Former WA ministers face corruption charges

Disgraced Western Australian premier Brian Burke and his lobbyist partner Julian Grill have been charged with corruption and giving false testimony.

They are among four people who together face 15 charges as a result of the WA Corruptions and Crime Commission’s (CCC) extensive investigations into lobbying and alleged public officer misconduct.

Mr Burke faces eight charges, one count of corruption, five counts of giving false testimony and two counts of disclosing official information.

Mr Grill, former Labor minister, is charged with one count of corruption and one count of disclosing official information. He was sacked last year over a $5,000 donation to the rival party, the Nationals, during the 2005 state election period.

The other two who also face charges are former Labor minister Norm Marlborough and former ministerial adviser Nathan Hondros.

CCC director of operations Nick Anticich said the charges related to investigations into Smith’s Beach, land rezoning at Whitby and lobbying around the pearling industry.

The public inquiry held last year was prompted by the controversy over the Smith’s Beach development plan, which proposed to develop a large-scale resort at the beach in the southeast corner of the state.

Mr Burke and Mr Grill acted as lobbyists for developer Canal Rocks, attempting to push the plan through Busselton Shire Council.

The plan was stalled by public revolts, with an audit finding 88 per cent of submissions were against the development.

Other public officers reportedly investigated over the dealings include sacked Labor resources minister John Bowler, former Labor MPs Gary Stokes and Tony McRae.

Those charged are due to appear in Perth Magistrate Court on December 12.

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