The Fitzgerald Principles survey

The Australia Institute released a survey which asked parliamentarians a range of questions on acting with integrity, based on principles outlined by the Hon Tony Fitzgerald AC QC, former judge and leader of the Fitzgerald Inquiry, in an article published in the Sydney Morning Herald on the 12th April. The survey asked all MPs and Senator to answer yes or no:

"As a member of Parliament or the Executive Government, are you ethically obliged:

  1. To act honourably and fairly and solely in the public interest
  2. To treat all citizens equally
  3. To tell the truth
  4. Not to mislead or deceive
  5. Not to withhold or obfuscate information to which voters are entitled
  6. Not to spend public money except for public benefit
  7. Not to use your position or information gained from your position for your benefit or the benefit of a family member, friend, political party or other related entity?"

For more information on the principles, please read Tony Fitzgerald QC's opinion piece on the ABC and listen to his interview on RN Breakfast. For a broader discussion on the importance of political ethics please listen to the Policy Shop podcast with Tony Fitzgerald QC and University of Melbourne Vice Chancellor Glyn Davis.


44 prominent Australians, including David Harper AM QC, Paul Stein AM QC, Margaret McMurdo AC, George Williams AO and Nicholas Cowdery AM QC, have already joined with Tony Fitzgerald in calling on parliamentarians to commit to the Fitzgerald Principles:



The Hon David Harper AM QC

Former judge Supreme Court of Victoria, Senior Fellow Melbourne Law School

The Hon Paul Stein AM QC

Former judge of the NSW Court of Appeal, former President of the Anti-Discrimination Board

The Hon Margaret McMurdo AC

Former president of the Qld Court of Appeal

George Williams AO

Dean, UNSW Law

The Hon Kevin Rozzoli AM

Former speaker NSW Parliament, member Accountability Roundtable

Nicholas Cowdery AM QC

Former Director of Public Prosecutions, NSW

The Hon Peter Wellington MP

Speaker of the Queensland Parliament

Ged Kearney

President, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Andrew Dettmer

National President, Australian Manufacturers Workers Union

Gary Crooke QC

former senior counsel assisting the Fitzgerald Inquiry

Robert Richter QC


Carmel Benjamin AM

Director of Accountability Roundtable and Founder, Australian Citizens Against Corruption

Geoffrey Watson SC


Brian Walters AM QC


Emeritus Professor Meredith Edwards AM, ASSA

ANZSOG Institute for Governance, University of Canberra

Emeritus Professor Barbara Pocock

School of Business, University of South Australia

John Menadue AO

Public commentator

Jonathon Hunyor

CEO, Public Interest Advocacy Centre

Kristine Hanscombe QC


Dr Ian Reinecke AM

technology consultant, founding CEO NEHTA

Associate Professor Matthew Stubbs

Associate Dean, Adelaide Law School

Professor Cameron Hazlehurst

Adjunct Professor, ANU

Associate Professor Joo-Cheong Tham

Melbourne Law School

Associate Professor Lynne Chester

Department of Political Economy, University of Sydney

Tony Kenyon

President, Australian Lawyers Alliance

Stephen Keim SC


Professor Julianne Schultz AM FAHA

Founding editor, Griffith Review

Benedict Coyne

President, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights

Joshua Jones


Professor Graeme Orr

TC Beirne School of Law, University of Queensland

Dr Colleen Lewis

Adjunct Professor, Monash University

Maxine Mckew

John Cain Foundation

Howard Whitton

Visiting fellow, University of Canberra

Professor Tim Prenzler

Program leader, Criminology and Justice, University of Sunshine Coast

Professor A J Brown

Public Integrity & Anti-Corruption, Griffith University

Peter Koutsoukis

Principal, Maurice Blackburn

Josh Bornstein

Principal, Maurice Blackburn

Richard Carew

Partner, Carew Lawyers

Alex McKean


Rodney Hodgson

Principal, Maurice Blackburn

Klaas Woldring

former Associate Professor, Southern Cross University

Corinne Grant

Lawyer, Maurice Blackburn

Dr Richard Gould

Australian Citizens Against Corruption

Evelyn Doyle

FOI advocate

 To join us in supporting the Fitzgerald Principles, add your name to the above list by emailing


At the time of publishing the results, which occurred on the 11th July 2017, 53 parliamentarians had agreed to the Fitzgerald Principles of good governance, 36 declined to participate and the remaining 137 did not reply. At this time, 39 members of the ALP had agreed to the Principles, 7 members of the Australian Greens agreed to the Principles; 4 members of the Nick Xenophon Team agreed to the principles, 1 member of One Nation, as well as 2 Independents.

