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NSW judge confirmed as head of National Anti-Corruption Commission

Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has unveiled the first appointments to the national integrity body, with a Court of Appeal judge who headed up the inquiry into alleged ADF war crimes in Afghanistan to be its inaugural commissioner.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 29 March 2023 Politics
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The Honourable Justice Paul Brereton AM RFD, who is a judge of the NSW Court of Appeal, Assistant Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force and holds a commission as a Major General in the Australian Defence Force Reserves, has been appointed as the inaugural commissioner of the federal corruption body.

For over a week, Brereton J has been rumoured to be the pick for the role with the new National Anti-Corruption Commission (NACC). Now, A-G Dreyfus has confirmed the appointment, which will run for five years.

His Honour, the A-G said in a statement, “has a wealth of experience leading complex and sensitive investigations, including as Assistant Inspector-General of the Australian Defence Force when he delivered the Afghanistan Inquiry Report”.


The federal government has also appointed AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose and disability discrimination commissioner and barrister Dr Ben Gauntlett as deputy commissioners, both for a five-year term.

Elsewhere, NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption chief executive and former Royal Commission into Institutional Responses into Child Sexual Abuse chief executive Philip Reed has been appointed as CEO, and prominent barrister Gail Furness SC has been appointed as inspector.

“Each proposed appointee was selected in accordance with the government’s Merit and Transparency Policy,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“They have the experience and capacity to guide the NACC through its first months and years of operation and set it up for future success.”

“The proposed appointments to the NACC have been approved by the parliamentary joint committee on the National Anti-Corruption Commission as required by the National Anti-Corruption Commission Act.”

In addition, A-G Dreyfus appointed agency head for the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity Jaala Hinchcliffe as acting deputy commissioner, for up to 12 months or until a third substantive deputy commissioner can be appointed.

“With these proposed appointments, the government is delivering on its commitment to the Australian people to return integrity, honesty and accountability to government by establishing a powerful, transparent and independent National Anti-Corruption Commission in its first term,” the A-G declared.