Winston Churchill said, ‘The price of freedom is eternal vigilance’.
We need Independents in NSW Parliament so that they can give this vigilance.
The Coalition Government came to power promising it would end corruption that was rife in the NSW Labor party with the corrupting influence of Eddie Obeid, Ian McDonald, Joe Tripodi and Tony Kelly who were later charged with misconduct in public office.
Today the Liberal and National Party’s integrity has been seriously compromised with ICAC investigations into their own dealings including former Liberal minister John Sidoti who is accused of “serious corrupt conduct” in order to benefit his family’s property interests over a rezoning in his electorate; former Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the failure to declare conflicts of interest as well as porkbarelling of the Wagga Wagga electorate; disgraced former Wagga Wagga MP Daryl Maguire; or Barry O’Farrell’s memory loss to declare bottle of Grange.
NSW witnessed how John Barilaro was appointed to a lucrative New York trade position under a questionable process.
The NSW Government has demonstrated contempt for the citizens of NSW by pushing developers interests before residents. Although it is making some efforts to reform poker machine it is silent on the transgressions of the large casinos - The Star and Crown.
One of the travesties has been the development of public land at Barrangaroo where Barry O’Farrell handed allowed unacceptable high rise by James Packer with his Crown casino that had demonstrated clear criminal misconduct.
It is the Government‘s responsibility to work in the Public Interest.
NSW's environmental protection laws have been detrimentally weakened by the NSW Liberal Party.
The NSW Government has faced serious scrutiny over water theft of the Murray Darling.
ICare was seen to be mismanaged.
Local governments have been stripped of their powers and local democracy has become weaker. The Baird Government forced many council amalgamations on many unwilling communities.
The NSW Government has coerced local councils to rezone for higher densities despite the community opposing this.
Residents have almost no power to object to developments. The planning documents are impenetrable to access with a lack of transparency.
NSW Planning Minister Anthony Roberts removed the conditions to ensure future planning was climate resilient.
The NSW biodiversity offsets have been a total rort.
ICAC is not picking corruption because it has legally been embedded into planning laws that prioritize profits before community wishes
The NSW Government has failed on compliance and allowed poorly built developments such as the Opal Towers where residents had to evacuate due to threat of the apartment's collapsing.
Peaceful protesters should never be criminalised or imprisoned. Yet harsh new anti-protest laws were rushed through NSW Parliament in April 2022 without consultation. The laws were a knee-jerk response to escalating climate protests. But the severity of the penalties – up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $22,000 – mean everyday people are now unsure of their lawful ability to protest for action on climate change which is the greatest existential challenge facing humanity.
INTEGRITY FOR DAVIDSON
Citizens across NSW are exhausted, burn out from the voluntary work they do defending the places they love. Yet if it were not for their commitment so much would have been lost. The work is endless and the assault is constant and never ending. Things have to change. Ordinary citizens are carrying the burden of work - that governments should be doing.
People are working hours to stop the tsunami of assaults on the local neighbourhood from overdevelopment, high rise, and intrusive developments that change the neighbourhood of an area
We need the NSW Government acting in the public interest nor mega profits for vested interests.
Australians expect the NSW Government to uphold the highest ethical standards. Political parties and corporations have a responsibility to be transparent, honest and ethical. MPs need to be held accountable for how they spend taxpayers' money.
In recent years there have been numerous projects, schemes, grants and election campaigns that question the integrity of politics in NSW.
There is real concern that powerful vested interests exert too much power over government, including those industries such as mining, commercial media, gambling, property development, agribusiness, liquor and fast food. As well major political parties are increasingly prepared to use taxpayer funds for their own politically motivated agendas to win elections at all cost. This is undermining trust in democracy.
Many fear that political ‘pork barrelling’ is being normalised in NSW.
In 2021 Janine Kitson organised a webinar on solutions to integrity with guest speaker Professor Charles Sampford. During this webinar Professor Sampford presented the Accountability Round Table position and papers:
NSW needs integrity
NSW voters expect that politicians uphold a high standard of integrity. This is essential for an effective, highly functioning government and democratic society.