LGAQ Policy Executive doubles down on independent inquiry call

Published: 16th April 2021

Queensland councils will not rest until they have an iron-clad guarantee from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that the wrongful dismissal of the former Logan City Council will not be swept under the carpet.

Sixteen Mayors and Councillors from across Queensland today resolved to issue a communique urging the Premier to commission an independent inquiry into the matter.

The plea from the 16 Policy Executive members of the Local Government Association of  Queensland’s (LGAQ) – representing the state’s 77 councils – comes after Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Chair, Alan MacSporran QC, told ABC Radio he would do nothing differently, should he have his time again in regard to this matter.

The former Logan City Council was dismissed in 2019 after the Crime and Corruption Commission intervened in an industrial dispute and charged several elected councillors with fraud.

Those charges were formally withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Wednesday, citing insufficient evidence.

The Local Government Association of Queensland has consistently maintained these charges should never have been laid.

The communique released by the LGAQ Policy Executive today states:

The CCC’s actions in charging these former councillors disenfranchised more than 330,000 Logan City Council constituents.

The CCC’s actions have irreparably damaged the livelihoods and reputations of the former councillors charged.

The CCC’s actions have damaged the reputation of the local government sector.

The CCC’s actions have damaged its own standing in the eyes of the public.

The voters of Logan and indeed the wider Queensland community deserve answers.

They deserve the confidence that this case will be properly scrutinised, so another Queensland council and community do not suffer the same fate.

It is a matter of the public record that the LGAQ wrote to the CCC’s parliamentary oversight committee, the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (PCCC) to raise its concerns at the time.

The Policy Executive does not believe the PCCC is the right body to interrogate this matter.

The people of Logan were finally able to democratically elect their new council at the quadrennial local government elections in March last year.

Now we need an inquiry to prevent this happening to another Queensland community.