ACT Police Minister Simon Corbell Says Predecessor’s Resignation ‘Unprecedented’

New ACT Police and Emergency Services Minister Simon Corbell has described the incident that led to the resignation of his predecessor as “unprecedented”.

Today Mr Corbell met with Chief Police Officer Rudi Lammers, after taking on the role vacated by his colleague Joy Burch.

Ms Burch resigned from the role on Wednesday amid a police investigation into allegations about her former chief of staff.

The chief of staff, Maria Hawthorne, tendered her resignation on Tuesday after revelations she allegedly briefed Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) secretary Dean Hall about a ministerial meeting with Mr Lammers.

Today Mr Corbell said Mr Lammers had taken his concerns about Ms Hawthorne’s conduct directly to the Chief Minister, which led to the resignations.

However, Mr Corbell acknowledged that the investigation into Ms Burch’s office goes beyond what has been reported.

“What occurred over the last couple of days was quite unprecedented,” he said.

“These are serious, serious issues, and they go beyond the issues that have been reported in the media to date.

“This is not about a member of a minister’s staff relaying to a stakeholder that their concerns had been raised … these matters go beyond that.

“The reporting we’ve seen over the past 48 hours is not telling the full story, and the reason for that is that the police evaluation is ongoing.

“We need to wait for police to do their job, to do it independently and to do it rigorously.”

Mr Corbell said he previously held the Police and Emergency Services portfolio, and that he had a strong history of working with the police force.

“I’ve developed strong relationships with the Chief Police Officer and his senior team over an extensive period of time,” he said.

“I’ve been police minister for a good part of the last eight years.

“I understand policing, I understand our emergency services, and I’ll be working with them very closely and drawing on those established relationships.”

Source: ABC News.

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