Move to end ‘national shame’ of jobs for mates

Sophie Scamps says the review into the Morrison government's $2 billion hospital grants program is "gobsmacking".

Sophie Scamps says the review into the Morrison government's $2 billion hospital grants program is "gobsmacking". Photo: AAP

A bill to end a culture of jobs for the boys, where “mates” of the government are rewarded with plum public appointments, has been put before parliament.

Independent Dr Sophie Scamps, who represents the Sydney seat of Mackellar, introduced her Ending Jobs for Mates legislation on Monday, declaring the prevailing culture a “national shame”.

“This bill would ensure that a candidate with the requisite expertise and knowledge gets the job, not the bloke the minister went to school with,” she told parliament.

“The people of Australia want and deserve a political system they can trust.

“This bill aims to do just that by ending for good the cronyism and jobs for mates culture that has undermined our democracy for too long.”

The legislation would create a public appointments commissioner and independent selection panels overseen by a parliamentary committee.

They would appoint the national anti-corruption commissioner and Administrative Appeals Tribunal members.

After the recruitment process, the relevant minister would be provided with a shortlist of three candidates to ensure the process is free from bias.

Dr Scamps urged the government to support her legislation in a bid to strengthen integrity and restore public faith in the political process.

Backing the move, Victorian independent MP Helen Haines said current political appointments were “essentially a political loyalty award scheme” rather than a proper process.

“It’s time to stop this cronyism, this patronage for pals,” she said.

“This bill brings a clear fix which would align us with international best practice.

“No more captain’s picks, let’s restore fairness, due process, and trust with quality non-political public appointments.”


Topics: integrity
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