A public hearing into the sacking of Logan City Council is set to start on August 16.
Public submissions for the hearing will close 12pm on Monday July 26, looking foremost at what led to charges being laid against former councillors.’
The parliamentary crime and corruption committee called the inquiry after the Crime and Corruption Commission was forced by the court to drop all charges.
Queensland’s watchdog, the CCC, will come under heavy scrutiny, with the process of collecting evidence, the decision to prosecute and all considerations of senior officers to be questioned during the inquiry.
Eleven points of concern have been raised by the powerful parliamentary committee, including the CCC’s involvement in civil matters brought before the Industrial Relations Commission, the CCC’s use of coercive powers, the CCC’s interaction with the Department of Public Prosecutions, and the process of determining whether matters needed to be sent for prosecution.
The decision to prosecute led to more than 12 months of administration for council.
The entire Logan Council was sacked by the State Government in 2019 after an investigation by the Crime and Corruption Commission led to fraud charges against seven councillors and mayor Luke Smith. Prosecutors dropped the charges last month with only the former mayor facing trial.
The decision to hold a public inquiry follows a 28-page formal complaint by the Local Government Association of Queensland which accused the CCC of bungling the Logan investigation and interfering in a related matter before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
In it’s submission, the LGAQ said the impact this case had damaged the reputation of the Council, the local government sector, and the reputation of the CCC.
The fraud charges laid against the former Logan councillors were withdrawn by the Director of Public Prosecutions in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on 14 April 2021, citing lack of evidence.
The head of the CCC Alan MacSporran in April dismissed the need for an inquiry.