Queensland Labor and the Liberal National Party have finally ended their bitter war of attrition over the person to head the state’s corruption watchdog.
Former prosecutor and prominent barrister Alan MacSporran has been appointed as permanent chair of the state’s Crime and Corruption Commission for the next five years.
The watchdog hasn’t had a permanent chair since 2013 because the major parties have refused to endorse each other’s candidates.
Mr MacSporran’s appointment was also being delayed by the LNP, but crossbench MP Robbie Katter rode to Labor’s rescue to decisively break the stalemate.
He secretly subbed onto the parliamentary crime and corruption committee, which oversees the CCC, and gave them the bipartisan approval needed to proceed with Mr MacSporran’s appointment.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it’s now time for everyone to move on.
“He is a fresh start for our anti-corruption watchdog in Queensland,” she told reporters in Sarina, in central Queensland, on Thursday.
“I haven’t heard anyone talk negatively about the appointment, and my understanding is that he has bipartisan support.”
The LNP initially complained about the tricky Katter manoeuvre, but shadow attorney-general Ian Walker formally buried the hatchet on Thursday.
He personally called Mr MacSporran to confirm the LNP’s support for him.
“He brings a wealth of experience to this critical role,” Mr Walker said in a statement.
But, at the same time, the PCCC remains deadlocked, with Labor refusing to approve the opposition’s pick as committee chair, former deputy premier Jeff Seeney, despite their promise to do so.
The CCC has been under cloud since former chair Ross Martin resigned for health reasons in 2012 after the public release and shredding of classified documents.
The former LNP government then installed Ken Levy as acting chair, but he also sparked controversy by writing an opinion piece in support of the controversial anti-bikie laws.
Dr Levy said the article was his own idea and no one in the government told him what to write.
But he faced questions after it was revealed that he met the former government’s top media adviser, Lee Anderson, to discuss the article before it was published.
Dr Levy has staunchly denied any wrongdoing.
Mr MacSporran starts work on September 1.