CEO's false accusations of death threats send police on a wild goose chase

The CEO, Ken Diehm of the Fraser Coast Regional Council has made false accusation to the police claiming death threats had been made against councillors by a local resident. This serious categorically untrue claim resulted in a wild goose chase across the Wide Bay Burnett from Hervey Bay to Maryborough and beyond Gayndah to Binjour Plateau by a number of detectives and uniformed officers.

Police scattered across the region on Friday night (7 December 2018) only to find that no such threat had occurred. The CEO claimed that “we” reported the matter to the police without stating who else was part of the “we”. The matter has been referred to the Mayor as a formal conduct complaint against the CEO.

Residents involved are also considering referral to the Minister for Department of Local Government and lodged a complaint with the Police Commissioner. Defamation action against the CEO is also being considered by the falsely accused party.

Documents show that no such threat was made by the person so accused by the CEO.  Making knowingly false accusations to a police officer is an offence. The Police Service Administration Act 1990 states:

10.21 False representation causing police investigations

(1) A person who by conduct, by statements (oral or written), or by conduct and statements (oral or written), falsely and with knowledge of the falsity represents that an action has been done or circumstances exist, which action or circumstances, as represented, is or are such as reasonably calls, or call, for investigation by an officer commits an offence against this Act.

Maximum penalty—100 penalty units. Currently $13,055.

This knee jerk reaction of Mr. Diehm and others, seems to be principally an attempt to deny free speech on a matter of community concern and an attempt to silence community comment on widespread FCRC wrongdoings.

I think it is important to realise that the police would not be off to Binjour Plateau late on a Friday night, if the CEO had made some simple complaint about a post. The police were simply trying to determine the intent of the post. It MUST have been implied to police that there was a direct threat to life for the police to so react in such a precipitous manner. The police conducted themselves professionally and were most reasonable.

#fcrc #falseaccusations #freespeech #QldICACnow