Costigan expelled from LNP
WHITSUNDAY MP Jason Costigan has today been expelled by the Liberal National Party in the wake of harassment allegations levelled against him.
The LNP put out a statement just prior to a 1pm press conference being held in Brisbane by leader Deb Frecklington and acting LNP president David Hutchinson.
"The LNP fully recognises the significance of this action, and understands that removing a sitting MP will make the challenge of winning the next state election more difficult," the party said in a statement.
"However, we expect our elected representatives to meet the highest standards.
"Our priority will always be ensuring that we have the right people representing the LNP in Parliament, regardless of the political cost."
At the press conference, Ms Frecklington challenged Mr Costigan to consider his political future.
"Not only has he (Mr Costigan) been expelled from the LNP, but today I am calling on him to resign from the Queensland Parliament," Ms Frecklington said.
"This is a really serious matter that we're dealing with and it's all around values and morals.
"Like I said yesterday Mr Costigan simply doesn't have the values and morals and that's why we took decisive action and that's why he's no longer a member of the LNP.
"If we receive any further complaints we will be recommending that they go directly to the Queensland parliament and to police."
The decision was made by the LNP disputes committee following a motion which was put forward to expel Mr Costigan from the party, which was passed unanimously by the LNP state executive.
Speaking before today's decision, Mr Costigan declared he was the victim of a "stitch-up."
"I've done nothing wrong," Mr Costigan said.
"It is a dead-set stitch-up.
"There's been no misconduct and these are baseless allegations.
"It's a smearing of my name and my name's been in this town for a long time.
" I want to talk about the allegation because it's about my name and reputation here."
Mr Costigan said he had sought legal options on the matter.
"I've done nothing wrong and we will be contesting this through the courts," he said.
"There's a defamation case here. I value my name and we will be pursuing these matters accordingly.
"All I can say is I'm refuting the allegations.
"We've done nothing wrong. To say it's mischievous that's an understatement."
Mr Costigan has held the seat of Whitsunday since 2012 after defeating Jan Jarratt in that year's state election.
He retained the seat in the 2015 election and won a third term in 2017 by edging out Labor candidate Bronwyn Taha by 1.4 per cent.
Before entering politics, he enjoyed a career in television as a sports reporter and commentator, also working as a media adviser for Senator Ian Macdonald.