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Corruption watchdog investigates Queensland Building and Construction Commission as complaints almost double

The state’s corruption watchdog has revealed the number of complaints about the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) or its board has almost doubled in the past year, and one investigation has been launched.

Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) chair Bruce Barbour outlined the figures while appearing at a budget estimates hearing at Queensland Parliament on Wednesday.

The details and nature of the complaints are not known.

“It would be inappropriate for me to discuss any specific matters that are currently, or may be currently, before the commission,” Mr Barbour told the committee.

“What I can indicate is that in the past year we’ve received 30 matters raising complaints regarding the QBCC and/or the board.

“This was an increase from 16 in the previous year.”

One matter is currently under investigation by the corruption watchdog.(ABC NewsAlice Pavlovic)

The session heard the majority of the complaints came from the QBCC, another four were made by members of the public, and two were “self-generated” by the CCC.

Of those 30 complaints, one matter is currently under investigation by the corruption watchdog, Mr Barbour said.

“[Another] nine are currently subject to reviews and monitoring by the CCC, 11 were referred back to the QBCC, and eight were deemed to require no further action,” he said.

“Of the nine matters that were selected for monitoring, one has resulted in the dismissal of the subject officer.

“One matter was finalized managerially, two matters were not substantiated, and five matters are ongoing.”

‘An astonishing figure’

Shadow Public Works Minister Tim Mander called the tally of complaints “an astonishing figure.”

“The CCC mentioned this morning that somebody is under investigation. Minister De Brenni needs to ensure that person is stood down while the process takes place,” he said.

“He also needs to call a royal commission – nothing short of a royal commission will allow whistleblowers to speak freely.”

At a media conference, Public Works Minister Mick De Brenni said it was the first time he had heard of the numbers of complaints.

“And of course, when you make a complaint those matters are kept confidential, they’re certainly not briefed to me,” he said.