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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 QPS takes no disciplinary action against Palm Island officers — 15.03.2011
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 QPS takes no disciplinary action against Palm Island officers — 15.03.2011
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 6 July 2010 – 29 June 2011 QPS takes no disciplinary action against Palm Island officers — 15.03.2011

QPS takes no disciplinary action against Palm Island officers — 15.03.2011

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has chosen to take no disciplinary action against the six police officers involved in investigations relating to the Palm Island death in custody of Mulrunji.

Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) Chairperson Martin Moynihan AO QC is astounded that the QPS has found that the conduct of the police officers does not meet the threshold for disciplinary action for police misconduct.

This means that after six years and two coronial inquiries, the case is now closed and the CMC has been prevented from taking the matter any further.

As a result the CMC is seeking legislative change.

Mr Moynihan says the QPS must now explain to the people of Queensland its reasons for taking no disciplinary action against these officers.

‘It’s almost incomprehensible that the police service has decided that there is no case for these officers to answer,’ Mr Moynihan said.

‘Six years ago an Indigenous man “who was not suffering from any injury” arrived at a police station and died shortly after of “a massive compressive force to the front of his body” while in the custody of police.’

‘The Doomadgee family, Palm Island community and the general public had a right to expect that the police service would — at the very least — investigate Mulrunji’s death rigorously, impartially and thoroughly.’

Last June a CMC report of the QPS Palm Island Review found that both the initial police investigation and the subsequent internal police review into the Palm Island death in custody were seriously flawed and recommended that the QPS consider taking disciplinary action.

QPS Deputy Commissioner Kathy Rynders was appointed to consider the CMC’s recommendations for consideration of disciplinary proceedings against the six police officers. She decided to take no action.

‘Her failure to take disciplinary action means the CMC’s hands are now tied. The QPS has circumvented the independent review process,’ Mr Moynihan said.

‘We could never have foreseen that the QPS would find that the conduct of the police officers involved in the Palm Island matter did not warrant any disciplinary proceedings.’

Currently, the law only allows the CMC to appeal a police misconduct matter in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) if it is seeking to review a decision made in disciplinary proceedings. It has no power if no decision is made at all.

‘We will seek legislative change to ensure that all QPS disciplinary decisions are potentially subject to an independent review so that officers can be held accountable for their actions.’


For further information contact:

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

Leanne Hardyman, Media Adviser
E: [email protected]
Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax:  3360 6235

Last updated: 18 January 2012
For all media enquiries, please contact:

[email protected] or
07 3360 6000

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