LNP government showed poor judgment on Gibson’s crime
THE LNP Government in Queensland has a problem and it's not Clive Palmer.
Revelations of the past criminal behaviour of Member for Gympie David Gibson raise questions not only about LNP pre-selection processes but also the Premier's judgment.
Mr Gibson is Mr Newman's second appointment to chair the key ethics committee who has had to stand aside. Peter Dowling stood down after a former mistress revealed he sent her photos of his penis in a glass of wine.
It is now on the public record that as a 31-year-old serving Army officer David Gibson created four false invoices to channel $7335 from a mess hall to his own account.
He was placed on a good behaviour bond, eventually left the Army and went on to forge a career in management at the Gympie Times.
Should people be able to move on from past errors of judgment? Certainly.
Should people who have admitted as an adult to theft be made police minister. Certainly not. Nor should they be appointed head of a Parliamentary Select Ethics Committee.
Mr Newman says he did not know until three weeks ago about Mr Gibson's background. He should have.
Mr Gibson should have been honest enough to explain to his boss the full circumstances of his past.
And LNP headquarters, which was provided detail in August last year, should have alerted Mr Newman to the potential dangers of appointing Mr Gibson to senior parliamentary positions. It says under the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act it is unable to comment on why it did not.
Mr Gibson has at best shown considerable naivety in allowing himself to be elevated to positions where his concealed past had potential to make him vulnerable to influence. He remains head of the influential planning and infrastructure committee.
He argues that his past imperfections are reflective of the broader community and actually benefit the function of government.
That is a determination his electorate should have had the opportunity to judge.
Certainly the position is at odds with the LNP's state convention which supported unanimously the call to
exempt those seeking office from Criminal Law Rehabilitation of Offenders Act legislation which prevents disclosure of certain past crimes after statutory periods.
The proposition, ultimately rejected by Attorney-General Jarrod "tough on crime" Bleijie, is that those who make the laws should be subject to the same scrutiny as those who enforce them.
Police officers are exempt from Rehabilitation of Offenders Act legislation.
The LNP's problems are internal and need resolution. Failure to act will leave it no one but itself to blame.