Get your house in order – The media trial of Billy Gordon: #qldpol #MediaWatch @Qldaah

David Marler

David Marler

Queensland reporter at No Fibs
David is a full time carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs. More at: http://nofibs.com.au/meeting-david-marler-nofibs-twitter-activist-by-griffithelects
David Marler
- 2 hours ago
David Marler
http://nofibs.com.au/meeting-david-marler-nofibs-twitter-activist-by-griffithelects
Live blog of events surrounding the Gordon case.
The Qld Weekly - No Fibs

GetYourHouseInOrder2

Table of contents

Introduction.
Get your house in order.
Domestic violence is not a political tool – Ross Bowler.
Cairns Now and Gavin King.

The updates section

(January 21, 2016) – Extortion complaint against Christine Gibson dropped.
(December 23, 2015) – Billy Gordon vows comeback.
(December 09, 2015) – Matter against Christine Dawn Gibson adjourned.
(November 07, 2015) – Entsch hunts Gordon.
(October 29, 2015) – Gordon cleared of sexting allegations.
(October 26, 2015) – Significant power.
(October 25, 2015) – Gordon a condemned man, no matter which way he votes.
(October 24, 2015) – NSW police clear Gordon of Kristy Peckham claims.
(October 23, 2015) – Two staffers leave Gordon employ.
(October 20, 2015) – The Courier Mail and LNP link Gordon to Labor over coffee.
(October 19, 2015) – The Courier Mail’s renewed push for Cook by-election.
(October 18, 2015) – Gordon using Labor resources.
(October 15, 2015) – Pat O’Shane says Gordon shouldn’t cave in.
(October 14, 2015) – Premier won’t call on Gordon to resign.
(October 13, 2015) – Fourth woman claims explicit photos.
(October 12, 2015) -Third woman claims lewd photo.
(October 10, 2015) – Second unnamed woman claims lewd photo.
(October 9, 2015) – Christine Gibson appears in court.
(September 25, 2015) – Woman charged with extortion.
(September 24, 2015) – Billy Gordon cleared.
(August 5, 2015) – Referred for legal opinion.
(June 18, 2015) – A twist in the tale.
(May 21, 2015) – Billy Gordon makes maiden speech.
(May 20, 2015) – Gordon votes against government, reports Courier Mail.
(May 19, 2015) – Springborg accepts Gordon’s vote.
(May 6, 2015) – Why KAP voted with the government.
(May 5, 2015) – Billy Gordon on the crossbench.
(May 2, 2015) – I have never laid a hand on a woman – Billy Gordon.
(May 1, 2015) – Second former partner Sascha Bee tells her story to ACA.
(April 28, 2015) – Springborg comfortable with manner child support documents obtained.
(April 27, 2015) – Springborg admits to releasing Gordon – Pekham files.
(April 24, 2015) – Kristy Pekham – Only LNP helped me.
(April 23, 2015) – Kristy Pekham speaks to A Current Affair.
(April 20, 2015) – Returning to work as independent MP.
(April 15, 2015) – Morgan Poll puts Labor ahead.
(April 14, 2015) – ‘I’m not meddling’ – Warren Entsch.
(April 13, 2015) – Warren Entsch surfaces post-Galaxy poll.
(April 12, 2015) – Courier Mail Galaxy poll claims voters want Gordon to resign.
(April 10, 2015) – Barrister Andrew Boe representing Billy Gordon.
(April 9, 2015) – When The Borg knew.
(April 8, 2015) – Billy Gordon confirms MP status.
(April 7, 2015) – The Courier Mail claims it’s being ridiculed.
(April 6, 2015) – Election now!
(April 5, 2015) – The Sunday Mail columns – political blame trail. 
(April 4, 2015) – The rule of law.
(April 3, 2015) – The long political rivalry in FNQ.
(April 2, 2015) – Affording natural justice.
(April 1, 2015) – Driving the allegations.
(March 31, 2015) – Gordon decides, Cook awaits and The Courier Mail attacks.
(March 30, 2015) – Billy Gordon resigns from Labor before being sacked.
(March 29, 2015) – Palaszczuk sacks Billy Gordon from Labor Party.
(March 28, 2015) – Revelations.
(March 27, 2015) – Referred to police.

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Introduction

This is a live blog and archive of the events leading up to the police findings into allegations of domestic violence made against Queensland Labor MP for Cook Billy Gordon. In reading, please bear in mind three basic principles.

  • We assume the presumption of innocence.
  • We await the police investigation into the allegations.
  • We uphold the rule of law.

Please check back for updates.

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Get your house in order – The media trial of Billy Gordon

“I made it fundamentally clear to the member for Cook that he must get his house in order immediately. The issue has been dealt with and the member has made a personal explanation.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk‘s angry response in Queensland question time rang out through the parliamentary chamber on Friday, March 27, 2015. She’d previously stated that she expected the highest standard from all of her MPs. The Opposition was no questioning her standards. News had broken that Labor government MP Billy Gordon had failed to meet child support payments and was guilty of non-lodgement of tax returns. They wanted to know what the premier had known and what action she’d taken over Gordon.

Prior to question time, a purported meeting with herself and Gordon in the presence of Deputy Premier Jackie Trad resulted in him pledging to get his house in order by making the required child support payments and lodging his tax returns. The premier also asked Gordon if there were any other issues outstanding which she should be made aware of. There were none, affirmed Gordon.

However, worse was to come after question time with allegations of domestic violence made by Gordon’s former partner dating from circa 2006. The premier later advised an email had arrived on March 13 but had not been brought to her attention until March 18-19. The allegations and email were referred to Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart on the afternoon of Friday, March 27.

Both the Liberal National Party Opposition and The Courier Mail launched full scale attacks on Labor, Premier Palaszczuk and Speaker Peter Wellington on what they knew and why there was a length of time between the email arriving and matters being handed to police. Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg accused Premier Palaszczuk of a cover-up and challenged her credibility. He also challenged Labor’s vetting process for new candidates.

With 44 MPs, Palaszczuk’s minority Labor Government relies on the 45th vote of Speaker Wellington to pass legislation where the Liberal National Party or Katter’s Australian Party wont support it. If a by-election was triggered by Gordon resigning his seat of Cook, and a change to the LNP occurred,  it would give Springborg 43 seats and a chance to take government with support of the two KAP MPs.

However, by Sunday morning, the situation had worsened. Gordon detailed a string of prior criminal offences dating between 1987 – 2008 but denied the allegations of physical domestic violence. He also listed an apprehended violence order that had been raised after an argument with his mother in 2008. His mother was later to clarify that she did not request the AVO lodged by police. The dispute centred around a verbal argument and no physical violence was reported. As a result, the matter never went to court.

When Labor performed their standard police security checks for new candidates, no crimes were returned from Gordon as under the Criminal Law (Rehabilitation of Offenders) Act 1986, all qualified for expunction as they were greater than ten years old.

Speaker Peter Wellington was also accused by The Courier Mail of being “too busy” to attend to the ex-partner’s allegations. It charged him with being more interested in the opening the 55th Queensland parliament, in which he was voted in as unopposed Speaker, than domestic violence. The Courier Mail did not contact Wellington for comment prior to publishing the front page story. Premier Palaszczuk was also accused by the paper in the same article of not attending promptly to the woman’s allegations.

A second woman later sent a letter to the Premier alleging domestic violence against Gordon. This was immediately forwarded to police.

Allegations of violence against him had been published on the news website Cairns Now, run by former LNP MP for Cairns and journalist, Gavin King. King admitted to Brisbane Times state political reporter Amy Remeikis that he had interviewed Gordon’s former partner over a 3 week period. The timing meant that he would have been aware of the allegations before the woman contacted either the Premier or the Speaker.

Federal LNP MP for Leichhardt Warren Entsch stated that he had heard of the allegations in 2013 when Gordon ran against him in the federal election, but with no evidence there was no further action. He also admitted to speaking to Gordon’s former partner over the phone in February 2015 in which she asked him for help in acquiring the missing child care payments. At that time she also made the allegations of domestic violence to him. Entsch requested evidence from the woman and a future meeting was arranged for her to present it.

However, a car accident prevented the woman from attending the meeting. Later a package of evidence arrived at Entsch’s office. He also received the March 13 email from the woman which was also copied to Premier Palaszczuk and Queensland Labor Senator Jann McLucas. Entsch told the media he assumed the matter would be dealt with by both politicians because of their office holdings and because they were women. He also sent the package of evidence to The Courier Mail.

Entsch also revealed that the former LNP MP for Cook, David Kempton had assisted Gordon’s former partner in her child support payments problem. Kempton was defeated at the 2015 Queensland state election by Gordon. He has been repeatedly contacted by media outlets for comment. Entsch remarked that Kempton had “gone bush”.

In her capacity as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, LNP MP Tarnya Smith also received an email from Gordon’s former partner. She replied advising that the woman contact police and provided information on domestic violence support services.

Gordon’s personnel file from when he worked at the Department of Communities prior to 2012 had also been accessed and given to The Courier Mail who used it to cite his expunged criminal history.

Out of all of the transactions between Gordon’s former partner and the prominent people listed above, MPs past and present, it appears that it was only Premier Palaszczuk who referred the allegations of domestic violence to police. The basis of the LNP and The Courier Mail’s political attacks has focused on the length of time she took in doing this.

Below is the web log of events. Please check back for updates as more information is revealed.

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Domestic violence is not a political tool – Ross Bowler

Barrister-at-law Ross Bowler examines in depth the media trial of Billy Gordon and at his website he considers the seven issues that have been generated in the public arena: Domestic violence is not a political tool.

  1. Failure to disclose relevant information
  2. Failure on the part of the ALP to do due diligence on their candidate
  3. Mr Billy Gordon is now a member of parliament
  4. Mr Billy Gordon has the rights of all accused in Queensland
  5. Removing Billy Gordon from office would need to be in accordance with the law
  6. Disclosure of all members of parliament with a criminal and / or domestic violence history is now a live issue
  7. The vote of Mr Gordon in the parliament

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Cairns Now and Gavin King

Former Cairns MP and journalist Gavin King promotes the Cairns Now website through his Twitter account and has admitted to Brisbane Times state political reporter Amy Remeikis that he had interviewed Gordon’s former partner over a 3 week period, which would have been prior to any emails being sent to the Premier or the Speaker.

As Cairns Now doesn’t place date stamps on its articles and doesn’t name an author to the Gordon case, it’s difficult to archive the articles in the web log format below. However, here are the two articles for which it claims “breaking” and “exclusive” status;

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(January 21, 2015) – Extortion complaint against Christine Gibson dropped

Billy Gordon withdraws complaint

“Queensland MP Billy Gordon has withdrawn a complaint against a woman who had been accused of using an explicit picture to blackmail him.

Christine Gibson, 50, was charged with extortion in September but was allowed to walk free from the Cairns Magistrates Court on Wednesday after police dropped the case.

“We decided on legal advice to withdraw the complaint on the basis of drawing a line in the sand and moving on,” Mr Gordon told ABC radio on Thursday.

“I think it’s … an outcome that all involved are quite happy with. It’s time to get on with life.”

Ms Gibson’s lawyer, Paul Richardson, had previously questioned why it was taking police so long to give him information about investigations into his client and allegations that Mr Gordon sent pictures to other women.

He said Ms Gibson had been under a lot of pressure and was extremely relieved the matter was over.

“She’s looking forward to putting the whole thing behind her,” he told ABC radio.”:  MP Billy Gordon drops extortion complaint.

Tegan George reported, Billy Gordon has dropped a complaint against a woman who allegedly tried to blackmail him.

Tegan George reported, Billy Gordon has dropped a complaint against a woman who allegedly tried to blackmail him.

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(December 23, 2015) – Billy Gordon vows comeback

Confident on rebuilding relationship with Cook

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(December 09, 2015) – Matter against Christine Dawn Gibson adjourned

Lawyer waiting for more information

Guardian Australia reported,

“The lawyer for a woman accused of blackmailing Billy Gordon has asked police to disclose details of an investigation into the Queensland independent MP that was later dropped.

Christine Dawn Gibson, 50, was charged with one count of extortion in September, after Gordon reportedly sent her an explicit image.

Her lawyer, Paul Richardson, has confirmed he requested police provide him with information about alleged complaints from other women, who claim the member for Cook also sent them pictures.

