Community-endorsed Independent candidate, David Pocock, has today pledged his commitment to restoring integrity and rebuilding trust in politics should he be elected to one of the two ACT spots in the Senate at the forthcoming federal election.
Over the course of his rugby career David forged strong connections with the Canberra community. Since announcing his run for parliament last December, David has been building on this by conversing daily with Canberrans to more deeply understand what matters most to them and create a policy platform that truly represents their views.
One of the strongest calls coming from the community in these conversations is a plea for more government accountability.
“People here in Canberra - and around the country - want the government to deliver what they promised and spend hard-earned taxpayer money with care in the community's best interests, not their own,” David said.
Data published this week from a survey of more than 7,200 Australian Community Media (ACM) readers confirms this feedback finding that leadership and a federal corruption commission were ranked as the third and fourth most important issues this coming election (following Environment and Climate Change & Health). It also found more than 60 per cent of respondents declared they desire an "honest and trustworthy" Prime Minister. With almost half wishing for the nation's leader to be "accountable" and "responsible".
Across the course of his campaign, David pledges to do politics differently. “We must repair our democracy. We’re facing a crisis of trust in politics and our political institutions, and with good reason. I want to be part of helping restore integrity in politics,” he says.
Releasing the trust and integrity plank of his policy platform today David is committing to fighting for and voting in support of:
- A federal Anti-Corruption Watchdog with real power
Reflecting strong community sentiment on this issue, David will push to establish an independent federal commission against corruption in the first year of the next term of parliament, with strong powers to expose lies, end corruption and hold politicians and political parties accountable. David supports the model and accompanying legislation proposed by the Independent Member for Indi Helen Haines and would vote in favour of it or a comparable bill in the Senate.
- Federal truth in political advertising laws
Three years of research by the Australia Institute showed that six in seven Australians want the Australian parliament to pass federal truth in political advertising laws, something David has called for over a long period. David will work to try and ensure such legislation is enacted before Australians return to the polls after the forthcoming election. David acknowledges that a strong framework exists in the legislation proposed by the Independent Member for Warringah, Zali Steggall, and commits to back this or a comparable bill in the Senate.
- Political donation reform
David will continue to call out the lack of transparency in political donations and work to secure reforms on both transparency and speeding up the time frames in which donations must be declared, working to ensure decisions about our future are not dictated by vested interests.
- Restored funding and adequate resourcing for the Auditor-General and the Australian National Audit Office
David will fight for the government to restore funding to the Auditor-General and the Australian National Audit Office and ensure they are adequately resourced in the future to continue strong oversight of, and investigations into, how taxpayer money is spent.
Running on a platform of trust, integrity and leadership, David wants to make Canberra count again by genuinely representing the views of the local community and giving them a strong voice in key national debates.
“Over the past few years the Auditor-General has exposed hundreds of millions of dollars in pork-barrelling by politicians and the rorts just keep on coming,” David says.
“Telling bare-faced lies is sadly too often business as usual and our community is saying enough is enough. They want the government held to account, especially for how public money is spent.
“The message I’ve been hearing loud and clear is that people want to see politics done differently. And that means, in part, getting different people to do it.
“I want to help restore integrity in politics, end the rorts and rebuild trust - and the next election is an opportunity to do exactly that.”