Minister dismisses CCC warning on approval risks 

Mar 21, 2024 | David Honey MLA, State News

The Cook Labor Government has ignored concerns that its changes to planning laws will open the door to corruption.

David Honey MLA said Corruption and Crime Commissioner John McKechnie had been clear the government’s planning law changes created new risks of misconduct.

“Whenever you are removing barriers which would otherwise be the checks and balances in a system … there is undoubtedly a misconduct risk,” Commissioner McKechnie said in the Australian Financial Review on March 9,” Dr Honey said.

Dr Honey questioned Planning Minister John Carey on the matter today in Parliament.
“I would expect that such clear words of concern from the CCC Commissioner would be taken as a serious warning by the government,” he said.

“I was staggered by the Minister’s nonchalant and arrogant dismissal of the CCC’s concerns in his response to my questions.

“Following such an overt public warning, we would expect the Minister to meet with the Commissioner, or his staff, to discuss their concerns, and more importantly, to discuss ideas for minimising the risks.”

Dr Honey said it was clear from the Minister’s answer that he had not met with the CCC to discuss the concerns or taken any other actions to deal with potential corruption risks.

“I would expect, as would the community at large, the Minister to be concerned about the Commissioner’s view and to speak with him about finding ways to diminish the risk of corruption in the planning system,” Dr Honey said.

“It is an indictment of Labor’s blase attitude towards anything related to planning concerns, including a heightened risk of misconduct.

“The Minister is wrong to be so dismissive of the CCC Commissioner’s concerns and he needs to revisit his attitude about the CCC’s public warning over his planning laws and the risk of misconduct.”