Queensland Parliamentary Leader of the Palmer United Party, Dr Alex Douglas MP says the resignation of New South Wales Premier Barry O’Farrell after failing to acknowledge a $3000 bottle of wine gift underpins the importance of an independent crime and corruption commission.
“Former New South Wales Premier Nick Greiner says that on balance the resignation proves the case for an independent crime and corruption commission,” Dr Douglas said.
“Yet here in Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has made three significant changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commission and the appointment of members to these structures which remove its independence.
“Critically Campbell Newman has proposed a new Crime and Corruption Commission removing misconduct from its role, he has endorsed a temporary CMC chair who has lied to the oversight committee and he also ignores convention by appointing a government member as PCMC chair.
“Campbell Newman has also removed the bi-partisan approach to the PCMC and the CMC.
“The end result is that the existing CMC and soon to be CACC will not be independent.
“Not only will the CACC be unlikely to make the tough decisions, it will not undertake the tough investigations because it is political. All Queenslanders are worse off for this.”
Dr Douglas joins five former commissioners of the Crime and Misconduct Commission critical in the downgrading of the CMC’s mandate to identify and investigate public sector corruption in Queensland and fear that the LNP government has placed its own self-interest in avoiding scrutiny above the public interest.
They said the removal of the bipartisan support clause is inconsistent with the declared position of the government that it wants a strong and independent CMC.
“If the current Independent Commission Against Corruption investigation into Eddie Obeid in New South Wales has taught us all anything it’s that birds of a feather….,” Dr Douglas said.