Queensland Law Society

QLS backs government move to restore anti-corruption body independence

The Labor Palaszczuk Government’s move to restore the independence of the state’s anti-corruption body was welcome news, according to Queensland Law Society.

Society president Bill Potts said QLS had advocated strongly for the reforms since 2014 and the government should be praised for embracing and backing its position.

“It is pleasing to see it being implemented; vigilance against corruption is something which is beyond politics – many of our members can recall the pre-Fitzgerald era, and no-one wants a return to those dark days,” he said.

His comments follow an announcement by Queensland Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath that the Crime Corruption Commission Amendment Bill 2015 would strengthen the CCC’s powers after they were watered down by the LNP.

Ms D’Ath said the laws ratified by Queensland’s Parliament on Wednesday will ensure the state’s corruption watchdog can adequately tackle and prevent public sector corruption.

“Queenslanders should be confident that Queensland’s corruption watchdog has the teeth it needs to root out corruption in all its forms,” she said.

Mr Potts said having an independent CEO appointed on a bipartisan basis would help ensure the independence of the CCC, and that the move to allow anonymous complaints was vital to the commission’s efficient function.

“An anti-corruption body that can’t take anonymous complaints will get as much business as the legendary pub with no beer,” Mr Potts said.

“Anonymity is a vital tool in the fight against corruption and both the CCC and the great state of Queensland are strengthened by these amendments.”

ENDS

For further information, please contact Tony Keim on 07 3842 5835, mobile 0488 433 884 or via email, t.keim@qls.com.au.