Allowing the territory’s police force to be exempt from an ACT anti-corruption commission’s oversight could “open the door” to other agencies looking for a way out, the Canberra Liberals leader says.
Opposition leader Alistair Coe also said he was “not convinced” the territory’s contracted police force should be allowed to be exempt from such oversight, despite ACT Policing’s push for the exemption.
His comments follow The Canberra Times reporting this week on a series of emails released under Freedom of Information which raised questions about whether or not Police Minister Mick Gentleman has privately supported the police’s push.
Mr Gentleman met Chief Police Officer Justine Saunders earlier this year, a meeting which she later wrote included Mr Gentleman supporting her “approach” on the commission, but redactions in documents released mean it is unclear whether she was specifically referring to the exemption.
Neither Mr Gentleman, nor CPO Saunders, have answered questions directly on whether an agreement was reached on the exemption.
But both parties have said they agreed ACT Policing would provide an “independent submission” to the Legislative Assembly committee currently considering the anti-corruption commission.
Irrespective, Mr Coe said if any one area of government was not subjected to the commission’s scrutiny, “it may open the door to other agencies also seeking an exemption”.
“It is up to Mick Gentleman to provide a justification for why ACT Policing should not be subject to these investigations should a need arise,” Mr Coe said.
Source : The Canberra Times