IBAC’s Casey hearings to spill into new year

IBAC’s public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct into the transparency and integrity of planning and property development decision making, including donations to candidates in local and state government elections, will continue in early 2020.

For the past three weeks, IBAC’s public hearing has examined the transparency and integrity of planning and property development decisions at Casey City Council and whether lobbyists or planning consultants have had undue influence over state and local government planning and property development decisions.

IBAC Commissioner Robert Redlich QC said at the closing of Operation Sandon’s first round of public hearings on Friday 6 December, that the second phase of the Operation Sandon public hearings will be held early next year.

“Public hearings next year will allow for continued examination of witnesses and further exploration of the adequacy of Victoria’s current systems and controls in ensuring the integrity of Victoria’s planning processes,” Commissioner Redlich said.

Commissioner Redlich said Operation Sandon goes beyond the investigation of what happened in Casey Council.

“Next year, IBAC will also continue to explore whether the use of professional lobbyists or planning consultants to lobby government at all levels has resulted in undue influence over planning and property development decision making within Victoria,” Commissioner Redlich said.

“This IBAC investigation is also looking into the broader systemic issues impacting on the integrity of our planning process, including an examination of the integrity of current donation laws, and how the troubling conduct evidenced in this investigation, and the potential adverse impact this has on our community, can be stopped wherever it is likely to occur.

“Public hearings are a critical tool in exposing and preventing public sector corruption and misconduct. They help educate the public sector and community about the impact of corruption and misconduct and importantly, how it can be prevented

“The findings of Operation Sandon will help build effective corruption and misconduct prevention capacity in Victoria,” Commissioner Redlich said.

Operation Sandon is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to report it now at www.ibac.vic.gov.au/report or call 1300 735 135.

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