According to recent polls, almost two thirds of Australians are of the opinion that corruption is widespread inside the federal government, and more than eighty percent of Australians consider pork barreling to be an example of corrupt behavior.
According to surveys commissioned by the Australia Institute, an overwhelming majority of Australians believe that corruption can be found at all levels and in all branches of government.
Seventy percent of respondents think that it is prevalent at the level of state and territory governments, while 66 percent feel that it is common at the federal level.
According to the findings of the survey, Australians consider a wide variety of actions to constitute unethical behavior. This includes the appointment of friends and colleagues to public roles at the expense of candidates with a higher level of qualification, which 86% of respondents felt to be corrupt, as well as the allocation of public money to marginal seats in order to win votes, which 81% of respondents believed to be corrupt.
In addition, over 80% percent of respondents agreed that it was unethical for a senior public servant to mislead parliament or cabinet, or for the government to accept contracts with foreign companies after being informed of the possibility that money could flow to corrupt officials. Both of these scenarios were viewed as examples of corrupt behavior.
Robert Redlich KC, a former commissioner of Victoria’s anti-corruption commission, stated that the polls showed the intensity of so-called “grey corruption.” gray corruption refers to sorts of questionable behavior that are not considered to be illegal.
“Grey corruption has precisely the same deleterious effects on the public good as a crime does, but it is far more prevalent,” he added. “Grey corruption is a form of corruption that occurs in the shadows.” “Every branch of the executive is far too predisposed to satisfy the political goals of the current government at the expense of the public interest,”
“The risk is presently high that the exercise of power can be undertaken for that improper purpose without the fear of accountability.”
The results of the survey, which were derived from a sample that was nationally representative and adhered to the criteria established by the quality mark of the Australian Polling Council, are essentially consistent with the findings of other barometers of public trust and perceptions of corruption.
According to the corruption perceptions index conducted by Transparency International this year, there has been a minor improvement in the public’s attitudes regarding corruption in Australia. This can be ascribed to the introduction of a federal anti-corruption commission.
However, Australia’s rating has remained at near-record low levels, and the country is currently ranked 13th in the world, which represents a decline of six places from 2012.
According to polls conducted in 2018 by Transparency International and Griffith University, 85 percent of Australians are under the impression that at least “some” federal lawmakers are corrupt.
According to the director of the democracy and accountability program at the Australia Institute, Bill Browne, the most recent polling results make it abundantly evident that Australians have adopted a “definition of corruption that goes beyond criminal conduct.” This definition includes nepotistic appointments as well as pork barreling.
“When a majority of Australians perceive corruption as commonplace across all levels of government, it has implications for trust in Australian democracy,” he said. “When corruption is seen as commonplace across all levels of government, it has implications for trust in Australian democracy.”