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No crime or misconduct, next stop: The Senate

Barry O'Sullivan can now take his seat in the Australian Senate.
Barry O'Sullivan can now take his seat in the Australian Senate. Peter Holt

TOOWOOMBA-based businessman Barry O'Sullivan is finally free to take up his seat in the Australian Senate after his nomination was endorsed in State Parliament.

The Queensland Senate position became available after Barnaby Joyce resigned to contest the seat of New England at last year's federal election which he subsequently won.

Mr O'Sullivan was nominated for the vacancy in September last year, but could not take up the position as he was the subject of a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation.

The CMC investigation related to allegations that Moggill MP Bruce Flegg was offered inducements to vacate his seat so Premier Campbell Newman could enter state politics ahead of the 2012 state election.

The CMC exonerated Mr O'Sullivan in December last year of any wrongdoing after it concluded the allegations could not be supported.

Mr O'Sullivan said, in a statement to APN Newsdesk on Tuesday, he would work hard to bridge the city-bush divide to ensure a sustainable and practical drought policy was achieved.

"Like most rural and regional Queenslanders I have watched with great concern as the drought has burned its way across the state," he said.

"The impact of drought is not just an economic disaster for farmers; it attacks the social fabric of a community and undermines the viability of every business in a bush town.

"No one is immune."

Mr O'Sullivan's family joined him in State Parliament for his official endorsement.

His grandson, Patrick O'Sullivan, who was badly injured last year after being thrown from a ride at Highfields, was also in the public gallery to watch his grandfather take-up the plumb Senate role.

Earlier, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was disappointed the LNP did not select a woman to represent Queenslanders at a federal level.

"If the LNP can honestly tell us, the people of Queensland, that the best person to represent us in the Senate is Barry O'Sullivan, we will not stand in their way," she said.

Topics:  barry o'sullivan crime and misconduct commission senate



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