ALP must back our integrity bill: minister

Colin BrinsdenAAP
The government doesn't want to introduce a bill then find out it won't pass, Anne Ruston says.
Camera IconThe government doesn't want to introduce a bill then find out it won't pass, Anne Ruston says. Credit: AAP

The Morrison government is sticking to its argument that Labor must agree to its version of an integrity commission before introducing legislation to parliament.

The government says draft legislation has been available for scrutiny for some time but Labor says it does not go far enough.

Liberal backbencher Bridget Archer crossed the floor of parliament last week to back an independent attempt to bring on debate about a federal integrity commission.

Federal minister Anne Ruston says if the Labor Party is prepared to support the legislation that is before them, then the government will bring it to parliament.

"One of the most important things for something as important as an integrity commission is to make sure it passes. The last thing we want to do is bring a bill into this place and then find out it won't get through," Senator Ruston ABC's Insiders program.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said he was stunned by such an approach, even for a government that never accepts responsibility.

"We now have a circumstance whereby, according to the Morrison Government, the only way that something can be introduced into parliament is if Labor supports it," Mr Albanese told reporters in Melbourne.

"Well, if they want to take that attitude towards its logical conclusion, then they don't deserve to be in government this week, let alone into a second decade, which is what they'll be seeking going forward."

Parliament will hold its final sitting of the year this week, while it is unclear what sittings will be occur before a federal election next year.

Senator Ruston said the government believed its bill was a fair balance between making sure serious corruption was called out and dealt with but at the same time maintained the rule of law and presumption of innocence.

"One of the things that we do need to be really careful of is that you don't set up a structure that then allows for political purpose and political gain, one party to actually prosecute somebody from another party just for the political gain," Senator Ruston said.

She said a bipartisan approach to something as important as an integrity commission would send a very strong message to the Australian public that the issue of serious corruption was being taken seriously.

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