Barry O'Sullivan.
Barry O'Sullivan. Peter Holt

CMC: No evidence to support allegation against O'Sullivan

BARRY O'Sullivan looks set to take up his seat in the Australian Senate after the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission handed down its findings into the "Flegg tapes" investigation.

The appointment of the soon-to-be Toowoomba-based Senator was delayed due to the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation.

Mr O'Sullivan's name was mentioned several times as part of the investigation into the so-called "Flegg tapes" which is a series of recordings which allegedly reveal Moggil MP Bruce Flegg was offered an inducement to vacate his seat for now-Premier Campbell Newman ahead of the 2012 state election.

In turn, Premier Campbell Newman nominated Mr O'Sullivan to the plumb LNP Queensland Senate seat after former Senator Barnaby Joyce vacated the role to pursue a career in the House of Representatives where he is now the Agriculture Minister. The LNP then endorsed Mr O'Sullivan at a conference earlier this year in Mackay.

In a statement the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission found today there is no evidence that a criminal offence was committed.

"In 2011 the CMC investigated an allegation that an inducement was offered to Dr Bruce Flegg to vacate his seat of Moggill," it stated.

"The CMC found no evidence to support the allegation and no further action was taken.

"In June, 2013, the CMC received new material relevant to this matter.

"After assessing this material the CMC determined it was appropriate to reopen its original investigation."

Former District Court Judge Gary Forno was engaged to oversight the reopened investigation and to carefully consider the evidence.

"The reopened investigation has found (in line with the earlier investigation) that although the seat of Moggill was a topic of discussion among members of the Liberal National Party prior to the state election, there is no evidence that a criminal offence of electoral bribery was committed within the meaning of Section 98C of the Criminal Code," the statement said.

"The CMC received Mr Forno's advice late last week.

"The CMC has considered the evidence gathered during the investigation and concurs with Mr Forno's advice that there is no offence of electoral bribery."

It is understood Mr O'Sullivan will be formally nominated by the Queensland Parliament when it resumes next year to take up his Senate position unimpeded.