On Thursday 30 March 2023, I asked the Police Minister about the police shooting of Aubrey Donohue and the need for an independent body to investigate complaints against police.
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).
Mr BERKMAN: My question today is to the Minister for Police. Queensland police union boss Ian Leavers told media this week that ‘all police involved should be commended for their actions’ in the fatal shooting of 27-year-old Aboriginal man Aubrey Donahue, which will now be investigated by the QPS. Given the clear conflict of interest, will the government finally establish an independent, civilian-led police integrity unit as recommended by the Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence?
Mr SPEAKER: Member for Maiwar, I am cautious that this may be offending sub judice if the matter is being investigated by police. If no-one has been formally charged then I will allow the question, but minister I urge you to exercise caution in terms of your response.
Mr RYAN: Thank you very much for making that point because the matter is before the Coroner. The matter is being investigated on behalf of the Coroner by the Ethical Standards Command, with oversight by the Crime and Corruption Commission. I will not speak to the particular matter. I will note that it is obviously a very tragic set of circumstances. The thoughts of everyone are with the gentleman’s family—there has been a loss of life—and the community but also with the police who often have to confront very violent situations. In respect of that recommendation, that is the responsibility of another minister. In response to the domestic and family violence commission of inquiry the government has expressed its support in principle for all of those recommendations. I know that Crime and Corruption Commission Chairman Bruce Barbour is actively working on how those recommendations in respect of police oversight and civilian oversight of police discipline matters can be implemented. We have a very robust police discipline system in Queensland. I acknowledge the opposition’s contribution to that. Something which took many decades was able to be improved and strengthened as a result of cooperation between both sides of politics, the police unions, the Police Service and the Crime and Corruption Commission. A few years ago we implemented in a bipartisan way a very robust system, but there are always opportunities to improve. That is why the government supported in principle those recommendations and why the chair of the CCC is leading the work around how that might be implemented.