Damning report sent to CCC as councillors crash event
STIRLING Hinchliffe has referred a damning report into the council's companies to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
The reports revealed directors of council-owned companies had chartered private jets to fly around the world, made large donations to independent schools and spent thousands of dollars to prevent information being released.
The Local Government Minister visited the Ipswich Mall on Tuesday morning and held a press conference about his grave concerns with the reports.
Mr Hinchliffe said the documents were "tabled by me to ensure the community and the ratepayers of Ipswich had access to as much information as possible".
The minister said charges against company directors were a matter for the "appropriate authorities".
He said the matters "need to be looked at far more closely".
"I've spoken to the chair of the CCC about these matters and I'm also sending these reports… directly to the CCC for them to consider," he said.
"I've got grave concerns in relation to the transparency and accountability of the operation of these companies.
"The reports say that the entities were established to avoid the requirements of the Local Government Act."
Acting Mayor Wayne Wendt, long-time representative Paul Tully and newest councillor David Martin attended the minister's conference.
Mr Hinchliffe said created entities could have a purpose, but they needed to be open to public scrutiny.
He said the documents were tabled after concerns the reports, which were commissioned by the council, "have sat secret".
Cr Tully said the minister was trying to cover his own job.
"I think it's disappointing Mr Tully has acted in that sort of way," Mr Hinchliffe said.
Cr Tully spoke briefly before he and Cr Wendt abandoned the conference.
He said the minister was accusing company directors of criminal behaviour.
"He's now upped the ante today in a media release is suggesting there is elements of fraud with the companies," Cr Tully said.
"I invite him to refer that to the CCC because very quickly he'll likely be charged himself with making a false complaint."
Cr Tully said he did not fly around the world on a chartered flight but would not say if others did.
"I can't speak for other councillors," he said.
Cr Tully was asked why the council was continuing to battle the dismissal with the writing on the wall.
"It might be, but you fight to the bitter end," he said.