Prest won despite Joh rort



BILL PREST, the longest-serving member for Port Curtis (now Gladstone), didn't have a single good word for Joh.

'They say the good die young, well, Joh should have died about 150,' Mr Prest said.

The 79-year-old was the Labor Party Member for Port Curtis from 1976 to 1992.

'He did everything he could to rort the system. When I went in 1976 he did a redistribution and said I wouldn't win, but I did,' Mr Prest said.

'He took Tannum off me and he took government with 18 per cent of the vote in Queensland. That's how gerrymander it was.

'It came to a head... It was the Fitzgerald inquiry ? that was enlightened. It just showed how corrupt they were.'

One example that stuck in Mr Prest's mind was when the Bundaberg Hospital received 20 tenders, including Evans Harch and Citra, for the construction of the maternity hospital.

The Fitzgerald report detailed that the Board recommended the Evans Harch tender as did the then Minister for Health.

It was awarded to Evans Harch even after Citra gave $150,000 to Sir Edward Lyons, a National Party trustee and Mr Bjelke-Petersen's principal confidant, to be paid to the National Party.

Later, Citra gave Sir Edward Lyons another $100,000 in cash, which was again passed on to Robert Sparkes, the president of the National Party.

Mr Bjelke-Petersen then asked the contract be awarded to Citra, which it was, although the completed construction cost $65,000 more than the Evans Harcher tender.

Mr Prest said this was why 'I won't be grieving or losing any sleep; 94 ? he's had his time and living off the taxpayers of Queensland.'



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