“The Crime Commission has a unique role in the criminal justice landscape in post-Fitzgerald Queensland as a value-added law enforcement response specific to organised and major crime and paedophilia…. QCC fills a gap in the law enforcement environment by applying its range of powers and expertise to matters.”
---Tim Carmody, Crime Commissioner
Introduced in State Parliament on 30 October 1997, the Crime Commission Bill 1997 aimed to establish a Queensland Crime Commission (QCC) with the role of investigating organised crime and paedophilia. The QCC became an entity on 2 March 1998.
In his first Overview, then Queensland Crime Commissioner Tim Carmody introduced the QCC’s unique role in the Queensland criminal justice landscape as a “value-added law enforcement response.”
The QCC added value to the overall investigative capacity of State law enforcement agencies through its hearings and coercive powers.
The composition of the Crime Commission’s Management Committee included representation from the Queensland Police Service, the Criminal Justice Commission, the National Crime Authority and the Children’s Commission. The Management Committee promoted liaison, cooperation and partnership between these agencies.
The QCC’s first Management Committee included:
- Inaugural Crime Commissioner (Chairperson) Mr Tim Carmody LLB, LLM (Hons)
- Police Commissioner – Mr Jim O’Sullivan
- Chairperson of the Criminal Justice Commission – Mr Frank Clair
- Chairperson of the National Crime Authority – Mr John Broome
- Chairperson of the Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee – Mr Vince Lester MLA
- Deputy Chairperson of the Parliamentary Criminal Justice Committee – Mr Gordon Nuttall, MLA
- Children’s Commissioner – Mr Norm Alford
- Community and Civil Liberties Advocate – Ms Susan Johnson
- Community Representative – Mrs Sherrie Meyer.
The QCC Management Committee was responsible for making arrangements for the establishment of police taskforces to assist with QCC investigations, approving operational agreements with other entities and giving approval for the QCC to hold public sittings or hearings.
The QCC’s statutory powers included:
- Convening of investigative hearings
- Requiring a person to attend a QCC hearing and compulsorily answer questions about a matter under investigation
- Requiring the production of any record or thing by issuing a written notice
- Applying to a magistrate, or in specific circumstances, a Supreme Court judge, for search warrants
- Installing, with judicial approval, surveillance devices and
- With judicial approval, covertly searching a place and seizing evidence.
QCC’s early operational efforts were directed toward seven specific investigative references and two major projects, including Projects Krystal and Axis (see text box below) which targeted paedophilia and organised crime. This represented the State’s first comprehensive, law enforcement-oriented evaluation of criminal paedophilia.
As at 30 June 1998, the QCC had 22 staff which comprised of one Commissioner, 14 operational personnel, two police and five administrative staff.
To find out more, read the QCC Annual Report 1997-98.