Queensland’s attorney-general says there’s nothing amiss with the government of the day appointing any independent statutory officers.
Queensland judges aren’t appointed with bipartisan support so there’s no reason why heads of the corruption watchdog should be, the state’s attorney-general says.
Under proposed changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) put to parliament yesterday, bipartisan support will no longer be needed to appoint the chair, chief executive officer and other commissioners.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie insists the move isn’t an attempt to take political control of the CMC.
He says there’s nothing amiss with the government of the day appointing independent statutory officers.
“When we look at judges, we don’t have to have bipartisan support for judges,” Mr Bleijie told ABC radio.
“There’s other (appointed) positions in Queensland, which are independent statutory officers, that you consult with parliamentary committees but don’t necessarily get bipartisan support.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia said by taking away bipartisan appointments, the government would weaken the independence of the CMC.
She said Labor would not support the changes if the new CEO and chair didn’t have bipartisan support.
“Bipartisan support is fundamental so the public will have confidence in the operation of the CMC,” Ms Palasczcuk said.
Other proposed changes to the CMC ACT would see people who make allegations sign a statutory declaration, and any minor allegations involving government departments would be dealt with internally.
The bill would also change the name of the CMC to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
The proposals stem from a review of the watchdog by retired High Court judge Ian Callinan.
However, the government rejected two major recommendations from the review that could have seen people charged for publicly revealing allegations made to the CMC or making baseless complaints.
The bill has been referred to a parliamentary committee, which is due to report back on April 30.