Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission has lost its second head in two months with the resignation of acting chairman Warren Strange.
The CMC has been at the centre of a political storm in the wake of an incident last month where thousands of confidential documents were released.
Ashleigh Stevenson reports.
After just one month in the top job at Queensland’s Crime and Misconduct Commission, Warren Strange has quit.
He says he’s leaving the CMC to work for the Gillard government’s Royal Commission into child abuse and denies reports he was pushed.
Warren Strange, Former Acting Head CMC: “I’m looking forward to the new opportunities as I said I’m sad in some ways to be leaving the Commission. It’s as I said a fine organisation and it’s staffed by some excellent people.”
Last month the CMC accidently released thousands of highly sensitive intelligence files from the Fitzgerald inquiry.
The chairman at the time, Ross Martin, resigned soon after, on grounds of ill health.
The document release incident sparked a parliamentary hearing and review by retired judge Ian Callinan.
The review criticised the actions of the anti-corruption body.
Warren Strange’s resignation is an added blow to the CMC.
Liz Cunningham, CMC Committee Chair: “Certainly there will be some challenges. We desperately need leadership at the CMC that is well-informed.”
It’s here that the CMC investigate hundreds of cases every year. And despite their recent failures many maintain they are still one of Queensland’s most important watchdogs.
John McKell, Former Speaker: “Our rights as people, as electors, as citizens in a democracy need to be safeguarded and an independent, accountable CMC does that.”
The LNP government believes the CMC is long overdue for reform but the Opposition says such criticism could lead to more resignations.
Annastacia Palaszczuk, Qld Opposition Leader: “This government has constantly put the CMC under attack. The time for those attacks is to end because into the future we need a strong CMC.”
The CMC will respond to the Callinan inquiry and its recommendations, by the end of the month.
Ashleigh Stevenson, QUT News