Did Townsville’s new mayor lie about his military service to get himself elected?

A north Queensland mayor has been referred to the state’s corruption watchdog over claims about his military service.

May 28, 2024, updated May 28, 2024
Councillor Troy Thompson spoke about his service history during his successful mayoral campaign.(Supplied: Troy Thompson)

Councillor Troy Thompson spoke about his service history during his successful mayoral campaign.(Supplied: Troy Thompson)

Troy Thompson spoke about his time in the Australian Defence Force while campaigning to be Townsville mayor in the March local government elections.

When challenged by NewsCorp publication, the Townsville Bulletin, about his military history on Anzac Day, Mr Thompson said he could not remember his service number.

Asked by the Department of Local Government to investigate Mr Thompson, the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA) has now referred the Townsville mayor’s claims to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC).

Mr Thompson said he spent about five years with the Royal Australian Corps of Signals and the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment before he won office, unseating Jenny Hill who had been mayor for 12 years.

The Townsville Bulletin reported Mr Thompson completed a two-week recruit course in June 1991 before attending a reservist cooking course between July and December that year.

It reported there were no listed courses or activities past 1991 until his discharge in October 1993.

Mr Thompson posted to social media that he had received his military service number after being challenged on his defence history since Anzac Day.

“When I went to the Anzac parade there was rumours that I wasn’t in the services, that I didn’t have a service number,” Mr Thompson said in his Facebook video last week.

“I didn’t spend enough time in the reserves to get a medal. It is that simple.

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“Respectfully, you’ve got my service number. That ends the conversation. No more bad media. Let’s move forward.”

The OIA received Mr Thompson’s service number and history on the same day and it “was thoroughly considered by the OIA as part of its assessment”, a spokesperson said.

“On May 24 the OIA referred the matter to the Crime and Corruption Commission (the conduct of candidates is a matter for other agencies),” the spokesperson said in a statement.

“The OIA will not be commenting further on this matter at this time.”

There have been no findings by the OIA or CCC on Mr Thompson.

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