The following content details the recommendation by the Queensland “Crime and Corruption Commission” that a limitation on publicising allegations of corrupt conduct during local government elections become a prosecuteable OFFENCE!!!!.
Here at Sunshine Coast Unmuzzled we question the very intent of this initiative (CCC Release below) to potentially censor this type of essential information at a time when voters should be as informed as is humanly and digitally possibly at such a crucial time for voters to be as educated as possible prior to casting their votes for any elected representative.
We would love to hear your opinions and feedback on this topic because here at Sunshine Coast Unmuzzled it is not our role to press (all puns intended) our opinion or paid perspective onto you as many media outlets seem to do, we urge you all to form your own opinions based upon objective and transparent reporting and debate your formed views maturely and with common decency with each other under the principles we promote via the Bullying Unmuzzled “Safer Digital Community Environments” initiative.
We note that upon searching the CCC Website with the keyword “Sunshine Coast” the following submission was submitted by SCC in regards to this proposed “limitation on publicising allegations” labeled “Submission 30 – Sunshine Coast Council”.
Is our very government the epitome of Bullying? We are starting to think so! Here at Unmuzzled the conduct of many of our politicians during question time is bullying in it’s finest devoid of real discourse and constructive conversation.
(We will be referring to “Submission 30 – Sunshine Coast Council” which clearly documents SCC’s stance on protecting itself and it’s elected representatives from public misinformation when seeking endorsement of the Bullying Unmuzzled “Safer Digital Community Environments” initiative designed to protect Sunshine Coast residents from online bullies and defamers as we see no difference between a public enitity protecting itself and citizens seeking to protect themselves)
—- CCC Release —- BEGIN
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has recommended the government consider making it an offence for any person to publicise allegations of corrupt conduct against a councillor or candidate during a local government election period, without first notifying the CCC and allowing at least three months to determine whether the allegations have merit.
The recommendation is contained in the CCC’s report Publicising allegations of corrupt conduct: Is it in the public interest? which was tabled in State Parliament this morning.
In June 2016, the CCC issued a discussion paper and invited public submissions to examine whether it is in the public interest to publicise allegations of corrupt conduct, and if it is not, what legislative or other options are available to prevent this.
It was important to the CCC to conduct the examination of this issue transparently and provide opportunity for interested stakeholders to provide their views.
The CCC received 82 submissions and conducted a two-day public forum in October where 22 people provided their views on the issue. The CCC also reviewed the legislative frameworks of other jurisdictions, a range of legislation linked to this issue including the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010 and analysed its own data during its examination.
CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC said there were competing views from a cross-section of the community and the four-person panel examining this matter carefully considered all the viewpoints.
“Whilst we acknowledge the very important right to the freedom of speech and the need for open and accountable government, based on all the material examined by the CCC we are of the view limiting the publicising of allegations during local government election periods will allow this agency to complete its statutory functions, especially investigating corrupt conduct, in a more robust manner,” Mr MacSporran said.
“Consideration was given to all options including not changing the current framework through to a total prohibition similar to other jurisdictions. However, based on the evidence and material considered, the CCC did not determine there was justification for any change except in the local government election context.”
The recommendation does not apply to allegations about Members of Parliament, the Queensland Police Service, public servants, other holders of public office or local government councillors outside an election period.
The Parliament will now consider the CCC’s recommendation.
Mr MacSporran will address the media at a press conference at CCC Headquarters today at 12.30pm to discuss the recommendation.
A copy of the report is available at: http://www.ccc.qld.gov.au/research-and-publications
Press conference details:
Where: CCC HQ – Level 2, 515 St Pauls Terrace Fortitude Valley
When: 12.30pm – 12/12/16. Media are asked to arrive earlier to allow sufficient time for sign-in procedures.
Who: Alan MacSporran QC, CCC Chairperson