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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 CMC report into 2009 Qld regional plan and land at Palmwoods — 10.11.2009
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 CMC report into 2009 Qld regional plan and land at Palmwoods — 10.11.2009
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 17 July 2009 – 30 June 2010 CMC report into 2009 Qld regional plan and land at Palmwoods — 10.11.2009

CMC report into 2009 Qld regional plan and land at Palmwoods — 10.11.2009

The Crime and Misconduct Commission today released a report on its investigation into an allegation that a former Deputy Premier and professional lobbyist improperly influenced a review process which led to the inclusion of certain land in the 2009 South East Queensland Regional Plan.

The CMC has found that there is no evidence of official misconduct by the former Deputy Premier Jim Elder or any other person involved in the decision-making process.

The CMC investigated the allegation following a media report which implied that certain parcels of land at Palmwoods, in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, were included in the ‘urban footprint’ of the 2009 SEQ plan after Mr Elder lobbied departmental officers.

CMC investigators interviewed key witnesses involved in the review process that led to the inclusion of land at Palmwoods and examined all available records relevant to the investigation.

The investigation showed that Mr Elder met regularly with the Deputy Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure and Planning, Gary White, to discuss planning issues, but only one of these meetings related directly to land at Palmwoods.

According to Mr White, an experienced planning professional, his recommendation for the inclusion of land at Palmwoods was on the basis of a written submission by the land holder who based his report on extensive technical data prepared by an urban development consultancy.

The state government also requested that the CMC examine every instance in which an extension was made to the urban footprint of the 2009 SEQ plan to determine whether any individual had inappropriately influenced the review process.

Previously, the CMC had investigated another land extension involving the Honourable Terry Mackenroth as a lobbyist.

Apart from that matter and the one involving Mr Elder, departmental records showed that lobbyists made representations with respect to nine sites. Each representation was promoting an expansion to the urban footprint. No expansion was recommended in respect of any of these sites.

CMC Chairperson Robert Needham says while there is no evidence of inappropriate influence by any of the lobbyists, the department’s lack of record-keeping is cause for concern.

‘The department had formally and systematically recorded the names and addresses of more than 3 500 individuals and organisations which had provided written submissions, but no process exists for oral representations.’

‘To ascertain which matters involved lobbyists the CMC had to rely on entries in personal diaries and the recall of individual departmental officers,’ Mr Needham said.

The CMC has recommended that the department urgently consider implementing a procedure where some written record of all communication with registered lobbyists and other interested parties is kept.

Read the investigative report.


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Last updated: 18 January 2012
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