Carmody to decide on inquiry role

Brisbane Supreme District Court
Brisbane Supreme District Court Rae Wilson

THE former Crime Commissioner presiding over an inquiry into child protection in Queensland has dismissed an application he step aside from the role because of his link to the infamous Heiner Affair.

Tim Carmody was appointed to head a commission of inquiry into child protection in Queensland in the past few decades.

His suitability was called into question when former union official Kevin Lindeberg, through legal counsel Michael Bosscher, applied for Mr Carmody to recuse himself from presiding over any part of the inquiry relating to the controversial Heiner Affair, which involved the shredding of documents relating to the rape of a girl at the John Oxley Youth Detention Centre in 1988.

Mr Carmody was the head of the Crime Commission when the cover-up was referred to his agency.

Mr Bosscher submitted that Mr Carmody could end up judging his own response to the affair if he was allowed to preside over that part of the inquiry, referred to as provision 3E.

This refers to the inquiry looking into the government's response to the alleged sexual assault of children at detention centres in Queensland and legal counsels involved in the inquiry debated whether the Crime Commission was included in the scope of government. But in his ruling on the recuse application, Mr Carmody said he interpreted the term government to refer to the political executive or the premier and his cabinet.

Mr Carmody said it would be "untenable" for him to review the role of the Crime Commission in the Heiner Affair as he would have a "strong self-interest" in defending his role as Crime Commissioner between 1997 and 2001.

However, he was satisfied he was not permitted to review the actions of the Commission during that time period.

He dismissed the application for him to recuse himself from the inquiry.

The inquiry was adjourned to an unspecified date.


Topics:  child protection inquiry tim carmody

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