Call for apology in park corruption claim
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk wants Queensland’s Labor Party to apologise, after the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) decided not to investigate the proposed sale of land to an LNP donor.
News outlets across the country reported earlier this month on Brisbane City Council’s sale of public land to businessman Boon Tan in a deal that did not go to tender.
The deal appeared to fall apart when final approval for it was vetoed.
The CCC says it finds no reason to pursue the matter further.
Now, Councillor Quirk says he has been the victim of a smear campaign, and he wants Labor's Rod Harding to apologise.
“Today’s CCC clearance makes it absolutely clear that the claims that have been put on the table by Mr Harding and the Labor Party in this election campaign have no substance,” Quirk said on Wednesday.
“The Labor Party in this Brisbane City Council election have done nothing but spread innuendo and smear in relation to myself and other members of my team.
“What we've seen are some preposterous claims by the Labor Party; Rod Harding has made some claims about my conduct.
“Today I am calling on Rod Harding to do the right thing and apologise, apologise for the claims that he's made in relation to my conduct over the last period of time.
“I'm also asking him to apologise to the people of Brisbane around those claims.”
But Harding will not budge, saying the deal should have been disclosed much earlier.
“I've been calling on Graham Quirk to be more transparent in his dealings,” he said.
“He should not be doing secret deals with land donors without telling people.
“No-one knew he was doing this deal so he should tell people.”
The CCC’s statement this week was keen to point out previous warnings it has issued about practices in local government that “may give rise to perceptions or allegations of corruption”.
“The CCC continues to remind public officials and elected officials of the importance of transparency and accountability,” the statement read.
“The CCC encourages the Government to take steps to require decisions-makers to demonstrate clearly that all decisions are equitable, transparent and represent value for money.”
The statement said “open and transparent declarations of all known interests in or related to a matter for decision” could have avoided the furore entirely.
“This includes the declaration of any known political donations, whether or not the declaration is required by law,” the CCC said.