CMC chair briefed by spin doctor over bikie laws articles
THE Newman Government has been accused of a cover-up after revelations in Parliament overnight that its chief spin doctor briefed the head of the CMC before he publicly supported Queensland's anti-bike legislation.
The row comes after Acting Crime and Misconduct Commission chair Dr Ken Levy wrote a column for the Courier-Mail newspaper in support of the controversial laws.
The column sparked howls of protest from the Opposition and lawyers given the CMC is meant to be independent from the government.
Dr Levy initially denied any contact with the government before the articles were published when he was questioned by the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commission on November 1.
But previously secret transcripts of evidence given by Dr Levy and government media boss Lee Anderson about their contact with each other were tabled by PCMC chair and Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham in Parliament late last night.
The transcripts show Mr Anderson and Dr Levy met in Mr Anderson's office in the Executive Building about the News Corp article.
Mr Anderson told the PCMC he and Dr Levy discussed possible topics for the article and prepared him for questions he might face.
Dr Levy denied discussing the contents of the article with him or being told what to write.
Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie blasted the release of the documents, accusing the PCMC of conducting a witch hunt.
He accused the committee of being selective in its release of documents and claimed Dr Levy had been denied natural justice.
Mr Bleijie successfully moved another motion calling for Dr Levy to be allowed to table his side in a statement to the house.
Dr Levy previously has said expressing his views fell "within the role of the CMC".
He said it was fair comment because previous legislation had been inadequate.
Ms Palaszczuk and party colleague Jo-Ann Miller, along with Sunshine Coast independent Peter Wellington, said open support for the government and its failure to warn of weak legislation damaged the CMC's reputation as being an independent watchdog.
Ms Miller said it helped ensure the government had its "ducks lining up" on bikie reforms.
"In my view, the CMC is not independent at this point in time because it has failed to report to this committee that they were inadequate."
Dr Levy conceded "perhaps that's my error" that he published his views publicly before offering them to the committee.