He told Cairns magistrates court on Wednesday he was still waiting on some material he had requested from police. Outside court, Richardson said none of the information relating to the other complaints had been received.

Queensland police dropped the investigation into the complaints about the image in October after finding there was not enough evidence to lay charges.

The magistrate, Jane Bentley, extended Gibson’s bail and adjourned the matter until 20 January.” Lawyer for woman accused of blackmailing Billy Gordon ‘waiting on police for information’.

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(November 07, 2015) – Warren Entsch still hunting Billy Gordon

‘He’s a no-show. He’s missing in action’

“ROGUE MP Billy Gordon has gone missing on the Cape, with some community leaders criticising the Member for Cook for failing to turn up or support community events.

Organisers of the Cooktown Discovery Festival and the Weipa Fishing Classic are livid that Mr Gordon failed to fight on their behalf against State Government changes to two of Cape York’s biggest tourism events.

Mr Gordon also failed to appear at the Laura Dance Festival, to which he had been invited as a special guest.

The Independent MP, who was exiled from the Labor Party and holds the balance of power with Katter’s Australian Party, is at an impasse with the State Government over new lockout laws to reduce alcohol-fuelled violence.

The first-time member for Cook has also been embroiled in a sexting scandal after he sent sexually explicit pictures of his genitals to three women.

His latest bid for an extra electorate office and more funding outraged fellow parliamentarians after it emerged his Thursday Island office had never been opened.

The Cooktown and Weipa organisers said the MP was a no-show in parliament when they needed him to fight against changes to public holidays that would hurt their events.

Federal Liberal MP Warren Entsch, whose seat covers the state’s far north, said almost 200 people had signed a petition calling for Mr Gordon to resign and for a by-election because he was failing to represent his electorate.

“He’s a no-show. He’s missing in action,’’ Mr Entsch said.

Mr Gordon claimed the sexting was “consensual” and was cleared in a police investigation after officers deemed there was insufficient evidence in that case and another involving his undeclared history of alleged domestic violence and unpaid alimony. Now Mr Gordon claims his Facebook page has been hacked after a screenshot was posted featuring a profile picture of the MP taking a clothed selfie in a mirror. It read: “A girlfriend would be nice, but I’m married to alcohol and bad decisions.”

When asked about the comment, Mr Gordon said in a statement he was no longer on Facebook and had deactivated his account, but that there were fake accounts online.

Laura Dance Festival organiser Tracey Ludwig last night confirmed the indigenous MP was invited to be a special guest and judge at the biggest Aboriginal celebration on Cape York in June but he failed to attend.

“He couldn’t attend for family reasons. But that’s OK,” the traditional owner said. “He’s still trying to find his feet as a politician. Give him a go.””

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(October 29, 2015) – Gordon cleared of sexting allegations

Insufficient evidence

  • ABC News Brisbane reported, “No charges will be laid against far north Queensland independent MP Billy Gordon over sexting allegations, police say. Officers recently launched an investigation after three women made complaints about allegedly receiving explicit images from Mr Gordon. Queensland Police said in a statement there was insufficient evidence to lay charges and the relevant parties had been informed.”: Queensland Independent MP Billy Gordon not charged over sexting allegations.
  •  Amy Remeikis reported, “Member for Cook Billy Gordon will not be charged with sending explicit photos to women. Three women came forward to report the Labor-turned-independent member had sent them explicit images, while a fourth is facing charges she allegedly attempted to blackmail the MP over the images. A “comprehensive” police investigation concluded with “insufficient evidence to lay charges” over the claims.”: MP Billy Gordon will not be charged over sexting allegations.

Springborg complains about Gordon not voting with LNP

Warren Entsch involves himself again

  • 9 News Brisbane reported, “Women to whom Billy Gordon allegedly sent explicit pictures say they have been let down by the system after investigations into the embattled MP were dropped. Federal MP Warren Entsch says he has been in contact with at least one family member who says they will continue to pursue justice after police found there wasn’t enough evidence to charge Mr Gordon, the state MP for Cook. “I tell you what, if it had been my daughter he did it to, he would be walking around with his privates around his neck,” Mr Entsch said in Cairns on Thursday.”: MP’s alleged sexting victims not giving up.
  • Jim Campbell reported, “Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch told reporters yesterday families affected by Mr Gordon’s alleged sexting were “absolutely distraught”, and he would continue to support them. He said whether it was consensual or otherwise, the Cook MP’s behaviour was totally inappropriate. “I think as a community, a broad Northern Australian community, we all stand together on this,’’ he said. “I can assure you that (the families) are not walking away saying, ‘too bad, too sad, it’s an acceptable behaviour,’ they find it absolutely abhorrent and they will continue to pursue it.””: Sexting victim appalled Gordon investigation dropped by police.

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(October 26, 2015) – Significant power

Gordon to vote with KAP and LNP

  • Chris O’Brien reported, “Former Labor member Billy Gordon has begun to flex his political muscle as a balance of power MP, turning his attention to a second piece of Palaszczuk Government legislation. Mr Gordon will combine with the two Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) MPs, Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter, to vote against earlier lockout times for pubs and clubs, unless the Government reworks the laws. “People have voted for me and I am blessed to have very significant power, I think, or influence in the Parliament and I want to use that in a responsible way,” Mr Gordon said.”: Independent MP Billy Gordon flexes political muscle as Palaszczuk Government flags changes.

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(October 25, 2015) – Gordon a condemned man, no matter which way he votes

Media highlight Gordon voting against government

Despite being cleared of domestic violence allegations by two state police jurisdictions, Billy Gordon is a condemned man in the eyes of the media. Described as ’embattled’ or ‘scandal-prone’, if he votes with the government he is a Labor sympathiser engaging in secret deals. If he sides with the LNP on a vote, he still makes the front pages for voting against the government.

As to his sexting indiscretion, when the former LNP MP for Redlands Peter Dowling was found to have partaken in similar activity in the 54th parliament, he was allowed to resign his parliamentary positions and continue on as a LNP MP voting with the government.

In the 55th parliament, the numbers are so tight that it seems some sections of the media have a frenetic obsession with a Cook by-election before Christmas.

The Sunday Mail: October 25, 2015 - Party Crashers.

The Sunday Mail: October 25, 2015 – Party Crashers.

  • Sarah Vogler reported, “A major Palaszczuk Government election promise to crack down on alcohol-­fuelled violence is destined for the policy scrapheap with crossbench MPs uniting to vote it down. Labor is due to introduce its statewide lockout laws — including a ban on shots and high-alcohol drinks after midnight followed by a 1am lockout and a ban on the sale of alcohol in clubs and pubs after 3am — before the end of the year. But the Katter’s Australian Party has revealed it will not support the laws when they come to a vote. They have secured the backing of fellow crossbencher Billy Gordon who told The Sunday Mail he would not vote for the policy in its current form. Their decision means the Government will not have the numbers on the floor of the hung Parliament to get its changes across the line.”: Katter’s Australian Party has joined with crossbencher Billy Gordon to block proposed alcohol lockout laws.
  • Kathy McLeish and Francis Tapim reported, “The Queensland nightclub industry says it applauds a stand being taken by three MPs who have pledged to block proposed new liquor and lockout laws in parliament. Independent MP Billy Gordon and Katter’s Australian Party’s Shane Knuth and Robbie Katter are planning to vote down the proposed changes that include a 1:00am lockout and 3:00am closing time when it comes before parliament sometime before the end of the year.”: Queensland MPs vow to block Government’s proposed new liquor and lockout laws.

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(October 24, 2015) – NSW police clear Gordon of Kristy Peckham claims

Police take no action

  • Brisbane Times reported, “NSW police are not taking any action against scandal-prone Queensland MP Billy Gordon over claims he abused his former partner while living in the state. Kristy Peckham told Channel Nine in April the Cook MP – her former partner – was physically and emotionally abusive and locked her in a house in Dubbo. NSW Police says inquiries have been made. “However, due to a lack of evidence, no further action has been taken,” a representative told AAP. Ms Peckham said she would try to have Mr Gordon prosecuted in NSW after police north of the border cleared him of domestic violence allegations.”: NSW Police take no action on Billy Gordon domestic violence claims.

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(October 23, 2015) – Two staffers leave Gordon employ

Mareeba electorate office still staffed

  • Kirsty Nancarrow reported, “Two staffers for embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon have quit, the Clerk of the Queensland Parliament has confirmed.The now independent MP for Cook was forced to quit the Labor Party before making his maiden speech earlier this year, over a failure to disclose his criminal history and domestic violence allegations.A police investigation did not result in any charges but Queensland Police are continuing to look into “sexting” allegations against the MP.The ABC revealed earlier this week Mr Gordon’s Thursday Island office had been closed for nine months.The Clerk of the Parliament, Neil Laurie, said two of Mr Gordon’s Mareeba electorate staff quit on Wednesday but the office was still staffed.Mr Gordon has been contacted for comment.His Mareeba office said this morning he was “out and about in the electorate” but did not know where.”: Billy Gordon: Two staff quit in Queensland MP’s Mareeba electorate office.

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(October 20, 2015) – The Courier Mail and LNP link Gordon to Labor over coffee

Billy Gordon seen having coffee with Labor

The Courier Mail: October 20, 2015 - Billy's Labor Mates

The Courier Mail: October 20, 2015 – Billy’s Labor Mates

The Courier Mail claims: Labor MPs Duncan Pegg and Shane King have coffee with Billy Gordon (second from left).

The Courier Mail claims: Labor MPs Duncan Pegg and Shane King have coffee with Billy Gordon (second from left).

  • Steven Wardill reported, “A cross-factional gaggle of Government members continues to coddle Billy Gordon, including Member for Cairns Rob Pyne who yesterday lauded his sexting colleague’s honesty and commitment to his electorate.The public and private support for Mr Gordon, who sent pictures of his penis to multiple women, has undermined Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s protestations he’s been sidelined by Labor.The Courier-Mail has exclusively obtained a photo of two Labor MPs, the Right faction’s Duncan Pegg and the Left’s Shane King, having a coffee with Mr Gordon in the Parliament cafe last Wednesday night.It is understood the cordial catch-up between the former comrades came after Mr Gordon, who quit the party for failing to disclose his criminal history, dined with several Labor MPs including the Left’s Brittany Lauga, in Parliament’s Stranger’s Dining Room.The Right’s Linus Power, who is the Government’s deputy whip, was also seen during last week’s sitting of Parliament advising Mr Gordon how to vote as legislation passed through various stages of debate.Mr Pyne yesterday stridently defended Mr Gordon, insisting he was an honest MP who was diligently performing duties for his Cape York electorate.“I’ve always found Billy to be honest in his dealings with me and interested in representing his constituents, that’s how I’ve found him in our dealings,” he said.“I’d describe him as someone committed to Labor values. He’s certainly always participated in Labour Day, and defended the interests of working people so that’s been my main involvement with Billy Gordon.”Mr Pyne drew a comparison between Mr Gordon and François Hollande, lamenting that local media focused on his sexting while the French press turned a blind eye to their president’s philandering so he could focus on reform.“It wasn’t a subject of public discussion,” he said.“They were far more concerned with matters of state and reporting on matters of his position.”Mr Pyne’s comments undermined Ms Palaszczuk’s public push for Mr Gordon to resign and dressing down of ministers in Cabinet for allowing Mr Gordon to deputise for them at opening events in his electorate.Ms Palaszczuk insisted she was powerless to punt Mr Gordon but said she still wanted him out of Parliament.“The ball is in his court,” she said. “I have made it very clear. My views have been on the public record time and time again.”The Premier said Mr Gordon’s days of being allowed to masquerade as a Labor MP were over.“I said I would make it very clear to my ministers that that is not to happen again and in the one instance that it did happen, I have spoken at length with Mr Bill Byrne about it,” she said.Mr Byrne, the Agriculture, Fisheries, Sport and Racing Minister, has admitted he erred by allowing Mr Gordon to deputise for him at two opening events and by ordering his department to pen his speeches.It is understood no other minister came forward in Cabinet with an admission they had allowed Mr Gordon to step in during their absence.Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said it was hard to believe that the Premier was unaware of the coddling of Mr Gordon and if it were true, then the Government might have bigger issues.“You can’t say on one hand the bloke should be out of Parliament and yet on the other hand run around keeping him close, providing him with support and comfort necessary to keep him in Parliament,” he said. “If the Premier was prepared to have been strong last week she could have voted with us to change the voting procedures so we’re able to, in effect, discount his vote.””: Sexting MP Billy Gordon still backed by Labor buddies.

