The Daily Telegraph: Calls for Royal Commission and Federal ICAC to lift lid on ‘secrecy’

Josh Pallas, President NSWCCL adds his voice to calls for the urgent establishment of a federal ICAC with power to investigate law enforcement officials in the wake of allegations about the AFP's handling of claims two alleged mafia assassins were behind the murder of former Assistant Commissioner Colin Winchester.

The Centre for Public Integrity’s director Geoffrey Watson SC, said the revelations are so serious and the matter so urgent “nothing less than a Royal Commission should suffice”.

Mr Watson said this may yet be “the way to get to the bottom of the death of one of Australia’s most senior police officers”, as well as the jailing of an Australian for a murder (for which he was later acquitted), and corruption at the highest levels with links to the most serious organised crime groups in Australia.

“There is also the question of how long the AFP has been sitting on it?” Mr Watson said.

NSWCCL has long called for a federal integrity commission with both teeth and the resources it needs. We are cautiously optimist that the incoming Labor government shares this policy priority but are yet to see a draft of the proposed model and the proposed legislation.

NSWCCL President, Josh Pallas said, “I completely support, and in fact expect, that the draft bill concerning a federal ICAC would ensure that the commission can investigate corrupt conduct arising from any law enforcement agency." 

“Failure to include law enforcement agencies within the scope of agencies that the commission can investigate would put it out of step with many state models which clearly include them within the scope of their commissions’ powers.”

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