‘Corrupt’ WA public servant cost taxpayers $500k

Craig Peacock.
Craig Peacock.

THE Corruption and Crime Commission has tabled a damning report which accuses a senior public servant of corruption and double-dipping which allegedly cost taxpayers more than $500,000.

Its bombshell ‘Report on WA Commissioner in Japan’, which has been tabled in State Parliament, alleges Craig Peacock continued a pattern of corrupt behaviour and a betrayal of trust that continued unchecked for at least a decade.

Mr Peacock represented the Western Australian Government in Tokyo for 17 years before his employment as Commissioner for WA was terminated on February 1, 2019 for misconduct.

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CCC investigation reveals corruption

He was fired by the Director General of the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation.

The Commission’s report reveals how Mr Peacock allegedly used his role, his position of trust, the discretion afforded him – and limited supervision by his employer – to enrich himself, benefit his friends; and to cover up what could have been a career-ending drink-driving incident.

Mr Peacock’s job was to maximise export opportunities for WA in Japan through the arrangement of visits for Premiers, Ministers and parliamentary delegations.

The report notes that he was a senior, trusted public servant employed by the Department of Premier and Cabinet (until 2017 when responsibility moved to DJTSI) and afforded great discretion.

The CCC report claims:

  • Non-payment of taxes in Australia or Japan since at least 2010
  • An unreported crash in a state-leased car while Mr Peacock was severely intoxicated and arrested
  • Mr Peacock destroyed a computer hard drive following a direction to bring his work computer to Perth, and
  • Wining and dining, and granting favours to friends at the state’s expense.

The CCC said in a statement that its investigation also raised many questions about Mr Peacock’s dereliction over many years, including how his conduct went undetected by the Department of Premier and Cabinet for such a long time and the way in which the network of Commissioners is supervised and their financial accounts validated.

“Those questions are for others and the Public Sector Commission has been provided with a copy of the report,” the statement continued.

“Though some people spoke highly of Mr Peacock’s helpfulness and competence in advancing the interests of the state – the public face for which he deserves credit – it is also apparent that in many ways over many years, he corruptly took advantage of his position.

“He is now paying the price. Taxation authorities in Japan and Australia may take an interest in his finances; he is jobless, without a Japanese visa and without prospects.

“Public officers before setting out on the road of corruption, may be wise to consider where the journey ends.”