Qld oppn gets even on CMC saga
Queensland’s opposition got mad, but now they’ve got even in a tussle with the government over the latest Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) saga.
Three members of the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (PCMC) sacked by the state government last week have been reinstated by Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Labor MPs Jackie Trad and Jo-Ann Miller and independent Peter Wellington had been accused of prejudging acting CMC chair Ken Levy.
An investigation was underway into whether Dr Levy misled the committee over contact he had with the government before penning an opinion piece in support of contentious anti-bikie laws.
Ms Palaszczuk says she’s standing up to the Newman government’s bullyboy tactics, and protecting one of the most important committees in the parliament.
“We will not be dictated to about who we put on that committee,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
The government now has four of the seven MPs on the replacement committee, including chairman Steve Davies.
Ms Palaszczuk says she has no faith in Mr Davies as PCMC chair, considering his inexperience and past involvement with organised criminal gangs.
It’s reported he had contact with a bikie gang Sergeant At Arms to discipline a gang member that he was in a dispute with.
Mr Davies told AAP that before he was an MP he’d worked at the biggest motorcycle dealer in Brisbane and had many contacts with bikies.
“We dealt with them all the time actually, of all different ilks – outlaw ones, Bandidos, Black Ulysses, you name it, there’s no big deal,” he told AAP.
“I’ve never had a BBQ with them or anything, I just worked in the motorcycle industry.”
Premier Campbell Newman warned the public would judge the opposition harshly for the reappointments, but conceded he would not move to sack the committee again.
“This is a remarkable lack of leadership from the leader of the opposition,” Mr Newman said.
“She’s perfectly entitled to do that … but she has reappointed people who participated in a tainted, corrupt process.”
Independent MP Liz Cunningham, who chaired the former committee, said last week was traumatic and voters are now questioning the government’s integrity.
“I believe we were sacked for indefensible reasons,” she told AAP.
“The feedback I’ve got from the community is that it has undermined their credibility. It undermines the community’s belief that they are a good and transparent government.”
The PCMC’s investigation into Dr Levy has now been passed to a new Select Ethics Committee.
He is facing questions after failing to disclose that he met with the government’s top media adviser Lee Anderson to discuss the article before it was published.
Dr Levy has denied any wrongdoing and intends to stay in his role until a permanent new chief can be found.