Updated August 09, 2017 11:12:41

Allegations of overseas junkets, mistresses and visits to massage parlours are examples of further claims of widespread corruption in several Queensland councils, levelled under parliamentary privilege by maverick MP Rob Pyne.

The independent MP tabled 10 documents on Tuesday against former and current councillors throughout Ipswich, the Gold Coast and the Fraser Coast.

The dossier, which is widely considered a dirt file, is heavily redacted to hide specific names, but relies on personal statements.

It included allegations Ipswich City councillors had inappropriate relationships with staff members and misused council resources.

“Setting aside the inappropriate use of council resources, the mayor’s visits to massage parlours and mistresses and other inappropriate secretive business meetings on some occasions, the mayor made no attempt to hide or cover his inappropriate behaviour especially once alcohol had become involved,” the documents read.

The documents also detailed claims Ipswich councillors took junket trips across the world.

“It is known that the ICC [Ipswich City Council] mayor had been on many trips overseas including Paris, England, numerous times to China, Borneo, New Zealand, Mongolia, Taiwan and USA, [and] a couple of times for the ‘Intelligent Communities’ thing,” the document stated.

“These trips were funded by council and/or councils businesses

“The mayor was dropped and collected from the airport at all hours in the council mayoral vehicle.”

One of the documents, from an anonymous source, alleges a former mayor would phone the Immigration Minister’s office “seeking assistance with immigration processing of young Asian women”.

The same document alleges that one mayor had three mobile phones in an attempt to avoid information being picked up by right to information requests.

There are also allegations a mayor and councillors corruptly misused a city’s CCTV cameras, while another alleges a council fraudulently misused national disaster relief funding.

Speaker Peter Wellington redacted documents

This was the second time Mr Pyne used parliamentary privilege to make allegations about systemic corruption in local government.

Speaker Peter Wellington, who decided to redact parts of the papers, said there was a duty on MPs to make sure that documents they tabled did not offend the standing rules and orders and practice of the Parliament.

“I also remind members that they should not table in the House material which contains words that if spoken in the House would be out of order or would enliven the rights of other members of Parliament to have withdrawn,” Mr Wellington said.

Use the CCC, Queensland Premier says

Mr Pyne said the allegations were proof an Independent Crime and Corruption (ICAC) body was needed in Queensland to investigate.

In Queensland, the organisation with similar powers to an ICAC is the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mr Pyne should have sent the material to that body.

“If anyone has any serious allegations of corruption, they should be immediately referred to the CCC,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“Pre-Tony Fitzgerald, members of Parliament used parliamentary privilege to expose issues in this state because there was no anti-corruption watchdog.

“We now have a standing royal commission and any serious allegations should be referred there.

“As a member of Parliament it is a privilege and an honour to serve the people that you represent in that house and privilege should be used in a measured and respectful way.”

Topics: state-parliament, parliament, local-government, government-and-politics, corruption, qld, brisbane-4000, ipswich-4305

First posted August 09, 2017 06:47:12