These results will be updated as and when more responses are received. The full and up to date list of those that have responded is below.

House of Representatives results

Where a respondent said no for one of the questions, they typically explained their reasoning.  The full explanations are detailed below the table.

  Electorate Q1 - Public interest Q2 - Citizens Q3 - Truth Q4 - Not mislead Q5 - Information Q6 - Public money Q7 - Private benefit
Dr Anne Aly Cowan
Mr Adam Bandt Melbourne
The Hon Linda Burney Barton
Ms Terri Butler Griffith
The Hon Jason Clare Blaxland
The Hon Julie Collins Franklin
Mr Pat Conroy Shortland
The Hon Mark Dreyfus Isaacs
The Hon David Feeney Batman
Dr Michael Freelander Macarthur
Mr Andrew Giles Scullin
Mr Luke Gosling Solomon
Mr Tim Hammond Perth        
Mr Ross Hart Bass
Mr Stephen Jones Whitlam        
Ms Justine Keay Braddon
Dr Mike Kelly Edon Monaro
Hon Dr Andrew Leigh Fenner
The Hon Jenny Macklin Jagajaga
The Hon Richard Marles Corio
Ms Emma McBride Dobell
Ms Cathy McGowan Indi
Mr Brian Mitchell Lyons            
Mr Rob Mitchell McEwen            
The Hon Brendan O'Connor Gorton
Ms Clare O'Neil Hotham
Ms Cathy O'Toole Herbert
Mr Graham Perrett Moreton
Ms Rebekha Sharkie Mayo
The Hon Bill Shorten Maribyrnong
Ms Anne Stanley Werriwa
The Hon Wayne Swan Lilley
Ms Meryl Swanson Paterson
Ms Susan Templeman Macquarie
The Hon Matt Thistlethwaite Kingsford Smith
Mr Andrew Wilkie Denison
Mr Josh Wilson Fremantle      

Partial completions: Ms Susan Lamb

Explanations for answers

Ms Terri Butler

  • Q2: Constituents, and people in situations of special disadvantage, receive priority treatment from me.
  • Q7: Assuming the reference to "political party" means the private interests of members of that party.

Mr Andrew Giles

  • Q1: I'm not sure what this means - as an ethical standard. Of course, I believe I should act in the public interest, and that in doing so I should conduct myself properly.
  • Q2: I think the obligation is to have equal regard to the interests of all citizens. To treat all equally would be to entrench inequity.

Mr Ross Hart

  • Q5: This involves a value judgment. Private citizen's rights might be adversely affected. No harm should be done to others.
  • Q7: This question is poorly drafted. Of course we will seek to advance our political party. If the question was a bout misuse of position to unfairly benefit etc, the answer would be Yes.

Mr Stephen Jones

  • Q2: Not well worded. I'm committed to equality which can't be achieved by equal treatment.

Senate Results

  Q1 - Public interest Q2 - Citizens Q3 - Truth Q4 - Not mislead Q5 - Information Q6 - Public money Q7 - Private benefit
Senator the Hon Doug Cameron
Senator Sue Lines
Senator Claire Moore
Senator Richard Di Natale
Senator Janet Rice
Senator Rachel Siewert
Senator Larissa Waters
Senator Pauline Hanson
Senator Lee Rhiannon
Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins
Senator Carol Brown
Senator Murray Watt
Senator Patrick Dodson
Senator Nick Xenophon
Senator Stirling Griff
Senator Skye Kakoschke-Moore
Senator Scott Ludlam
Senator Nick McKim      
Senator Peter Whish-Wilson        
Senator Sarah Hanson-Young
Senator Anne Urquhart
Senator Gavin Marshall