Premier Dan Andrews is standing firm against a request from the state’s anti-corruption agency, as he comes under investigation for the fourth time.
Victorian Premier Dan Andrews says he has no plans to punish anyone who publishes or leaks information related to the state’s anti-corruption watchdog, despite their request.
The Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission urged the government on Friday to introduce legislation that would make it a criminal offence for anyone to report the contents of draft reports.
It came after it was reported the IBAC was investigating Mr Andrews – for the fourth time while in office – over his government’s grant to a Labor-aligned union in 2018.
The investigation relates to $3.4 million in grants made to the Health Workers Union.
Victorian Premier Daniel says he has no plans to criminalise the publishing of draft IBAC reports. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Luis Enrique Ascui
Mr Andrews on Sunday said he had no plans to agree with IBAC’s desire to criminalise the publishing of such information.
“I have no plans to change the law in that regard, and because we haven’t done it, the agency has had a go at us,” he said.
“When I said (on Saturday) that I wouldn’t rule out any changes, I meant in general. We have a dialogue – the (IBAC commissioner) sits down with our agency heads all the time and talks about all sorts of things.
“In general terms, there’s every chance that they come to us and say we want more money, we want this changed and that changed.
At present, it is an offence for a person who receives a draft IBAC report – for the purpose of providing a response to the commission – to share its contents.
The commission wants to go further, and has asked the government for “urgent” legislation that would make it an offence for anyone to report the contents of draft reports.
IBAC said it was “critical” to the justice process to give people the chance to respond to preliminary findings.
It used this justification for its successful seeking of an injunction against Nine Newspapers from publishing information from the draft report.