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


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

GALLERY: Roma footy fans hit the town for Origin night

Jeremy Green and Stephen Coupe celebrating Queensland's win at the Commonwealth Hotel in Roma.

Footy fans hit the town to show support for their state.

Big gas companies come to the table

COPING SKILLS: Professor Will Rifkin gives a presentation on the resilience of small businesses during CSG construction and operation.

Bridging the gap between CSG and local businesses

Macca confused by Government's gas export regulations

Ian Macfarlane.

Macfarlane believes regulations to restrict exports will not work

Local Partners

Man avoids jail for trying to buy $5000 in ice

A FORMER oil and gas worker in the Surat Basin has avoided jail after he tried to purchase about $5000 worth of methamphetamine.

Bundy mum blogging to get families offline

FAMILY FUN: Deonie Crowther is holding family craft sessions at the Windmill Cafe in Bargara.

Crafty projects a hit with parents and children

Country music stars coming to Ipswich

Ipswich will get it's country on when The Country Superstars Tribute Show hits town on Friday, June 30 at Brothers Leagues Club.

A UNIQUE tribute show will bring a bit of country into the city.

Shoes make difference to kids in Zambia

MANY SHOES: Toowoomba Grammar School's Adrian Irwin and Fairholme College's Libby Stumer with shoes collected for children in Zambia.

Students are making a difference, creating a new project

King Judah through to The Voice grand final

NOT even losing his speaking voice through illness could stop the Laidley singer from performing tonight.

The top 10 TV shows that need to end

Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright in a scene from season five of House of Cards.

It’s now time to cull some of our favourites

Prince Harry reveals he wanted to leave the royal family

Prince Harry was the center of attention during his trip to Sydney.

Prince Harry has revealed he “wanted out” as a Royal

Why streaming movies will cost more from July 1

Australians can expect to pay more for streaming services such as Netflix when the new taxes kick in.

The new taxes from July 1 won’t hurt the MPs’ big pay rise

What's on the small screen this week

Ryan Shelton in a scene from True Story with Hamish & Andy.

HAMISH and Andy hear another funny story and Cleverman returns.

Digging down to find Clare

Australian actress and singer Clare Bowen, who got her big break on the US TV series Nashville, is touring Australia with her solo album.

After five years on Nashville it’s time to tell her own stories.

Gateway to $3 billion, 4800 home new Coast city opens

The start of Peter Crosby Way at Sippy Downs, the northern access into the Harmony master-planned community at Palmview.

Palmview's $3b master-planned community of Harmony

Millionaire Nathan Birch to offload $55M in property

Nathan Birch wants to focus more on developing properties.

Sydney property investor has announced he is selling up

Fame factor boosts property prices in Byron

The stunning Clarke's Beach in Byron Bay.

House prices surge by an incredible 39.5% in star-studded area

Grass is greener for Warwick real estate

Warwick's rural charm and affordable property prices are enticing buyers from Brisbane.

Quality houses for half the price of Brisbane attracting interest

Builders relish Coast's growing construction rates

The Coast's average house price has risen from by more than $10,000 in the past three years to $507,100.

House numbers and values are rising on the Coast

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!