Queensland’s premier says he’ll consider amending controversial changes to the state’s corruption watchdog, following recommendations.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman doesn’t want crime fighting to take precedence over corruption busting when the Crime and Misconduct Commission is overhauled.
The new corruption fighting body would be given less scope to investigate anonymous tip-offs and the government would be able to pick its chair, removing bipartisan support.
Mr Newman, however, concedes there has been concern that the commission’s primary focus would be fighting organised crime.
That would mean Queensland is the only state that doesn’t have a primary function to deal with serious corruption.
“We should perhaps tweak that, so that the emphasis is that they do both, rather than putting one against the other,” Mr Newman told Fairfax Radio.
“Though the current legislation, where we’re saying the primacy is crime fighting, that’s something we should have another look at.”
A Liberal National Party-dominated legal affairs committee on Wednesday recommended that a parliamentary committee be given the power to veto appointments to the new body, which Mr Newman said he would consider.
That committee, which oversees the existing CMC, is also government-dominated.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says public confidence will be undermined if the new commissioners are not appointed with bipartisan support.
“Why would we change it now when it’s working well,” she said.
“This government will take us back to the dark days of the pre-Fitzgerald inquiry.”