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FOR – National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022 and another - in Committee - Appointment of commissioner and inspector

The majority voted against an amendment introduced by ACT Senator David Pocock (Independent) and NSW Senator David Shoebridge (Greens), which means it failed.

What does the amendment do?

Senator Shoebridge explained that:

This amendment would provide for the oversight committee when it's considering just two critical issues, which are the appointment of the commissioner and the appointment of the inspector. It would provide that the oversight committee could only make that decision by a simple majority of members—not a super majority but a simple majority of members. It also provides that when determining that majority the provisions that provide for a casting vote of the chair do not apply. So, in other words, 50 per cent plus one of the members in attendance of the committee have to agree to the appointment of a commissioner or an inspector. Why is that important? It's important because it's hard to think of a more critical job for the oversight committee than determining who the commissioner and inspector of the NACC will be. On the current drafting, where the committee is six members of the government chosen from both houses and six non-government members—four of the opposition and two of the crossbench—chosen from each house, if there is an equality of votes then the government chair gets to determine the outcome. That effectively hands complete control to the government of the day in that critical decision about the appointment of a commissioner.

Amendment text

(1) Clause 178, page 150 (after line 17), after subclause (2), insert:

(2A) If the proposed recommendation is for the appointment of the Commissioner or the Inspector:

(a) the decision to approve or reject the recommendation is to be determined by a simple majority of members of the Committee; and

(b) paragraph 173(5)(b) does not apply in relation to a vote on a decision to approve or reject a proposed recommendation.


Date and time: 6:47 PM on 2022-11-29
Senator Pocock's vote: Aye
Total number of "aye" votes: 13
Total number of "no" votes: 32
Total number of abstentions: 31
Related bill: National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill 2022

Adapted from information made available by