Sean Parnell reports in InQueensland (10.5.21) about warnings that Queensland's integrity and accountability safeguards have been weakened and undermined over time.
'The Clerk of the Queensland Parliament, Neil Laurie, has delivered a sobering critique of governments, the media, stakeholder groups, parliament, and anti-corruption efforts.
'Laurie, who has been clerk for over 18 years, does not often speak out on issues but when he does people listen. In recounting Queensland’s history of corruption, he has warned that “some of the wider safeguards that existed prior to and immediately after the Fitzgerald inquiry and report have now been fatally weakened”.
'He made the comments to a parliamentary committee reviewing the Crime and Corruption Commission. To Laurie, the lack of other safeguards creates risks, bolsters the need for the CCC, and should compel the government and parliament to make the CCC even stronger.
'... Laurie suggested the corruption watchdog would benefit from broader expertise – “the bottom line is that the CCC is now dominated by lawyers, a situation that was not contemplated by the Fitzgerald vision” – and would benefit from greater transparency, partly to be kept accountable itself.'