Review launched into Qld integrity issues as Premier caves in

After weeks of pressure, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a review of integrity issues that have been dogging the state government.

The review will look into the treatment of integrity bodies by government ministers and public servants, the adequacy of laws policing integrity standards, and how ethics and integrity complaints are dealt with.

It will be conducted by former QUT vice-chancellor Professor Peter Coaldrake.


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The review is expected to take four months with a preliminary report to be delivered after two months.

Ms Palaszczuk has previously said the integrity scandals did not warrant a review, marking a significant backflip from the Premier.

“I listen to people and I’ve been listening very carefully,” she said when questioned about her change of opinion.

“I’ve said very publicly that we could do better .. and I’ve thought about this long and hard.

“I’ve spoken with my colleagues and we have put in place this review.”

The Premier said a review like this was probably long overdue.

“We should strive ourselves to be able to have a health check on the way things operate,” she said.

“I think that’s healthy for the democracy that we live in.

“We need to do this review for good government and I don’t think anyone’s going to criticise that.”

The announcement comes after weeks of the state government fending off serious integrity questions following a number of allegations of interference from senior former and current public servants.

Integrity Commissioner Dr Nikola Stepanov had accused the Public Sector Commission of interfering in her work.

The PSC reportedly seized a laptop from Dr Stepanov’s office with the contents of the laptop later wiped.

The Premier then personally referred Dr Stepanov to a parliamentary committee over allegations of misconduct, however she claims she was unaware of Dr Stepanov’s allegations at the time.

Former State Archivist Mike Summerell has alleged he was pressured to water down annual reports so as not to make the government look bad.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli, who has been pushing for a Royal Commission into the allegations, says the review does not go far enough.

“What will be missing from this is what we need to get to the bottom of this,” Mr Crisafulli told Seven.

“For example, there won’t be Royal Commission protection for whistleblowers. We won’t find out the ministers who lied to parliament holding them to account.

“We won’t know what the Premier knew about the raid on the Integrity Commissioner and probably the biggest thing is we’ll never get to the bottom of what was on that laptop investigating Labor lobbyists.”