Premier’s slams CCC laws her govt just tried to push through
Annastacia Palaszczuk argued against laws that would cover up allegations of corrupt conduct four years before her government tried to do just that.
In December 2016, the Premier said she was "very concerned" at the Crime and Corruption Commission's proposal for a new offence prohibiting any person publicising corruption allegations against a councillor or candidate during local government elections.
"I am very concerned that the new offences proposed by the CCC's inquiry regarding the reporting and publishing of corruption allegations against council election candidates during a campaign period might deter those who can expose corrupt behaviour from doing so," she wrote in The Courier-Mail.
In the piece, Ms Palaszczuk opinied on how Queenslanders were indebted to the courage of whistleblowers and trailblazing reporters who had uncovered corruption in Queensland that led to the Fitzgerald inquiry.
"These media reports were based on the information of whistleblowers and those aware of, but not subservient to, corrupt practices in Queensland at the time," she wrote.
"We are all indebted to the courage of these fellow Queenslanders to ensure what they knew was heard."
Detailing her own integrity policies around donation disclosure laws, and restoring the ability for the CCC to investigate anonymous complaints, the Premier said her Government was "determined to ensure we have integrity in our electoral system and that accountability is a cornerstone of our democratic process".
However, the Palaszczuk Government introduced laws on Thursday that would have seen journalists face six months jail for reporting corruption allegations made during election periods in state and local government elections.
The media would have also been gagged from reporting on any allegations made in the three months before an election period during the campaign.
While the laws specifically covered newspaper, radio, television and online reporters and publication on social media, they would not have captured a candidate from communicating a CCC referral to a constituent.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath withdrew the laws Friday morning just 21 hours after having introduced them in parliament.
Originally published as Premier's column slams CCC laws her govt just tried to push through