  • The Courier Mail also blogged, “Palaszczuk herself may soon be replaced. She now has a career-threatening integrity problem with revelations by Steve Wardill in the Sunday Mail that Labor propped up, coached and encouraged Billy Gordon, the troubled Member for Cook. Her explanations of contacts with Gordon do not stand up to scrutiny.”: Cage Fight: Annastacia Palaszczuk’s life as Premier on the line.

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(October 19, 2015) – The Courier Mail’s renewed push for Cook by-election

Editor wants Premier to act to remove Gordon

The Courier Mail: October 19 2015 - Premier: I know nothing

The Courier Mail: October 19 2015 – Premier: I know nothing

Minister Bill Byrne takes blame for Gordon stand-in

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(October 18, 2015) – Gordon using Labor resources

Claims Government supplying speeches to Gordon

The Sunday Mail 18 October 2015 - Exposed

The Sunday Mail 18 October 2015 – Exposed

  • Steven Wardill reported, “Billy Gordon is being secretly feted as a de facto Labor MP despite the Palaszczuk Government’s public repudiation of his actions. The Sunday Mail can reveal the Independent Member for Cook, who was ejected from Labor over his undisclosed criminal history, is being deployed by the Government to deputise for ministers and cut the ribbon at opening events.”: Palaszczuk Government secretly supporting Cook MP Billy Gordon.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been forced to admit she did not know disgraced former Labor MP turned independent Billy Gordon was stepping in for her minister at events, blaming it on a ministerial staffer “overstepping the parameters I have set”. A review of the questions on notice revealed the Cook MP filled in for Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne on at least two occasions in August and September, with the department providing Mr Gordon with what he was to say. The Premier admitted on Sunday she did not know Mr Gordon was appearing at events in her minister’s stead.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk ‘wasn’t aware’ Billy Gordon filled in for Minister.

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(October 15, 2015) – Pat O’Shane says Gordon shouldn’t cave in

Gordon seeks advice from O’Shane

  • Grace Uhr and Jim Campbell reported, “But a prominent indigenous legal figure and occasional ­adviser to Mr Gordon was ­adamant he had done nothing wrong. Pat O’Shane, who was born in Mossman and attended school in Cairns, was Australia’s first Aboriginal barrister and magistrate. Ms O’Shane was also Chancellor of the University of New England from 1994 to 2003. She said while Mr Gordon was not a legal client he had reached out to her for advice this week. “He has occasionally sought my advices,” Ms O’Shane said. “I have indicated to Billy, and I know he has taken legal advice from other people, in that he should not resign. “I advised Billy to stay where he is and under no circumstances to give into this kind of pressure.” Ms O’Shane also warned that the women who had passed on the explicit images could be exposed to legal action by Mr Gordon.”: Calls mount for Gordon to stand down over ‘sexting’ allegations.

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(October 14, 2015) – Premier won’t call on Gordon to resign

DOL Langbroek tables The Cairns Post front page

  • Jim Campbell reported, “Embattled MP Billy Gordon has come under fire from both ends of the state with parliamentary and indigenous leaders calling for his resignation. Mr Gordon yesterday refused to stand down despite mounting pressure over the past week with up to four women claiming to have received explicit photographs from him. Speaking out for the first time since the scandal broke, the Independent Member for Cook said he would not leave Parliament and said he believed the “personal exchanges” he had were consensual.”: Pressure mounts on Cook MP Billy Gordon to resign.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Independent speaker Peter Wellington “is now complicit” with Labor in “co-owning” decisions of parliament passed with Billy Gordon’s vote, the Opposition claims, calling for Mr Wellington to explain himself to the people of Queensland. The LNP lost its second attempt to ‘void’ the Cook MPs vote on Tuesday, when Mr Wellington sided with Labor and Mr Gordon overnight, to defeat the Opposition’s motion to give party leaders the opportunity to “reject” an MPs vote. Mr Wellington said he voted against the LNP because he believed it was being “pursued for political expediency, not genuine parliamentary reform”. He also mentioned “other matters” but declined to go into detail on them. In Parliament on Wednesday, deputy LNP leader John-Paul Langbroek continued the Opposition’s attack against the government for not taking a stance on Mr Gordon and said Mr Wellington should explain his comments.”: Opposition demands ‘explanation’ from Wellington.

Gordon’s future a matter for him

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(October 13, 2015) – Fourth woman claims explicit photos

Palm Island woman alleges 30 graphic pictures

The Courier Mail October 13, 2015 - Dishonourable Member

The Courier Mail October 13, 2015 – Dishonourable Member

  • Grace Uhr reported, “Whether Billy Gordon stays or goes as Member for Cook may come down to public pressure as a fourth woman comes forward to claim she received explicit pictures. The Palm Island woman told The Cairns Post she was considering making a formal complaint after allegedly receiving up to 30 graphic pictures during two years of conversing with the MP via both Facebook and phone messages. Legal experts say while Mr Gordon has not committed an offence, the question now is whether this behaviour, if proven, was appropriate for a member of parliament. Senior Far North political figures believe immediate action is required as parliament sits today for the first time since the scandal broke.”: Future of controversial Cook MP Billy Gordon in the balance after fourth woman comes forward.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Besieged Queensland MP Billy Gordon says he will stay on as the member for Cook, defending sending messages containing explicit pictures as what he believed to be “private and consensual” exchanges. Mr Gordon sent at least three women explicit pictures since joining Parliament, with one woman now facing charges for allegedly attempted to blackmail Mr Gordon after she received the photos.”: Embattled MP Billy Gordon vows to stay.
  • ABC News Brisbane reported, “It has been a tumultuous first year in Parliament for the independent politician, who quit the Labor Party in March following accusations of domestic violence against him. Detectives confirmed in September they would not proceed with domestic violence allegations against Mr Gordon owing to insufficient evidence. The Opposition will again try to change Parliament’s voting rules later today, to allow either side to effectively nullify Mr Gordon’s vote. In Queensland Parliament today, Opposition MPs pursued the matter during Question Time. But Treasurer Curtis Pitt rejected the Opposition’s argument.”: Billy Gordon: Queensland MP vows to remain in Parliament despite explicit message claims.

Katrina Blowers reported: Ghosts of Scott Driscoll & Peter Dowling in parliament as Billy Gordon declares he'll stay on.

Katrina Blowers reported: Ghosts of Scott Driscoll & Peter Dowling in parliament as Billy Gordon declares he’ll stay on.

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(October 12, 2015) – Third woman claims lewd photo

Police confirm third woman alleges explicit photo

The Courier Mail - October 12, 2015 - Flash Gordon

The Courier Mail – October 12, 2015 – Flash Gordon

  • Grace Uhr and Matthew Killoran reported, “A Cape York elder has warned rogue MP Billy Gordon to stay away from his community or face violence as it emerges a third woman has spoken to police over an explicit photograph of the MP. Police have now taken the extraordinary step of asking any other victims who have received illicit images from Mr Gordon to come forward. Hope Vale elder Harold Bowen, who sits on the community’s Congress of Clans, slammed the embattled Member for Cook, saying he should step down and that he was an “embarrassment” as a state representative.”: MP Billy Gordon warned to stay clear by Cape York elder as sexting scandal rolls on.
  • Matthew Killoran reported, “Rogue MP Billy Gordon’s alleged behaviour is “unacceptable” and “disgusting” according to the Premier and her deputy. But Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she still would not change Parliamentary voting rules to allow her to “reject” his vote. Following more allegations from women that Mr Gordon had sent them sexually explicit photos, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said she was disgusted at the revelations. “It’s not something I want Queenslanders or Queensland children to be exposed to,” Ms Trad said. “It’s not a pretty thing.””: Deputy Premier Jackie Trad says rogue MP Billy Gordon’s alleged behaviour is ‘unacceptable’.
  • ABC News Brisbane reported, “Two more women have lodged formal complaints about Queensland MP Billy Gordon in relation to explicit images, police have confirmed. A police spokesman said a woman came forward with a complaint late last week that the Member for Cook sent her an explicit image on social media. Officers also received information from a third woman over the weekend. Police said they were investigating the matters and no charges had been laid.”: Billy Gordon: Two more women make complaints to police about Cook MP and ‘explicit images’.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Cook MP Billy Gordon, and the crucial vote he holds in Queensland’s hung parliament, is once again dominating the political agenda, after allegations he sent explicit photos to three women since joining Parliament. News Corp has reported two women have approached police over receiving the photos, while a third is facing charges for allegedly attempting to blackmail Mr Gordon after receiving photos of a similar nature. Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said she was “pretty disgusted” by the revelations.”: Jackie Trad ‘disgusted’ at Billy Gordon claims.
Patrick Condren reported: Claims Billy Gordon sent lewd pictures to three women.

Patrick Condren reported: Claims Billy Gordon sent lewd pictures to three women.

Shane Doherty reported: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg wants parliamentary voting rules changed to deny Billy Gordon's relevance.

Shane Doherty reported: Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg wants parliamentary voting rules changed to deny Billy Gordon’s relevance.

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(October 10, 2015) – Second woman claims lewd photo

Unnamed woman claims she received explicit photo from Billy Gordon

The Courier Mail - October 10, 2015 - Sext Pest Shocker

The Courier Mail – October 10, 2015 – Sext Pest Shocker

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(October 9, 2015) – Christine Gibson appears in court

Christine Gibson appears on extortion charges

  • Grace Uhr and Shannon Power reported, “A Cairns woman allegedly sent a picture of Billy Gordon’s genitalia by the MP has been accused of trying to blackmail him over the explicit text message. A 50-year-old Smithfield woman is scheduled to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court next month after she was charged with extortion. The charge was revealed the same day police confirmed they would not proceed with domestic violence charges against Mr Gordon. The Cairns Post understands detectives launched an investigation into the alleged extortion after Mr Gordon reported the alleged blackmail to them. The amount of money involved in the alleged extortion attempt is reportedly up to $10,000.”: Cairns woman accused of blackmailing Cook MP Billy Gordon over explicit photo.
  • ABC News Brisbane reported, “A Cairns woman accused of extorting Queensland MP Billy Gordon over an explicit photo has appeared in court. 50-year-old Christine Gibson was charged with extortion late last month for allegedly trying to blackmail the independent member for Cook on September 22 over an indecent image he sent her via a text message.”: Billy Gordon: Woman accused of extorting Queensland MP appears in court.

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(September 25, 2015) – Woman charged with extortion

Billy Gordon statement, legal options considered

  • Brisbane Times reported, “Queensland crossbencher Billy Gordon is considering legal action against people involved in unsubstantiated domestic violence allegations made against him. After a lengthy police investigation, Queensland Police concluded on Thursday would not face domestic violence charges. Mr Gordon has told of the “extraordinarily traumatic time” he and his immediate family have been through since the allegations were first made by his former partner in March. He was also ruthlessly hounded by the Liberal National Party and he’s now considering taking action. “I will be considering all legal options that can be taken against individuals who have been involved in these vicious and vexatious charges against me and what effect they will have on my future,” Mr Gordon said in a statement.”: Queensland MP Billy Gordon could take legal action.
  • Bridie Jabour reported, “Queensland MP says he is considering legal options ‘against individuals’ after police said they would not press charges over domestic violence allegations.”: Billy Gordon threatens to take legal action over domestic violence charges.

Katherine Feeney reported: Billy Gordon has been cleared of domestic violence allegations whilst a woman has been charged with extorting him.

Katherine Feeney reported: Billy Gordon has been cleared of domestic violence allegations whilst a woman has been charged with extorting him.

