Tully's actions 'clearly inconsistent' with rules: CCC
THE corruption watchdog won't take any action against Councillor Paul Tully for what it refers to as a failure to adhere to donation disclosure rules at the 2016 elections.
The CCC says it has enough evidence to refer Cr Tully to another agency for investigation, but it won't pursue a case against the veteran Ipswich councillor as the time frame for any possible offences had already lapsed.
At the 2016 local government elections Cr Tully used an account - set up in 2008 to help a family devastated by a house fire - to collect campaign donations.
Cr Tully did not declare the three separate transactions, worth $6000, until after he received a preliminary copy of the Crime and Corruption Commission's draft report.
In the report on the Operation Belcarra investigation, handed down today, it states Cr Tully offered conflicting testimony when questioned on the use of the account at the hearings in April.
When asked about the use of the account, Cr Tully said he had done so on advice from the Local Government Ethics and Integrity Advisor, given at the 2015 LGAQ conference.
The report concludes Cr Tully had failed in his election obligations and characterised the issue as "systemic".
It states the use of the account for election donations was "clearly inconsistent with the requirement for candidates".
"The CCC formed the view Cr Tully failed to operate a dedicated bank account in compliance with… the Act," the report states.
"However, given the systemic nature of this issue, the CCC determined to take no further action. In any event, a prosecution for an offence against section 126 of the LGE Act must be commenced within 12 months from when the offence occurred (20 April 2016)."
Cr Tully has faced the polls 12 times since 1979, is the state's longest serving councillor and is widely known for his vast knowledge and understanding of the Local Government Act.
Cr Tully's initial candidate disclosure return for the 2016 election showed a single donation of $1188 made by Falvey Investments Pty Ltd, the account used by the Falvey family who own various hotels around Ipswich including the Cecil Hotel at Goodna.
There was no record of a donation from the Goodna Community Fund in Cr Tully's original candidate disclosure return.
It was later amended ahead of the Belcarra hearings in April.
CHANGES to the new seven-day donation disclosure rules are among the CCC's 31 recommendations, handed down in the report on Operation Belcarra.
The new rules introduced earlier this year requires candidates to declare donations seven business days after receiving them.
If adopted, the CCC's recommendation would ensure all donations are declared seven days before Election Day.