New Australian anti-corruption commission flooded with over 300 complaints

The commission receives a surge of reports, with 60 related to high-profile cases, as it vows to investigate current corruption matters.

New Australian anti-corruption commission flooded with over 300 complaints
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The National Anti-Corruption Commission has been swamped with more than 300 complaints since it began work last weekend.

Commissioner Paul Brereton said on Monday morning that there had been 44 referrals received via the body’s online system.

But by Wednesday the commission revealed a further 142 reports had been submitted online and there had been 116 complaints taken over the phone.

“Approximately 60 of the referrals relate to matters well publicised in the media,” the commission said.

Brereton has been adamant that he would not tolerate anyone trying to “weaponise” the commission for political advantage.

“Should it be sought to ‘weaponise’ the commission through inappropriate or unfounded referrals, I will not hesitate to use the power to make public statements, if necessary, to avoid unfair damage to reputations and to say that the referral was inappropriate,” he said.

“We will more likely be interested in investigating matters that have current practical relevance rather than those that are historic.”

Brereton said the commission would focus on investigating “systemic or serious” corruption by Commonwealth officials, including ministers, MPs and their staff, and public servants.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus have insisted they will not be directing the NACC to investigate anything, insisting it is independent from the government.

Anyone, including the public and politicians, can provide the NACC with a tip-off.

The commission is also free to launch a probe at its own initiative.

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  • By Avi Yemini

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