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CCC to recommence Smiths investigation

17 January 2007

by Jayne Rickard, Busselton~Dunsborough Mail (p.7)

The Corruption and Crime Commission will start its next round of public hearings relating to a proposed Smiths Beach development on February 12.

Busselton shire councillors, planning staff, political lobbyists, State Government staff and representatives from developer Canal Rocks Pty Ltd were among the extensive list of witnesses to give evidence at the first and second round of hearings late last year.

Councillors who gave evidence to the CCC were shire president Kevin Douglas, deputy shire president Pippa Reid, Brian Box, Anne Ryan, John Triplett, Alan MacGregor, Helen Shervington and Bev Clarke.

The $330 million development proposal for Location 413 at Smiths Beach is one of the biggest to ever be considered by the Busselton Shire Council.

At the closing of the Commission's Smiths Beach public hearings Counsel Assisting, Stephen Hall SC, said that evidence had shown a network of formal and informal relationships between public officers and lobbyists that may involve inappropriate conduct.

"Some of the individuals and types of conduct raised in those hearings may also arise in the subsequent hearings," he said.

The proposed examinations will last at least three weeks and examine a number of separate issues. The commission could make recommendations as to whether there has been criminal conduct, misconduct, actions requiring disciplinary action or make general adverse mentions.

A report will then be prepared for tabling in parliament.

Copyright 2007 by Rural Press Ltd. This report is for information only. No charge for such use is made and the material is not being used for commercial purposes. The text has not been modified from the original report.

Related News Reports:

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Councillors should step down: Smiths Beach Action Group

Payments to council candidates probed

Councillors declare interest in Smiths Beach

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