Member for Cairns Rob Pyne’s call for an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) to be established in Qld has gathered momentum following a Queensland Mayor being arrested and charged with offences including extortion.
Pyne condemned the Palaszczuk Government for a failure to listen to concerns he raised in Parliament over many sittings, which most recently resulted in him being referred to as a ‘coward’. He said, “The CCC has a large archive of complaints that need to be reviewed. Whistleblowers and complainants from the past need to be interviewed and given an opportunity for a proper hearing”
Pyne said, “The current process is inadequate. Just getting the CCC to investigate is a massive obstacle. The percentage of complaints investigated is LESS than 2%. The remaining 98% are referred back to the organisation being complained about.”
Professor Prenzler said of the CCC “Over three decades the Commission had failed in its task of independently investigating allegations and preventing misconduct by sending complaints back to the agency concerned where they usually vanished, leaving complainants disillusioned, angry and vulnerable.”
“These are not victimless crimes, people have suffered, lives have been lost. This is not about me, this is about our state and stamping out crime and corruption in the public sector.
“I continue to call for the Palaszczuk Government to support an Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for the Sunshine State. Today I have written to The Premier requesting:
Establishment of an ICAC in Qld.
A ban on property developer donations to Mayors and Councillors.
This matter is now so serious and urgent that should the Palaszczuk Government fail to act they will be increasingly infected by the stench of existing and emerging corruption.”
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.