Records "cleaned out" before MP office hand over
MICHELLE Landry's former campaign manager has described her new office as a totally blank canvas, reminiscent of the scorched-earth policies of retreating armies.
Kim Bulwinkel helped Ms Landry move into the Denison St office, formerly occupied by Kirsten Livermore, and said he was astounded to find all records and databases had been cleaned out.
Ms Landry said most people would not be aware that records were destroyed.
"Even records for the centenary of Anzac preparations were destroyed," she said.
"Anyone who did have work in progress should come into the office and resubmit queries for us to action," she said.
Mr Bulwinkel said a significant part of the work transcended political divides and overlapped the short timetables of election cycles.
"This work and its records are the bread and butter activity of a Federal representative...not political party property or the personal property of a representative."
Former chief-of-staff to Ms Livermore, Barry Large said the standard procedure was for the Department of Finance and Administration to move into the office at the declaration of the poll and remove everything.
"This is no different to when Ms Livermore took over from former LNP member Paul Marrick in 1988 and no different to what happens in every office around Australia," he said.
"Once the election is called, everything goes into caretaker mode...Mr Bulwinkel is showing his inexperience here.
Member for Rockhampton, Bill Byrne confirmed the procedure was exactly the same for state members.
"Records kept in a parliamentarian's office are the records of that member of parliament,' he said.
"They are confidential between the member and constituents.
"The parliament is a separate entity to the departmental process…it's not a government department.
"It's normal practice and probably been that way since the start of our parliamentary system."
Mr Byrne did acknowledge he was fortunate to have taken over from a member he got along very well with, and was able to turn to for background information at times.
"Of course that's useful," he said.