted without a strong federal integrity commission?"
Senator McKenzie became the Emergency Management, Regionalisation, Regional Communications and Regional Education Minister at a ceremony that involved her linking in remotely from her Wodonga office.
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Dr Haines said the Nationals "haven't bathed themselves in glory" on integrity issues.
"The sports rorts issues remain unanswered, there is no further investigation of that," she said.
"There was a damning ANAO (audit) report and then an internal report by (prime ministerial public servant) Phil Gaetjens that has not been made public."
She declined to respond to Dr Haines on Sunday but referenced the grants when asked what she would say to critics of her comeback.
"I stand by the program as I always do, read the submissions I made, read the transcript of my appearance at the Senate inquiry," Senator McKenzie said.
"We got elected to deliver for our people and more Labor seats were funded than Coalition seats.
"Everyone knows how passionate I am about regional and rural Australia."
Dr Haines said September 8 would mark 1000 days from when the federal government committed to follow states and introduce an integrity commission.
"Since then all we have seen is draft legislation that has been roundly criticised," she said.
The relatively new Attorney-General Michaelia Cash told the Senate last month that she was considering 333 submissions in response to the government's consultation on an integrity body.
However, she declined to commit to introducing a bill upon the return of parliament on August 3.
"The purpose of the body is extremely serious and, as such, the government does need to consider the feedback that has been provided to it through the consultation," Senator Cash said.
Dr Haines, who has her own proposal for what she describes as a "robust commission with strong investigative powers", believes the government does not take the issue seriously and nothing will happen before the next federal election.
"We've got a newly shaped frontbench and not one of them has committed to delivering on what is probably the most important election promise made," she said.
Meanwhile, Senator McKenzie will be in Canberra on Monday and Tuesday meeting departmental chiefs.
Regionalisation has replaced the term decentralisation and the senator has been the first minister for both those titles.
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