Pyne won't wind back anti-council claims
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) says state MP Rob Pyne is using Parliamentary privilege to wage a personal campaign against local councils.
It comes just a few months after the LGAQ called on Mr Pyne to publicly apologise for his “baseless” claims against councils.
“I have received a number of allegations of undisclosed (and disclosed) conflicts of interest, bullying and fraud,” Mr Pyne said late last year, using parliamentary privilege to detail alleged illegal activities at the Tablelands Regional Council, Mareeba Shire Council and the Cairns Regional Council.
LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam this week says Mr Pyne’s campaign flies in the face of the recent warning by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).
The CCC has called on council candidates and others to stop publicly raising claims of wrongdoing involving local governments so close to upcoming council elections.
Mr Hallam said the MP persisted with his behaviour despite the Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning finding no substance to claims he had earlier raised in Parliament.
“I urge Mr Pyne to make his allegations using the proper processes rather than hide behind the privileges of Parliament,” Mr Hallam said.
“I note Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has previously urged him to do the same.
“To carry on as he has does no good for his reputation as a parliamentary representative.”
But Mr Pyne, a Labor MP, is refusing to abandon his crusade.
He says he will reform the way that local government complaints are dealt with, even after members of his own party warned him to quieten down.
Mr Pyne tabled tabling more than 140 pages of documents in Parliament this week, saying that unless there was action, the crusade would continue.
“So far we've tried every reasonable avenue to raise this issue, followed by tabling documents in October, December and now February,” he said.
“There will be more in March if we don't get relevant and meaningful strategies happening to address this important matter. We aren't going away. We can't. There's too much at stake.”