Allowing allegations of corruption to be swept under the rug damages democracy and people's faith in politics, member for Indi Helen Haines said.
With another federal MP embroiled in scandal, this time allegations of misusing taxpayer funds, Dr Haines said a federal integrity commission was 'desperately needed and long overdue'.
On Monday The Age alleged leaked emails prove MP Michael Sukkar was aware of a scheme in which his best friend and brother were paid by taxpayers while undertaking political work for Liberal factions.
The Age report also alleged MP Kevin Andrews knew of the scheme, which reportedly occurred out of his and Mr Sukkar's electorate offices.
"Serious allegations about the misuse of taxpayer money for party-political power and factional activities have been made, but all we have had is an investigation by the Department of Finance, which didn't interview everyone involved and the report will never be made public," Dr Haines said.
"Allowing allegations like this to be swept under the rug has an ongoing damaging effect on our democracy, increasing the distrust of politicians of all stripes and creating a culture where bad behaviour is expected and accepted.
"Under the current system there is no avenue for further investigation. The integrity commission model proposed by the government would make no difference - under its narrow definition and limited referrals, there is no way these allegations would be investigated."
IN OTHER NEWS:
On a state level both NSW's Independent Commission into Corruption and Victoria's Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission and undertaking significant investigations.
ICAC is investigating whether Gladys Berejiklian breached public trust by awarding grants while secretly in a relationship with then-Wagga MP Daryl Maguire.
Testimony on the matter concluded last week but ICAC is yet to make any findings.
In Victoria IBAC is investigating allegations members of the Labor party used public funds for political party work such as branch stacking.
"This episode is yet another example of the gaping hole we have at a federal level regarding a strong watchdog," Dr Haines said. "Similar questions are being asked in hearings at IBAC this week, yet no similar hearings can be held, and no accountability or transparency at all, at a federal level.
"My Australian Federal Integrity Commission Bill would implement a robust watchdog that would allow these allegations to be properly investigated and ensure proper use of taxpayer money is upheld."
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