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Premier backs CCC boss over collapsed Logan council probe

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says any issues with the Crime and Corruption Commission can be examined by a parliamentary committee.

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The Palaszczuk Government was forced to sack the Logan City Council two years ago after a CCC investigation led to fraud charges against eight councillors.

The councillors, including former mayor Luke Smith, were dumped from their roles after a CCC investigation into the dismissal of council CEO Sharon Kelsey.

But on Wednesday, most charges were withdrawn after prosecutors told the Brisbane Magistrates Court they would not be proceeding with the case. Smith still faces other charges.

The Local Government Association of Queensland called for an independent inquiry into what it described as the “wrongful dismissal of a democratically elected council”. It argued CCC chair Alan MacSporran should also stand aside for the duration of the inquiry.

But MacSporran later rejected the need for any inquiry and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk today confirmed he retained her support.

MacSporran said the CCC investigated matters but did not prosecute them so “it is difficult to see how it could be reasonably suggested there should be an inquiry into the CCC’s conduct”.

Palaszczuk said there was already an ongoing parliamentary inquiry into the CCC that could consider the Logan council issue.

“The oversight body of the CCC is the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee and they are actually in the process of doing their five-yearly review of the CCC,” Palaszczuk said.

Palaszczuk also defended the government’s role in the saga, saying the council had to be sacked because after the CCC charges it had no quorum to make decisions.

MacSporran said that while the CCC accepted the decision to drop the charges “it will not deter this agency from investigating serious allegations of corrupt conduct, and where warranted, placing people before the courts”.

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