Liz Cunningham
Liz Cunningham Christopher Chan

Newman out to appease MP Cunningham with CMC changes

ANY changes to Queensland's crime and corruption watchdog must "sit comfortably" with independent Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham.

After months levelling criticism at the Crime and Misconduct Commission and its relationship with the associated parliamentary committee, Premier Campbell Newman said he did not want to "bust up" the organisation.

The CMC copped much flak earlier this year after accidentally releasing Fitzgerald Inquiry documents, which identified people confidentially involved, to the State Archives office.

Mr Newman said Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and Ms Cunningham, who chairs the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, were working through the findings from a state-commissioned review of the CMC and a PCMC hearing into the clerical error that led to the document release.

He said he wanted a "strong, independent crime-fighting body" but he also wanted PCMC hearings open to the public, especially media.

"We need to change some structural bits at the top of the organisation and the way the parliamentary committee that oversights them works," he said.

"My criticism has been that the CMC is given great powers, the right to operate with this shroud of secrecy.

"They've got extraordinary powers and that's right and proper if they're to get to the bottom of serious criminal activity.

"But the trouble is ... the organisation thinks it can use those special privileges to actually cover up their mistakes.

"They have to be open and accountable ... on the effectiveness of their crime-fighting efforts, their expenditure of public dollars."

Mr Newman said he hoped the discussion between the pair would enable the LNP to "bring forward changes that sit comfortably with Liz Cunningham".

"It's really important to me that she is agreeable to the proposal of changes we should make," he said.



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