This is one scandal the Premier cannot get away with

Unlike the other integrity scandals which have haunted her Government, Annastacia Palaszczuk cannot claim ignorance on this occasion.

This is not like Transport Minister Mark Bailey using private email to deal with union mates or former Deputy Premier Jackie Trad failing to declare the purchase of a property near Queensland's biggest-ever public transport project.

 

Chief of staff David Barbagallo looks on as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during estimate hearings at Queensland Parliament last year.
Chief of staff David Barbagallo looks on as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaks during estimate hearings at Queensland Parliament last year.


This was the Premier's hand-picked right-hand man, the person with arguably the second most powerful role in Ms Palaszczuk's administration.

Responsibility for ensuring David Barbagallo complied with all the relevant rules when he took up the gig in May 2017 was Ms Palaszczuk's alone.

And the Crime and Corruption Commission's damning report into government financing awarded to one of his companies shows she failed at every turn.

In his job interview, Mr Barbagallo told the Premier he was involved in tech companies and planned to continue with this work.

But this didn't raise concerns.

"He said he had companies but not that he was a director, to my knowledge," Ms Palaszczuk told the CCC.

When Mr Barbagallo submitted declaration of interest forms, there no evidence Ms Palaszczuk ever looked at them.

"The Declaration of Interests forms that Barbagallo stated he submitted to the Premier have not been signed or dated by the Premier," the CCC found.

And when quizzed by the Opposition about the issue, Ms Palaszczuk insisted Mr Barbagallo received advice from the Integrity Commissioner but it turns out that's not the case.

"Barbagallo did not 'get Integrity Commissioner advice' as stated by the Premier," the CCC said.

So what did the Premier do when her own internal audit found multiple breaches of integrity rules?

She thanked him for his efforts in her office.

"I also just want to put on the public record that this by no means says that he has done anything wrong," she said.

Originally published as This is one scandal the Premier cannot get away with



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