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Scott Morrison Remains Sceptical Of Federal ICAC, Warns It Could Turn Australia Into A ‘Public Autocracy’

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has warned Australians against a federal anti-corruption commission, despite a 2019 election promise.

While Labor has promised to establish a federal integrity commission, Morrison said it would allow “faceless officials” the power to turn the country into “some kind of public autocracy”.

“The unintended consequences of an ill-thought-through integrity commission, I think, are very dangerous,” he told Nine newspapers.

“I understand the interest there is in this, I understand why people want it. But I also know that if you get it wrong it could cause a lot of damage ... I am trying to prevent a massive mistake.”

“We can’t just hand government over to faceless officials to make decisions that impact the lives of Australians from one end of the country to the other. I actually think there’s a great danger in that.

“It wouldn’t be Australia anymore if that was the case, it would be some kind of public autocracy.”

Morrison criticised the NSW ICAC, particularly in the way it handled the case of former NSW premiers Gladys Berejiklian and Barry O’Farrell.

“This is why I’m so critical of the NSW system because we read far too much [in the media] before anyone has actually been considered in relation to evidence,” he said.

“I think that has destroyed a lot of lives because I think the process has been very faulty.”

The Liberal party promised a federal integrity commission at the 2019 election, and while the government did table a draft bill in parliament, it was not put up for a vote.