CCC calls for quiet time
New laws may prevent reporting on council corruption in Queensland.
Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has recommended making it an offence to publish details of matters relating to mayors, councillors and candidates while the polls are open.
The watchdog wants to create a three-month buffer to block reporting on allegations before it can investigate whether any of the allegations have merit.
Local Government Association of Queensland chief Greg Hallam welcomed the CCC’s proposal, saying it would prevent spurious allegations from being raised for political gain.
Writing for News Corp’s Courier Mail, Ms Palaszczuk would consider the CCC’s recommendations, but that she is; “Very concerned that the new offences proposed by the CCC’s inquiry ... might deter those who can expose corrupt behaviour from doing so.”
University of Queensland law professor Graeme Orr said the CCC should keep its transparency.
“I can understand it’s a difficult balance to strike but the change could cause a situation where a group of society is kept in the dark [about corruption allegations] before they are to cast their vote,” he said.
Also this week, the Queensland Government launched a review of the Right to Information Act and Information Privacy Act, which will look at whether the laws are adequate and consider widening them to cover government-owned corporations and the documents of companies working for the government.