A review of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission – headed by a revered former judge 35 years after his landmark crime-busting Fitzgerald Report – has today made 32 recommendations for changes to the state’s criminal watchdog.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk early this afternoon thanked eminent retired Supreme Court judges Tony Fitzgerald and Alan Wilson on the conclusion of their six-month inquiry into aspects of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission.
Mr Fitzgerald and Mr Wilson today released their 225-page report on the anti-corruption body and included a recommendation for changes to compel CCC investigators to seek independent legal advice in future before the laying of criminal charges.
The report also recommends the CCC be exposed to external oversight, be more transparent and clarify arrangements for the secondment of Queensland Police Service officers and adopt a more holistic approach to address corruption.
Mr Fitzgerald conducted the landmark Fitzgerald Inquiry in the 1980s, which revealed systemic corruption in Queensland and led to the creation of what is now the CCC.
The CCC inquiry, which was announced in late January, was launched on the recommendation of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (PCCC) in response to an investigation into complaints surrounding the dismissal of councillors from the Logan City Council.
Ms Palaszczuk said in a brief statement today: “Queensland was fortunate that the man who had done so much to rid the state of corruption in the past has, with Justice Wilson, designed a blueprint to guide us into the future.
“It is vital that the democratic institutions of our state are respected and protected and wherever possible improved.
“It’s thanks to the Fitzgerald Inquiry that Queensland has a permanent anti-corruption watchdog that has served us for the past 30 years.
“It’s thanks to this Commission of Inquiry that we will have an even better anti-corruption body to serve us into the future.”
The report, in its executive summary, says the CCC’s form and function had changed significantly over the past three decades:
“The (CCC) still has the central role in Queensland’s integrity landscape envisaged in the 1989 Fitzgerald Report and remains fundamental to combating major crime and corruption in the state.
“For that reason, the CCC must remain an independent, fair and impartial body trusted by the public to achieve its important statutory functions.”
See the report.