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Bruce Flegg's son stood down from lobbying firm

Dr Bruce Flegg.
Dr Bruce Flegg. Brett Wortman

HOUSING Minister Bruce Flegg's son has been stood down from his lobbying firm after contravening conditions which ban him from liaising with his father's office on behalf of his clients.

Brisbane-based firm Rowland issued a statement on Tuesday revealing Jonathon Flegg had been suspended from his role on Monday.

"Communication and business advisors, Rowland. Pty Ltd, has confirmed that Jonathon Flegg, a consultant in its government relations practice, was yesterday suspended while the company investigates allegations that he had been liaising with the Minister for Public Works and Housing and his staff on business matters," the statement outlined.

"Jonathon Flegg's employment agreement with Rowland prohibits him from liaising with the Minister's office, or the department, on behalf of Rowland or any of its clients."

Rowland managing director Helen Besly said Jonathon was suspended until an internal investigation was conducted.

"The integrity of our advice and relationships with our clients and government at all levels is paramount," Ms Besly said.

Jonathon had been employed at the firm since 2011.

The Opposition called for Dr Flegg to resign or be sacked.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had never witnessed a situation in Queensland political history where a sacked media adviser made such serious allegations against a Minister.

"It is time the Premier stood up, took control and showed some leadership and either asked for the resignation of Bruce Flegg or sacks the Minister today," she said.

"Most people would be embarrassed by this daily soap opera that confront us on our television screen each and every night."

Ms Palaszczuk urged former senior adviser Graeme Hallett to refer claims, that Dr Flegg mislead parliament about how many times he had contact with his lobbyist son, to the parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee.

Premier Campbell Newman told Parliament staff from the Public Works and Housing and Education Department were dismissed after they failed to comply with a right to information directive.

Earlier this year, Mr Newman ordered all right to information requests be handled by independent officers, not senior departmental staff.

Flegg hits out as ex-staffer as 'revengeful bitter' man

UPDATE: Housing Minister Bruce Flegg has responded to claims he lied about his dealing with his lobbyist son and did not report a meeting with LNP Federal candidate Mal Brough on a lobbyist register.

Dr Flegg told Parliament this morning his sacked senior media adviser Graeme Hallett was a "revengeful bitter ex-staffer" who was trying to harm his former employer.

"Yesterday I dismissed Mr Hallett as I no longer had confidence in his ability to conduct his duties..." he said.

Dr Flegg provided a lobbyist register to an Estimates Committee hearing last month that showed he had two contacts with his lobbyist son, Jonathon Flegg.

A list Mr Hallett gave to media this morning shows more than 35 contacts.

But Dr Flegg said a majority of those emails were personal.

However, Dr Flegg said he would consult with the Integrity Commissioner over whether his lobbyist register should be amended

Mr Hallett also alleged Dr Flegg met with Fisher LNP candidate Mal Brough and a Queensland property developer regarding the construction of homes in an Aboriginal community on Cape York.

Mr Hallett claimed the meeting, on October 13, was not logged on the lobbyist register.

Dr Flegg defended the meeting and said Mr Brough had an enormous interest in the issue of indigenous housing.

"There was nothing improper..." he said.

"This was us doing our business and doing the best we can for indigenous housing."

The property developer Mr Brough represented was not awarded the contract, Dr Flegg confirmed.

EARLIER: A sacked press adviser has accused a senior government minister of misleading parliament on how many contacts his department had with his lobbyist son.

Graeme Hallett also claims he asked his former boss Housing Minister Dr Bruce Flegg to fess up and correct the record but Dr Flegg refused.

Mr Hallett addressed the media this morning following his dumping yesterday to reveal why Dr Flegg was "unfit" to be a minister.

He provided a list of contacts between Dr Flegg's son, Jonathon Flegg, who works for a Brisbane-based lobbyist firm.

The list shows the dates and subjects of emails sent between Jonathon and his father.

During budget estimates last month, the Opposition asked Dr Flegg how many contacts his office had with his son, to which he provided a lobbyist register that showed two contacts.

Dr Flegg's department claimed the Minister had instructed his office not to have any further contact with his son as it was inappropriate.

However, Mr Hallett claimed that was a lie he was directed to tell a Brisbane Times journalist.

"I am ashamed to admit it was a lie," he said.

"The commentary given to you never happened."

Mr Hallett, a life-long Liberal part member, said he wanted to set the record straight.

"The reasons I am here today is to indicate...it was really myself that does not have trust and belief in the fidelity of Dr Flegg anymore," he said.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk asked the Speaker in Parliament this morning to refer the matter to the Ethics Committee.

Dr Flegg will respond to the claims in Parliament soon.

Topics:  bruce flegg, housing minister, queensland parliament




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