CALLING: Ipswich City Council administrator Greg Chemello said the complaints hotline had been effective.
CALLING: Ipswich City Council administrator Greg Chemello said the complaints hotline had been effective. Cordell Richardson

Council's secret whistleblower complaints head to CCC

SEVERAL complaints have been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission through Ipswich City Council's special whistleblower hotline.

The external email address was established in September under the management of administrator Greg Chemello and the five-person advisory panel.

It was set up to encourage hesitant staff with concerns about the council to make confidential complaints.

Emails sent to the whistleblower address are being read by two members on the council's interim management committee.

It also sits outside the council's email system, to boost employee confidence about security.

This week Mr Chemello was asked whether he was happy with the success of the hotline.

"Happy is probably the wrong word," he said.

"They are working and they've been very effective.

"I wish to some extent they weren't."

Mr Chemello confirmed there were complaints reported which he and the advisory panel were dealing with.

"Some (complaints) have gone to the CCC, some council are handling directly," he said.

Earlier this month the QT revealed the Crime and Corruption Commission was investigating a council supervisor who allegedly ordered employees to weed her home.

The senior employee is also alleged to have swapped government property - 40 mature trees from the council's nursery - for a cross trainer.

This week the council endorsed a new framework for internal complaints, which will be in place from next month onwards.

Once the new process is established the special whistleblower hotline will be removed.

Local Government Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the council's new complaints process would complement the state's independent assessor.

The Office of the Independent Assessor will be in place from December 3 and be responsible for dealing with complaints about Queensland councils and councillors.

Staff can still make complaints through the council's HR department or internal audit system.



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