Prison wedding not on watchdog’s radar

A LAVISH prison wedding - in which a drug trafficker served his guests Moreton Bay bugs - is not being investigated by the state's corruption watchdog after it was referred back to Queensland Corrective Services.

Convicted drug trafficker Terrence John Thornbury, 41, held the lavish wedding at Palen Creek Correctional Centre earlier this month.

More than 30 guests were served Moreton Bay bugs, prawns and prime-cut steaks at the picturesque wedding at he prison farm.

The Courier-Mail observed a well-dressed Thornbury pose for photos with his new bride.

It drew outrage from all sides of politics with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying she understood the decision to allow the wedding was made by a "junior manager".

"I was quite disgusted when I heard that myself," she said of the wedding.

The Premier and Corrective Services Minister Mark Ryan said "it would never happen again".

Terrence Thornbury and Jessica Salmon
Terrence Thornbury and Jessica Salmon

The matter was referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

But when asked about the matter, a CCC spokesman said it was aware QCS was investigating.

"If during the course of the QCS investigation a reasonable suspicion of corrupt conduct is established, the QCS will notify the CCC," a spokesman said.

A QCS spokeswoman confirmed the Palen Creek matter was assessed by the CCC and referred back to QCS for further investigation.

"The commissioner has directed the investigation to the independent Office of the Chief Inspector, which will undertake a comprehensive review of the circumstances," she said.

"If investigations reveal any behaviour which may constitute official misconduct, the information will be provided to the Crime and Corruption Commission for their consideration.

"The officer responsible for approving the arrangements of the wedding has been formally counselled by the Deputy Commissioner, and the Commissioner immediately amended the delegation level on weddings to Deputy Commissioner level, with Commissioner oversight."

Industrial services director of the Together union Michael Thomas questioned the move. The union represents prison officers around the state.

"I think we are concerned if this matter isn't looked into thoroughly," Mr Thomas told The Courier-Mail.

"On the face of it, it raises a whole lot of questions. And for the purposes of transparency, in the eyes of the public, an investigation is warranted.

"Even if it is to ensure everything was done with the proper approvals in line with policy."

 

Terrence Thornbury and Jessica Salmon
Terrence Thornbury and Jessica Salmon