ICAC Changes: Why the Greens Are Wrong
The Greens have published their rationale for voting in favour of changes to the ICAC.
In a glossy, colourful release complete with photographs of no less than 27 carefree, happy, smiling faces we are told that all is well and that despite the changes, the ICAC is as strong as it ever was.
We are assured that in no way was this simply “a move by politicians to protect themselves.” That, it seems, was just an accidental, but no less fortunate, by-product of their vote.
They complain that the powers of the ICAC are “currently being used to investigate ordinary crimes.” The assumption seems to be that corruption is not an ordinary crime and that they should limit themselves to investigating extraordinary crimes, whatever they might be.
They also claim that “The country members’ travel allowance, for example, could still be investigated” suggesting therefore that since the ICAC can still investigate them, these alleged rorts are to be classified as extraordinary crimes.
Newsflash: corruption is a crime, not ordinary, not extraordinary, just a crime. Whether the money rorted is $1,000 or $100,000, the crime is the same. One may have more serious penalties due to the amount, but the elements of the crime and therefore the essence of the crime are exactly the same. Corruptly obtaining $1,000 is exactly the same crime as corruptly taking $100,000.
Next, the Greens claim that we must have someone in a chair sitting behind and watching the ICAC decision makers because “It should never be assumed that anyone is incorruptible”. Presumably, the same assumption would apply to the watcher in that chair, and the person in the chair watching the watcher, and the one watching the watcher’s watcher and …
Finally, the Green’s claim that the changes to the ICAC “ensures the independence of the DPP (and SAPOL) when pursuing prosecutions.” Apparently no-one in the Greens knows that the DPP has an independence which is statute based and needs no imprimatur from the ICAC to prosecute and I’m sure the commissioner of Police would be surprise (and horrified) to learn that his officers can’t prosecute in the Magistrate’s court unless the ICAC says so.
The Greens do the community a valuable and commendable service by highlighting the issues that they are knowledgeable and expert in, but don’t ever pay them for legal advice, You will never read a more pathetic set of lame excuses for failing to have the courage to stand up to what every member of the public can see is a self-serving and rear-end covering piece of legislation.
See the Green’s Statement here.
Featured Image is from the Green’s Website on the topic.