Blackmail charges laid against woman

  • Grace Uhr and Shannon Power reported, “A Cairns woman allegedly sent a picture of Billy Gordon’s genitalia by the MP has been accused of trying to blackmail him over the explicit text message. A 50-year-old Smithfield woman is scheduled to appear in Cairns Magistrates Court next month after she was charged with extortion. The charge was revealed the same day police confirmed they would not proceed with domestic violence charges against Mr Gordon.”: Cairns woman accused of blackmailing Cook MP Billy Gordon over explicit photo.
  • Francis Tapim reported, “A woman has been charged with extorting Queensland MP Billy Gordon. The 50-year-old Cairns woman is due to face court on October 9, following a police investigation into a complaint. It comes after Queensland Police on Thursday said it would not proceed with domestic violence allegations against Mr Gordon owing to insufficient evidence.”: Billy Gordon: Woman charged with extorting Queensland MP.
The Courier Mail -September 25, 2015 -Sexting Blackmail

The Courier Mail -September 25, 2015 -Sexting Blackmail

Gordon not returning to Labor

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(September 24, 2015) – Billy Gordon cleared

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(August 5, 2015) – Referred for legal opinion

Police conclude five month investigation

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(June 18, 2015) – A twist in the tale

Gordon unleashes on LNP

Police say investigation ongoing

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Cook MP Billy Gordon claims he has been advised he has been cleared of any charges following a two-month police investigation into allegations of domestic violence. However a police spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing.”: Cook MP Billy Gordon says he is cleared of domestic violence charges.
  • Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland police have dismissed reports that parliamentarian Billy Gordon has been cleared of domestic violence allegations. Gordon’s electoral office said on Thursday that the far-north Queensland MP, who a former partner accused of having assaulted her prior to his career in politics, had been told by officers that no charges would be laid.”: Billy Gordon not yet cleared of domestic violence allegations, say police.
  • ABC News Queensland reported, “Embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon says he has been cleared of allegations of domestic violence against a former partner. Mr Gordon quit the Labor Party in March after revelations about his criminal past and accusations of domestic violence, which he has denied. The now independent Member for Cook said police had told him they would not be taking the matter further. He said police contacted his lawyers about three weeks ago, but did not want it made public until they had made their final report.”: Billy Gordon says he has been ‘cleared by police’ over domestic violence allegations.
Katrina Blowers reported: There's been a confusing twist in the Billy Gordon saga with the embattled north Queensland MP claiming he's in the clear.

Katrina Blowers reported: There’s been a confusing twist in the Billy Gordon saga with the embattled north Queensland MP claiming he’s in the clear.

Billy says police told him in the clear

The Cairns Post - Billy In The Clear - June 18, 2015.

The Cairns Post – Billy In The Clear – June 18, 2015.

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(May 21, 2015) – Billy Gordon makes maiden speech

Geoff Breusch reported: A defiant Billy Gordon has used his first full speech in parliament to admit making mistakes but says they don't reflect who he is now.

Geoff Breusch reported: A defiant Billy Gordon has used his first full speech in parliament to admit making mistakes but says they don’t reflect who he is now.

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(May 20, 2015) – Gordon votes against government, reports Courier Mail

The Courier Mail front page has spun Gordon voting with Springborg into Gordon votes against the government (notice the red boldface).

The Courier Mail - Rogue MP Billy Gordon Votes Against Government - May 20, 2015.

The Courier Mail – Rogue MP Billy Gordon Votes Against Government – May 20, 2015.

612 Brisbane: Chris O'Brien explains non-binding voting and Billy Gordon explains why he voted with LNP.

612 Brisbane: Chris O’Brien explains non-binding voting and Billy Gordon explains why he voted with LNP.

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(May 19, 2015) – Springborg accepts Gordon’s vote

  • Sarah Vogler and Matthew Killoran reported, “Embattled MP Billy Gordon has voted with the LNP, helping to get the Opposition’s motion regarding hospital waiting times over the line. The LNP also benefited from the vote of the Katter’s Australian Party MPs to pass its motion calling on the Government to reintroduce its wait time guarantee “to ensure Queensland patients receive their surgery on time”.”: Billy Gordon, Katter’s Australian Party vote with LNP over hospital wait times. A
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The LNP has handed the government its first defeat in the hung parliament, winning its motion to keep the surgery wait time guarantee, with the help of besieged Cook MP, Billy Gordon. In what has been a loose north Queensland alliance, Mr Gordon and the two Katter Party MPs sided with the Opposition to keep the policy, which Lawrence Springborg enacted while health minister in the Newman Government. Those three votes handed the Opposition the numbers it needed to win the motion. But not necessarily the war – a spokesman for the government said the motion was not binding, “as the parliament could not instruct the executive”.”: Billy Gordon vote leads to government defeat on elective surgery.

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(May 6, 2015) – Why KAP voted with the government

Domestic violence used as a political tool

KAP leader Rob Katter explains why the nullify vote failed

Springborg suggested scripts for media

Courier Mail blames Labor and KAP

The Courier Mail - Billy Back In ALP Fold - May 6 2015.

The Courier Mail – Billy Back In ALP Fold – May 6 2015.

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(May 5, 2015) – Billy Gordon on the crossbench

Attempt to nullify Gordon vote

KAP Gordon alliance

Statement to the Parliament

Shane Doherty reported: Billy Gordon returns to parliament as an Independent.

Shane Doherty reported: Billy Gordon returns to parliament as an Independent.

(May 2, 2015) – I have never laid a hand on a woman – Billy Gordon

  • Michael McKenna reported, “Controversial Queensland MP Billy Gordon has denied ever “laying a hand on a woman’’ as he flagged a powerful alliance with crossbenchers on legislation after being dumped by the Palaszczuk Labor government. In his first extensive interview over the scandal that has sparked a police investigation and calls for his resignation, Mr Gordon said he was “bewildered’’ by the domestic-abuse allegations of two of his former partners that have emerged since he won a seat in parliament this year. The indigenous MP said he had almost quit politics after the alle­gations emerged in late March but had decided to use his new-found “freedom’’ as an independent in the hung parliament for the bene­fit of his sprawling seat of Cook on Cape York.”: Billy Gordon: I have never laid a hand on a woman.

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(May 1, 2015) – Second former partner Sascha Bee tells her story to ACA

Interview with Sascha Bee

  • 7 News Brisbane reported, “Another of Billy Gordon’s ex-partners has come forward with accusations of unpaid child support and violent behaviour, saying the embattled Queensland MP owes more than $19,000.”: Gordon owes $19K in child support, ex says.
  • Jason Tin reported, “Billy Gordon fears he is facing jail time and has asked his former partner whether she told media he was violent, according to a text message allegedly sent by the disgraced MP. Mr Gordon’s former partner and the mother of two of his children, Sascha Bee, has also told Channel 9’s A Current Affair he tried to strike her while she was seven months pregnant.”: MP Billy Gordon feared jail over violence claims, text messages allegedly show.
  • Brisbane Times reported, “Both sides of Queensland’s hung parliament are waiting to hear a second former partner of MP Billy Gordon air accusations of violent behaviour and unpaid child support. A week after Kristy Peckham outlined domestic abuse claims on A Current Affair, another ex-partner of Mr Gordon has spoken to the Nine Network program in an interview on Friday. In an interview aired on Friday, the woman only known as Sasha, said Mr Gordon “took a swing” at her while she was seven months pregnant. She has also reportedly accused the former Labor member of domestic violence and failing to financially support their children.”: Second woman speaks out against Queensland MP Billy Gordon.
Leisa Goddard reported: Sasha B alleges domestic violence and non payment of child support against Billy Gordon.

Leisa Goddard reported: Sasha Bee alleges domestic violence and non payment of child support against Billy Gordon.

Leisa Goddard interviews second former partner of Billy Gordon

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “A second former partner of Queensland MP Billy Gordon has told a television program of alleged physical abuse and outstanding child payments of more than $20,000. Gordon’s former de facto and mother of two of his five children has told A Current Affair she walked out on their seven year relationship because of “controlling behaviours, violence and verbal, physical and emotional abuse”. The woman accused him of lying to the Queensland parliament when saying he had rectified his child support debts, producing what ACA said were child support agency documents showing Gordon was $20,493.37 in arrears.”: Billy Gordon faces fresh abuse claims from another former partner.

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(April 28, 2015) – Springborg comfortable with manner child support documents obtained

Subsequent use of information not within control of department

  • Tony Moore reported, “A spokesman for Human Services Minister Marise Payne, who manages the Child Support Agency, echoed that statement. “Any allegation of inappropriate release of child support information by the department would be fully investigated and appropriate action would be taken in relation to any breach,” the spokeswoman said. “These secrecy and privacy provisions are intended to ensure that the sensitive information provided by parents and in the possession of the department is appropriately protected by the department.” “The department takes its obligations under secrecy and privacy laws to protect the integrity of the Child Support Scheme very seriously.” The spokeswoman said there were circumstances in which the confidential Child Support Agency information could have been released. “The department provides relevant information to both parents as appropriate as part of a child support assessment. Once information has been provided to both parents, a subsequent use or disclosure is not within the control of the department,” the spokeswoman said.”Allegations of a breach of the secrecy provisions are, if appropriate, referred to the relevant authorities, such as the police, for investigation.”: Lawrence Springborg defends use of Billy Gordon information.
  • Dr Paul Williams commented, “”It’s pretty much unprecedented and it’s also with the added dimension that Mr Gordon is also one of only two Indigenous members in the Parliament,” Dr Williams said. “It’s a particularly sensitive and particularly difficult problem to work out but there’s no doubt that people are asking how effectively can the member conduct himself with constituents now that, some say, his integrity has been compromised.””: Political turmoil surrounding Billy Gordon unprecedented: Griffith University expert.

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(April 27, 2015) – Springborg admits to releasing Gordon – Pekham files

Springborg admits to dispensing sensitive documents

  • Barrister-at-law Ross Bowler wrote, “Accessing and distributing restricted child support documents and information of now Independent MP Billy Gordon and his former partner, Kristy Peckham, for political expedience has become a very serious issue.”: When acts done for political expedience amount to breaking the law.
  • Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland MP Billy Gordon has asked for the Australian federal police to investigate the release of his children’s “confidential information” in what he describes as “appalling tactics” by the Liberal National party opposition. Gordon also called for the parliamentary ethics committee to scrutinise LNP leader Lawrence Springborg, whom he condemned as a “political grub”. He said Springborg had broken the law by providing journalists with documents detailing his child support debts.”: Billy Gordon calls LNP’s Springborg a ‘grub’ over leaked details about children.
  • Tony Moore reported, “Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg admits – and defends – releasing confidential Child Support Agency information relating to the children of embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon because State Parliament was misled. However Mr Springborg says the “increasingly strident and over the top language” from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Member for Cook Billy Gordon on Monday calling for an federal inquiry were “a smokescreen” because both had misled Queensland Parliament. For a month the Opposition has closely questioned the suitability of Mr Gordon to stand as a Queensland Member for Parliament while police investigate domestic violence allegations.”: Springborg defends releasing confidential Child Support Agency information.
  • ABC News Queensland reported, “Embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon has called for a police probe into the leaking of confidential federal documents that identify his children, vowing that Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg must “account for his actions”.”: Billy Gordon: Police probe needed into leaking of documents that identified children, Cook MP says.
  • Kim Stephens reported, “Queensland MP Billy Gordon has fired a blistering salvo at Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, describing him as a “political grub” with an “ugly drive to become Queensland premier”. The deposed Labor party member and now independent Member for Cook has alleged the Opposition Leader publicly disseminated confidential information about Mr Gordon’s children and has called for an independent investigation by the police, parliament and the Child Support Agency.The call for an investigation won the support of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who said on Monday morning the alleged distribution of private details pertaining to Mr Gordon’s two children to media was “an all-time low” for the LNP.”: Billy Gordon slams Lawrence Springborg’s ‘ugly drive to become premier’.
  • Nathan Paull reported, “Besieged Queensland MP Billy Gordon, under investigation for domestic violence, has been accused of playing the victim. Mr Gordon has called on the police, parliament and the Child Support Agency to investigate Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg after his office handed the media private documents relating to his child support payments. The Cook MP quit the Labor party last month amid controversy surrounding unpaid child support, domestic abuse allegations and undisclosed criminal convictions.”: Billy Gordon isn’t the victim: Springborg.
  • CHILD SUPPORT (ASSESSMENT) ACT 1989 – SECT 150AA – Offence of unauthorised use of information.
Katrina Blowers reported: Penalty for communicating protected information is 1 year in gaol,

Katrina Blowers reported: Penalty for communicating protected information is 1 year in gaol,

Tegan George reported: Lawrence Springborg worse than Campbell Newman over distribution of childcare documents.

