A last-minute attempt to bring forward a debate on a corruption watchdog has been thwarted by the federal government.
On Wednesday morning, independent senator Rex Patrick attempted to suspend standing orders in the Senate, to bring on debate to implement a federal anti-corruption commission.
Labor and the Greens support Senator Patrick's motion, however One Nation choosing not to support the debate meant it was voted down.
The Coalition labelled Senator Patrick's motion a political "stunt".
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had promised legislation on implementing a federal integrity commission, however Attorney-General Michaelia Cash said it was no longer a priority this close to an election.
Labor and the crossbench have voted against the government's proposed integrity legislation claiming it was toothless.
Senator Patrick argued the senate needed to deal with the issue "urgently", claiming the lack of accountability would ensue further rorting within government and the public sector.
"There is commitment by the Prime Minister to deal with a federal integrity commission that has not been met," Senator Patrick said.
"We have a situation where the government went into the last election knowing full well there is no federal integrity commission, who engaged in car park rorting."
Senator Patrick said taxpayers funds are meant to be spent on need and merit.
"We have seen water purchases which have well exceeded market values," he said.
"That is wrong."
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said there was already existing mechanisms to tackle corruption, flagging Senator Patrick's claims were simply untrue.
"We have gone through an extensive to developing the legislation around the Commonwealth integrity commission," he said.
Senator Birmingham said the Coalition's proposal would ensure the courts remained the legal arbiter of corruption cases.
Labor frontbencher Katy Gallagher said the current government had "re-written" all the rules and its proposed bill lowered the standards for public officials.
"This was a promise by the Prime Minister ... under pressure because of the scandals and failings and the lack of integrity in his government," she said.
"A government without integrity doesn't want an integrity commission because that is a fundamental problem for a government without integrity."
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