Head of Qld corruption watchdog resigns

Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission chairperson Alan MacSporran has resigned.
Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission chairperson Alan MacSporran has resigned.

Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission chairperson Alan MacSporran has resigned, saying his relationship with the watchdog's parliamentary oversight committee has "broken down irretrievably".

His decision to quit comes with cabinet considering a response to a scathing parliamentary crime and corruption committee report released in December, which called for a royal commission into the watchdog after its controversial probe into Logan Council.

Mr MacSporran initially decided to dig in despite the PCCC report saying he had failed to ensure the watchdog acted "independently and impartially".

However, he unexpectedly announced on Tuesday that he had tendered his resignation with Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman.

"Many people have urged me to continue in this important role, despite the recent finding contained in the report of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee," Mr MacSporran said in a statement.

"However, I find myself in a position where, despite a career spanning in excess of 40 years, where my honesty and integrity have never been questioned, it is clear to me that the relationship between myself and the PCCC has broken down irretrievably. This saddens me deeply."

Opposition leader David Crisafulli said Mr MacSporran had "shown the integrity that the Premier could not".

"The LNP said the position of the CCC chair was untenable following the damning PCCC report," he said.

"This week she (Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk) was asked for her position and she said she hadn't had time to read the report.

"Integrity no longer matters to this government ... and by delaying a decision (on the PCCC report) ...she has tarnished the reputation of a key corruption fighting group

"We are no longer dealing with a few little accountability spot fires, this is ...integrity going up in smoke - this is an extraordinary day in Queensland history."

A bipartisan committee found that the commission didn't act "independently and impartially" in laying fraud charges against the former Logan mayor and seven councillors in 2019.

Its inquiry was launched in April after prosecutors dropped the charges due to a lack of evidence.

PCCC chair Jon Krause says the findings were "extremely serious".

"Queensland needs an effective, independent, impartial watchdog on public sector corruption and major crime," he told parliament at the time.

"The CCC has failed in the role entrusted to it by this parliament, on behalf of all Queenslanders."

Mr Krause said the watchdog's power to both investigate and charge people had led to bias.

The committee recommended the government order a royal commission.

"A commission of inquiry or similar, to be headed by senior counsel of sufficient standing to consider this structural basis of the CCC," the report said.

Investigating corruption is "inherently complex" and those who are the subject of allegations can have a high profile, Mr MacSporran said in Tuesday's statement.

"They frequently hold positions of power and the consequences of charges, let alone conviction, can be particularly grave," he said.

"The Queensland community rightly expects the CCC to do its statutory job, and that ultimately involves making very complex, tough and independent decisions as an investigative agency.

"As chairperson, I was willing to make, and support my staff making, those independent decisions."

The Local Government Association of Queensland - on behalf of the state's 77 councils - welcomed Mr MacSporran's decision.

"This is the appropriate - albeit overdue - course of action for Mr MacSporran to take and is an important first step on the road to rebuilding public confidence in the CCC," LGAQ president Mark Jamieson said in a statement.

"We look forward to the state government's response to the recommendations of the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Commission's report ... which we hope will be supported and implemented in full."

Australian Associated Press