Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller
Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller Claudia Baxter

Springborg accuses Miller of being "in hiding" over call

POLICE Minister Jo-Ann Miller has been challenged to come out of "hiding" by Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg over her controversial phone call in the 'Williamsgate' affair.

As reported by the QT on Saturday, the Bundamba MP called Bruce McLean, a long-time friend and a constituent, the same day he was reported to have made serious allegations about Labor's Pumicestone MP Rick Williams.

Mr Williams has also been accused by other individuals of past misconduct.

The allegations, which he has denied, include forging financial documents, threats and sexual harassment.

Shadow Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie called for Mrs Miller's sacking over the call, which the Police Minister told parliament was made to ask after Mr McLean's welfare.

Mr Bleijie has referred Mrs Miller to the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) over her conduct.

Today Mr Springborg has turned the blowtorch on Mrs Miller and the State Government over several issues that have dogged its early months in office.

"Well the fact is that we have a government which has been in power now for just under four months, it has been racked by internal turmoil, and the inappropriate actions of a number of its members," Mr Springborg said.

"Indeed in the first hundred days this Premier gave us Billy Gordon. In the second hundred days…Rick Williams, and now we have Jo-Ann Miller, that normally has a lot to say, in hiding…and still we haven't had the Premier give a true and proper account to the actions of these individuals…what Jo-Ann Miller knew, when she knew it and why she actually contacted a witness…and also the true story behind Rick Williams in particular."

Mrs Miller has explained the reasons for her call to Mr McLean.

"I called Bruce at about 9.06am (on Wednesday), as his local member and as his friend, to enquire after his welfare and to offer my support … I did this because I was concerned for his wellbeing," she told parliament "He said he was okay and he thanked me for calling."

She said that as the Bundamba MP for over 15 years, she had offered her support to "countless members of my community".

"As the local member, this was the right thing to do," she said. "On reflection, as police minister and understanding any issues of perception I would not have made that call.

"However, I stress that as police minister I never have and never will interfere in operational police matters. I have known Bruce McLean for many, many years. He is a long-term friend, a constituent, a member of our church."

That explanation does not wash with Mr Springborg and he challenged Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's assertion that Mrs Miller had already revealed the context of her call to Mr McLean.

"We have the Police Minister who has contacted one of the witnesses, and we still haven't had a full account from the Premier around that other than saying that the Minister explained herself in Parliament," Mr Springborg said.

"Well she didn't really. It was self-justification, and it was a statement of faith. It wasn't a statement of actions." 

A spokesman for Mrs Miller said: "There is no truth whatsoever to what the LNP is saying. Obviously the Minister cannot comment on matters before the CCC. The Minister is getting on with the job."


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