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In Australia, corruption spends public funds in pursuit of power, rewards favour, and strips support from worthy programs. It silences journalists and those charged with upholding standards of integrity by depriving them of funding.
Grift and stacking are commonplace as those chasing influence infiltrate the structures of power. Corruption rewards loyalty through appointments to office and by preferencing those within the favoured network ahead of others of equal or greater talent. It conceals itself through unfit-for-purpose access to information laws and processes, vague budget commitments, the assertion of unchecked executive discretion, a quick media cycle and overburdened parliamentary committees. It undermines trust in government at a time when trust is vital to keeping us safe. Corruption allows mistrust to fester, offers nourishment to conspiracy theories, and engenders civil unrest. In Easy Lies & Influence, Fiona McLeod, a practising Senior Counsel and Chair of the Accountability Round Table, tells us what corruption can do, and why it’s imperative that we address it. After all, if citizens can’t see a way of bolstering the pillars of democracy — trust, truth, integrity and accountability — what chance is there of restoring decency and the prioritisation of community interests in public office?
Author: Fiona McLeod
Paperback Published August 2021 96 pages