Nationals' McKenzie stands by integrity

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Bridget McKenzie says she would have "loved" to have gone to an election with a federal integrity commission in place.

The Nationals Senate leader told the National Press Club she had upheld Westminster ministerial integrity conventions by resigning from the frontbench when she failed to declare her membership for a sporting club that received almost $36,000 from a grants program.

"When someone breaches the ministerial standards, she should do the right thing, which is what I did," she said on Wednesday.

The $100m Community Sports Infrastructure Grants program was lashed by the auditor-general, who criticised Senator McKenzie for ignoring advice from Sport Australia in deciding which clubs to award funding.

The auditor-general found a disproportionate number of grants were given to clubs in marginal coalition seats.

Senator McKenzie said the federal government had "done the hard work" and had legislation for a national anti-corruption watchdog "ready to go".

"I would love to be standing here today with an integrity commission delivered and that is up to the Labor Party," she said.

"I'm part of the side of politics that has done the heavy lifting on developing an integrity commission ... I look forward to it being implemented."

Labor argues the model proposed by the coalition does not have sufficient powers to deal with such problems as grant rorts.

Labor has turned its "waste and rorts" rhetoric into reality with shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers announcing measures on Wednesday to save $5 billion in the budget including an audit of grants programs.

"The challenge that we're dealing with, with this internal audit of waste and rorts in the budget, is more about the accumulated damage down to the budget of almost a decade now, from a government which is born to rort," he said.

"Which has made rorting and wasting taxpayer money an art form. And we want to get to the bottom of some of those issues."

Dr Chalmers said if a coalition commitment during the election campaign had merit a Labor government would match it.

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