Mallee's Andrew Broad quashes 'rubbish' ethics survey

MEMBER for Mallee Andrew Broad has rubbished a new survey that questions politicians’ ethical standards.

Former Queensland judge Tony Fitzgerald and the Australia Institute developed a questionnaire for federal members of parliament to help build momentum for a federal anti-corruption body.

The survey questioned politicians’ attitudes towards accountability, integrity and the spending of public money.

Mr Broad said the survey was ridiculous.

“We get an email a day asking us to fill in a survey, and the general rule of government is that we don’t answer surveys,” he said.

“Journalists are trying to do a straw poll of what MPs think, but we have our discussions in the party room.

“I do recall this one though, and remember thinking it was the dumbest survey I’ve ever seen.

“It didn’t have many questions, and they were things like ‘Are you an ethical person?’

“Everyone is going to answer yes to that. If any organisation asks their staff that question, they’d all give the same answer.

“Normally if you want to engage MPs, you write a formal letter.”

Mr Broad said negative public perceptions about politicians’ ethics and integrity were unwarranted.

“People on the outside like to have the idea that we're all corrupt and crooked, and it's simply not the case,” he said.

“Our standard of government – with an independent media that promotes scrutiny, and the government and the opposition trying to hold one another to account – is a very constructive system.

“If you're not ethical, you don't last very long.

“I think our system delivers good governance for the people.”

Federal ministers are required to abide by a Statement of Ministerial Standards, however there is no code of conduct that covers other members of parliament or senators.

Of the 226 federal members of parliament, 53 completed the survey.

Mr Fitzgerald said a majority of politicians refusing to publicly commit to ethical standards put the need for an effective anti-corruption commission beyond doubt.

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