An animated Jason Costigan faced media in Mackay on Thursday to deny harassment allegations made against him.
An animated Jason Costigan faced media in Mackay on Thursday to deny harassment allegations made against him. Emma Murray

Second complaint against suspended MP

LATEST: THE Liberal National Party has received a second complaint against suspended MP Jason Costigan.

An LNP spokesman said the matter involved a 20-year-old woman who was 19 at the time of the alleged incident.

He said the matter has been referred to the party's disputes committee for investigation.

The latest claim comes as Mr Costigan held a media conference to address allegations made by the family of an 18-year-old woman that he had harassed her while shirtless.

Mr Costigan showed the media selfies he snapped with the young woman.

The two photographs displayed on a smartphone during a press conference in Mackay show her smiling alongside the suspended member of the Liberal National Party.

In one image later provided to journalists, the woman, who has not been identified, is displaying the 'peace' symbol with her hand.

Mr Costigan claimed the images showed there was nothing untoward with his interactions with the girl.

"I'm not going to get too much into the politics of it today. I'm going to talk about the allegations that have been levelled against me, because it's the smearing of my name, and my name has been in this town for a long time, as some of you may know," he said.

Costigan said he "wanted to set the record straight" and claimed there's "a lot of crap being thrown around".
"I've done nothing wrong. There's been no misconduct and these are baseless allegations. I can look you all in the eye and tell you it's utter crap," he said.

"I went around Australia on the holidays. I was invited to the family home. The young lady at the centre of this, I was in the grandparents house by their invitation and I had no shirt on.

"And almost straight away, after introducing myself - because she didn't expect me to be there and I didn't expect anyone to turn up - I went to put my one of my favourite Cowboys jersey on. It was a bit stinky, it's a pink one. A Women in League one. Because it was the right thing to do, right?

Jason Costigan and Deb Frecklington talk power prices at the 2018 Mackay Show.
Jason Costigan and Deb Frecklington talk power prices at the 2018 Mackay Show. Navarone Farrell

"She was there for, I don't know, about half an hour or so, and nothing bad happened. Nothing sinister happened. Yeah we took some selfies. How many people here know I love a selfie and love a photo?"

Mr Costigan claimed the woman at the centre of the allegations, of which he wouldn't "give a blow-by-blow", didn't appear intimidated, concerned or worried.

"I drove off thinking nothing of it," he said.

When asked what exactly it was alleged he had done to constitute harassment, Mr Costigan said he could not provide more information.

During the press conference, one reporter said there'd "been a lot of comments online from girls saying they've had creepy experiences with you, their words".

"And then there's people backing you saying that it's just your personality traits and your sense of humour. What do you think?" she asked.

Mr Costigan replied "I am who I am", adding he's "a bit out there with our personality".

The MP steered away from questions about his political future, despite expectations the LNP State Executive is expected to discuss his expulsion on Friday.

He would not say whether he would continue on in the Whitsundays as an independent, or whether he planned to join another party.

But Mr Costigan did allude to the allegations being politically motivated.

" ... I thought, you know what, they're not happy with how I've stuck the boot into (Prime Minister) Scott Morrison about what happened with my mate in (the electorate of) Gilmore," he said.

"That's when I got the phone call, right? I'm not going to talk too much about the politics of it today, I want to talk about the allegation, because that's really important. Because it's about my name and reputation here."

Mr Costigan has been talking to an "eminently qualified QC, who specialises in defamation" and said he "will be pursuing this like there's no tomorrow'.

Members of the LNP and others have been contacting Mr Costigan with letters of support, he said.
"The old boss (Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington) won't like that, will she?"

Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan posing with tourists for International Bikini Day last year.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan posing with tourists for International Bikini Day last year.

EARLIER: BELEAGUERED Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has vowed to fight harassment allegations that led to him being suspended from the Liberal National Party.

Referring to what he described as "baseless allegations", Mr Costigan told the Daily Mercury he would be "pursuing this most vigorously through the courts".

The MP, unceremoniously slammed in a scathing statement by LNP Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, has been accused of harassing an 18-year-old woman.

The Courier Mail reports it obtained an email complaint to the LNP in which a woman claims her daughter arrived at her grandparents' home to find the MP shirtless.

However, Mr Costigan has strenuously denied the accusations, which he dubbed "a stitch-up of the highest order", and indicated he would pursue a "major defamation case" in the courts.

In light of Ms Frecklington's comments, Mr Costigan could be expelled from the LNP.

"Mr Costigan doesn't have the morals and the values to be part of my team," she said.

"Integrity and trust are everything to me. I demanded strong action from the LNP in relation to the complaint against Mr Costigan and the LNP has acted strongly."

The LNP State Executive is expected to discuss the matter on Friday.

Mr Costigan was no longer listed on the deb2020.com.au LNP campaign website on Thursday afternoon.

In the 2017 State election, Mr Costigan narrowly beat Labor's Bronwyn Taha to retain the seat of Whitsunday, which he'd held since 2012.

Should Mr Costigan be expelled from the LNP, the party will return to parliament with 38 seats in the 93-seat house, 10 less than Labor

It is expected Mr Costigan will have more to say on the allegations against him later this afternoon.



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