Premier flags conflict of interest law changes

 

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk says the State Government's proposed conflict of interest laws may be changed after the state's corruption watchdog warned they were too weak.

Speaking this morning, Ms Palaszczuk said Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath was having ongoing conversations with the Crime and Corruption Commission about the proposed laws.

"There may be changes, that's why we have the committee process, so the committee can make recommendations to government," she said.

The "Trad laws" came after The Courier-Mail revealed Deputy Premier Jackie Trad failed to declare a Woolloongabba home she and her husband bought near the $5.4 billion Cross River Rail project, which she managed.

While the CCC cleared the Deputy Premier of corrupt conduct, it recommended sweeping changes including a crackdown on conflict of interests.

Under the Government's proposal, ministers could be thrown behind bars for up to two years if they intentionally fail to disclose a conflict of interest or do not update their register of interests in time.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament on November 28 the CCC’s recommendations would be fully implemented. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told Parliament on November 28 the CCC’s recommendations would be fully implemented. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

But the CCC claimed the proposal was too weak and warned the planned conflict-of-interest offence overlapped with existing laws against fraud and misconduct in public office.

This comes despite the Government claiming in November last year that the CCC had been consulted.

The Premier also told Parliament on November 28 the CCC's recommendations would be fully implemented.

"The CCC recommends that the requirement for proof of dishonest intent be removed," the watchdog's recent submission read.

Ms Palaszczuk said today the Government was "very determined" to put the laws in place, and "we will get them right and that is why there is a committee process at the moment".

CCC chair Alan MacSporran will front the Parliamentary Committee this afternoon about the laws as part of a public hearing.


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