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.

Div 3 councillor implores Prossie to shop local

Division 3 councillor and local businessman, John Collins, is urging Proserpine to shop locally.

Div 3 councillor implores Prossie to shop local.

What is open in Proserpine this Anzac Day

Whats open and what's not in Proserpine tomorrow.

What is open in Proserpine this Anzac Day

Lions fuel up Debbie emergency crews

Just some of the emergency services workers to be fed at the Lions pop-up kitchen in the wake of Cyclone Debbie.

Lions fuel up Debbie emergency crews

Local Partners

Billionaire Elon Musk and Amber Heard hit Shingle Inn

Actor Amber Heard and billionaire boyfriend Elon Musk have begun enjoying Queensland.

New Netflix doco on JonBenet Ramsay's death makes huge claim

A new documentary will air claims that child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsay was murdered by a paedo sex ring.

New claims that JonBenet Ramsay was killed by a paedophile sex ring

Movie review: Guardians Of the Galaxy Vol. 2 delivers on all fronts

Star-Lord/Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and Drax (Dave Bautista) in Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2.

Does Guardians Vol. 2 live up to high expectations set by original?

Sir Elton John hospitalised with rare infection

CROCODILE ROCKER: Sir Elton John will head to Mackay in September for the first stop of his Australian tour.

Elton John cancels shows after becoming violently ill.

Sunshine Coast singers out to turn chairs on The Voice

NEXT BIG THING? Tune in to see Glasshouse Mountains folk artist Benjamin James Caldwell on The Voice.

Do our Coast folk singers have what it takes to turn judges' chairs?

Former Glee star Lea Michele posts nude selfie to Instagram

Former Glee star Lea Michele has posted a very revealing snapshot

Gold Logie winner defends Molly Meldrum's Logies hijack

Samuel Johnson has defended Molly Meldrum after Logies speech

Lisa Curry and fiance sell up Sunshine Coast property

I'm a Celebrity, Get me Out of Here! contestant Lisa Curry with partner Mark Tabone after being evicted from the South African jungle. Picture: Dylan Robinson ***EMBARGOED 7:30pm March 9th***

Plans for dream home on hold at Mount Mellum place on market

SOLD: Iconic M'boro pub set to be transformed

Shane Muller from Maryborough Motorcycles will be opening up a showroom and café at the Shamrock Hotel.

The Shamrock Hotel is set to be transformed in the next two months.

Family loses everything to fire then cyclone

The Williams family has been doing it tough since a fire destroyed their home and Cyclone Debbie destroyed what they'd rebuilt.

A family of five was left with nothing after Cyclone Debbie.

Coast developer looks to prime real estate's future

MANY OPTIONS: Sunshine Coast developer Graeme Juniper is considering what to do with a prime piece of real estate he owns on Radical Bay on Magnetic Island, near Townsville.

Radical Bay is World Environment Heritage-listed.

This small box of a unit just sold for $1 million

Elizabeth Bay unit has charming views to Sydney Heads.

If this doesn't scream 'housing bubble', nothing does.

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!