Tegan George reported: Lawrence Springborg worse than Campbell Newman over distribution of childcare documents.

 

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(April 24, 2015) – Kristy Pekham – Only LNP helped me

Langbroek avoids questions on child support documents

  • Marty Silk reported, “Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek is unable to say whether releasing the documents was legal, who authorised it, where the documents were obtained or why they were released.”: LNP faces blowback over Gordon affair.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Mr Langbroek stubbornly insisted Ms Palaszczuk needed to release her emails to clear up the matter. His exchange with journalists then took on an inception quality.His exchange with journalists then took on an inception quality.Partial transcript …Journalist: Why did the LNP release those documents then?JPL: The important issue is to make sure that we get the answers from the Parliament and since then.Journalist: Do you regret that those documents were released?JPL: Again, I am not sure of all the circumstances there, so I will make sure that we come back to you about the details.Journalist: But the way that the story goes in terms of the timeline – Kristy Peckham said last night that when Billy Gordon stood up in Parliament and said it has all been cleared up, my child support payments have been made, she said no, that was a lie, he still owed me $24. So three days later, he is sacked by the Labor Party, these documents that were released to us yesterday, are for a period of time after that. So what does the Premier have to answer?JPL: (pause) The whole issue is what the Premier knew, when she was first advised, what she did about it. That is what this is about today.Journalist: But we know what she did about it.JPL: But we don’t have the email trail that proves it.Journalist: But she sacked him, so what else do you want to know?JPL: We think it is important for the Premier to show whether she sent it to the State Secretary, whether that was the appropriate action, no counselling was given to the person herself who said, “I rang his boss and I got no action”.Journalist: But the State Secretary has said on the record, “I have spoken to her several times, we advised her, I encouraged her to go to the police over the domestic violence allegations, we worked through the child support that was being owed at the time, he is then sacked from the Labor Party and is no longer their responsibility”, so what questions does the Premier have to answer about what happened after June 29, sorry March 29?JPL: I think it is important for the Premier to release all of those details, whether it is communications with the State Secretary, because at the moment you are telling me you are prepared to take the word of mouth of the State Secretary, because he has dealt with the issue, therefore Queenslanders should be happy with that. In that Parliament, on just a month ago, Annastacia Palaszczuk told Queenslanders she had dealt with the issue. Since then it has been proven that she didn’t deal with the issue.Journalist: But Kristy Peckham said that she did, because she said “I was owed thousands and I was only owed $24” when he stood up in parliament, so isn’t that proof that it was dealt with?JPL: Well the issues are still are there that the Premier has not given all the information about what she knew, when she knew it and what she did about it.Journalist: So what issue are we talking about here?JPL: The whole issue. If the Premier issues the email trail, then we will have the answers.Journalist: We are just not sure what you are accusing the Premier of.Journalist: The LNP, you guys have your questions, but we don’t really know what they are.Journalist: Yeah.JPL: You are not sure what our questions are?Multiple journalists: No.Journalist: What wrong doing are you accusing the Premier of conducting?JPL: I am concerned that his person sent information to the Premier, who subsequently said she investigated it, sent it off to the State Secretary, we have no proof that any advice was given to this person and what we would like to see is the email trail which shows any connection of what the Premier was advised of and what action she subsequently took. That is what we have been saying since day one, as we have done with our shadow minister who was able to say she referred the person to the police and a domestic violence support unit.Journalist: But the woman herself has said that she was only owed $24 when he said that in Parliament. Is that not proof enough?JPL: I can’t go over this again with you, I mean the whole issue, I am not talking about the quantum, I am talking about the fact that the Premier just there in the Legislative Assembly, said the matter had been dealt with and it obviously had not been. If it had been dealt with, then we wouldn’t have heard about it again last night, as a continuation of that story.Journalist: OK, but that was $24 then and what she was talking about was after he has been a member of the Labor Party. He is no longer a member. What power does Annastacia Palaszczuk or Evan Moorhead have over someone who is sitting on the cross bench?JPL: Well, these are matters the Premier can deal with by revealing the email trail about what she knew all that time ago and what she has done subsequently.Journalist.  OK. You know that went terribly.JPL: Yeah, thanks.”: Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek demands Premier’s email trail over Billy Gordon case.
Tegan George reported: The LNP had access to Gordon-Pekham child support payments.

Tegan George reported: The LNP had access to Gordon-Pekham child support payments.

 

More who knew what when

  • Matthew Killoran reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is “deeply sorry” Member for Cook Billy Gordon’s ex-partner feels that she has done nothing to help her. Kristy Peckham spoke publicly last night about allegations she was abused by Mr Gordon during their relation, a claim he has categorically denied.”: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ‘deeply sorry’ Billy Gordon’s ex-partner feels let down.
  • Andree Withey and John Taylor reported, “The Queensland Opposition is urging Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to release the email trail relating to her handling of the Billy Gordon controversy. The embattled Member for Cook was forced to resign from the Queensland ALP amidst claims of domestic abuse and a non-disclosed criminal history. Last night, his former partner Kristy Peckham told A Current Affair Mr Gordon still owed child support and that Ms Palaszczuk had done absolutely nothing to help her or her children. Ms Peckham claimed she was treated like a prisoner during their relationship. Mr Gordon denies the domestic violence allegations.”: Billy Gordon: Palaszczuk must release email trail on its handling of embattled MP, State Opposition says.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Billy Gordon’s former partner has claimed in an interview the only politicians who have given her any help are from the LNP. In an interview with A Current Affair screened on Thursday night, Kristy Peckham, who said she had not received “anything” from the network in exchange for her interview, said Mr Gordon lied when he told Parliament on March 27 he no longer owed her child support, as $24 remained in arrears. She told the program the debt had once again increased, showing documents which showed $732 was outstanding. The documents, which the LNP had shown uncensored to media the afternoon ahead of the interviews airing on the Nine Network, recorded Mr Gordon’s wage to be nearly $100,000 less than his salary as a politician. His new salary will not be registered until he lodges a tax return this year. “: Only the LNP have helped me – Billy Gordon’s former partner Kristy Peckham.

Billy Gordon interview with Radio 4MW

  • Billy Gordon interviewed on @TSIMA_4MW, “Billy Gordon MP explores the priorities and challenges ahead as Queensland Parliament’s Independent Member for Cook. Recorded for Radio 4MW by Sylvia Tabua”: MP moves on electorate matters.

Media not prejudicing investigation confirms Police Commissioner

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(April 23, 2015) – Kristy Pekham speaks to A Current Affair

The interview by Leisa Goddard with Kristy Pekham

Leisa Goddard reported: A Current Affair interview with Kristy Pekham on DV allegations against Billy Gordon.

Leisa Goddard reported: A Current Affair interview with Kristy Pekham on DV allegations against Billy Gordon.

Police investigation on going

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said there was “no difference” in how his officers were handling the domestic violence allegations made against Billy Gordon and any other case. Mr Stewart said while the on-going investigation “has it challenges”, like all other investigations, it was like “every investigation”. The Cook MP’s former partner, who raised the historical allegations in a letter sent to several MPs asking for help in obtaining child support owed to her, will appear on A Current Affair on Thursday evening.”: ‘No difference’ in Billy Gordon investigation claims Police Commissioner Ian Stewart.

Billy Gordon labels ACA a ‘kangaroo court’

  • Sarah Elks reported, “Billy Gordon has slammed A Current Affair as a “kangaroo court”, ahead of its exclusive interview tonight with his ex-partner about domestic violence allegations. In a statement, the ex-Labor MP said he respected the current police investigation and would make no comment until it was completed. “I note the kangaroo court known as A Current Affair will air a segment about me tonight,” Mr Gordon said. “Unlike that program and other media outlets, I respect the current police investigation into certain allegations against me. I will thus make no comment until it is completed.””: Billy Gordon’s former partner breaks silence.

Peter Dowling comments on Billy Gordon

  • Natalie Bochenski reported, “A former MP embroiled in an infamous sexting scandal has condemned the media for launching a similar “feeding frenzy” over new Member for Cook Billy Gordon. Peter Dowling was Member for Redlands and chair of the Parliamentary Ethics Committee when details of his extramarital affair were made public in mid-2013. It was revealed he sent his mistress a picture of his penis dipped in a glass of red wine. In an interview with 612 ABC Brisbane aired on Thursday, Mr Dowling said Billy Gordon, who was sacked by Labor after allegations of domestic violence became public, would not be able to stop the media onslaught. “They get into a feeding frenzy, they’re sharks, there’s blood in the water and they hunt in packs, there’s no other way to describe it,” he said. “There’s innuendo, there’s a smear, there’s a bit of smell, bit of sniff, and that’s all the media need and all of a sudden it becomes reality. “So here’s a guy who’s struggling in a very new role, a very difficult role, and here’s a guy who’s getting the world’s spotlight turned on him for, you know, a whole lot of really nonsense.””: Sexting MP Peter Dowling feels sorry for Billy Gordon.
  • ABC Radio Brisbane reported, “North Queensland MP Billy Gordon’s back in the news today, with his ex-partner telling “A Current Affair” that he was a monster who treated her like a hostage, not allowing her to go anywhere. Billy Gordon was forced to resign from the Labor Party in March over domestic violence allegations and revelations about his past criminal history. Mr Gordon denies the domestic violence claims against him. Meanwhile, another controversial politician has opened up about his scandal – which involved sending a photo of his penis in a glass of wine to his mistress. Peter Dowling, former state member for Redlands, and his wife Helen, sat down with Community Correspondent David McGovern to talk about the impact ‘Plonkergate’ has had on his life and career after politics:”: Advice from one ‘disgraced’ politician to another.

Leisa Goddard interviews Kristy Pekham

An ad for ACA?

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(April 20, 2015) – Returning to work as independent MP

Billy returns to work

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Besieged former Labor MP Billy Gordon is back at work as an independent for the first time since details from his past and allegations of domestic violence threatened to end his political career before it began. The Cook MP, who has stated his intention to stay on as the Member for Cook, has been on sick leave since having eye surgery to repair a detached retina shortly after his time as a Labor MP imploded. He quietly re-opened his electorate office on Friday and has met with traditional owners over the proposed bauxite mine at Aurukun, an issue on which he has support from the two Katter Party MPs. Mr Gordon will ask the Palaszczuk Government to implement an independent review into the “legal and administrative processes that have been undertaken by the Newman Government to ensure transparency, accountability, integrity and respect for indigenous rights” in relation to the mine, which he claims “has favoured Glencore and excluded the Wik and Wik Way people”.”: Billy Gordon returns to work as an independent MP.
  • Joshua Robertson reported, “The Queensland MP Billy Gordon, in his first public political foray since being forced out of the governing Labor party, has called for a review of how a Swiss mining giant won backing for a bauxite mine against the wishes of Indigenous landowners. Gordon has called on the Palaszczuk government to investigate whether the former Newman government had “not trampled on” the legal rights of the Wik and Wik Way people by favouring Glencore for the mine project. The former Liberal National party government said Glencore was the “preferred proponent” last August, shortly before the Wik people signed a land use agreement for the proposed mine with a local company, Aurukun Bauxite Development (ABD).”: Billy Gordon asks for Queensland bauxite mine decision to be investigated.
  • Peter Michael and Sarah Vogler reported, “Disgraced ex-Labor MP Billy Gordon made a brief public appearance before he bunkered down, and refused to answer questions at his office in Mareeba yesterday. The Cook MP, who is facing allegations of domestic violence – which he denies – and is also alleged to still owe a sum of money in child support, was showing the stress of a “torrid time”. He did not respond to questions about the child support issue yesterday.”: Disgraced Cook MP Billy Gordon refuses to answer questions.
  • Kirsty Nancarrow reported, “The state member for Cook says he will “become a really effective member” of Parliament despite being absent from his electorate office for most of the past month. Billy Gordon quit the Labor Party in March to become an independent amid domestic violence allegations and revelations about his past criminal history. He has returned to his electorate office in Mareeba, in far north Queensland. Mr Gordon said he had been unable to drive or fly after operations on both his eyes. “Some of the issues that have been clouding and dogging me has been a major distraction but particularly having a serious health issue that required some urgent treatment and attention, that was about vision-saving surgery, it’s something that I needed to definitely get on top of,” he said. “I’ve got no doubt that I’ve got the ability to become a really effective member.””: Billy Gordon: Embattled Cook MP says he will be an ‘effective’ member of Queensland Parliament.

