CCC integrity demands ‘would make politicians criminals’
THE Local Government Association of Queensland has implored the Premier not to cave to pressure from the state's corruption watchdog and change proposed integrity laws.
They say proposed laws changes championed by Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) chair Alan MacSporran would see innocent politicians made criminals for mistakes as simple as paperwork errors.
The so-called 'Trad laws' have caused a political storm this month after Ms Palaszczuk promised to enact laws based on CCC recommendations that stemmed from its assessment of
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad's failure to declare an investment property last year.
But the proposed laws have been savaged by Mr MacSporran, who says they will effectively weaken the corruption framework already in place and do not reflect what he recommended.
The proposed legislation would require an MP to have acted "intentionally" in not declaring a conflict of interest, but the CCC says it should be a strict public liability offence, removing the dishonest intent requirement.
LGAQ chief execution Greg Hallam said councillors could face up to two years jail under the planned regime.
He said the element of intent was critical as it would ensure innocent mistakes or errors of judgment weren't criminalised.
"Elected representatives are entitled to natural justice and a presumption of innocence," Mr Hallam said.
"Removing the element of intent would see them essentially considered guilty until proven
"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.
"I urge the Government not to bow to pressure and remove the element of intent from the new offences."