Federal ICAC well-overdue, but Victoria needs to strengthen IBAC

MEDIA RELEASE: 5 November 2020

Youthlaw welcomes the Federal Government’s proposal to establish a national anti-corruption body, but says that Victoria still needs to do more to strengthen its own Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

“We support the establishment of a federal oversight body, but it won’t replace the need to strengthen the anti-corruption system right here in Victoria,” said Ariel Couchman, CEO, Youthlaw.

The youth-focussed community legal centre called on the Andrews’ govermnet to fulfil it’s promise to implement the recommendation of the parliamentary cross party IBAC committee to establish independent investigation of all serious police complaints.

“The State Government has yet to fulfil that promise,” said Ms Andrews.

“Victoria needs to get its house in order when it comes to investigating police misconduct and misuse of power,” said Ms Couchman.

Youthlaw has expressed concerns that IBAC lacks the resources and power to properly investigate serious allegations of police misconduct, with most complaints against police being investigated internally by the police’s own Professional Standards Command.

A 2018 audit of the Victoria Police’s Professional Standard identified a number of concerns about PSC’s complaint handling procedures.

“If Victoria is serious about stamping out corruption and abuse of power, we must give our anti-corruption body the power it needs to be effective,” said Ms Couchman.