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(April 15, 2015) – Morgan Poll puts Labor ahead

Morgan Poll – Two party preferred Labor 52.5pc

  • Gary Morgan wrote, “Further north in Queensland, new Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has gained a clear increase in support after her strong stance on North Queensland Labor MP Billy Gordon. The ALP 52.5% (up 3.5% since March) cf. LNP 47.5% (down 2.5%) is now ahead for the first time since Palaszczuk’s surprise victory in Queensland’s January election. Despite Palaszczuk governing in a minority Government with only 44 seats in the 89 seat Queensland Parliament, Palaszczuk ‘threw’ Gordon out of the Queensland Labor Party for being dishonest with regards to his affairs and has pressured Gordon to resign from Parliament altogether. The strong leadership demonstrated by Palaszczuk is clearly supported by Queensland electors with Palaszczuk 61.5% (up 0.5%) maintaining a strong lead over LNP Leader Lawrence Springborg 38.5% (down 0.5%) as ‘Better Premier’. “: Voters in Queensland back Premier Palaszczuk after strong stance on Billy Gordon.
  • Guardian Australia reported, “Queenslanders have put Labor ahead on two-party terms in polling for the first time since the election, despite the Billy Gordon revelations”: Palaszczuk’s call to expel Billy Gordon powers Labor ahead in latest poll.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Labor would easily win a state election if it was held tomorrow a new poll has found, with Annastacia Palaszczuk considered the “better” premier over Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg by both male and female voters. The latest Roy Morgan poll found Labor would win the election 52.5 per cent to 47.5 per cent on a two party preferred basis.”: Labor would easily win another Queensland election, poll shows.


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(April 14, 2015) – ‘I’m not meddling’ – Warren Entsch

  • Peter Michael and Neil Doorley reported, “A police taskforce heading a domestic violence probe into Member for Cook Billy Gordon has visited his former home town of Innisfail and interviewed his ex-partner, family and witnesses in an ongoing investigation. Officers also met with federal MP Warren Entsch in Cairns yesterday, who provided them with a statement by an unnamed third-party witness alleging Mr Gordon physically attacked his de facto wife. “She’s the victim. Not Billy,” said Mr Entsch, the Member for Leichhardt and former Liberal Party whip.”: Billy Gordon saga: Warren Entsch denies political motivation.

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(April 13, 2015) – Warren Entsch surfaces post-Galaxy poll

  • Jason Tin reported, “Federal MP Warren Entsch says he will today hand to police new information to assist them with their investigation into allegations of domestic violence against MP Billy Gordon. The Coalition Member for Leichhardt has told The Courier-Mail he plans on handing over the name of an individual who contacted him on “late Friday afternoon”. Mr Entsch said the person came forward to back up allegations made by the Member for Cook’s former partner and gave information “supporting her position and actually expanding on it”. “And I’ve got no doubt at all, in my mind, (about) the genuineness of it,” he said.”: New witness comes forward in case of domestic violence allegedly committed by MP Billy Gordon.

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(April 12, 2015) – Courier Mail Galaxy poll claims voters want Gordon to resign

The Sunday Mail: Voters Still Go All The Way With Palaszczuk - 12 April 2015.

The Sunday Mail: Voters Still Go All The Way With Palaszczuk – 12 April 2015.


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(April 10, 2015) – Barrister Andrew Boe representing Billy Gordon

  • Barrister Andrew Boe, representing Billy Gordon, wrote,”How we react to issues surrounding Queensland MP Billy Gordon will demonstrate our collective maturity. As concerning as some of the allegations against him are, there is more at stake than a political career or whether the Labor Party can maintain its hold on majority government. Some of the facts deserve clarification. In a 13-page letter, a number of diverse allegations by Gordon’s former spouse were ventilated in the media. A copy was sent to the Speaker of the parliament. He sensibly obtained written advice from the clerk of the parliament. That advice is part of the public record and unexceptionable.”: Hypocrites deny Billy Gordon redemption.

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(April 9, 2015) – When The Borg knew

No one can rob Cook voters

  • Amy Remeikis wrote, “Billy Gordon is allowed to vote in the Queensland Parliament. Let’s say that again. Billy Gordon is allowed to vote in the Queensland parliament. Once more for the people in the back – Billy Gordon is allowed to vote in the Queensland parliament. And he should be. Because that’s democracy.”: No one can rob Cook voters of their voice.

Springborg admits to knowing of Gordon allegations in February

  • Lauren Gillin reported, “Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg says Cook MP Billy Gordon’s vote is tainted and is calling for procedural changes to nullify his vote. “Last week the Premier actually said she was prepared to put her Premiership on the line and that Billy Gordon should resign from Parliament immediately because he wasn’t a fit and proper character or person to be in Parliament, well he hasn’t done that and now this week we see the Premier desperate to actually have his vote in Parliament and that is very inconsistent”, he said.”: Gordon’s vote is ‘tainted’ says Springborg.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Billy Gordon may have made his decision to stay on in parliament, but Labor and the Opposition continue to slug it out over who knew what, when regarding his past and the domestic violence allegations being levelled against him. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she had two meetings with Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg in the first sitting week of parliament, but he did not raise any issues regarding the member for Cook with her, despite having also known about the allegations being levelled against him. Speaking to Fairfax Radio 4BC on Thursday morning, Lawrence Springborg said he became aware of the allegations “towards the end of February”, when he was told of “rumours”, while maintaining Labor also knew. “: Lawrence Springborg could have raised Billy Gordon in meetings: Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Patrick Condren interviewed: OL Lawrence Springborg says he knew of the Billy Gordon domestic violence allegations in Feb 2015, before the March 13 email to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Patrick Condren interviewed: OL Lawrence Springborg says he knew of the Billy Gordon domestic violence allegations in Feb 2015, before the March 13 email to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Springborg wont grant Gordon the presumption of innocence

Patrick Condren interviewed: Asked three times, OL Lawrence Springborg refused to grant Billy Gordon presumption of innocence.

Patrick Condren interviewed: Asked three times, OL Lawrence Springborg refused to grant Billy Gordon presumption of innocence.

 Springborg asked what makes Billy Gordon’s vote tainted?

Patrick Condren interviewed: OL Lawrence Springborg asked why Billy Gordon's vote is any more or less tainted than former LNP MP, Peter Dowling.

Patrick Condren interviewed: OL Lawrence Springborg asked why Billy Gordon’s vote is any more or less tainted than former LNP MP, Peter Dowling.

Katter – Gordon alliance on the cards

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “While the major parties fight out who should accept Cook MP Billy Gordon’s vote, the Katter Party wants to make it clear they have his number – and they are willing to call it. Robbie Katter said he had met with Mr Gordon on Monday and came to the conclusion the now-independent had the same aspirations for north Queensland and the regions as the Katter party.”: Robbie Katter flags alliance with Billy Gordon.

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(April 8, 2015) – Billy Gordon confirms MP status

Nightly news reports, Gordon staying on as MP for Cook

Eammon Atkinson reported: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to govern like she has majority of 20 as Independent Billy Gordon pledges to support the Labor Government.

Eammon Atkinson reported: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to govern like she has majority of 20 as Independent Billy Gordon pledges to support the Labor Government.

National Indigenous Radio Service – Billy Gordon breaks his silence

  • Billy Gordon spoke to Warren Barnsley on National Indigenous Radio, “Embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon has spoken in defence of his decision to stay on in state parliament. The member for the far north seat of Cook resigned from Labor after revelations of a criminal history and allegations of domestic violence that weren’t disclosed to the party. His decision not to leave parliament raises concerns about the ability of the minority Palaszczuk Government to govern with stability. Mr Gordon today released a statement saying his decision was based on advice that he is not required to resign due to past events and allegations. Mr Gordon told Murrumu Walubara on Cairns Indigenous radio station Bumma Bippera Media that he’s committed to representing the people of Cook.”: Listen back: Billy Gordon: The people of Cook will decide my political future.

Billy Gordon seeking legal advice

  • Brisbane Times reported, “Queensland MP Billy Gordon is considering legal action against those who leaked details of his criminal history. Mr Gordon was forced to quit the Labor party last week over domestic violence allegations, which he denies, and failing to tell the premier about his criminal history. But he has refused the premier’s calls for him to quit parliament and allow a by-election in his electorate of Cook, saying the law never required him to do that.”: Billy Gordon seeking legal advice about leakers.

Bob Katter comments explained

  • Brisbane Times reported, “Federal MP Bob Katter says the Queensland government believed indigenous MP Billy Gordon was “a little black puppet on a string”. Mr Katter accused both major parties of racist attitudes, but said Queensland’s Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk assumed Mr Gordon would quit parliament as she had demanded after he was accused of domestic violence. “In the last two cases where this occurred in the federal parliament, there was never any question raised about the member resigning. So why was it assumed here that Billy Gordon would resign?” Mr Katter said.”: Labor thought Billy Gordon ‘black puppet’: Bob Katter

LNP want Newman Government parliamentary voting procedures changed

  • Jo-Ann Miller and Scott Emerson spoke to Patrick Condren on News Talk 4BC 1116, Ms Miller says there is no procedural way in which the Labor party can not accept Mr Gordon’s vote. “Being a former whip , I can tell you that there is no way that Labor can not accept his vote and the reason is that on the floor of the Parliament what they ask is for the whips to deliver the votes for either party that’s the LNP and the Labor party after that the clerk asks the Katter Party what their votes are and then they go to the independents”.The LNP Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson says Parliament can make changes to the procedure if it needs to. “I think what is important here is the LNP has made it very clear that we won’t accept Billy Gordon’s vote that we think he should quit, there should be a by-election. The Premier has said that she doesn’t believe he is a fit person to be in Parliament. What I am saying is lets look at the processes is there a way to determine so people can make a very clear decision whether they are accepting his vote or not. Labor can’t have it both ways one way saying he is not fit to be in Parliament, secondly saying we will accept his vote”.”: Billy Gordon will not resign from Parliament.

Springborg plays the ‘Craig Thomson’ card

 Labor cannot reject Gordon’s vote

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will govern “as if we had a majority of 20″ following Billy Gordon’s public declaration of his intent to remain in parliament – and his continued support for Labor Party measures. Ms Palaszczuk said her preference had been for the Member for Cook – who was forced to resign from the Labor Party ahead of his expulsion for failing to declare details of his past – to resign, sparking a by-election in what is traditionally a safe Labor seat.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk to govern as if she had ‘majority of 20’.
  • ABC News Queensland reported, “Ms Palaszczuk rejected the Opposition’s calls to change the voting rules in Parliament to make it possible for the major parties to reject Mr Gordon’s vote. “There are standing orders in the Queensland parliament that will continue to be enforced by the speaker of the Parliament,” she said. “The standing orders were put in place by the former LNP government and there is no intention to change them. “They are the rules they have applied, they were operational during the last term of the government and they will remain during this term. Let’s also be very clear that no-one can impede a member’s right to vote. If they do so, it’s a contempt of the Parliament.””: Labor must accept MP’s vote.
Nick Wiggins reported: No MP can be impeded from voting but LNP want to undo CanDo's parliamentary voting rules.

Nick Wiggins reported: No MP can be impeded from voting but LNP want to undo CanDo’s parliamentary voting rules.

LNP and their chief mouthpiece – Peter Chapman

  • Peter Chapman wrote, “In my days it was called bad sportsmanship. When someone refused to accept defeat graciously. There was usually always one in a team who would walk from the field and not shake hands or begrudgingly put out a limp wrist and look the other way. So, who am I talking about today? It’s the LNP and their chief mouthpiece, the Courier Mail.”: OPINION: LNP refuses to acknowledge their defeat.

