Jarrod Bleijie.
Jarrod Bleijie. Kari Bourne

Bleijie rejected ‘full disclosure’ push

ATTORNEY General Jarrod Bleijie rejected a call from his own party to improve the level of transparency around past criminal behaviour of political candidates.

The State Convention of the LNP last July unanimously supported a motion initiated by the Cooloola branch of the party to ask Parliament to amend provisions of the Criminal Law Rehabilitation of Offenders Act.

The intent was to require full disclosure of past criminal behaviour similar to that required of police force applicants.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act limits the period of disclosure to five years for non-indictable offences and 10 years for indictable offences that attract prison sentences of 30 months or less.

The LNP motion had its genesis in the concept that those who make the law should be subject to the same provisions as those required to enforce them.

It was originally sponsored by Cooloola branch member Scott Elms, who this week tipped the bucket on the criminal history of Gympie MP David Gibson forcing his resignation as chair of the Select Parliamentary Ethics Committee.

It then went to the Gympie LNP State Electoral Council headed by Guy Burnett and subsequently discussed in closed session at the LNP convention before being passed unanimously.

On September 16, last year, Mr Bleijie wrote to Mr Elms and Mr Burnett.

"Pre-selection of candidates is a matter for individual parties and the election process gives the public the chance to scrutinise those candidates and to vote accordingly," Mr Bleijie wrote.

"At this time the government has no plans to amend the Criminal Law Rehabilitation of Offenders Act as suggested.

"I know that this may not be the response you might have hoped on this occasion.

"I am happy to consider any further written submission you would like to make on this issue."

The government now is considering using the Act to charge Mr Elms for revealing that in 1999 Mr Gibson had created four false invoices to steal $7335 from the Corps of Staff Cadets Mess at Duntroon, of which he was officer in charge.

Mr Gibson was originally appointed Police Minister in the first Newman Cabinet but was dismissed after 13 days purportedly because of undeclared driving offences. Mr Elms contends the dismissal occurred after the Premier was made aware of the army offences. 

Gympie Times


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