News

Sutherland too sick to check list of donors

Moreton Bay Council Mayor Allan Sutherland talks to the media as he leaves a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Friday, April 21, 2017. Mr Sutherland gave evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan
Moreton Bay Council Mayor Allan Sutherland talks to the media as he leaves a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Friday, April 21, 2017. Mr Sutherland gave evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan

MORETON Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland has told a corruption inquiry he was too sick to make himself aware of who donated to a trust which forwarded more than $100,000 to his 2016 election campaign.

Cr Sutherland also told the Crime and Corruption Commission he was rarely involved in approaching donors to solicit money for the Moreton Futures Trust - a trust which today became the focus of an inquiry examining political donations during council elections in south east Queensland.

"I would be happy not to be involved with money in any way shape or form," he said.

Cr Sutherland repeatedly told the CCC he doesn't like to "rattle the can", preferring others to solicit donations on his behalf like property developer and "really good mate" David Trask.

"I asked him if he could solicit some donations; he's very well connected," Cr Sutherland said.

He also said he was unaware of who donated to the trust - evidence which was directly queried by counsel assisting the Commission Glen Rice QC.

Evidence obtained by the CCC detailed a comprehensive list of trust donors that was emailed to Cr Sutherland's shared account on March 24, 2016.

Invoices outlined donations totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars were sent to the shared email address and appear to have been managed by Cr Sutherland's wife, Gayle.

Those invoices were sent by Moreton Futures' trustee Kirby Leeke who yesterday described cheques for thousands of dollars arriving in the mail from developers.

Mr Leeke, an accountant who works in Everton Park, said he too was never involved in approaching people to make donations to the Moreton Futures Trust.

Despite having access to the account Cr Sutherland told the inquiry that his hospitalisation in the lead-up to the election meant he was in no fit state to absorb such information.

"On the 24th of March I wouldn't have known what day it was," he said.

"I was in hospital ...On the Wednesday (before the election) I collapsed in the front street of Scarborough and had to be carried to my car," he said.

"I wouldn't have opened up an email from (Leeke) - I may have - but I was in no position to do anything on March 24th.

"I had to get helped out of a chair."

Cr Sutherland said that while he didn't actively avoid finding out who had contributed to the Trust, he preferred to not be aware as to avoid conflicts of interest whilst discussing development applications in council meetings.

"It wasn't a conscious decision not to do it," he said.

"It's hard to have a conflict if you don't know who is there. If you do know, then you have to walk."

Yesterday an email tendered in evidence suggested a conversation with Alan Sutherland had led a property developer to move towards making a substantial donation to Moreton Futures Trust.

Brisbane based property developer Michael Graham wrote in an email to Kirby Leeke, who was running the Trust's account to pledge thousands to the mayoral campaign, however yesterday the commission heard that the donation never eventuated.

"I have been speaking with Allan Sutherland and have decided to support his campaign with a $10,000 donation," Mr Graham wrote to Moreton Futures Trust Accountant Kirby Leeke.

Cr Sutherland said this was the only occasion where he would have been directly involved in soliciting a donations.

Topics:  allan sutherland crime and corruption commission editors picks kirby leeke accountant moreton bay regional council moreton futures trust


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Five things to do this weekend

Glinda tells Dorothy all she has to do is follow the Yellow Brick Road in the South Burnett Musical and Comedy Society's production of the Wizard of Oz.

Looking for something to do? Check out this list.

Our Say: Protesting is a democratic right

Animal rights activists descended on Swickers in Kingaroy on Wednesday to protest against the slaughter of animals.

Two high profile protests were held in Kingaroy this week.

Could allergy cure help your kid enjoy our favourite nut?

CRACKING CURE: A clinical trial may provide the answers to peanut allergies.

A treatment for peanut allergies has shown long lasting effects.

Local Partners

Emotional reunion for one-armed woodchop champ

'It is great to meet someone who was there when I almost lost my life'

New exhibitions coming soon at Wondai Art Gallery

ON DISPLAY: Artwork by Helen Blythman.

The exhibitions open on September 1.

Cast ready to return to Oz this weekend

NO PLACE LIKE HOME: The cast of the South Burnett Musical and Comedy Society's production of The Wizard of Oz.

The Wizard of Oz opens this weekend.

Jemma's bewitching voice

STAGE PRESENCE: Suzie Mathers and Jemma Rix in a scene from Wicked The Musical.

Wicked musical theatre star Jemma Rix has released her debut album.

Aboriginal artists' call to action

Culture is reflected in prize winners' works

Radio host Matt Okine leaps to small screen

Valene Kane, Matt Okine and Harriet Dyer star in the TV series The Other Guy.

First foray into acting a long time in the making

Hollywood’s new highest paid actress

Jennifer Lawrence had to settle for third this year behind Emma Stone and Jennifer Aniston.

CAN you guess who has dethroned Jennifer Lawrence?

Movie trailer dubbed too racy for TV

Alicia Vikander stars in Tulip Fever.

THE trailer for Tulip Fever is so saucy some networks have banned it

Liz Hurley, 52, has never looked better

She’s definitely not shy to pose in a bikini.

Life in your 50s has never looked as good as it does on Liz Hurley.

Big Bang Theory star spills details about Season 11

Mayim Bialik plays Amy Farrah Fowler on The Big Bang Theory.

MAYIM Bialik has shared some details about what fans can expect.

The Bachelor Australia: Awful joke leaves Matty stunned

Sharlene’s mouth hangs agape after her car crash breakup.

I’m actually one of the bachelorettes — I’m not the external caterer

EXPLAINED: What the 'Costco effect' means for Ipswich

PRICE WARS: A Costco store similar to this one in Canberra, is planned for Ipswich.

Exclusive 'cult' about to change how families do grocery shopping

4800 homes to be built in massive new Coast estate

Masterplanned community full steam ahead - it's not Caloundra South

Open for inspection homes August 17 - 23

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Airbnb, Stayz and co tipped to squeeze Coast housing market

HOLIDAY BOOM: Airbnb letting is putting a further squeeze on long-term rentals.

Councils exploring options to manage the industry

How we got a rental straight away on the Coast

Rita and David Allara, moved down from Townsville, paid three months up front rent to secure the place at flash new unit block in Kings Beach.

Genius move helps secure rental property

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!