CCC hearing into Ipswich council elections

AN INVESTIGATION will be launched into the conduct of candidates at three councils during the latest local government elections, including Ipswich City Council.

The CCC will hold a public hearing into on Tuesday, April 18, as part of the investigation called Operation Belcarra.

There are a number of allegations relating to the 2016 local government elections including whether candidates provided electoral funding and financial information that was false or misleading.

Other allegations include whether the candidates advertised or fundraised as an undeclared group, and whether candidates' managed campaign money appropriately through a dedicated bank account.

"The purpose of the hearing is to gather information about possible criminal offences... and to also canvass broader issues related to corruption and integrity in local government," the CCC said in a statement released today.

The CCC will examine practices relating to groups of candidates, independence of candidates, election gifts and funding, conflicts of interest or material personal interests by councillors while exploring strategies or reforms to prevent or decrease actual or perceived corruption risks in relation to the conduct of candidates and third parties at local government elections.

CCC Chairperson Alan MacSporran QC will preside over the hearing.

The CCC public hearing will;

  • investigate whether candidates in the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay and/or Ipswich 2016 local government elections -
  • advertised or fundraised for the election as an undeclared group of candidates
  • provided an electoral funding and financial disclosure return that was false or misleading in a material particular
  • have not operated a dedicated bank account during the candidates' disclosure period to receive and/or pay funds related to the candidates' election campaign

The hearing is currently scheduled to be held at the CCC from April 18-21 and April 26-28.

More information about the hearing including witness lists will be made available on the CCC's website in the lead up to the hearing.

The hearing will be streamed live.

Information on the hearing will be published at:www.ccc.qld.gov.au/operationbelcarra


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