Operation Sandon

IBAC is holding public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in relation to planning and property development decisions at the City of Casey council.

The hearings are part of an IBAC investigation, Operation Sandon, into allegations of corrupt conduct involving councillors and property developers in the City of Casey in Melbourne's south-east.

The first round of the public hearings ran from 18 November to 6 December 2019. Hearings recommenced on 2 March and were adjourned on 17 March 2020 until further notice as a precautionary measure in consideration of public health.

The hearings are scheduled to recommence on Monday 9 November 2020.

Public hearings

The hearings focus on:

  • the transparency and integrity of planning and property development decision making within Victoria, including but not limited to, the provision of donations and in kind assistance to candidates at State and local government elections that may give rise to actual or perceived corruption
  • whether public officers involved in planning and property development decision making have been improperly influenced through donations, gifts, pro bono services or other hospitality
  • the circumstances surrounding any actual or potential financial benefits obtained by any public officer, their families or their associates, resulting from, or otherwise in connection with, planning and property development decision making within Victoria
  • whether the use of professional lobbyists or planning consultants to lobby State and local government has resulted in undue influence over planning and property development decision making within Victoria
  • the systems and controls in place within public bodies concerning planning, with particular focus on the existence and adequacy of systems and controls for ensuring the integrity of the planning process, including by detecting instances of public officers obtaining corrupt benefits or being unduly influenced by individuals lobbying on behalf of vested interests
  • if the investigation of the above matters identifies serious corrupt conduct on the part of one or more current or former public officers, the extent to which (if at all) organisational culture and practices have fostered that conduct or hindered opportunities or attempts to detect and eliminate that conduct.

The hearings are being presided over by IBAC’s Commissioner The Honourable Robert Redlich QC. Counsel assisting is Michael A Tovey QC of the Victorian Bar together with Amber Harris, Principal Lawyer of IBAC.

Anyone with information relevant to the investigation is encouraged to report it at www.ibac.vic.gov.au/report or phone 1300 735 135.

Witnesses

Day 1, 18 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman

Day 2, 19 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman (continuing)

Day 3, 20 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman (continuing)

Day 4, 21 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman (continuing)

Day 5, 25 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman (continuing)

Day 6, 26 November 2019

  • John Charles Woodman (continuing)

Day 7, 27 November 2019

  • Lorraine Joan Wreford

Day 8, 28 November 2019

  • Lorraine Joan Wreford (continuing)
  • Geoffrey Norman Ablett

Day 9, 2 December 2019

  • Geoffrey Norman Ablett (continuing)

Day 10, 3 December 2019

  • Geoffrey Norman Ablett (continuing)

Day 11, 4 December 2019

  • Megan Ann Schutz

Day 12, 5 December 2019

  • Megan Ann Schutz (continuing)

Day 13, 6 December 2019

  • Megan Ann Schutz (continuing)

Day 14, 2 March 2020

  • Megan Ann Schutz (continuing)

Day 15, 3 March 2020

  • Raymond James Walker 
  • Megan Ann Schutz (continuing)

Day 16, 4 March 2020

  • Raymond James Walker (continuing) 
  • Glenn Andrew Patterson

Day 17, 5 March 2020

  • Glenn Andrew Patterson (continuing)
  • Thomas James Kenessey

Day 19, 10 March 2020

  • Thomas James Kenessey (continuing)

Day 20, 11 March 2020

  • Thomas James Kenessey (continuing)

Day 21, 12 March 2020

  • Susan Serey
  • Gary James Rowe

Day 22, 13 March 2020

  • Gary James Rowe (continuing)

Day 23, 16 March 2020

  • Amanda Jane Stapledon

Day 24, 17 March 2020

  • Amanda Jane Stapledon (continuing)
  • Rosalie Bianca Crestani

Transcripts

Please note: Transcripts of the examination of witnesses John Charles Woodman, Lorraine Joan Wreford, Geoffrey Norman Ablett and Megan Ann Schutz are not available at this time.

Looking after the welfare of people at IBAC hearings

Please see information for witnesses.

Media

For updates on the examinations, follow @ibacVic or #IBACSandon.

Media releases

IBAC’s public hearings into allegations of serious corrupt conduct in relation to planning and property development decisions in Victoria to resume with expanded scope in November

IBAC to hold public hearings into allegations of corruption in local government planning and property development decisions at Casey council

IBAC's Operation Sandon public hearings will continue in 2020

Media contact

0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au

Please note: interviews will not be available.

Receiving exhibits and transcripts

To receive exhibits shown and restricted transcripts during the Operation Sandon public examinations, media representatives must sign and return this public hearings exhibit and transcript request form including a declaration relating to the use and publication/broadcast of that material.

Suppression orders

Suppression orders were made on 25, 26 and 27 November and 2 December 2019 prohibiting the publication of any information or evidence naming four specified persons identified during IBAC's Operation Sandon public hearings on those days.

IBAC's Commissioner may make a suppression or other orders at any time. Media are advised to check for these, which will be made at the hearings. Contact 0427 480 840 or media@ibac.vic.gov.au if you require clarification.