Billy Gordon staying on as MP, supporting Labor

  • Billy Gordon stated, “Last week I resigned from the Australian Labor Party. I will not resign from Parliament. My decision is based on advice from the Clerk of Parliament, who gave detailed reasons why I did not have to resign over past events and allegations. I am also determined to honour my commitments to my constituents.”: Read more… Billy Gordon statement, April 8, 2015.
  •  Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland MP Billy Gordon has declared he will not quit state parliament after revelations of a juvenile criminal history and domestic violence allegations forced his resignation from the governing Labor party. However, Gordon, who hit out at political rivals for leaking past crimes he was not obliged to declare, said he would play “a constructive role” as an independent in supporting the Palaszczuk government “according to the aspirations of my constituents, and my conscience”.”: Queensland MP Billy Gordon will not quit after criminal past revelations.
  • Pamela Frost reported, “Queensland MP Billy Gordon says will vote alongside the Labor Party but will not resign his seat in Parliament. In a statement released this morning, the Cook MP confirmed he would not give up his seat in Parliament after allegations of domestic violence had been made against him and his past criminal record was revealed.”: Billy Gordon will keep backing government, will not resign.
  • Kim Stephens reported, “Embattled Queensland MP Billy Gordon has confirmed he will not resign from parliament. The Member for Cook issued a statement on Wednesday morning saying after seeking advice from the Clerk of Parliament, he would remain in parliament on the cross bench with the two Katter’s Australia Party MPs.”: I will not quit parliament: Billy Gordon.
  • Peter Michael and Sarah Vogler reported, “Disgraced Cook MP Billy Gordon has released a statement, saying he will not resign and defending his decision not to disclose prior convictions. In the statement, which can be read in full below, Mr Gordon confirmed he will stay on as an independent MP and will vote in support of the Labor Party.”: Cook MP Billy Gordon will not quit but will vote to keep Labor in power.

The Courier Mail - No, I Will Not Quit-But Angry BIlly To Vote To Keep Labor In Power - April 8 2015.

The Courier Mail – No, I Will Not Quit-But Angry BIlly To Vote To Keep Labor In Power – April 8 2015.

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(April 7, 2015) – The Courier Mail claims it’s being ridiculed

Most likely scenarios to least for Qld Govt

General election ruled out

  • Sherele Moody reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk is staying put. Senior Labor Party figures yesterday rejected claims that ALP insiders want the Premier to call a snap election following the scandal involving the Member for Cook Billy Gordon. Ms Palaszczuk’s grip on power is tenuous following Mr Gordon’s expulsion from the Labor Party amid domestic violence claims. Mr Gordon has been asked to resign from parliament so a by-election can be held in his electorate. Commentators believe taking Queensland back to the polls will solidify the ALP’s parliamentary numbers to ensure a smooth passage for legislation when the Parliament resumes next month.”: Labor rules out snap election in wake of Gordon affair.

Queensland’s Tokyo Rose

  • Matthew Killoran reported, “Despite hysterics from Labor officials over the suggestion of an early election, senior Labor sources told The Courier-Mail that with neither side having clear-cut numbers in Parliament “common sense tells you another election will have to be considered”. Yet Labor state secretary Evan Moorhead, who has been forced to deal personally with several headaches caused by miscreant MPs, yesterday ridiculed the accurate report in The Courier-Mail.”: Pressure mounts on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to call an early election.

DOL John-Paul Langbroek says Palaszczuk went to Governor too soon

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The Opposition has a lot of questions for the Palaszczuk Government – but is a little short of answers itself. On Tuesday Deputy Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek said his question for the government was “who is actually running this state”, claiming Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who last held a press conference on Tuesday in the electorate of Cook, was “in hiding”. “Whilst Queenslanders want business certainty and confidence and there are thousands of Queenslanders who want jobs, that has all gone by the wayside…,” he said.”: Queensland government ‘snoozing’ on the job: LNP.

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(April 6, 2015) – Election now!

Stay close to the chamber, Government MPs told

No snap poll

  • 7 News Brisbane reported, “A snap poll isn’t needed to rescue Queensland from legislative paralysis, the government says. It follows media reports senior Labor figures are pressing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to make Queenslanders return to the polls in the wake of the Billy Gordon scandal. A snap election would help firm up narrow parliamentary numbers and ensure legislation can pass smoothly when parliament sits again in May, it’s been suggested. But the notion is “ridiculous”, Leader of the House Stirling Hinchliffe said on Monday.” Snap poll ‘ridiculous’: Labor.
  • Brisbane Times reported, “The Queensland government has shot down reports it’s being urged to call a snap election. It follows reports senior Labor members have asked Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to call a snap poll in the wake of the Billy Gordon scandal.”: Queensland government shoots down snap poll reports after Billy Gordon scandal.
Max Futcher reports: Media reports that Labor elders are pushing for a snap poll have been labelled as ridiculous.

Max Futcher reports: Media reports that Labor elders are pushing for a snap poll have been labelled as ridiculous.

The Courier Mail jumps the shark

The Courier Mail - Push For New Poll - April 6 2015.

The Courier Mail – Push For New Poll – April 6 2015.

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(April 5, 2015) – The Sunday Mail columns – political blame trail

Shameful response by ALP – Caroline Marcus

  • Caroline Marcus wrote, “That’s why the handling by the State Government of the Billy Gordon scandal is so inadequate. When the MP’s former partner first approached the Government about Gordon’s failure to pay child support and allegations of long-running domestic violence, including abusive messages he allegedly sent just days before winning his far north Queensland seat of Cook, she was effectively brushed aside.”: Victim-blaming is hindering the fight against domestic violence.

Marcus accuses Palaszczuk of idleness on receipt of emails. “The woman’s 11-page email, received by the Premier’s Department on March 13, sat idle in an inbox for five days before being forwarded to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.”

However, as 9 News Brisbane’s Shane Doherty explained, the the first email arrived during the Tropical Cyclone Nathan on March 13 to the Premier’s Department inbox and wasn’t sent to Palaszczuk until March 18.

Shane Doherty explains the email trail of Gordon allegations, including the initial arriving on March 13 during TC Nathan.

Shane Doherty explains the email trail of Gordon allegations, including the initial arriving on March 13 during TC Nathan.

Political road kill – Terry Sweetman

  • Terry Sweetman wrote, “The Billy Gordon affair is about remedying the hurt allegedly done to his ex-partner. Right? What a load of piffle. The Gordon affair is about political power and any good that comes of it for his ex-partner is incidental. Well intentioned but incidental nonetheless. The Labor Government is trying to cling to power, the Liberal National Party is trying to steal it away through destabilisation and Katter’s Australia Party is sniffing around looking for scraps of it among the political road kill.”: Opinion: Politics and power are key to the Billy Gordon saga.

LNP and Labor MPs reveal their past

  • Matthew Killoran reported, “Queensland state MPs from across the political divide have opened up about their history in the wake of the Billy Gordon scandal. Embattled Member for Cook Billy Gordon revealed a criminal history to the Labor Party last week, following continuing allegations from his former partner. Now several MPs from both sides of politics have opened up about youthful indiscretions, from drink-driving to public urination. The Sunday Mail put the question to Mr Gordon’s 88 parliamentary colleagues after Treasurer Curtis Pitt said he would be calling on Labor MPs to disclose any skeletons in their closet.”: Queensland MPs reveal their past in wake of Billy Gordon scandal.

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(April 4, 2015) – The Rule of Law

The court of public opinion – Chris Davis

  • Chris Davis wrote,”The Billy Gordon MP matter reminds us that the rule of law and the court of public opinion don’t always align. Which should prevail in this case? The law is relatively clear. An MP is generally entitled to remain in Parliament unless convicted of serious criminal charges. Primarily this is to ensure that minor or vexatious charges cannot be used to remove or subvert a political opponent.”: Billy Gordon: Rule of law or court of public opinion?

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(April 3, 2015) – The long political rivalry in FNQ

Bitter political rivalry in the far north

LNP MP Tarnya Smith also received an email

Tarnya Smith is the LNP state MP for Mount Ommaney and Shadow Minister for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs.

Teagan George reports: LNP Shadow Mininster for Aboriginal affairs Tarnya Smith received an email on the Gordon allegations.

Teagan George reports: LNP Shadow Mininster for Aboriginal affairs Tarnya Smith received an email on the Gordon allegations.

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(April 2, 2015) – Affording natural justice

Hunting Billy – Amy McQuire

Amy McQuire is a Darumbul woman from central Queensland and journalist for New Matilda. She is also the former editor of the National Indigenous Times and The Tracker magazines. She was a researcher for John Pilger’s Utopia and is an Ochberg Fellow for 2015.

  • Amy McQuire writes, “It’s an old American adage that says any child, regardless of their colour, or gender can become President. The reality is of course far removed from the rhetoric. The United States has only ever voted in one black head of state. But nevertheless, it is telling that the adage has never found a home in Australia, the ‘lucky country’ of opportunity. In Australia, Aboriginal kids are not told they will grow up to be Prime Minister, or a Senator or Member of Parliament. The statistics say they will end up either in jail, or victims of the horrendous life expectancy gap that even Tony Abbott admits is not closing.”: The hunt for Billy Gordon.

Labor MP for Cairns Rob Pyne

KAP MP for Mt Isa Rob Katter

The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties

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(April 1, 2015) – Driving the allegations

Billy Gordon staying on

What we’re missing – Alecia Simmonds

Alecia is a Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of Technology Sydney and writes for Daily Life.

  • Alecia Simmonds wrote, “Billy Gordon, we are told, is a bad apple. The recent revelations that he had convictions for break and enter, theft, breaching probation, public nuisance, breaching bail conditions and driving offences dating back to when he was a youngster shows, according to Queensland opposition leader Lawrence Springborg, that he has ‘personality issues.’ In fact, he says that they are a ‘window into his character’. Whatever moody Shakespearian world Springborg inhabits, commentators have generally agreed. On radio and online people have called for politicians to submit to police checks and confess to their criminal pasts. Why? So that ‘their previous ethical positions’ can be made clear to voters.”: What we’re missing in the attacks over Billy Gordon’s character.

No sympathy from Madonna King

  • Madonna King wrote, “Give me a break. The co-pilot of the fatal Germanwings crash may have been struggling to cope after breaking up with his partner. Or he might have been suffering a “personal crisis”. Or been depressed. But this fact remains: Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane into the French Alps, killing 150 innocent travellers including children, parents, and grandparents. And no matter what excuse is used, he will, and should be, written into history as a mass murderer. You need not cross the world though, to find examples of how colourful excuses can be conjured up as the raison d’être for bad behaviour, or criminal activity. Indeed, this week, wayward Labor MP Billy Gordon gave us a stellar lesson in the art of arguing how crimes should be pardoned by circumstance.”: Billy Gordon must stop making excuses for bad behaviour.

The Courier Mail blames Premier and Speaker for politicising domestic violence

The Courier Mail followed on from the shock of the previous day’s front page to blame Premier Palaszczuk and Speaker Wellington for making domestic violence into a political football.

The Courier Mail - Stop it - April ,1 2015.

The Courier Mail – Stop it – April ,1 2015.

Former LNP MP for Cook David Kempton behind Gordon allegations

  • Michael McKenna and Sarah Elks reported, “The Liberal National Party frontbencher defeated at the Queensland election by disgraced Labor MP Billy ­Gordon was behind the initial complaint that has pushed the Labor minority government to the brink of collapse. Ousted LNP MP David Kempton, who lost the Cape York seat of Cook, helped Mr Gordon’s former partner make a complaint about unpaid child support in the days after the January 31 state election that brought Labor to power. The revelation comes as key independent MP and Speaker Peter Wellington said yesterday the ensuing scandal, which also involves allegations Mr Gordon bashed the woman, was being used by the LNP in an “orchestrated attempt to bring down the government’”.”: LNP MP David Kempton behind Billy Gordon claims.
Geoff Breusch reports: Former LNP MP for Cook David Kempton is representing Billy Gordon's former partner.

Geoff Breusch reports: Former LNP MP for Cook David Kempton is representing Billy Gordon’s former partner.

Self promotion – Gavin King links to David Kempton story for publicity

Gavin King used the publicity surrounding the domestic violence allegations to promote his upcoming book on former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman over Twitter. However, he later deleted the post.

 Warren Entsch left DV allegations to Premier & Senator to deal with

Hunting Billy Gordon

  • Joshua Robertson reports, “For his mother and some of his Queensland constituents, the spectacle of an Indigenous leader being torn down is galling. But his political mentor says allegations of domestic violence mean he ‘can’t be a public figure’. Billy Gordon never talked politics with his mother. She never wanted him to be a politician. The night he made history by being elected to parliament in Queensland, she texted him: “I’m still waiting for you to come back to the church.””: ‘They’re hunting Billy Gordon down’: divided loyalties in MP’s backyard.

