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Letter to the editor: Morrison’s failure on integrity

ABC headline tearout: "Former Liberal ministers big winners in flurry of government appointments"
The Morrison Government have just appointed a flurry of former Liberal Ministers and staffers to government jobs as the clock runs out on the election.1

It's just more 'jobs for the boys' and comes as budget papers reveal that zero funding has been committed to create a federal integrity commission to tackle corruption in politics.2

After three years of Morrison Government ministers embroiled in rorts, scandals, and revolving doors – we need to build a wave of pressure to stop them from sweeping this colossal failure under the rug.

Let's propel integrity back to the forefront of the national debate this election, by flooding the national broadsheets with letters to the editor.

Will you take just five minutes now to write a letter to the editor to draw national attention to the Morrison Government's attacks on integrity?
August 2018: Liberal Party leadership spill derails consideration of a cabinet submission on a federal anti-corruption body

November 2018: Independent Cathy McGowan introduces bill for a National Integrity Commission.

December 2018: Scott Morrison announces that he will establish a federal anti-corruption commission, less than a month after dismissing the proposal as a "fringe issue". Consultation is invited on draft legislation for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission.

March 2019: The Morrison Government receives 78 submissions, and more than 3,000 emails from GetUp members panning the proposed National Integrity Commission model as toothless.

August 2019: Christian Porter claims the Morrison Government will establish a National Integrity Commission within 12 months.

September 2019: The Greens introduce their bill for a National Integrity Commission.

May 2020: Porter claims draft National Integrity Commission legislation is ready, but timeline has been derailed by Covid-19 pandemic.

September 2020: Independent MP Helen Haines introduces her bill to set up an Australian federal integrity commission.

November 2020: Another round of consultation is invited on draft legislation for the National Integrity Commission.

February 2021: More than 1,500 GetUp make a submission demanding of a robust, independent federal integrity commission with teeth.

March 2021: Consultation closes on the draft National Integrity Commission bill – once again, it is blasted by experts and the public for clear insufficiencies.

May 2021: The Morrison Government's budget reduces staffing for the CIC from 76 to 0, indicating it's not expected before the election.

October, 2021: Helen Haines reintroduces her bill for an Australian federal integrity commission.

December 2021: GetUp awards the inaugural Dodgies Award to Christian Porter's $1 million blind trust to silence the ABC's allegations. Frydenberg's half-a-billion grant to an obscure "environmental foundation" and Barnaby Joyce's shonky water buyback scheme took silver and bronze.

January 2022: Australia records its worst ranking ever on Transparency International's anti-corruption index, sliding to 18th – on a par with Hungary.

March 2022: The Morrison Government's election budget confirms zero funding for a National Integrity Commission.
A strong federal anti-corruption watchdog should have three key features:

  • Take tip-offs from the public, not just government agencies. The Morrison Government's proposal for a Commonwealth Integrity Commission only allows agencies to provide tip-offs for investigations, which means that whistleblowers or complaints from the public would be ignored, even though they've historically played a huge role in beginning state ICAC investigations.

  • Allow hearings to be done in public. Hearings in public play a crucial role in keeping people up to date about what's happening in the investigation, providing transparency and accountability.

  • Should have the same powers as a Royal Commission. A federal ICAC with teeth needs to have specialist powers to bring forward witnesses, look into confidential documents, and investigate politicians.
The publication will want to verify who you are before publishing your letter, so remember to include the following details:

  • Your name
  • Your address (Street, state and postcode)
  • Your contact number
  • Your email address
  • Most importantly, your letter!

Keep your letter brief, around 120–150 words is ideal.

Be courteous. You can be angry, but if you really want to get your point across it's best to avoid aggressive or offensive language.

Just choose one publication. The newspaper will be more likely to publish your letter, if they know it won't be published anywhere else.

Refer to a news article. If the paper has reported on this issue, refer to the story you read.

Be succinct. Make sure you get straight to the point, and only include essential information.

Proofread. If there's one thing that will reduce your changes of being published, it's spelling and grammatical errors. Why not see if a friend or family member can run their eyes over your letter before you send it off?

Don't give up! If your letter isn't published, why not try again the next time the issue makes headlines. Newspapers will be more likely to publish letters if they're current and topical.

For more info on how to write a letter to the editor, check out GetUp's Letter to the Editor Guide here
Personalised letters have the best chance of being published. If an editor thinks they've received a form letter, or they receive several almost identical letters, they'll be less likely to publish it.

    We've provided some key points below to get you started, but your letter will have the most impact if it's written in your own words:

  • The Morrison Government has broken its promise to deliver a federal integrity commission, committing $0 towards establishing a federal ICAC in its pre-election recent budget.

  • This is the latest in a series of failures on integrity: from blatant rorts to dodgy documents, the Morrison Government has shown it can't be trusted.

  • The experience of our states shows anti-corruption work must be out in the open and spearheaded by a well-funded public body with broad investigative powers – but that's the last thing this government wants.3

  • The experience of our states Australia needs a robust federal anti-corruption body, to restore faith in politics.
[1] Raft of former liberal politicians, staffers included in government appointments, ABC, 4 April, 2022.
[2] No action yet on integrity commission, Canberra Times, 30 March, 2022.
[3] 'We won't be copying the NSW ICAC': Morrison, Financial Review, 5 October, 2021.


The Morrison Government will try to sweep its failure to deliver a federal integrity commission under the rug – unless we stop them.

Will you send a letter to the editor, calling them out for their broken promises?

We've listed a few of the major newspapers in Australia. However, this list is by no means exhaustive as many papers require you to fill out an online form. If your local paper didn't make the list, feel free to head to their website and write to them instead!

In fact — writing to your local newspaper can be even more powerful, because there'll be a better chance your letter will be published.

If your letter is published in your local paper, your MP will know this is an issue that concerns their constituents.

Your details will be sent along with your message.

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