Anti-corruption watchdog chief meets with Gympie council
QUEENSLAND’S anti-corruption chief Alan MacSporran, QC, has declared confidence Gympie Regional Council is headed in the right direction following a visit to the region.
The Crime and Corruption Commission chairman was invited too speak with the region’s new elected officials, and spent more than an hour delving into integrity and transparency within local government.
Mr MacSporran said yesterday it was an opportunity he was happy to embrace.
“I was impressed with their invitation to meet with them and my talk was well received,” he said.
“I can confidently say that the council appear to be on the right path to transparency, accountability and integrity.”
Mayor Glen Hartwig said this did not mean the work was done, though.
“There’s a lot of matters that need to be addressed,” Mr Hartwig said.
One key focus was what historically was in practice, and really never should have been.
“He was very specific about procurement and contracts and tendering; how things were done in the past and how that’s no longer appropriate,” he said.
“What may have been suitable in the past – let’s get the tenders in and sort them out once the paper hits the desk – no longer works.
“It shouldn’t have worked in the past but it definitely doesn’t work now.”
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The troubles that tore down the Ipswich council and disgraced former mayor Paul Pisasale, and how the CCC’s investigated, was another revelation.
“They knew what was going on (in Ipswich), but like most investigations they just didn’t have enough meat to … charge anyone,” Mr Hartwig said.
The CCC chair had not neglected his research.
“He’d specifically read the CEO’s 100 day report before he came up,” CEO Shane Gray said.
“He was very supportive of the process this new council has put in place.
“We knew there was interest (from the CCC to visit) … and we were open to him coming here.”
Mr Hartwig called Mr MacSporran’s trip a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity.
“Most councils will never get to see him, and for him to suggest we’re on the right path … that’s a pretty significant moment in history for us,” he said.