Last week NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell was forced to admit that he lied to ICAC and resigned after that was proven.
“He, like many of his liberal colleagues, just either can’t seem to commit to a culture of open declaration, or merely forgets them to suit his circumstances,” Queensland Parliamentary Leader of the Palmer United Party, Dr Alex Douglas said today.
“In Queensland, the culture of lobbyists not just determining policy, but also linking in business ventures with politicians or their associates, continues unabated.
“These lobbyists reward their political associates very handsomely.
“Questions relating to AWH and its subsidiaries coming out of ICAC including those right up to Premier Campbell Newman remain largely unanswered.
“In contrast to former Premier Barry O’Farrell’s denials subsequently leading to his resignation, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said he paid the money back before he was questioned in ICAC. Therefore, according to his logic, then he had done nothing wrong as he publicly denied nothing.
“Clearly with the Premier repaying the money, $5,000 and $12,500 there is a clear admission something was wrong and although 6 years had passed, the Premier was keen to repay it prior to the ICAC hearing. It was clearly wrong and it was significantly more than a bottle of Grange.
“The role of the Premier’s former right-hand man used as both an instigator and conduit for funds – Mr Greg Bowden, remains unanswered. The LNP Government appears to be ignoring demands to protect the public interest.
“Irrespective of the role of Mr John Grayson, the Director-General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet in AWH and its subsidiaries, there are wider questions about the roles of all manner of lobbyists in the LNP Government and their close association with the executive of government.
“The significant weakening of the CMC will no doubt lead to much difficulty in prosecuting any real issues of political corruption in Queensland.
“Clearly the role of lobbyists in Queensland politics is ensured at least into the medium term by the actions of the LNP to date.
“The Palmer United Party have repeatedly stated they will ban lobbyists from involvement in political parties.
“The LNP is addicted to lobbyists. They claim to have dealt with the problem, but it appears they can’t do without them That may be the best reason to reject both lobbyists and the LNP. “