Questions on the Robodebt Royal Commission

My question is to the Minister for Government Services. How will the Royal Commission into Robodebt improve the public service?
BILL SHORTEN, MINISTER FOR THE NDIS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES: Concerning the Robodebt Royal Commission, aside from the Leader of the Opposition, the Member for Cook has been short on defenders in recent weeks, but fear not. The cavalry has come. It came yesterday in none other form than the member for Bradfield, channelling his well-known spell as the Minister for Arts, he put all of his creative juices into a speech criticising the Royal Commission.

It's a masterpiece. He said, a clear risk of this royal commission is that it will make the public service more risk averse, less likely to think creatively and ambitiously. And he continues, high performing organisations in the private and public sectors encourage their people to generate ideas and to take risks. Under the Member for Bradfield, we could enter a new creative revolution for the public service, let a thousand unlawful Robodebt schemes bloom.

But seriously, it is a false binary to argue that on one hand creativity, ambition, risk taking and ideas generation are jeopardised by obeying the law, listening to the victims, not treating welfare recipients as second class citizens. It was an intellectually dishonest and flaccid proposition to promote the argument the Royal Commission is discredited, because you sacrifice a creative public service by having a Royal Commission into a shameful chapter of public administration. It is dishonest to say that you either have a creative, innovative public service or you have an honest public service not doing Robodebt for its cabinet masters.

But he did say that he found something deeply regrettable, Mr. Speaker. Not the lives ruined, not the people's reputations trashed, not the laws broken. He thinks it's deeply regrettable that the government wants to hold the perpetrators to account. The Royal Commission findings are not a threat to innovation and creativity, but it's an overdue call to arms to re-instil ethics in the public service. The Member for Bradfield continued on, he said we should emulate best practice in the private sector, but every self-respecting board member knows that you don't take risks with other people's lives and if you did, a self-respecting board in the private sector would have resigned in shame because of Robodebt. Not that you did.

The tone from the top, especially promoting ethics, old fashioned ethics, is crucial. The Royal Commission revealed a sick culture in the government, the former government. A culture of don't ask, don't tell because we don't care. Just how dumb does the Coalition think the Australian people are by trying to swallow the argument that you either have a creative public service or an honest public service. Under Labor you can have both. Under the Coalition you show no lessons have learnt, no learning of the Robodebt lessons at all.