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Australian state adopts corruption watchdog
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16:13, July 24, 2009

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Tasmania will set up an independent anti-corruption watchdog to investigate politicians, police and public servants, Australian Associated Press reported on Friday.

It had previously fallen to the state's police to investigate the sort of corruption handled by independent watchdogs in other Australian states.

Attorney General Lara Giddings said legislation enabling the formation of the Integrity Commission would be tabled before the end of the year.

Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett said however it would be tough to have the commission operational before the March election.

"I would like to see it up and running before the March 20 election but we are just going to have to work extremely hard to reach that goal," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation radio.

Bartlett's first act as premier in May last year was to establish the parliamentary committee that recommended forming the commission.

This followed a series of scandals that claimed two deputy premiers and led to Paul Lennon quitting as premier.

The committee recommended the Integrity Commission should have powers to investigate matters retrospectively, and also be able to seek a warrant from a magistrate to wiretap in the course of its investigations.

Source: Xinhua

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