Ken Levy defends opinion piece on bikies

THE acting chairman of Queensland's corruption watchdog has defended his opinion piece about criminal motorcycle gangs as he confirms his appointment will extend until May next year.

Acting Crime and Misconduct chairman Ken Levy copped flak over the opinion piece supporting the Queensland Government's tough crackdown on bikies.

He initially denied during a Parliamentary CMC hearing that he received a phone call from a senior government media advisor before submitting the piece.

Mr Levy, in a statement released on Friday, said he had since remembered there was a phone call to the organisation but it did not influence his decision to write it.

He said he honestly did not recall the phone call until after the PCMC hearing.

"We cannot allow criminal motorcycle gangs to incrementally take over the state," he said in the opinion piece.

"We cannot stand by and not do anything because of some self-imposed idea that there is nothing we can do.

"There are things we can do. And the Attorney-General and the Premier - with the support of the Queensland Government - are taking the strong action that is required.

Mr Levy said he believed his role permitted such a public statement and he was therefore not required to consult with others before making it.

"I want to assure Queenslanders that I have not lost my independence and I am confident the CMC's independence has not been lost nor has its objectivity on matters been compromised as a result of the opinion piece I wrote," he said.

"I will continue to work closely with the staff at the CMC who are very professional and do an excellent job fighting serious and organised crime and investigating official misconduct in the public sector."

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

Bushfire reported near Glen Esk

People in the area may be affected by smoke

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

Newly planted trees stolen straight out of soil in parklands

The group planted 35 trees for National Tree Day earlier this year.

UPDATE: Fire sweeps through estimated 3000 hectares

UPDATE: Fire sweeps through estimated 3000 hectares

The fire is still burning, now hitting an estimated 3000 hectares

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