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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC and LGAQ lay down integrity gauntlet in call for ‘clean’ election campaigns — 06.12.11
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC and LGAQ lay down integrity gauntlet in call for ‘clean’ election campaigns — 06.12.11
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases CMC and LGAQ lay down integrity gauntlet in call for ‘clean’ election campaigns — 06.12.11

CMC and LGAQ lay down integrity gauntlet in call for ‘clean’ election campaigns — 06.12.11

Keep it clean: that’s the driving message behind a Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) education campaign, announced today, targeting candidates in the countdown to next year’s local and state government elections.

The ‘Don’t Risk Your Campaign’ initiative – launched ahead of local government elections (set for 31 March 2012), and the next state government election (to be called before 16 June 2012) – has the full support of the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ).

CMC Acting Chairperson Warren Strange said the education campaign formed part of the CMC’s proactive engagement with stakeholders. It is the third campaign of its kind since 2004.

‘While we believe the majority of candidates will conduct their campaigns responsibly, honouring the public’s right to expect integrity and transparency in the election process, this education campaign serves as a timely reminder not to misuse the CMC’s complaints process for political advantage,’ Mr Strange said.

‘Our message to candidates is simple – keep it clean and don’t risk your campaign by making a false or frivolous complaint.

‘Of note, anyone who makes a complaint to the CMC knowing it to be untrue may be prosecuted under the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001. Such actions are treated seriously because they waste public resources and unfairly damage reputations.’

Mr Strange said the CMC was not discouraging genuine complaints, but urged candidates to support integrity in the CMC investigation process by keeping matters confidential until allegations were properly assessed.

‘The CMC treats all information seriously and with discretion,’ he said. ‘What concerns us is that unnecessary public airing of allegations during election campaigns can be very damaging, particularly if there is insufficient time to undertake an initial assessment, let alone, potentially, a full investigation ahead of voters going to the polls.

‘Reputations can be smeared and, in the event an allegation is investigated, public statements about the matter could hamper the process, including collection of evidence.

LGAQ chief executive Greg Hallam warned election candidates that misuse of the CMC’s complaints process could seriously backfire on their campaigns.

‘Let’s be clear, candidates who set out to damage political opponents by making false or frivolous complaints to the CMC are just as likely to tarnish their own reputations,’ Mr Hallam said.

‘They also risk damaging the integrity and image of local government as the level of public administration that is closest to the needs and aspirations of the community.

‘The community has a right to expect honest and professional behaviour from all election candidates. We urge them to do the right thing.’

Mr Strange said it was important to note that official misconduct allegations against elected officials must involve the suspicion of a criminal offence before any matter could be investigated.

Under amendments to the Local Government Act 2009, allegations of official misconduct about councillors that are determined not to warrant investigation by the CMC, but which are matters of public interest, are referred to the State Government’s Department of Local Government and Planning to deal with.

Previously such matters were referred back to the relevant council’s CEO (except those from Brisbane City Council, which is covered by a separate Act, with relevant matters referred back to the council’s CEO).

See the Don't Risk Your Campaign brochure (PDF, 475 KB).

Read past media releases related to the 2008 local government election and the 2004 state and local government elections.

A new Councillor Conduct Guide (October 2011) (PDF, 475 KB) is also available, providing advice to new and prospective councillors about their obligations as elected officials under the Local Government Act 2009.


For further information contact:

Shelley Thomas, Media Adviser
E: [email protected]
Tel:  3360 6344     Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax: 3360 6235

Last updated: 17 December 2011
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