Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien has called for a proposed federal anti-corruption body to be given stronger powers.
Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien has called for a proposed federal anti-corruption body to be given stronger powers. Lachie Millard

O'Brien breaks ranks with LNP over anti-corruption

POLITICAL maverick Llew O'Brien has broken ranks within the Federal Coalition and called for a proposed "anti-corruption” body to be given "more strenuous, stronger” powers to hear allegations against politicians.

In statements made at a Griffith University event marking 30 years since the Fitzgerald Inquiry, the Wide Bay MP said the proposed model suffered from "diminished” powers to investigate government corruption.

A recording of the event aired on the ABC last night.

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"My personal view - and I am not a government spokesman obviously - my personal view is that the powers are somewhat diminished for the public service and I would prefer to see parliamentarians and the commonwealth judiciary come under those more strenuous, those stronger investigative powers that are currently under... the Australian law enforcement commission,” he said.

Mr O'Brien, an ex-Kilkivan police officer, said politicians held a "great deal of power”, and should receive the same scrutiny as law enforcement under any new anti-corruption legislation.

Llew O'Brien in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith
Llew O'Brien in the House of Representatives in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Kym Smith Kym Smith

"We should be held to that highest standard and I think there's a very strong argument to have members of parliament - not necessarily staffers of members of parliament - but members of parliament and the commonwealth judiciary in there.”

Mr O'Brien has been outspoken about the need for an anti-corruption commission.

Last year he threatened to cross the floor in support of a bill proposed by former independent MP Cathy McGowan.

The LNP Government then developed their own proposed model for the commission, which has come under fire how it gives preferential treatment to politicians and the public sector.

The body would be powerless to directly take public tip-offs or hold public hearings about government.

It would also be unable to make findings of public sector corruption at large.