MP ‘doesn’t trust police’
SUNSHINE Coast MP Peter Wellington says he has not gone to police with claims that his phones have been tapped because he does not trust them to investigate the allegations.
The Independent Member for Nicklin made headlines yesterday when he claimed police were monitoring his phone calls because of his association with the Yandina Five and their supporters.
His claims drew a stinging attack from Police Minister Jack Demspey, who labelled the former police officer the "ultimate hypocrite".
Mr Wellington told the Daily he was "in no doubt" his phones had been tapped because of his outspoken opposition to the State Government's anti-association laws.
He said he was unable to guarantee the confidentiality of any phone conversations so he preferred to meet his constituents in person.
Mr Wellington said he had previously raised the phone tapping concerns with the Clerk of Parliament, who suggested contacting police and the Crime and Misconduct Commission.
He had decided against doing that, he said.
"I don't believe the leadership of the Police Service is at arm's length of the government, and I've already made my views known about the acting head of the CMC and that matter is being investigated," Mr Wellington said.
Mr Dempsey passed up on the opportunity to put the matter to rest by denying Mr Wellington's claims.
When asked directly whether Mr Wellington or any MPs' phones were being monitored he indicated any phone tapping could not remain secret, as guidelines required it be reported and tabled in parliament.
"As a former policeman, Mr Wellington of all people should know the oversight involved in phone intercepts," Mr Dempsey said.
"In fact, they are overseen by the Public Interest Monitor and reports tabled in Parliament, and he knows it."
Mr Dempsey also criticised Mr Wellington for turning his back on his previous support for the government's controversial anti-association laws, which have targeted mainly outlaw motorcycle gang activity in Queensland.
Mr Wellington has been a vocal critic of the laws, which he said breach constitutional freedoms.
"He is the ultimate hypocrite," Mr Dempsey said.
"He backed the laws in parliament, now he's backing criminals instead.
"This government is committed to getting Queensland back on track.
"We've already deployed around 700 police on the beat, introduced tougher laws and invested a record amount into our emergency services."