If Parliament rises next week without having introduced federal anti-corruption commission legislation Australians will have every right to feel disappointed and betrayed.
That will also be the case if it rolls out an anaemic proposal for an administrative show pony with no real powers to investigate allegations of malfeasance, conflicts of interest, and abuses of privilege at the highest level.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who has presided over a government plagued by numerous scandals, allegations of pork barrelling and abuses of public office, and some of the largest public sector spending in our history, promised a workable federal ICAC well before the 2019 election.
That pledge followed the almost universal condemnation of the "toothless tiger" model unveiled by the then-attorney-general Christian Porter almost three years ago.
In what now appears to be one of the greatest ironies in recent Australian political life Mr Porter recently stepped down from the front bench in order to avoid having to disclose the source of an anonymous donation - believed to be as high as $1 million - towards his personal legal costs.
He had run up a massive legal bill while suing the ABC over the reporting of historic rape allegations that culminated in his departure as the attorney-general. That case was settled out of court.
It is unlikely an ICAC set up along the lines outlined by Mr Porter in December 2018 would have had the power to get to the bottom of where his controversial "blind trust" donation had come from.
The LNP's proposal for a "Commonwealth Integrity Commission" would have also been hard put to unravel the spin and deceit at the heart of the "sports rorts" and car park pork barrelling scandals, or to ask questions about allegedly forged documents circulated from Angus Taylor's office.
Unlike the NSW ICAC, which recently claimed its third state premier, the CIC would not have been able to hold public hearings, meaning even if embarrassing matters were unearthed it would be much easier to put damage control measures in place.
All that said, the Morrison government's decision to prioritise its equally long-awaited religious discrimination bill over a federal anti-corruption body suggests a degree of contempt for the electorate that defies belief.
While, to many electors, the religious discrimination legislation is an unwanted distraction, allegations of corruption and politicians acting badly have been a hot button issue for years.
According to a March 2019 Australia Institute survey 67 per cent of respondents said they had low levels of trust in the federal government, 80 per cent supported the establishment of an ICAC and 88 per cent said it should have the power to investigate allegations of corruption.
There was also strong majority support for such a body to be able to refer cases for prosecution, receive and act on whistle-blower complaints, compel people to testify and to hold public hearings.
These results were validated by a media poll last November which found that 81 per cent of voters wanted a federal ICAC and that 60 per cent wanted it to be established immediately.
Respondents gave little or no credence to government claims it would be unwise to divert public servants from the pandemic response to the creation of an ICAC. They believed the government should be able to walk and chew gum at the same time.
If, as now seems likely, the LNP does try to use COVID-19 as an excuse for not honouring its promises on an ICAC it can expect to be punished at the ballot box in 2022.
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