College of NSW researcher on Australian politics Mark Rolfe stated politicians ought to merely not be permitted to have second jobs while in workplace, including that using public sources for personal achieve was “past the pale”.
Dr Rolfe stated real-time disclosure of politicians’ pecuniary pursuits and conferences with lobbyists and businesspeople corresponding to builders was wanted.
“It’s about placing in a spread of buildings, together with transparency and exposures … relatively than simply anticipate a easy code of conduct to supply a information to determination making,” he stated.
However he cautioned that nostalgia for the perceived “good outdated days” of politics was misplaced as a result of politicians of yesteryear didn’t face the identical degree of scrutiny or need to abide by codes.
“In reality, the outdated days weren’t so good,” he stated, including that individuals shouldn’t be disheartened by the newest revelations in the course of the corruption inquiry as they demonstrated the system was working.
Ethics Centre govt director Simon Longstaff stated there was a transparent expectation in Australia that, as a result of politicians had been paid for his or her full-time roles, they need to not maintain a second job.
“In the event you settle for it’s full-time employment, then to take up a second job is an act of unhealthy religion,” he stated. “It is a voluntary dedication to public service. Individuals volunteer to serve in elected workplace figuring out that it’s going to constrain their decisions. It’s a selection with penalties.”
Tony Harris, a former NSW auditor-general, stated one of many methods to enhance transparency was by means of better disclosure by MPs of potential conflicts of curiosity.