Mr Pyne said the Public Interest Disclosure protected him against any repercussions.
Mr Pyne said the Public Interest Disclosure protected him against any repercussions. Valerie Horton

Pyne hits back at 'grumbling councillors' over ethics referral

ROB Pyne has hit back at the council over the release of their organisational review, claiming he is not subject to punishment for the report's leak.

The Cairns MP said the report's release was tabled as a public interest disclosure (PID), which meant he would not face any retaliation for the action.

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"The PID act prohibits any retaliation or retribution so the grumbling councillors and other individuals need to be very careful they do not injure themselves by pursuing their current path of complaining,” Mr Pyne said.

"Lets hope that the current councillors can pull together to stop the harm and guide the organisation out of the current toxic rut.”

Mr Pyne said it was his "sincere belief” the disclosure met the legislative requirements and he "honestly believe(d) that there is no wrong doing on the part of the whistleblower, nor myself.

But councillor David Lewis said he wasn't sure how it met the threshold requirements of the Public Interest Disclosure Act.

"It's a matter that needs to be tested. He's attempted to label it as a PID, but it has to meet certain criteria under the Act,” Cr Lewis said.

"The referral to the ethics committee is to see if there is any breach.” Cr Stuart Taylor said it was concerning Mr Pyne claimed the document was a PID yet had pursued it through parliament.

Councillors voted 7-4 on Monday to refer Mr Pyne to the ethics committee after Mr Pyne tabled the confidential report in parliament last week.



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