Costigan dumped: ‘LNP has shafted us’
WHITSUNDAY MP Jason Costigan has vowed to remain in State Parliament despite being dumped from the LNP after allegations of harassing a young woman, which he denies.
The party's State Executive unanimously voted to expel Mr Costigan yesterday and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington immediately called for him to resign from Parliament.
However in a tweet less than two hours later, Mr Costigan said he would not quit: "I will NOT be resigning! #qldpol #auspol #costo2020."
The Courier-Mail revealed Mr Costigan's likely expulsion earlier this week after the LNP received a "serious" harassment complaint concerning an 18-year-old woman.
The LNP acknowledged removing a sitting MP would make the challenge of winning next year's state election difficult, however Ms Frecklington said she did not care about the political cost.
"If my office or the executive receive any further complaints we will be referring them to the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and if necessary to the Queensland Police," she said.
"I am calling on Mr Costigan to resign from the Queensland Parliament."
Mr Costigan last night told The Courier-Mail: "I've been swamped by well wishers from far and wide who are absolutely disgusted in how I have been treated by the LNP.
"I've worked my guts out for them since they started in north Queensland, not just my electorate, and the LNP has just shafted us."
The 18-year-old told her mother she had clutched a duress alarm during her encounter with Mr Costigan last month, while he visited her grandparent's home on a remote property in Victoria.
In her complaint to the LNP, the mother alleged the teen felt pressured to pose with the MP for selfies before he allegedly offered to pay to fly her to Hamilton Island.
The extraordinary complaint alleged the teen was "intimidated" by a shirtless Costigan.
Ms Frecklington said the family had made a statement to police.
Mr Costigan has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and has sought legal advice to clear his name.
Photos of the MP with women wearing bikinis have since disappeared from his official Facebook page.
The LNP's disciplinary committee received a second complaint on Thursday regarding suggestive messages Mr Costigan allegedly sent to a 19-year-old woman. It is being investigated.
Ms Frecklington said it was important that anyone with a complaint against a member of any political party had the ability to come forward: "This is about protecting young women."