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Current location: Home > Issues > Democracy & Reform > Charter Of Reform

Charter of Reform

I co-authored the Charter of Reform, the most radical reform agenda proposed in state politics this century, aimed at opening up political decision making processes, increasing scrutiny of public administration, making Freedom of Information more accessible, protecting Whistleblowers and strengthening the independence of the Auditor General, Judiciary and Ombudsman.

I am committed to continued reform of Parliament and the political system to implement the principles of the Charter of Reform.

My work to reform Parliament led to the current four year fixed terms of State Government, reducing the number of elections and the political manipulation of their timing. The Royal Commission into the Police Service was also established as an Independent initiative.

The Labor Government has reversed many of the reforms introduced when the Independents held the balance of power in the 50th Parliament. Government control of the agenda has seen a return to legislation rushed without real scrutiny, legislation committees abandoned, cancellation of private members days, and sittings extended into the early morning. Our political system needs further reform to stop the rorts and perks.

  Memorandum of Understanding

The Charter of Reform is founded on five principles:

Open government

It is essential for democracy that the community and the media have full scrutiny of public decisions and the process by which they are made, whether at the political or bureaucratic level.

Decentralisation of power

Real community participation and consultation is essential as decisions taken by the community as a whole will be normally be right. We need to reverse the trend to exclude the community and to centralise power within the political and bureaucratic systems. Public decisions must be taken at the lowest possible level with the greatest possible participation of the community.


All levels of government, both on an organisational and individual bases, must face formal and open mechanisms for continuous appraisal. This must be enshrined in legislation covering all levels of public decision making and administration.


Elected Members and Government must represent the individual at all times and respond to the wishes of the community. Members of Parliament must represent their electorates and be accountable to them without the intervention of a party machine or vested interests.


The proper functioning of our political system is dependent on the integrity of the Members of Parliament and the political system. Public office must not be utilised for private profit, and we need legislative mechanisms to ensure ethical conduct and proper use of public resources.

Recent related information:

Balancing Accountability and Responsibility: In line with my strong commitment to open government, the City of Sydney routinely makes information publicly available and the need to rely on Freedom... (25/08/2006)

Parliament Returns Next Week: Parliament resumes next Tuesday 29 August after the mid-year break, with nine sitting weeks before the end of the year. After introducing my Freedom... (25/08/2006)

Crimes Amendment (Aggravated Sexual Assault in Company) Bill: Second Reading Speech—My first concern about this legislation is the abuse of process. This bill, which was introduced this morning and which is... (5/09/2001)

Workers Compensation Legislation Amendment Bill (No 2): Third Reading—I acknowledge that the workers compensation system needs to be reformed. I acknowledge the very serious problems, both immediate and long-term, outlined by the Premier... (21/06/2001)