Nationals MP Llew O'Brien reacts during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING
Nationals MP Llew O'Brien reacts during House of Representatives Question Time at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, February 14, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

How Llew O'Brien helped instigate the anti-corruption body

FIRST, he threatened to cross the floor if the Federal Government failed to support a royal commission into banking.

After new pressure on Attorney-General Christian Porter and his own party to establish a federal corruption watchdog, Llew O'Brien's efforts have paid off.

The Wide Bay MP threatened to cross the floor to support legislation from crossbench MPs calling for the establishment of a new anti-corruption commission earlier this week. The government has since relented, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison announcing the new anti-corruption commission on Thursday.

Mr O'Brien said the issue was not one over which to play politics.

"Prior to inde(pendant) MP Cathy McGowan putting forward her legislation calling for the commission, I spoke to Mr Porter about my intention to cross the floor to support it if it was appropriate," he said.

"I wanted to know what we could do as a government to bring forward our proposal. It is an appropriate piece of legislation."

The proposed commission will comprise two divisions - public sector and law enforcement - and cover elected officials. Opposition leader Bill Shorten has criticised the commission for being weaker than a commission proposed by previous Labor governments.

"Mr Morrison's proposal is not a fair dinkum, anti-corruption commission. It is too limited in scope, too limited in power, and it has no transparency," Mr Shorten said.

But Mr O'Brien said the Coalition's version would have enough power to target criminal corruption and criticised the Labor Party for having "no detail on their proposal".

"In 2011 prime minister Julia Gillard said she would ensure a body such as this was in place under her government, and nothing happened," he said.

"Labor needs to get on board and ensure the bill passes the house. It avoids having kangaroo courts and sets an appropriate level so agency abuse doesn't occur."

Headlines