Queensland gets a new corruption commissioner

By Stephen Easton

Thursday July 30, 2015

AlanMacSporran with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Former Crime and Misconduct Commissioner and Crown Prosecutor Alan MacSporran QC has been appointed as chair of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission for five years, following a drawn-out political fight over the position that has raged for several years now.

Ann Gummow has been acting in the role following the end of the controversial term of Ken Levy, which ended on June 30, and will continue as acting chair until MacSporran (pictured above with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) takes up the role on September 1.

Levy, meanwhile, is still the subject of a police investigation that was launched last year into allegations that he misled parliament.

Palaszczuk said the highly experienced MacSporran was an “excellent and solid choice” for the job who would be completely independent in the position.

“He will bring a wealth of experience to this important Queensland institution and provide the type of stability people in this state should come to expect,” Palaszczuk said.

The announcement came today following a tense political stand-off over who would chair the parliamentary committee that appoints the CCC chair. Bob Katter’s son Robbie Katter, the Member for Mount Isa, swapped with a Labor member of the committee to give MacSporran his endorsement, making the appointment official.

Bipartisan support

While LNP members have criticised the method used to break the deadlock and get an appointment in place, shadow attorney-general Ian Walker welcomed MacSporran to the role, praised his extensive experience and told him he has the LNP’s full support.

The parliamentary committee will also need to confirm ongoing appointments to three other CCC roles by the end of August: those of acting CEO Kathleen Florian, and acting commissioners David Kent QC and Soraya Ryan QC.

Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D’Ath said MacSporran was highly regarded by the wider legal profession, and praised the “tenacity and dedication” he had demonstrated over a long career, in which he has presided over commissions of inquiry, conducted investigations and acted in complex, high-level trials.

“He has the reputation, the independence and the integrity to serve Queenslanders faithfully into the future as chairman of the CCC,” D’Ath said.

MacSporran was the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Commissioner — the predecessor to the CCC — between 2004 and 2009. He first became a barrister in 1978 and worked as a crown prosecutor before moving to private practice. He has represented the Commonwealth and the State of Queensland.

MacSporran was senior counsel for the state at the recent Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry and ran the independent review into the Queensland Greyhound Racing Industry. His criminal law experience has covered matters including corporate fraud, insider trading and tax fraud.

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