In the lead-up to the Victorian election, the Accountability Roundtable asked all candidates to respond to a range of questions concerning their support of integrity and accountability measures.

Neither the Labor nor Liberal parties have responded.  In fact, of the 461 candidates standing at this election, only 26 responded.

Liberal Party candidates ignored the survey questions, as did all but two non-sitting candidates for the ALP.

ART is surprised at this, given the serious decline in public trust in members of parliament, fed by numerous reports of scandals and poor behaviour over the last 3 years. It is particularly surprising, given the current focus of federal politicians on the need for a national integrity commission, whistleblower protections, parliamentary standards and a range of other controls.

Independents and small parties were more responsive and in many cases more considered and attuned to the issues.

The vast majority of respondents agreed with all three measures to strengthen Victoria’s Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission:

  • Broadening its powers of investigation, the definition of corrupt conduct and the limits on IBAC holding public hearings
  • Allowing IBAC to investigate criminality, corruption and systemic failures of professional standards in the Victorian Police Force
  • Ensuring IBAC is adequately funded and its statutory independence preserved through Parliamentary (not government) appropriations

They also overwhelmingly supported prescribed sanctions in the Victorian Ministerial Code of Conduct and an independent body to advise members of parliament and the public service on ethics, as Queensland has done.

And all committed to refraining from abusive language, underhand tactics, ‘dog-whistling’, dirty tricks and name-calling.


Survey ratings:

Independent: Steve Timmis 14, Michael Belardinelli 12, Tracie Lund 8, Barry Shea 11, Damien Cole 9, Clarke Martin 12, Carlo Ierfone 6, Christine Sindt 10, Brendan Eckel 9, Alison Smith 13, Susanna Sheed 12, Craig Langdon 5,

Greens: Samantha Ratnam,  Liz Hicks & Ian Onley 13,

Australian Country Party: Robert Danieli 10, Julian Fidge 12, Costa Di Biase 10,

ALP:  Anita Horvath 12, Julie Buxton 8, Victorian Socialists: Tim Gooden 10, Steve Jolly 10,

Various: , Derryn Hinch Party: Kerri Guy 14,  Animal Justice Party: Hung Vo 14, Health Australia Party: Andrew Hicks 10, Voluntary Euthanasia Party: Joan Beckwith 13.

(Best possible score 16)