News

Sutherland too sick to check list of donors

Moreton Bay Council Mayor Allan Sutherland talks to the media as he leaves a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Friday, April 21, 2017. Mr Sutherland gave evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan
Moreton Bay Council Mayor Allan Sutherland talks to the media as he leaves a hearing at the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) in Brisbane, Friday, April 21, 2017. Mr Sutherland gave evidence in an investigation into conduct of candidates involved in the 2016 local government elections for the Gold Coast City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council and Ipswich City Council. (AAP Image/Dan

MORETON Bay Mayor Allan Sutherland has told a corruption inquiry he was too sick to make himself aware of who donated to a trust which forwarded more than $100,000 to his 2016 election campaign.

Cr Sutherland also told the Crime and Corruption Commission he was rarely involved in approaching donors to solicit money for the Moreton Futures Trust - a trust which today became the focus of an inquiry examining political donations during council elections in south east Queensland.

"I would be happy not to be involved with money in any way shape or form," he said.

Cr Sutherland repeatedly told the CCC he doesn't like to "rattle the can", preferring others to solicit donations on his behalf like property developer and "really good mate" David Trask.

"I asked him if he could solicit some donations; he's very well connected," Cr Sutherland said.

He also said he was unaware of who donated to the trust - evidence which was directly queried by counsel assisting the Commission Glen Rice QC.

Evidence obtained by the CCC detailed a comprehensive list of trust donors that was emailed to Cr Sutherland's shared account on March 24, 2016.

Invoices outlined donations totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars were sent to the shared email address and appear to have been managed by Cr Sutherland's wife, Gayle.

Those invoices were sent by Moreton Futures' trustee Kirby Leeke who yesterday described cheques for thousands of dollars arriving in the mail from developers.

Mr Leeke, an accountant who works in Everton Park, said he too was never involved in approaching people to make donations to the Moreton Futures Trust.

Despite having access to the account Cr Sutherland told the inquiry that his hospitalisation in the lead-up to the election meant he was in no fit state to absorb such information.

"On the 24th of March I wouldn't have known what day it was," he said.

"I was in hospital ...On the Wednesday (before the election) I collapsed in the front street of Scarborough and had to be carried to my car," he said.

"I wouldn't have opened up an email from (Leeke) - I may have - but I was in no position to do anything on March 24th.

"I had to get helped out of a chair."

Cr Sutherland said that while he didn't actively avoid finding out who had contributed to the Trust, he preferred to not be aware as to avoid conflicts of interest whilst discussing development applications in council meetings.

"It wasn't a conscious decision not to do it," he said.

"It's hard to have a conflict if you don't know who is there. If you do know, then you have to walk."

Yesterday an email tendered in evidence suggested a conversation with Alan Sutherland had led a property developer to move towards making a substantial donation to Moreton Futures Trust.

Brisbane based property developer Michael Graham wrote in an email to Kirby Leeke, who was running the Trust's account to pledge thousands to the mayoral campaign, however yesterday the commission heard that the donation never eventuated.

"I have been speaking with Allan Sutherland and have decided to support his campaign with a $10,000 donation," Mr Graham wrote to Moreton Futures Trust Accountant Kirby Leeke.

Cr Sutherland said this was the only occasion where he would have been directly involved in soliciting a donations.

Topics:  allan sutherland crime and corruption commission editors picks kirby leeke accountant moreton bay regional council moreton futures trust



OPINION: Come to Maryborough and help break the record

Jordan Philp - deputy editor Fraser Coast Chronicle. Photo: Alistair Brightman / Fraser Coast Chronicle

I am looking forward to doing my part to help break a world record.

New sports lift-out to debut in Monday's Chronicle

Sports Monday masthead.

Fraser Coast Chronicle will debut a new sports lift-out on Monday.

PUBFEST: What you need to know for world record attempt

Pubfest 2017 - Maryborough Town Crier Ken Ashford with (L) Amy Wilson, Harvey the Whale, Emily Milne, Tim Holstein and Trish Milne getting ready for the record attempt.

Thousands will hop from pub to pub in the heart of Maryborough.

Local Partners

Sam Thaiday stars in Broncos’ carpool karaoke

SAM Thaiday has stunned with his karaoke rendition of Celine Dion.

What's on the small screen this week

My Kitchen Rule's mother and daughter contestants Valerie and Courtney.

MY KITCHEN Rules grand finalists face off and Love Child returns.

Anthony LaPaglia steps out with new fiancee

Anthony LaPaglia.

Actor Anthony LaPaglia engaged to much younger girlfiend

Ronan Keating a dad for fourth time

Ronan Keating and Storm Keating.

Bouncing baby boy for Boyzone star

Lion King remake well under way

Seth Rogen.

More Lion King remake cast members revealed

Splendour auctions VIP passes for flood appeal

Crowd at Splendour in the Grass 2016.  Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star

Each pass will have a reserve price of $500

Falling rents could spell doom for housing prices

What if I told you housing in Australia was getting cheaper?

Couple gets rich renovating run-down city homes

RENO RADICALS: Baden and Nelson Marino-Hall have turned three Toowoomba homes around for profit, saying the Garden City was a haven for renovators like themselves.

The couple has already turned around three homes

Townhouse pitch raises questions over 'high density'

BIG PLANS: Residents have a chance to offer their opinion on plans to build 42 townhouses at Raceview.

Developer plans 42 townhouses for Ipswich suburb

7 million dollar city homes for sale right now

3 Keira Court, Blue Mountain Heights.

Here are seven of Toowoomba's best, and most expensive, houses

'Raping and pillaging': Landlord's anger with nightmare cost

Chris Duane, who is chairman of the body corporate for Terralina Court, says insurance companies are charging too much for premiums.

BODY corporate boss unleashes on huge costs dumped on home owners.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!