Kate Richards plans to nominate for Pullenvale ward as an independent after she was dumped by the LNP.
Kate Richards plans to nominate for Pullenvale ward as an independent after she was dumped by the LNP.

Dumped councillor says ‘faceless men’ spying on sex lives

DUMPED LNP Brisbane councillor Kate Richards accused the "faceless men" of the party of snooping into candidates' sex lives as she launched a bid to hold her ward of Pullenvale as an independent.

On Monday she will nominate for the March 19 civic poll and seek a Supreme Court injunction to delay the vote until she is cleared of allegations of wrongdoing now before the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Ms Richards is accused of asking a developer to circumvent an incoming donation ban by having someone else buy his ticket to her $750-a-seat fundraiser, according to the allegation in the developer's statement to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Ms Richards said the allegations were untrue and part of an orchestrated campaign to oust her.

"I was unfairly removed as the LNP candidate by faceless, backroom political powerbrokers," she said.

Kate Richards was referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission by the LNP in December.
Kate Richards was referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission by the LNP in December.

Ms Richards, a 45-year-old mother of three, said she was "furious" and "would not go quietly like others have done".

"(I have) been treated appallingly by a group of faceless men in the LNP who wield far too much power."

Ms Richards, an All Hallows old girl, had a meritorious career at Brisbane City Council before running for office. Yesterday she warned of further legal action against LNP powerbrokers in a letter that has been sent to families at Pullenvale, an affluent rural enclave 15km west of City Hall.

In the explosive letter she accuses some in the LNP of showing "no respect for democracy, integrity and the rule of law".

"The internal processes are akin to a star chamber. They are downright intimidating and disrespectful," she writes. "As an example during the vetting of potential candidates, women have been asked extremely explicit questions about their sexual history. This must cease. In my 'case' a tortured trail of half-truths and downright lies about my performance."

CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled
CCC Chairman Alan MacSporran. Picture: AAP/Dan Peled

The trouble began, she said, when she rejected a ratepayer's demands for funding that breached council guidelines. Another disgruntled resident "demanded a rate reduction for which they did not qualify".

Ms Richards said she was persecuted for "rejecting cronyism and backroom deals".

She still did not know the precise allegations against her, other than those leaked.

"(And) I have not even had a chance to state my case to the LNP executive," she said. "To this day they have refused to release the letter they sent to the CCC, leaving me as much in the dark as you are."

Ms Richards has assembled a "robust legal team" who would seek a meeting with CCC chief Alan Macsporran.

Deputy Mayor Krista Adams and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner both publicly praised Cr Richards work in Pullenvale ward.
Deputy Mayor Krista Adams and Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner both publicly praised Cr Richards work in Pullenvale ward.

Even after being axed by the LNP, Ms Richards won glowing endorsements in the City Hall chamber from Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Deputy Mayor Krista Adams.

They were not part of the group that ousted her.

Ms Richards was axed despite an impressive effort in negotiating $84 million in funding for Pullenvale, more in four years than the ward got in the previous 19.

Ms Richards worked for Brisbane City Council for 10 years and was praised for leading the flood recovery efforts.

LNP president David Hutchinson hit back late yesterday, saying complaints against Ms Richards were credible and clearly warranted a referral to the CCC.

He said that Ms Richards would be "automatically expelled from the party" when she nominated tomorrow.



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