Cops and journos – The #QldWeekly blogazine: #qldpol @Qldaah

The week in Queensland politics.
The Qld Weekly - No Fibs

Cops and journos - The Qld Weekly blogazine

Table of contents

Cops and journos.
(April 11, 2015) – LNP fear donation declaration repeal.
(April 10, 2015) – Banana crisis.
(April 9, 2015) – Bleijie’s boot camps a waste.
(April 8, 2015) – Stop the librarians.
(April 7, 2015) – Crisis talks after tragic Easter road toll.


Cops and journos

Much of the week in Queensland politics was dominated by the Billy Gordon case. We’ve covered that at a separate @NoFibs blog, “The media trial of Billy Gordon”. So, what else happened on the weekly political landscape?

People were very unhappy over revelations that the Queensland police service had received donations from multiple corporations, including The Courier Mail. Four months ago, derision erupted over the Twitterverse when photos emerged of Queensland police vehicles with Santos decals on their panels parked in front of a Northern New South Wales road sign. Since then, journalists have been trying to find out the extent of all corporate donations to the Queensland police service.

However, a full and frank disclosure was thwarted this week with the release of a dossier showing money received but without the corporate names to match the amounts. The document did show sponsorship where the name of the corporation was included in the title, for example, “The Courier Mail Police Scholarship”.

New Queensland Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller took a moderate approach to the cops and journos dispute and ordered that all future sponsorship be fully declared. However, police command will not have to reveal anything further on past transactions.


(April 11, 2015) – LNP fear donation declaration repeal

Lowering the threshold back to $1,000 rocks LNP

  • Amy Remeikis reports, “The LNP is urging the Labor government not to change the donation declaration laws it put in place arguing it could be “dangerous to create a situation where people are afraid to donate” and the state may not have the legislative power to make the change. Labor is seeking to lower the donation declaration limit back to $1000. During its term in office, the LNP tethered the state’s declaration limit to the Commonwealth’s, which is currently indexed at $12,800.”: Change to political declaration laws might make donors afraid to donate: LNP.

Not now, not ever – Make domestic violence a crime

  • Kim Stephens reported, “The time has come to make family violence a criminal offence in order to stem the high rate of domestic-related injuries and death, the Queensland’s police union says. In an open letter to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk published in March’s Queensland Police Union journal, President Ian Leavers said the Not Now Not Ever report – which was handed down last month and discussed ways domestic violence could be better dealt with in Queensland – did not go far enough.”: Make domestic violence a crime: Queensland Police Union.


(April 10, 2015) – Banana crisis

 Panama TR4 disease threatens $600m banana industry

  • Peter Michael reported, “Biosecurity officials are scrambling to save the state’s $600 million-a-year banana industry with a second case of the deadly Panama disease sparking fears the problem will be almost impossible to contain. Biosecurity officials warn the discovery of a second case of Panama tropical race 4 (TR4) poses the distinct possibility the disease has spread undetected in the nation’s prime banana growing regions. Two commercial banana farms, 180km apart, have now tested positive to the lethal soil-borne fungus dubbed by one scientist as the “Ebola virus” of bananas in a grim outlook for the industry.”: Banana growers face worst nightmare after second outbreak of Panama disease at Mareeba.
  • Guardian Australia reported, “Queensland banana farmers have called for a compensation scheme to be developed for growers whose crops have been affected by a devastating fungal disease. A farm near Mareeba has become the second to test positive for the soil-borne Panama TR4 disease, which poses a threat to the state’s $600m banana industry.”: Queensland banana farmers seek compensation for fungal disease.
  • Brisbane Times reported, “The Abbott government must compensate Queensland banana farmers affected by a devastating disease, federal MP Bob Katter says.”: Bob Katter calls for banana compensation scheme.

Queensland Treasurer attends COAG

  • ABC Radio Brisbane spoke to Treasurer Curtis Pitt about COAG, “Queensland’s Treasurer, Curtis Pitt, spoke with Steve Austin after attending the Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) meeting in Canberra this week. Mr Pitt said the damage caused by tropical cyclone Marcia in February has delayed the release of the Government’s first budget to mid-year.”: Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt on COAG.

