The Crime and Misconduct Commission has announced that it does not have jurisdiction to investigate allegations of an undeclared conflict of interest against Peter Costello in relation to the Queensland Commission of Audit. This is an unsatisfactory outcome: the allegations remain neither proven nor refuted, adding to the general miasma of nepotism and jobbery that surrounds the Newman government, and leaving Costello without an opportunity to defend himself against what remain merely anonymous leaks. If the CMC has no jurisdiction on allegations that policy recommendations involving state assets worth billions of dollars are being made by someone with a vested interest, something is seriously wrong. The fact that the Newman government has attacked the CMC (set up because of pervasive corruption under an earlier LNP government) from day one makes this seem even worse.
The Newman’s government’s response to the Audit Commission’s Final report has been similarly inappropriate. It’s not uncommon for a government to sit on a report while it makes up its mind how to deal with the recommendations. I can’t recall, though, a case when the recommendations have been made public, but the report itself remains secret. That suggests a lack of confidence in the quality of the analysis. Given the weakness of the Commission’s Interim Report, and the Commission’s inability to respond effectively to criticism (as an example, my lengthy critique received a one-sentence reply), this lack of confidence is probably wise.