CMC row intensifies after secret documents tabled in Qld Parliament

20 November 2013 9:43 PM

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CMC row intensifies after secret documents tabled in Qld Parliament

Previously secret documents tabled in Queensland Parliament overnight have revealed explosive and damning evidence about the head of the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

The head of the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (PCMC), independent MP Liz Cunningham, tabled the information during a marathon sitting.

Acting CMC chairman Ken Levy this month faced questions from the PCMC about his independence after he wrote a newspaper article supporting contentious new anti-bikie laws.

Dr Levy said he had had no contact from the State Government before writing the piece, but later said he had been mistaken and the CMC had in fact been phoned by the Government's media director Lee Anderson.

But in committee transcripts tabled in Parliament last night, Mr Anderson says he had a sit-down meeting with Dr Levy before the piece was published in the Courier Mail newspaper.

Mr Anderson told the committee he also "prepped" Dr Levy for a possible interview and helped him contact newspaper journalist Des Houghton.

But the Government has accused the committee of bias and says "selective" transcripts have been released.

Ms Cunningham told Parliament the committee has moved to deal with perceptions of bias.

"The decision was made by the committee this afternoon to refer the matter to a newly-constituted select ethics committee, so that no bias in relation to the matters to be discussed could be asserted," she said.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie successfully moved that Dr Levy be allowed to respond to the claims in a statement to the House.

"To defend himself against allegations that he has been denied the natural justice up until this point in time," Mr Bleijie said.

"We have a PCMC committee that was tainted from the outset, that I submit to you Madam Speaker, should have been shut down when it started, as soon as the Opposition Leader made this a political witch-hunt."

However, independent MP Peter Wellington, who is also a member of the PCMC, says Dr Levy should "do the honourable thing" and resign.

"He should step down and we should advertise for someone to take on the role as chairman of the CMC which has the support of both the Government and the Opposition and the crossbenches," Mr Wellington said.

"We're just seeing the Government trying to exercise and flex its muscle and control what's happening," he said.

"I think it's disgraceful the way the State Government is carrying on at the moment.

"The Government will control what happens in relation to who's going to be the chairman of the CMC.

"I have some very strong views on what should happen - it'll be interesting to see what happens - what the Government chooses to do today."

Source: abc.net.au

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