Qld govt orders corruption watchdog probe

Former judge and corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald has been appointed to head a royal commission into Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.

Mr Fitzgerald, who led a landmark 1989 inquiry into state government corruption which led to the establishment of the CCC, will lead a review into the agency’s role and functions.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says he will start work on Monday and be expected to hand his findings to the government in August.


Alan Wilson QC will serve alongside Mr Fitzgerald as a commissioner in the inquiry with the terms of reference to be released soon.

“I firmly believe that the people of this state will have absolute confidence that Tony Fitzgerald and Alan Wilson will carry out their responsibilities and duties, as outlined in the terms of reference that they have been involved and consulted on about,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Monday.

“Cabinet has had a lengthy discussion today, and now we need the next chapter to be written to ensure that the public and the people of this state have absolute confidence in the CCC.”

The probe comes in response to a parliamentary committee report in December, which called for a royal commission into the CCC and led to the controversial resignation of CCC chairperson Alan MacSporran on Tuesday.

The Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee report found the watchdog didn’t act “independently and impartially” in laying fraud charges against the former Logan mayor and seven councillors in 2019.

The PCCC, which is chaired by Liberal National Party MP Jon Krause, launched their inquiry in April after prosecutors dropped the charges against the councillors due to a lack of evidence.

LNP leader David Crisafulli said the inquiry, recommended by the LNP-chaired PCCC, fell short of royal commission into government integrity he’s been calling for in recent days.

He said the recent resignations of Mr MacSporran and Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov, and calls for an integrity probe by former archivist Mike Summerell who said he was forced out of the role in March, were an integrity “bin fire”.

“The state government has announced an inquiry into the CCC while refusing to open itself to an investigation,” Mr Crisafulli said in a statement.

“Queenslanders are smarter than this and won’t have the wool pulled over their eyes.

“Anything short of a full royal commission into the widespread systemic integrity issues ripping through the Queensland government is a cop out.”

Former NSW Ombudsman Bruce Barbour was on Friday appointed immediate acting commission boss, days after Mr MacSporran’s resignation.

Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman said the role of permanent CCC chair will be advertised nationally and the state government will consult with the PCCC throughout the recruitment process.

© AAP 2022