Townsville mayor Troy Thompson’s military service claims under investigation by powerful corruption watchdog

<span>Since being sworn in as Townsville mayor, Troy Thompson’s Facebook posts about his military history have been deleted from his page.</span><span>Photograph: Troy Thompson for Mayor Facebook page</span>
Since being sworn in as Townsville mayor, Troy Thompson’s Facebook posts about his military history have been deleted from his page.Photograph: Troy Thompson for Mayor Facebook page

Queensland’s powerful Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) will investigate the military service history of Townsville’s controversial new mayor, including his time in the SAS.

Queensland’s council watchdog, the Office of the Independent Assessor (OIA), confirmed to Guardian Australia it had received Townsville mayor Troy Thompson’s service number and military history on 22 May. The OIA said it had “thoroughly considered” the matter before referring it to the CCC.

Thompson publicly released his service number last week on social media but did not detail the full details of his military history. He declared there would be “no further conversations” on the matter.

A spokesperson for the OIA said the body referred the matter to the CCC two days later as “the conduct of candidates is a matter for other agencies”.

“The OIA will not be commenting further on this matter at this time,” a spokesperson said.

The former One Nation candidate has been under scrutiny since an Instagram account leaked information which it claimed showed Thompson had embellished his military service during his mayoral campaign.

Thompson claimed during his mayoral campaign he spent about five years with the Royal Australian Corps of Signals and the Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment.

Those details were challenged by media on Anzac Day when the mayor told News Corp he could not remember his service number.

Thompson has repeatedly dismissed what he claims are “rumours and accusations” about his service history.

Since being sworn in as mayor in April, Thompson’s Facebook posts about his military history, as well as other posts made during his campaign, have been deleted from his page.

In now-deleted Facebook posts, Thompson said that he joined “109 sigs” as a signalman – an army member responsible for military communications – in 1989 when he lived in Perth, before joining “105 sigs” and later “152 sigs” before leaving the army.

In an interview with the North Queensland Freedom Network in February, Thompson claimed he spent five years in the military in Western Australia, serving in signal units in Karakatta, Fremantle and “SAS Swanbourne”.

Last week Thompson posted a screenshot on Facebook of a document which showed he joined 109 sigs as a signalsman in 1991 before a stint in the army catering corps. The document says his tenure in signals was 12 months and he later left the army under HQ13 – the brigade responsible for reservist units in WA.

Asked by a Facebook user about the dates of his service history, Thompson responded: “The time line was incorrect, but I couldn’t remember the exact timeline, so I fall short [of receiving a medal], so I’m told.”

Related: Townsville mayor Troy Thompson’s military service claims under investigation by watchdog

In a statement to Guardian Australia, Thompson said he was “happy to provide confirmation of my service in the Australian army”.

“I have officially received my service dossier from Defence. My service number is 5105374,” he said.

“My dossier is a comprehensive document and outlines everything I did from start to finish.”

Thompson claimed he did not wear service medals on Anzac Day because he “did not serve long enough in the army reserves to get a medal.”

He said he was disappointed that “private and confidential information” was leaked before he received it “through the official channels”.

The Queensland premier, Steven Miles, told reporters on Sunday that “if the Townsville mayor has misled the Townsville people … there should be consequences for that”.

“I can’t think of anywhere where it would be worse to lie about your service than Townsville,” he said.

“Townsville has the biggest army contingent and I’m sure they’ll take a pretty dim view of somebody lying about their service.”

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