Anything short of an independent inquiry is a cop-out

Published: 15th April 2021

The people of Queensland deserve better than for an inquiry into the process that led to the wrongful dismissal of a major South East Queensland council to be flick-passed to a parliamentary committee.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO Greg Hallam has expressed his disappointment in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s comments today regarding the LGAQ’s call for an independent inquiry to be held into the now failed criminal case launched by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) against a group of former Logan councillors.

The former Logan City Council was dismissed as a result of the criminal charges laid.

Those charges were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, due to insufficient evidence.

“One of the largest councils in the state, and indeed the country, was wrongly dismissed as a result of this travesty of justice,” Mr Hallam said.

“For the CCC Chair to claim that a process that resulted in the destruction of the personal and professional lives of seven duly elected councillors - at huge public expense - is the system working, is akin to a World War 1 General claiming the Battle of the Somme was an exercise in proper dispute resolution.

“This matter cannot be swept under the carpet. The CCC is not beyond reproach.

“We raised our concerns with the CCC’s parliamentary oversight committee, the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee, at the time.

“It is imperative the Premier ensures this matter is properly considered by an independent third party - such as a senior judicial figure - so the public can have confidence this will not happen again.

"This issue is not going to go away. We owe it to those former councillors and the Logan community to have this matter thoroughly scrutinised so they can receive the answers they need. 

“An independent inquiry is the only satisfactory course of action. It must happen.”