Corruption watchdog looks at port suspension

THE Crime and Corruption Commission is assessing ­allegations of corrupt conduct over the suspension of the Gladstone Port contractor who questioned Bill Shorten during a federal election campaign stop.

The electrical engineer said "it would be good to see higher-wage income earners given a tax break", to which Mr Shorten replied: "We're going to look at that."

It was later revealed that the State Government-owned port suspended a ­contract with Welcon, which employs the man, directly ­because of his ­interaction with Mr Shorten on April 23. The revelations sparked a Queensland Treasury ­investigation.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington also penned a letter to the Crime and Corruption Commission asking the watchdog to look into it, but was told last month that the watchdog would need Treasury to refer any allegations.

The CCC then referred Ms Frecklington's complaint to Treasury.

The electrical engineer said “it would be good to see higher-wage income earners given a tax break”, to which Mr Shorten replied: “We’re going to look at that.” Picture: Kym Smith
The electrical engineer said “it would be good to see higher-wage income earners given a tax break”, to which Mr Shorten replied: “We’re going to look at that.” Picture: Kym Smith

On Wednesday, almost a month later, Queensland Treasury confirmed that Under Treasurer Frankie Carroll had just referred the matter to the CCC under s156 of the Government Owned Corporations Act 1993.

Under that Act, the CCC must be notified if a complaint relating to a GOC"involves, or may involve, something that would be ­corrupt conduct under the Crime and Corruption Act 2001".

A spokesman for the CCC yesterday confirmed the referral - made on Tuesday - contained "allegations of corrupt conduct" that would now be assessed.

Ms Frecklington yesterday questioned why it had taken Treasury so long to make the referral to the CCC, insisting the timing "stinks".

"The attempted sacking of a worker who questioned Bill Shorten's poisonous tax ­policy should be fully investigated," she said.

"Only the independent Crime and Corruption Commission can be trusted to ­investigate a matter this ­serious.

"Queensland workers shouldn't be sacked for questioning politicians."



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