Sacked Terry Hill had glowing praise - RTI documents reveal

The moment Cr Margaret Strelow called for former mayor Brad Carter and former local member Robert Schwarten to help with cutting the ribbon of the new overpass. Photo: Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
The moment Cr Margaret Strelow called for former mayor Brad Carter and former local member Robert Schwarten to help with cutting the ribbon of the new overpass. Photo: Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK140613opening1

UPDATE: Rockhampton MP Bill Byrne will be holding a press conference at 10.30am about the Right to Information documents detailing the Gracemere Overpass opening invitation timeline of events and Fitzroy region Main Roads director Terry Hill's sacking.

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Today: MEMBER for Rockhampton Bill Byrne claims he has uncovered a paper trail that sheds more light on the controversial sacking of former CQ Main Roads boss Terry Hill.

"For months I have been trying to uncover the chain of events which led to the Newman Government destroying Terry Hill's public service career," he said yesterday.

The Right to Information documents Mr Byrne received show an internal email from Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson's department asking for former Rockhampton Mayor Brad Carter and ex-Labor MPs Robert Schwarten and Paul Hoolihan to be dumped from an invitation list to the Gracemere overpass opening.

See that RTI document here.

A decision-brief letter to the Main Roads director-general also showed Mr Hill received glowing endorsements and was about to be appointed to the regional director position in Central Queensland before he was subsequently sacked.

The department told The Morning Bulletin it had decided to "move into a new direction".

The RTI documents showed that after the opening of the overpass, a senior public service selection panel had ranked Mr Hill as first-equal in the final four applications from a shortlist of 10 for regional director jobs.

But the recommended four appointments were reduced to three by June 11 and Mr Hill's name had mysteriously been dropped from the list.

See that RTI document here.

Mr Byrne said he conducted an official independent investigation to see if there was any political interference or corruption of process from the State Government.

"The documents raise questions about why Terry Hill subsequently lost his job as regional director of the Department of Transport and Main Roads," Mr Byrne said.

"The department had already approved the guest list and local LNP member Bruce Young (Keppel) was advised of the invitations."

It was the presence of two of the three former politicians and their participation in the overpass ribbon cutting that has been cited as the possible cause for the failure of Mr Hill to be reappointed.

"These should be matters for investigation by the Public Service Commissioner or even possibly the Crime and Misconduct Commission," Mr Bryne said.

A spokesman for the Minister yesterday said the Government was focused on delivering better roads and transport infrastructure, not Mr Byrne's "silly political games''. Mr Young said he supported the Government's decision.

Topics:  bill byrne campbell newman department of main roads gracemere overpass margaret strelow right to information

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