The WA government's attempt to pass laws reappointing the state's corruption watchdog for another term will be blocked in parliament by the opposition.
The WA government's attempt to pass laws reappointing the state's corruption watchdog for another term will be blocked in parliament by the opposition.

Libs to block 'bizarre' corruption laws

Western Australia's opposition leader has slammed the McGowan government's "dangerous" legislation aimed at reappointing the state's corruption watchdog.

John McKechnie's term as head of the Corruption and Crime Commission is due to expire on April 28.

Liberal members of a parliamentary joint standing committee have declined to endorse Mr McKechnie's reappointment.

In response, the government has announced it will seek to pass laws this week which would allow it to reappoint Mr McKechnie for a further five years.

Opposition leader Liza Harvey says the Liberals will not support the legislation, which she labelled "bizarre, rushed and dangerous".

"These proposed laws will give the premier - any premier now or future, honest or corrupt - the ability to choose the top corruption fighter in WA," she said on Wednesday.

"That is dangerous. It goes against all good anti-corruption practices.

"There is no need for these new laws. There is already a process in place. The premier should send his nomination back to the joint standing committee and negotiate with them and argue as to why Mr McKechnie should be reappointed."

The stand-off comes as the CCC continues to investigate the misuse of electoral allowances by MPs.

A CCC report last year revealed former Liberal MP Phil Edman used his electorate allowance on acting as a "sugar daddy" to women he met online, visiting strip clubs and paying speeding fines.

It also included references to dinners held at taxpayers' expense by upper house Liberal MPs, who referred to themselves as the "Black Hand Gang", and a seized laptop that allegedly contained material damaging to other MPs.

Attorney general John Quigley alluded to MPs attempting to "stymie (the CCC) investigation of their expenses", while Premier Mark McGowan said Mr McKechnie was widely accepted as the best choice to continue to lead the CCC.

"He must be allowed to continue his important work," the premier said.

Originally published as Libs to block 'bizarre' WA corruption laws


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