Noosa mayor subject of police inquiry
QUEENSLAND Police have confirmed a continuing investigation into unspecified allegations against Noosa Mayor Tony Wellington that were first raised with the Crime and Misconduct Commission in March, 2015.
In response to questions put by the Sunshine Coast Daily police said the matter remained ongoing.
In April 2016, the Crime and Misconduct Commission said after assessment it had considered it appropriate to refer the allegations to police.
"The Queensland Police Service is currently assessing allegations," police said Tuesday.
"The matter remains ongoing and as such, no further comment can be made."
Cr Wellington denied any knowledge of any continued investigation involving himself, saying he had never been approached about it.
The issue has been raised in the media less than a year after he was questioned about a potential Crime and Corruption Commission inquiry in the lead-up to the 2016 local government elections where Cr Wellington held on to win in a tight contest with Sandy Bolton.
At the time the Crime and Corruption Commission confirmed a complaint had been lodged in March 2015 alleging corrupt conduct.
Cr Wellington said Tuesday his position was the same as it had been 12 months ago.
"I have never been approached by the police or the CCC or anyone else relating to any complaint to the CCC," he said.
Mr Wellington said he had heard gossip but nothing of substance.
In April 2016, the CCC said it assessed a complaint in April 2015, saying it was not its role to conduct an investigation.
"When the CCC receives a complaint, it first conducts an assessment to determine whether the matter falls within the CCC's jurisdiction, whether an investigation is warranted, and, if so, which agency should be responsible," a spokesperson said.
"The CCC determined at the time of the assessment that it was appropriate to refer the matter to the Queensland Police Service. The CCC understands the QPS is continuing to deal with the matter."
Cr Wellington was also caught up in a complaint alleging voter interference during pre-polling at the 2016 local government elections.
It was alleged the then candidate and supporters had turned voters away from a polling place to a smaller one where his opponents weren't handing out How to Vote cards.
The complaint ultimately went nowhere with Cr Wellington quoted at the time as saying the Returning Officer had obviously been satisfied the poll was conducted appropriately as the result had been declared.
Cr Wellington said Tuesday he had been handing out How to Vote cards at the Returning Office as had other councillors.
"I had approval to be there," he said.
Cr Wellington served two years on Sunshine Coast Council before de-amalgamation and then two in the Noel Playford-led Noosa Council before beating Sandy Bolton in a close contest last March.
The election was marred by problems with new vote-counting technology which was trialled in Noosa and in four other local government areas for the first time.
The units malfunctioning and the tightness of the vote between Cr Wellington and former councillor Ms Bolton caused delays in the final declaration of a winner.
At one point Cr Wellington led Ms Bolton by only 11,420 votes to 11,051 but had won nine polling booths to his opponent's three.