ICAC clears nine country MPs on allowance investigation

ICAC clears country MPs on allowance investigation

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AN INVESTIGATION into nine country-based SA members of parliament has concluded with no "evidence of misconduct" found.

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After stepping down, former Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone has continued to serve his Chaffey electorate.

After stepping down, former Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone has continued to serve his Chaffey electorate.

AN INVESTIGATION into nine country-based SA members of parliament has concluded with no "evidence of misconduct" found.

A number of MPs, including former Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister Tim Whetstone, former Transport and Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll and former government whip Adrian Pederick were being looked at by the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption after they were accused of inaccurately claiming the Country Members Accommodation Allowance.

This led to Mr Whetstone, Mr Knoll and Mr Pederick standing down from their respective roles in the cabinet.

ICAC commissioner the Hon Ann Vanstone QC - who took on the role from her predecessor, the Hon Bruce Lander QC, who had launched the investigation - issued a statement today listing nine MPs whose claims for the Allowance will not be subject to further inquiry or investigation.

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These are Mr Knoll, Mr Whetstone, Mr Pederick, new Primary Industries and Regional Development Minister David Basham, Independent Member for Frome Geoff Brock, former opposition spokesperson for Primary Industries and Member for Giles Eddie Hughes, MacKillop MP Nick McBride, Flinders MP Peter Treloar and Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan.

"I have considered the material collected by the Office for Public Integrity," Ms Vanstone said.

"Given that the information provided so far does not reveal evidence of misconduct, I have decided not to widen those inquiries to other Members of Parliament."

She said she was putting out the public statement "due to the publicity that these matters have attracted".

"Because of the confidentiality provisions of the Independent Commissioner Against Corruption Act 2012, the individuals concerned are not permitted to do so; although in each relevant case the Member has been advised of the outcome," she said.

Ms Vanstone said there were still investigations continuing into other MPs on the topic but "no conclusion ought to be drawn" about the conduct of any person not listed among the nine.

"I will provide a further update when it is appropriate to do so," she said.

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