The Queensland Labor Party has given a comprehensive response to our request for comment on matters of anti corruption prior to the Queensland state election.
The full response letter from the Hon Tim Mulherin, Deputy Leader of the Opposition is linked here, but a summary of the key points is as follows;
1. Changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission
Requirement for complaint by statutory declaration.
A future Queensland Labor government will be removing the requirement for a complainant to the CMC to have their complaint accompanied by a statutory declaration. They intend to return to the complaint procedure that existed prior to the 2014 amendments.
Restriction of ‘corrupt conduct’.
The Labor Party opposes the more restricted definition of the definition of corrupt conduct to only apply to serious matters where a ‘reasonable suspicion” of corrupt conduct exists. It also opposes the removal of misconduct from the preventative functions from the CMC. In addition, they will ensure that the CMC has the capacity to provide preventative advice to local government and universities as these are currently not within the jurisdiction of the public service to which the current rules apply.
2. Political donations
The Labor party would restore the threshold for disclosure of any political donations from the Newman government’s $12,800 back to $1000. However they feel continuous disclosure would be “logistically impossible”. Nevertheless, large donations, over $200.000 would be reported immediately.
In addition, a future Labor government would welcome an open and independent inquiry into political donations in Queensland.
3. Right to Information
Labor is concerned about the Newman government’s review of the Queensland Right to Information legislation, in particular that there is no indication as yet of the changes to it proposed by the Newman government. After examining the results of the review to date, a new Labor government will conduct further consultation if necessary and complete the review.
4. Commitment to Fitzgerald Principles
In a letter to the Australia Institute dated 19th January 2015, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition has committed to;
- Govern for the peace, welfare and good government of the State;
- Make all decisions and take all actions, including public appointments, in the public interest without regard to personal, party political or other immaterial considerations;
- Treat all people equally without permitting any person or corporation special access or influence;
- Promptly and accurately inform the public of its reasons for all significant or potentially controversial decisions and actions.
Labor’s general commitments to integrity include;
- Restore equal Government and non Government membership to Parliamentary portfolio committees
- Restore the independence of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission
- Restore the independence of the Speaker
- Restrict MP’s pay rises to that in the most recent Core Public Service EBA
- Enable anonymous complaints to the CCC
- Reinstate the CCC’s preventative function
- Widen the definition of ‘corrupt conduct’
- Ensure appointments to the Chair and CEO of the CCC have bipartisan support
- Limit temporary appointments for the Chair and CEO of the CCC to three months, unless there is bipartisan support
- Remove discriminatory and unnecessary voter ID laws
- Lower the disclosure threshold for political donations from $12,800 to $1,000
- Require government advertising over $ 1 million to be approved by a bi-partisan committee
- Remove gag clauses from non-government organisation contracts with government
- Introduce an open and transparent process for appointment of Directors-General
- Set the salary of the Chair of the CCC to be equal to that of a Supreme Court Judge with access to a judicial pension.