Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has condemned the Palaszczuk Government for a failure to listen to concerns regarding local government, in light of recent events and explosive documents he will table today in the Queensland Parliament. This follows Mr. Pyne’s well documented public feud with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad on this issue. Pyne claimed corruption would remain widespread in Queensland until the Sunshine State had its own Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Mr. Pyne who had previously tabled documents alleging ‘wrong doings’ in relation to Ipswich and other Councils was rebuked by Deputy Premier and then Local Government Minister Jackie Trad. Trad repeatedly told Mr Pyne, that the current complaints process – to first complain to the council itself and then the Crime and Corruption Commission – was adequate. Pyne rejected this, saying “Complaining directly to councils on some circumstances has seen some residents threatened with legal action, businesses locked out of council contracts and employees threatened to lose their employment.”
Pyne added, “because of this and for a number of reasons, the CCC has consistently failed to identify and punish wrongdoers and a judicial inquiry should be established, with all the required powers. Transparency and accountability must be a cornerstone of our governance process.
Mr Pyne’s concerns were further validated recently with the Operation Belcarra investigation into the conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections, Paul Pisasale recent resignation and follows last night’s screening of Four Corners, outlining the human toll of The Joke in pre-Fitzgerald Queensland.
Mr. Pyne said, documents he tabled in Parliament make sensational allegations regarding Ipswich Council and he hopes the cumulative pressure will convince the Queensland Government to establish an ICAC. Pyne concluded, “I remain committed to getting our state to a gold standard. That means an Independent Commission against Corruption (ICAC) here in Queensland. His view is shared by 80 per cent of the population and we deserve an ICAC now.