Newman: ‘These people in the CCC don’t get it’

 

FORMER Queensland premier Campbell Newman has hit out at a push from the state's corruption watchdog to amend proposed integrity laws.

His attack comes after the Crime and Corruption Commission said the laws were a watered-down version of its recommendations and would not effectively prevent corruption.

The CCC suggested there should be a strict liability offence for politicians who failed to declare a conflict of interest.

Mr Newman said he agreed with the Local Government Association of Queensland, which warned that politicians could go to jail for making simple errors if the CCC proposal were adopted.

Campbell Newman
Campbell Newman

He also questioned why the spouse of a politician in modern times should have to disclose all their interests to their partner.

"Why in the year 2020 should a husband or wife be required to disclose everything to the spouse?" Mr Newman said.

"Why in the year 2020, if the spouse won't say, should the member of parliament or the cabinet minister be in the crosshairs of the gun?

"These people in the CCC don't get it."

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam last week warned the CCC's proposal would result in innocent politicians being made criminals for mistakes as simple as paperwork errors.

"We cannot have a situation where councillors are hauled before the courts for an administrative oversight, when there was no intention to act dishonestly in order to benefit themselves or others," he said.

The proposed laws will see ministers face up to two years' jail if they fail to disclose a conflict of interest, if there is proof it was done with dishonest intent.

The legislation was drafted after Treasurer and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad failed to declare the purchase of a Woolloongabba property near the Cross River Rail project, of which she had oversight as minister.

The CCC cleared Ms Trad of corrupt conduct but recommended sweeping changes.

Mr Newman said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should have sacked Ms Trad.