Queensland loophole 'totally and utterly wrong': WA watchdog chair

April 28, 2009

The chairman of Western Australia's version of the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (PCMC) has described as "totally and utterly wrong" the Queensland system that allows party politics to throw out complaints concerning official misconduct.

Ray Halligan, the chair of Joint Standing Committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission in WA, said the bicameral state's legislation of 2003 had been based on the Queensland model.

However, unlike in Queensland, the government does not hold a majority on WA's four-member committee.

Two members from both the lower and upper houses are required, a guideline that in practical terms has meant two each from the ALP and the Liberal Party, which holds government with the support of the National Party.

He said a legislative framework that allowed decisions on complaints concerning official misconduct and corruption to be made on a political basis was "totally and utterly wrong".

"I would have very grave concerns about that," said Mr Halligan, a Liberal member of the upper house, the Legislative Council.

"I don't agree with that at all. The committee (in WA) doesn't withhold anything.

"It doesn't put anything forward except the facts and they must go to Parliament for Parliament's decision, not the committee's."

Despite framing their legislation on Queensland's example, he said there were significant differences in the relationship between the WA committee, the Parliamentary Inspector - the West's version of our Parliamentary Commissioner - and their main corruption watchdog, the Corruption and Crime Commission.

"They do not have to come to the committee to act," Mr Halligan said of the Parliamentary Inspector.

"They can operate of their own volition. We have oversight power, but we don't control as you do over there.

"Your Parliamentary Commissioner over there does not do anything of his own accord.

"If he wanted to do something he would have to go to the committee and ask for its concurrence."

Queensland's Parliamentary Commissioner, Alan MacSporran, did not return calls.


Heiner Affair News Articles

Print Media News news articles and reports >>>>>

Additional Heiner Affair Coverage

17/02/2011 Kevin Lindeberg Statement of Concern suggests fraud

22/06/2010 Statement of Concern II calls on Premier Bligh for inquiry into Heiner Affair.

22/06/2010 ASA and RMAA joint media release

Queensland Parliamentry Crime and Misconduct Committee

Other heiner affair commentary.


MP3/Video Interviews

Radio 4BC
Radio 4BC 01/10/2009
Radio 4BC 09/07/2010
Radio 2GB 30/09/2009
Radio 2GB 29/09/2009
Radio 2GB 24/06/2009
Radio 2GB 23/06/2009 Video
ABC Radio Richard Fidler Conversation Hour 17/03/2009
Brisbane radio 4BC 20/03/2009
Alan Jones radio interview with Piers Akerman.
Alan Jones radio interview with Peter Beattie
Alan Jones radio interview with former QLD union official Kevin Lindeberg

Download PDF Documents

Crime in the Community

Forde Commission of Inquiry

Inquiry into Harmonising Legal Systems

Tasmanian Parliament Joint Select Committee on Ethical Conduct

Standing Committee Legal & Constitutional Affairs

Independent Monthly

Heiner Affair Home

Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry

News and updates from the Commission of Inquiry can be found in this News Section of The Heiner website.