Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan spoke to the media today in response to allegations levelled against him.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan spoke to the media today in response to allegations levelled against him. Stuart Quinn

Costigan hits back

EMBATTLED Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has faced the media on Thursday afternoon to refute harassment allegations levelled against him.

Mr Costigan had his membership of the Liberal National Party suspended on Wednesday night following an investigation. 

In a press conference held at Bluewater Quay, Mr Costigan declared he was the victim of a "stitch-up."

"I've done nothing wrong," Mr Costigan said.

"It is a dead-set stitch-up.

"There's been no misconduct and these are baseless allegations.

"It's a smearing of my name and my name's been in this town for a long time.

" I want to talk about the allegation because it's about my name and reputation here."

Mr Costigan said he had sought legal options on the matter.

"I just spoke to a QC who specialises in defamation. I will be pursuing this like there's no tomorrow," he said.

"I've done nothing wrong and we will be contesting this through the courts.

"There's a defamation case here. I value my name and we will be pursuing these matters accordingly.

"All I can say is I'm refuting the allegations.

"We've done nothing wrong. To say it's mischievous that's an understatement."

Mr Costigan also took aim at his own party and in particular, leader Deb Frecklington, who on Wednesday night said he "doesn't have the morals and values to be part of my team." 

"You don't have to be Einstein to work out there are people in this organisation that don't like us," he said.

"But they've made a decision and there are party members not happy with what they were told last night.

"I dispute the findings of the committee that we've had to face.

"To say I'm just blown away with my own team is an understatement.

"Our mob couldn't beat an egg (in North Queensland) before I came along. I don't have all the answers. I don't profess to be perfect.

"Politically there are people who certainly did not appreciate me sinking the boot in before Christmas about how slack we were in the last election."

LNP president David Hutchinson said a call on Mr Costigan's future with the party would be determined on Friday.

"Mr Costigan will be suspended until the LNP State Executive meets on Friday, February 1, 2019," Mr Hutchinson said on Wednesday night.

"The decision to suspend the Party membership of a sitting MP is a very serious one, and has not been taken lightly.

"The LNP expects its elected representatives to uphold at all times the highest standards."

When quizzed by media, Mr Costigan was non-committal whether he would join another political party if expelled.

"I'm not ruling anything out today in relation to those matters. I love representing the people of Mackay and the Whitsundays," he said.

Mr Costigan has held the seat of Whitsunday since 2012 after defeating Jan Jarratt in that year's state election.

He retained the seat in the 2015 election and won a third term in a cliffhanger.

Mr Costigan edged out Labor candidate Brownyn Taha by 1.4 per cent at the 2017 election.

Before entering politics, he enjoyed a career in television as a sports reporter and commentator, also working as a media adviser for Senator Ian Macdonald.



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