Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding.

‘Nothing to hide’: Mayor not aware of CCC referral

IPSWICH Mayor Teresa Harding has vehemently denied wrongdoing following a report that she has been referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission regarding the release of court recording involving her election rival David Martin.

The Courier Mail has reported a complaint has been lodged to the CCC alleging Cr Harding unlawfully obtained an audio file of a court appearance by Mr Martin, who pleaded guilty to theft, in 2010.

 

The Queensland Times Mayoral candidate forum held at USQ Ipswich earlier this year. David Martin and Teresa Harding went head to head.
The Queensland Times Mayoral candidate forum held at USQ Ipswich earlier this year. David Martin and Teresa Harding went head to head.

 

Speaking to the Queensland Times, Cr Harding said the audio file was obtained legally after she decided she wanted to "know the truth" about Mr Martin's conviction for stealing from a Bunnings Warehouse store in 2010.

Mr Martin appeared in the Ipswich Magistrates Court in April 2010 after being charged with stealing $140 worth of items.

Cr Harding said she had not been contacted by anyone at the CCC about the matter.

The CCC declined to comment.

 

David Martin and Teresa Harding at the QT election forum earlier this year.
David Martin and Teresa Harding at the QT election forum earlier this year.

"Like any member of the public can do I purchased the transcript on December 19, 2019 for $38.60 using my campaign account," she said.

"The matter was already in the public domain, but I was shocked about what was said in the recording compared to what had earlier been reported."

It is not the first time a complaint has been lodged regarding the release of the transcript.

A previous complaint dated March 30 - just two days after the election - alleged Cr Harding paid for the transcript and was going to use the transcript in a "whispering campaign" against Mr Martin.

It was dismissed by the OIA at the time as the actions of election candidates are outside its jurisdiction.

Cr Harding said more bad press around the council was "the last thing Ipswich needs right now'.

"I promised Ipswich a fresh start and that's what I'm doing," she said