Commission of inquiry into greyhound racing industry

Eammon Atkinson reports: The review into Queensland's embattled greyhound racing industry is now being upgraded to a Commission of Inquiry.

Eammon Atkinson reports: The review into Queensland’s embattled greyhound racing industry is now being upgraded to a Commission of Inquiry.

Road safety forum

Ebony Cavallaro reported: Queensland Government & police hold forum on road safety, ANPR technology likely outcome.

Ebony Cavallaro reported: Queensland Government & police hold forum on road safety, ANPR technology likely outcome.

Labor blamed for Easter Road toll

  • Amy Remeikis reports, “The LNP has blamed the Labor government for the state’s horrendous Easter road toll. Eight people died in five crashes across the four-day Easter long weekend in Queensland, the worst of any state. Transport minister turned shadow transport minister Scott Emerson blamed Labor for “dropping the ball on road safety”.”: Queensland LNP blames Labor for Easter 2015 road deaths.

The dirt files

  • 9 News Brisbane reported, “A Cairns man intent on digging dirt on a Queensland MP has received a terse reply after an epic email fail. The man, identified only as Karl, wanted help to dig up information about the new Labor MP for Cairns Rob Pyne, The Courier-Mail has reported. But the email was sent to Mr Pyne himself, rather than its tended recipient, the former Liberal National Party Member for Cairns Gavin King.”: Queensland dirt digger accidentally emails request to MP.

Newman quitting before election, no difference to result says confident Palaszczuk

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The LNP is remaining tight lipped on whether they would like their former leader to remain, well, tight lipped. Former Premier Campbell Newman hijacked the political agenda on Thursday in an interview with The Courier Mail, offering up that he had attempted to resign from the LNP leadership, twice, ahead of the last election, as he did not want the Campbell Newman of it all, to pull his ‘strong’ team down.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk says Campbell Newman resignation would have made no difference.


(April 9, 2015) – Bleijie’s boot camps a waste finds Auditor-General

Auditor-General Report 13: 2014-15 Procurement of youth boot camps

  • Queensland Auditor-General reported, “This report examines the procurement processes followed by the former Attorney-General and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General in awarding contracts to certain service providers to operate three youth boot camps as part of an expansion of the government’s youth boot camp program. We assessed the effectiveness of these processes in achieving economy of purchasing through offering the lowest cost for services that met appropriate quality standards.”: Procurement of youth boot camps.
Eammon Atkinson reported: Queensland's former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is at the centre of a scathing audit into his boot camp program for juvenile criminals.

Eammon Atkinson reported: Queensland’s former Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie is at the centre of a scathing audit into his boot camp program for juvenile criminals.

Sack Bleijie

  • Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath stated, “As the Auditor General said, the way these contracts were awarded is open to accusations of favouritism. The former Attorney General ignored expert panels, awarded multimillion dollar contracts for boot camps and then resisted investigations by the Auditor General. Lawrence Springborg needs to sack his Opposition Police spokesman. He needs to show leadership, make some tough decisions, show the courage and integrity the LNP failed to deliver in Government and during the campaign,” Ms D’Ath said. “He needs to answer whether or not he stands by this decision endorsed by the Cabinet to award these contracts; and whether he will sack his shadow Police Spokesman in the wake of this report. This former Attorney General ignored his own expert panel’s recommendations. He put politics over policy and integrity,” she said.”: Springborg must sack Bleijie.
  • Guardian Australia reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk lambasts former attorney general after report finds millions of dollars wasted on trials for youth offenders. Queensland’s former attorney general Jarrod Bleijie should be sacked from the shadow cabinet for wasting money on youth boot camp trials, the premier says. The auditor-general has found the previous Liberal National party government wasted millions of dollars on the trials for youth offenders, which were overseen by Bleijie. On Thursday it reported the program’s original budget was $4.9m over two years but the final cost was likely to be $12.3m.”: Queensland premier says Jarrod Bleijie should be sacked over boot camp trials.

