By David Marler
April 21, 2013
BRISBANE, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman lost another seat in parliament this week with the resignation of Scott Driscoll from the LNP.
The tally of MP’s quiting the LNP now stands at four with Newman’s 78 seat majority falling to 74. In addition, 3 Ministers have resigned over nepotism and incorrect ministerial record keeping.
Driscoll had been suspended from the party several weeks ago but will now serve as an Independent for his seat of Redcliffe.
He is also facing seven investigations over financial mismanagement with community group Regional Community Association Morton Bay (RCAMB) and retailers union Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA).
On Friday 12th April, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) heard multiple irregularities in the way Driscoll had presided over QRTSA.
Alarmingly, it was alleged he deliberately excluded many key executive committee members to meetings where elections were held. One of those excluded was John Hockings, who had brought the official complaint to the QIRC.
Documents had been lodged with the QIRC stating that Hockings had resigned his position from QRTSA. He confirmed through his lawyers that this was not the case. The legal team requested access to all documents lodged with QIRC as it was likely other executive members had been struck off also. It now raised serious fraud questions.
The QIRC was also told that Driscoll had wrongly disposed of QRTSA assets and property. Requests from Hockings to Driscoll for the receipts of sales were repeatedly ignored.
The Industrial Registrar also noted a discrepancy between the 835 QRTSA members officially lodged with QIRC and the 164 members that had been supplied to Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ). These irregularities pointed to a gross mishandling of elections.
With the beginning of a sitting week in the Queensland Parliament, Driscoll did not attend, stating he needed to care for wife Emma who was home with an undisclosed illness.
In his absence, the Government removed him in his position on the ‘Parliamentary Health and Community Services Committee’. His replacement was the failed former Arts Minister, Ros Bates who was embroiled in nepotism claims.
Led by LNP President Bruce McIver, the party executive was also done with him. They scheduled him to appear at a Saturday meeting to ‘show cause’ as to why he shouldn’t be expelled from the party.
As this news broke, The Courier Mail released February text messages in which Driscoll vowed to an associate that he would never be pushed out the back door but to go out ‘guns blazing’ and that he would release a book of ‘where the bodies were buried’.
However, for all his bravado, he remained a political coward and resigned the night before the meeting.
His resignation letter was bizarre and he blamed Labor for the whole smear campaign against him.
“Now all Labor seem to want to do is throw mud and attack people on a personal and family level. Smear and slander based on gossip and rumour is not a valid alternative to having a good policy platform and having an honourable intent to serve the Queensland community. I don’t think they quite get that concept yet.”
He made odd references to movies in order to absolve himself of any wrongdoing. Read the rest of this entry »