MP slams CMC's warning

MEMBER for Burnett Rob Messenger has hit back at the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) after its warning to politicians not to refer matters to them for pre-election political stunts.

Mr Messenger said he felt the CMC should not be able tell politicians what they could and could not refer for investigation.

"I think the CMC are public servants and, when it boils down to it, they should do their jobs," he said.

Mr Messenger said he was not satisfied with how some CMC investigations had been performed to date.

"They have abandoned whistleblowers and they have referred matters back to the departments complained against," he said.

The Burnett MP said he had a meeting with the head of the CMC last December to speak about corruption in parliament and in the Building Services Authority.

"They did nothing about it for five months," he said.

Mr Messenger said he had referred a number of his fellow members of parliament to the CMC for investigation on various matters.

"When an agency has a serious matter referred back to it by the CMC it may engage an 'independent' investigator or simply investigate itself, I am reminded of the saying 'He who pays the piper calls the tune'," Mr Messenger wrote in a letter to the NewsMail earlier this week.

Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey said the CMC should not be used as a "political pawn".

"I just think politicians should be above bringing frivolous claims," he said.

Mr Dempsey said he had never referred a fellow politician to the CMC, but had referred a number of matters to the commission on behalf of constituents.

He said he always tried to resolved problems in other ways before making a referral to the CMC.

"It always is a last resort," he said.

"We have a very good hit rate if a matter has been referred (to the CMC)."

A CMC spokeswoman said it was part of normal business to run education campaigns ahead of elections.

"Currently the CMC is discussing an education campaign with a number of other agencies in the lead-up to the local and state government elections next year," she said.

"However, this has not yet been announced, so at this stage it is premature for the CMC to make any further comment about the pending campaign."



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