Bleijie defends boot camps

  • Pamela Frost reported, “Former Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie has rejected criticisms of his approach to choosing youth boot camps suppliers outlined in a report by the Auditor General, saying a price tag cannot be placed on community safety. “I wasn’t going to put a price on the safety of Queenslanders,” Mr Bleijie told media this afternoon. “You’ve got to understand how these boot camps operate – they are rough and tough and they are remote.” He said the cheapest option was not always the best choice.”: Bleijie defends supplier choices: ‘no price tag on safety’.

Newman offered to quit twice

  • Sarah Vogler reported, “Former premier Campbell Newman twice asked party bosses if his leadership had reached its “use-by date” months before the election. And both times he had ­offered to resign if it meant the LNP could win, Mr Newman revealed yesterday – the first time he has spoken publicly about his loss. “I put it on the table because I wanted to make sure that we didn’t go into the 2015 election with me pulling the team down,” Mr Newman said in an exclusive interview.”: Former premier Campbell Newman reveals he twice offered to quit before 2015 state election.


(April 8, 2015) – Stop the librarians

VLAD fine for having a beer at the pub, charges dropped

The Carmody Crisis continues

Cops ordered to reveal donation sources

  • ABC Radio Brisbane interviewed Drew Hutton and received a written response from Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, “Queensland Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart, yesterday refused to release the details of private companies who made donations to the police service last year and rejected claims of a conflict of interest. In December 2014, energy company Santos GLNG paid forty thousand dollars towards a police road safety campaign which saw the company logo advertised on police vehicles. Drew Hutton, spokesperson for Lock the Gate Alliance, told Steve Austin that he was arrested at an anti coal seam gas protest by a police officer who had been transported to the protest in a car owned by a mining company.”: Were police transported to a CSG protest in a mining company vehicle?
  • Josh Bavas reported, “Queensland Police Service sponsorship details will now be made public after an edict from Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller. Yesterday, the ABC revealed the QPS received almost $700,000 in sponsorship arrangements in the last 18 months.”: Queensland Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller orders sponsorship details be made public.
  • Josh Bavas reported, “Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says he is standing by his decision not to release the names of private companies who have sponsored the police service. Mining companies, banks, media organisations and security firms are among a raft of sponsors behind almost $475,000 in donations to the Queensland Police Service last financial year. The donations for this financial year are on track to reach the same level. The ABC first asked for a list of sponsors and the sponsorship amounts four months ago, after environmentalists alleged it was a conflict of interest.”: Queensland Police received $475k worth of private donations in 2013-14 financial year, figures show.


(April 7, 2015) – Crisis talks after tragic Easter road toll

Terrible loss of life on Queensland roads

  • Pamela Frost reported, “The State Government plans to hold a forum later this week to see if Queensland roads can be made safer. Road safety minister Mark Bailey said nine Queensland families were suffering today following the weekend’s tragic road toll. He said it was “entirely unacceptable”. “The government is having a safe roads forum later this week between road safety specialists and stakeholders to see what we can do to ensure that this doesn’t happen again,” he told media this afternoon.”: Forum to make roads safer after ‘unacceptable’ Easter toll.
Emily Fardoulys reports: The State Government says it will hold urgent talks with Queensland police and road safety experts following a record Easter road toll.

Emily Fardoulys reports: The State Government says it will hold urgent talks with Queensland police and road safety experts following a record Easter road toll.

Queensland Police Service refuses to name sponsors

  • Josh Bavas reported, “Last financial year, the Queensland Police Service received about 65 separate gifts in the form of sponsorships. They included $45,000 from a security screen company for a mobile police community office, $40,000 from a mining company for an outback road safety campaign, more than $4,000 from seven donors for an annual golf day, and the donation of at least one police car, just to name a few of the deals.”: Queensland Police Service refuses to name sponsors.

Qld Government boots funding for Pyjama Foundation


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