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Palaszczuk 'deeply offended' at Miller corruption claims

HAPPIER DAYS: Jo-Ann Miller has taken aim at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and others in the Labor Party.
HAPPIER DAYS: Jo-Ann Miller has taken aim at Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and others in the Labor Party. Rob Williams

MEMBER for Bundamba Jo-Ann Miller has taken an extraordinary swipe at her Labor colleagues during a State Parliament debate about political donations.

Ms Miller, who was axed as police minister following controversy surrounding the proposed closure of the Ipswich Police Communications Centre in 2015, accused Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and other high-profile Labor Party members of ignoring her when she highlighted corruption allegations relating to Paul Pisasale.

Although she did not specify dates, Ms Miller said she told the Premier "on numerous occasions" that she believed the former mayor of Ipswich was allegedly corrupt.

"The Deputy Premier also knew of my concerns, as did other ministers," Ms Miller told Parliament.

"The State Secretary, Evan Moorhead, and the State President, Dick Williams, of the ALP also knew, as did many ALP branches in Ipswich, trade unions and loyal and honest ALP branch members.

"I was the only MP - state or federal - to call out the alleged corruption in Ipswich not just in relation to funding but also other circumstances as well.

"In relation to my time as police minister, I told the Premier that the then-mayor was allegedly corrupt and I believed had access to information confidential to the Ipswich police comms centre."

Ms Miller claims she was fobbed off and told to "just fix it" - which she said was code for directing the Police Commissioner to act.

"I refused to do it. The Premier stood by an allegedly corrupt former mayor and got rid of an honest police minister," Ms Miller told parliament on Tuesday night.

"I also raised matters like money changing hands and suspicious trips all over Australia and internationally only to be rebuffed because the former mayor was popular and an ALP member. I got told, 'Oh, he's very popular.'"

In response, Ms Palaszczuk said she was deeply offended by Ms Miller's comparisons of the current Government to the Bjelke-Petersen Government.

"Former Members representing my electorate - my father and the late Kev Hooper - had the courage to raise issues of corruption that led to the Fitzgerald Inquiry and the formation of the CJC - today's CCC," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"Mr Speaker, any politician - or any member of the public for that matter - who has allegations of official misconduct or corruption should immediately take those allegations to the CCC.

"The Member for Bundamba raised issues about alleged corruption involving then Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale with me when I was Opposition Leader.

"She did not provide me with any specific documentary evidence.

"But she advised me that she was taking her concerns to the CCC that day.

"I understood she had done that.

"As a former Minister for Police and a former Deputy Chair of PCCC, the Member for Bundamba knows how to approach the CCC."

A spokesman for the Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said Ms Miller's concerns were referred to the CCC in the appropriate manner.

"During the Deputy Premier's time as Local Government Minster, all local government corruption allegations were treated seriously and investigated," the spokesman said.

"We look forward to the outcome of the CCC's Belcarra and Fadden Forum investigation and will consider those recommendations."

Topics:  Annastacia Palaszczuk jo-ann miller state parliament



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