Rob Katter not ready to back Labor yet

  • Mark Ludlow reported, “The Katter’s Australian Party state leader Rob Katter said he has yet to be convinced to back the Palaszczuk Labor government if it falls short of the 45-seat majority needed to continue to stay in power. As the scandal surrounding the undisclosed past of MP Billy Gordon continues to dominate Queensland politics and threaten the six-week-old Labor government, Katter’s Australian Party is shaping as the new potential king maker in state Parliament.”: Rob Katter says he won’t back Queensland ALP yet.

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(March 31, 2015) – Gordon decides, Cook awaits and The Courier Mail attacks

Courier Mail alleges Premier and Speaker were too busy

On Tuesday The Courier Mail launched a front page attack against Speaker Peter Wellington by publishing his reply email to Gordon’t ex-partner. Wellington had been made aware of the domestic violence allegations just hours before the 55th parliament sat on March 24, 2015, and he was sworn in unopposed as Speaker of the House. The front page implied both he and the Premier were laughing off the allegations.

The Courier Mail - Sorry, I'm too busy , March 31 2015.

The Courier Mail – Sorry, I’m too busy , March 31 2015.

The photo was taken from a similar angle to footage shot by 9 News Brisbane’s Kate Limon as Wellington was being escorted to the Speaker’s chair by the Premier and Deputy Premier Jackie Trad on March 24, 2015.

Peter Wellington ‘very disappointed’ in The Courier Mail

Speaker Peter Wellington explained that there was nothing in the material he received about Billy Gordon’s past crimes that warrants him being removed from the Queensland Parliament. He expressed disappointment in The Courier Mail without contacting him for comment who had obtained a copy of the acknowledgement email he sent to Gordon’s former partner  He went further to suggest the paper was trying to “discredit this government” and that he “will not be used by any group to bring down this government”. He was convinced of an “orchestrated attempt to bring down this government”.

ABC News Qld: Speaker Peter Wellington very disappointed in The Courier Mail who didn't contact him for comment.

ABC News Qld: Speaker Peter Wellington very disappointed in The Courier Mail who didn’t contact him for comment.

Teagan George reports: A rowdy Cook electorate greets Premier Palaszczuk as Speaker Peter Wellington is accused of being too busy to attend to woman's claims.

Teagan George reports: A rowdy Cook electorate greets Premier Palaszczuk as Speaker Peter Wellington is accused of being too busy to attend to woman’s claims.

Speaker Peter Wellington stated that The Courier Mail did not speak to him for comment prior to the front page story accusing him of being too busy to respond to Gordon’s former partner’s allegations.

The journalist, Steven Wardill has not responded to this issue.

Clerk of Parliament’s findings

The Clerk of The Queensland Parliament Neil Laurie wrote to Speaker Peter Wellington informing him that there were no reasons why Billy Gordon should be removed from parliament as a MP. For a MP to be removed from office, they would need to have been committed of a crime and spent a year in jail. Laurie had examined all of Gordon’s criminal history and under the rules of parliament, he was entitled to have his vote counted.

Unlike the Federal Parliament, he explained that in the Queensland Parliament members remained in their seats to vote. The count began with the largest voting bloc to the smallest. In the case of the 55th parliament this would mean commencing with the Labor Government, then the LNP Opposition, the 2 KAP MPs and then Independent Billy Gordon. As the only votes that can be made are “ayes” or “noes” there is no way a member can abstain from voting except to be absent from the floor at the count.

Neither Labor or the LNP can refuse Gordon a vote and neither will know for sure how Gordon votes until after they do.

OL Lawrence Springborg campaigns in Cook

Second woman alleges domestic violence against Gordon

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(March 30, 2015) – Billy Gordon resigns from Labor before being sacked

Springborg attacks credibility

Lawrence Springborg told David Lewis that, “Whilst they [criminal charges] may not have disqualified him [Billy Gordon] from being considered as a member of Parliament, certainly they are a window into his character”.

"They are a window into his character": Lawrence Springborg blames Labor over Billy Gordon.

“They are a window into his character”: Lawrence Springborg blames Labor over Billy Gordon.

Gordon resigns from Labor

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Besieged Cook MP Billy Gordon has headed off the Labor Party’s plan to expel him by resigning. His former leader said now she hopes “he’ll do the right thing” and resign from the parliament, even if a resulting by-election loss costs her government.”: Billy Gordon resigns from Labor party.

Speaker Wellington maintains support for government

  • Tony Moore reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has the support of Queensland Speaker Peter Wellington as the evolving weekend events now place the new Labor Government on a knife-edge, the Speaker confirmed on Sunday afternoon. Mr Wellington said the action by the Premier to ask the ALP to sack embattled Cook MP Billy Gordon for failing to reveal his criminal charges was decisive. “My support for Annastacia remains,” Mr Wellington said.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk still has my support on Billy Gordon: Peter Wellington.

Questions over Labor’s vetting process – Anne Tiernan

Professor Tiernan is a political scientist, policy analyst, political commentator and professional educator.

The Courier Mail claims ‘rotten mess’

The Courier Mail - Rotten Mess - March 30, 2015.

The Courier Mail – Rotten Mess – March 30, 2015.

A better conversation – Amy Remeikis

  • Amy Remeikis wrote, “While the government struggles with how to go on and the Opposition argues who knew what and when, perhaps Queensland should be engaging in another conversation. About why, the issues which plagued the region’s youth 30 years ago and 30 years before that, are still shaping the pleas of the community in 2015. The lack of disclosure led to Ms Palaszczuk declaring “no second chances”. But for many in north Queensland, that’s just life.”: Palaszczuk faces the music with a furrowed brow.

Palaszczuk’s integrity – Jessica Rudd

  • Jessica Rudd wrote, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shown Queenslanders she has the courage of her convictions. Despite the panoply of holding patterns available to her, the new premier took the ultimate risk on Sunday and, at warp speed, staked her government on her integrity as leader. While news outlets like this one called the situation a crisis — they’re right to, of course — it didn’t feel like one on Sunday morning when news broke that the Premier had already had the Member for Cook expelled from the Australian Labor Party and demanded his resignation from the parliament.”: Will Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s integrity on Billy Gordon be a vote winner?

Past is not the present

Graeme Orr is a professor at the University of Queensland Law School specialising in law and politics.

Government in crisis

  • Nance Haxton reported, “Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has insisted her government is stable and hopes disgraced former Labor MP Billy Gordon will decide by tomorrow whether he will resign from Parliament. Mr Gordon today quit the Labor Party after the Premier announced on Sunday she would expel him. Ms Palaszczuk’s move came after Mr Gordon revealed an extensive criminal history and allegations emerged that he had bashed his ex-partner.”: Queensland Premier maintains government is stable after MP Billy Gordon’s resignation from ALP.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The Palaszczuk Government is in crisis after the Premier was forced to sack one of her MPs for failing to disclose his criminal history to the party – bringing her two-month old minority administration to the brink. Ms Palaszczuk ordered the state executive to expel Cook MP Billy Gordon from the party on Sunday after discovering he had been “dishonest” with her.”: MP Billy Gordon sends Palaszczuk Government into crisis.

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(March 29, 2015) – Palaszczuk sacks Billy Gordon from Labor Party

Palaszczuk sacks Gordon

Chris O'Brien explains Billy Gordon situation with him on the crossbenches.

Chris O’Brien explains Billy Gordon situation with him on the crossbenches.

Billy Gordon sacked from ALP & Premier Palaszczuk has asked him to resign from parliament.

Billy Gordon sacked from ALP & Premier Palaszczuk has asked him to resign from parliament.

Labor crisis meeting

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk is faced with deciding the fate of a Labor MP who failed to disclose his criminal history – and her decision could also determine the future of her government. A crisis meeting held at Labor’s South Brisbane headquarters on Saturday to decide the future of Cook MP Billy Gordon found the member had failed “to appropriately disclose” his criminal history.”: Palaszczuk to decide Labor MP Billy Gordon’s fate.

The Sunday Mail labels Gordon a crook

The Sunday Mail - I'm a Crook - 29 March 2015.

The Sunday Mail – I’m a Crook – 29 March 2015.

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(March 28, 2015) – Revelations

Courier Mail reports Premier calls cops

The Courier Mail - Premier Calls Cops On MP - March 28, 2015.

The Courier Mail – Premier Calls Cops On MP – March 28, 2015.

Sacking Billy Gordon from Labor – Todd Winther

Todd Winther is a is a PhD Candidate in Political Science at Griffith University and contributor to The Conversation. His thesis studies the relationship between leadership and internal party structure.

  • Todd Winther wrote, “Queensland’s new Labor government is being confronted with its first crisis. It not only places doubt over the government’s tenuous majority, but it goes to the heart of its credibility. The government’s survival is at stake just two months after it was elected. At a press conference on Sunday, Premier Annastasia Palaszczuk sacked MP Billy Gordon from the parliamentary Labor Party and called on him to resign his seat. His resignation from parliament would trigger a byelection, which, if won by the Liberal National Party, would give Labor and the LNP 43 seats each in the 89-seat Legislative Assembly.”: By sacking Billy Gordon, Palaszczuk has put her government on the brink.

Billy Gordon details his child support issues

Geoff Breusch reports: BIlly Gordon details his childcare payment and tax return issues.

Geoff Breusch reports: BIlly Gordon details his childcare payment and tax return issues.

Springborg accuses Palaszczuk of a “cover-up”, ready for byelection

Shane Doherty reports: OL Lawrence Springborg claims a "cover-up" and pressures Premier Palaszczuk after violence accusations against Billy Gordon.

Shane Doherty reports: OL Lawrence Springborg claims a “cover-up” and pressures Premier Palaszczuk after violence accusations against Billy Gordon.

LNP MP Tarnya Smith contacted on March 24

In her capacity as Shadow Minister for Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural Affairs, LNP MP Tarnya Smith also received an email from Gordon’s former partner. She replied advising that the woman contact police and provided information on domestic violence support services.


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(March 27, 2015) – Referred to police

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has asked Police Commissioner Ian Stewart to investigate allegations made against a government MP by his former partner. Ms Palaszczuk wrote to Mr Stewart on Friday evening, hours after further allegations against Billy Gordon were made public on a website linked to former LNP MP, Gavin King. After initially declining to comment, Ms Palaszczuk, who told Parliament on Friday morning she expected her MPs to adhere to the highest of standards, referred the allegations to police.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk refers Billy Gordon to police commissioner.

-Ends


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Comments

  1. The Hunting of Billy Gordon, that about sums it up. While not condoning domestic violence, a term I personally hate, it’s about the usual suspects in the LNP doing the most damage they can to an elected Labor Government. I find it despicable that for purely political purposes the LNP would sit on such allegations to be used at a time of their choosing to inflict maximum damage. Let’s not forget Thomson, Slipper, Ashby et al. Billy Gordon’s criminal record is of no interest to the Parliament, his problem was he was caught and sentenced unlike the “white collar” crims of the “white shoe brigade” (remember them), and the various polies with their snouts firmly entrenched in the trough, and they are all current. I get that women feel aggrieved and find it difficult dealing with a system which ignores their needs, but I also wonder why the allegations were not brought forward before the election, particularly if Warren Entsch knew about them in 2012. I’m one voter who is over the dirty politics that now permeate our party political system brought on by the born-to-rule LNP and Abbott.

  2. Ian Carter says:

    The voters decided, but the Courier Mail and the LNP treat that outcome with contempt. How much undetected crime do the accusers have in their cupboard?

  3. whatismore says:

    Thanks David for this important story backed by extensive research. This is a thinly veiled attack by Murdoch’s Courier Mail to destroy the new Labor government.

  4. What about Abbott punching the wall near the head of Barbara Ramjam when he lost the Student presidency. That is also ‘violence’. There is no level playing field in this country where the media is concerned. Murdoch’s ugly tentacles stretch far and wide with his grubby little soldiers doing his dirty work. If u believe his media u would think that all Labor people r bad, and all LNP people r good. For God”s sake lets get rid of him and his bottom feeding minions.