Brisbane Supreme District Court
Brisbane Supreme District Court Rae Wilson

CMC malicious complaint makers to be prosecuted

PEOPLE who make malicious complaints to the state's corruption watchdog will be prosecuted and complaint makers will be sworn to secrecy under sweeping government reforms.

The moves are part of the Queensland Government's response to a Crime and Misconduct Commission review.

In a written response tabled in State Parliament on Wednesday, the Newman Government outlined which of the 41 recommendations it would act on.

The recommendations were a result of a two separate reviews of the CMC, headed by former High Court Justice Ian Callinan and the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee.

The State Government has agreed to make it an offence to submit baseless, malicious and vexatious complaints to the corruption watchdog.

Complaints will have to be accompanied by a statutory declaration guaranteeing the complaint will remain confidential until it is finalised.

But the State Government believes that may not go far enough in stopping malicious complaints.

"Alternatively, there is merit in considering expanding the CMC's discretion to decide when it may take no action, discontinue action or dismiss a complaint...such as to gain a political advantage during or leading up to an election," the government response states.

The Newman Government has subsequently accepted a recommendation to enable the CMC to prosecute any vexatious-complaint makers, who could also be forced to pay the CMC compensation.

It could also be an offence to publish such a complaint.

"The Government accepts that the disclosure of information about a complaint made to the CMC, including its nature, subject or substance is to be prohibited except in limited circumstances," the government response states "The dissemination of any information about a complaint that identifies an individual may lead to irreparable damage to the subject of the complaint and his or her family or associates and also jeopardise any ongoing investigation by the CMC."

The role of the chairperson and chief executive within the organisation will also be split.

Legislation to bring the sweeping changes into effect is not expected to come before State Parliament until later this year.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie said it was important for Queensland to have a high-performing, independent watchdog.

"We have seen over the years, a watchdog that has lost its way and has become over burdened with red tape," he said.

"These changes are necessary to uphold the integrity and improve the overall running of the CMC.

"These changes will improve the internal processes, practices and culture within the CMC.

"Queenslanders deserve to have a watchdog they can trust and this Government is committed to implementing these recommendations to ensure this



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