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Independent Police Integrity Unit

On Tuesday 23 May 2023, following the second killing of a First Nations person by police this year, I asked the Police Minister whether the government would establish an independent police integrity unit. 

You can read my question and the answer below, or find the full transcript and video link in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard)


My question is for the Minister for Police and Corrective Services. A First Nations man was shot dead by police on the weekend the day after he had been in hospital for a mental health episode. This is at least the second killing of a First Nations person by Queensland police this year. When will the minister establish an independent police integrity unit led by civilians with civilian investigators to investigate deaths like this, or will police continue to investigate police?

Police Minister:

I acknowledge the tragic circumstances. It was very confronting for all involved, whether you are the gentleman’s family, friends, the community or the first responders who were faced with that situation. We acknowledge that tragedy. There will be a full investigation around that tragedy. With respect to the member’s question, I will check Hansard, but I think she asked me this question around the establishment of a police integrity unit in a previous sitting. I will give the same answer that I gave last time. Those particular recommendations are the responsibility of the Attorney-General. The work is being led by the Crime and Corruption Commission. The chair of the Crime and Corruption Commission is doing analysis work around the implementation of that recommendation.

The government has publicly stated that those recommendations are accepted in principle and that further work is required about how not only those particular recommendations can be implemented but also how related recommendations across other reviews can be implemented. That is why the government established a reform implementation task force and a reform body which is led by Steve Gollschewski from the Queensland Police Service, who is coordinating the implementation of numerous recommendations across numerous reviews. This is very important work because it not only will fundamentally change how police in particular deal with very important matters around domestic violence and engaging with vulnerable people but also it is connected to rebuilding and strengthening emergency services and fire services in Queensland. This fundamental reform will create a new standalone fire services department and ensure that the State Emergency Service and Marine Rescue Queensland are sustainable, well resourced and supported into the future.

This is incredibly important work, and that is why the government has taken it very seriously and dedicated significant resources to the implementation of that work. We have some very senior people leading the implementation of those recommendations. As I said before, the recommendations around the establishment of a police integrity unit are being led by the chair of the Crime and Corruption Commission, Bruce Barbour, under the responsibility of the Attorney-General. The broader suite of reform and implementation of recommendations are being oversighted by Steve Gollschewski but also with an independent supervisor. Linda Apelt did some fantastic work and now Cathy Taylor, a very well esteemed public servant, is oversighting those. The government is committed to those reforms and we will continue to work in that regard.


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