Tuesday, 18 September 2012
The Examiner which has been on the Cansdell case since the outset marked the first anniversary of the scandalous matter with an opinion piece that merits further airing. Unfortunately, the Examiner hasn't put it online, so here it is ...
It might now be seen as small beer given what has happened in the Clarence Valley in the past few months, but just over a year ago the former Member for Clarence Steve Cansdell handed in his resignation from Parliament.
On September 16 last year, Mr Cansdell admitted falsifying a statutory declaration to avoid a speeding fine and turned himself in to police.
Despite this, he has yet to be charged, let alone face court, for doing something serious enough to warrant his resignation from office.
In February, six months after the resignation, NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith dropped a bombshell in parliament when he said Mr Cansdell could not be charged under state law because he had signed a Commonwealth declaration.
There were screams of "cover-up" from the opposition, but so far no-one has been able to discover a way of pursuing the case. The actions of the authorities on this issue do not give the community confidence proper procedures have been followed.
Months of police investigation went to the DPP and then the case was dropped on what most people would call a technicality.
The Attorney-General's reasoning also strains credulity as the most cursory investigation reveals fines issued by the NSW State Debt Recovery Office have always been printed with NSW statutory declarations on the back.
Mr Cansdell may never have to answer for his transgression - indeed many supporters would say his fall from grace was punishment enough - but justice has to be done and seen to be done.