Peter Carne, The Public Trustee of Queensland, was suspended almost 12 months ago.
Peter Carne, The Public Trustee of Queensland, was suspended almost 12 months ago.

Public servant making $385K while suspended

A TOP public servant is still pocketing his $385,000 salary almost 12 months after being suspended over "serious allegations" of misbehaviour.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the Crime and Corruption Commission has finalised a probe into long-serving Public Trustee Peter Carne but he has yet to be reinstated after being suspended in June last year.

The mysterious case has divided loyalties within the Labor Party with Mr Carne a revered figure in some circles after setting up a legal practice with Wayne Goss in the 1970s before the late former premier turned to politics.

He began as Queensland's Public Trustee in 2009 and spent two years out of the role when the Newman LNP government was in power before being reappointed in 2016.

Attorney General Yvette D'Ath refused to confirm or deny whether Mr Carne was still getting paid or whether the CCC probe had been referred back to her department.

However, she confirmed her Department was still assessing the allegations against the head of the statutory authority.

"The show cause process is ongoing," Ms D'Ath spokesman said. "Accordingly we won't be making further comment about this ongoing matter."

The office, which was first established in Queensland in 1916, manages almost $3 billion in assets, undertakes more than $100 million in property sales a year and handles the financial affair of almost 10,000 clients with impaired capacity.

When Mr Carne was suspended, Mr D'Ath insisted he faced "serious allegations" that could amount to misbehaviour under the Public Trustee Act, which is a sackable offence.

One senior Labor figure said it was "outrageous" that the matter had dragged on for such a significant amount of time.

Mr Carne, a former Queensland Law Society chief executive, has not commented since he was suspended but filed action in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission at the start of this year.

In 2018, he spoke about how he used the two-year hiatus from his role to undertake courses to sharp his leadership approach.

"A lot of the times I thought 'if only I could do the job again, I could do this and that'," he said at the time. "I've really grabbed hold of this opportunity to make a difference."


Originally published as Public servant making $385K while suspended