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Bleijie accuses Bundamba MP of issuing ultimatum to Premier

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) with her Police Minister and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) with her Police Minister and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller. Contributed

IT IS the phone call that threatens to bring down the government.

On Wednesday, Police Minister and Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller phoned Bruce McLean, a long-time friend and a constituent, the same day he was reported to have made serious allegations about Labor's Pumicestone MP Rick Williams.

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

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

In an explosive claim yesterday, Shadow Police Minister Jarrod Bleijie said Mrs Miller had told Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that if she was forced to apologise for the phone call that she would resign from both her ministry and parliament and force a by-election in Bundamba which could see Labor lose office.

Mr Bleijie called for Mrs Miller to be sacked from her ministry or resign over the call to Mr McLean, which he termed "totally unsatisfactory" and "an error in judgment".

He referred the Police Minister to the police and Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) because he said it was "totally unsatisfactory that a minister of the crown, a police minister for that matter, would involve herself in such matters".

"The Premier has said it was an error of judgment, and the Premier has said it will never happen again," Mr Bleijie said.

"The reality is that it should never have happened in the first place."

Mrs Miller told parliament there was nothing untoward about her phone call to Mr McLean and that she was merely asking how he was bearing up under so much media scrutiny.

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

"He said he was okay and he thanked me for calling."

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

"As the local member, this was the right thing to do," she said.

"On reflection, as police minister and understanding any issues of perception I would not have made that call.

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

Mr Bleijie insisted Mrs Miller had issued an ultimatum to the Premier.

"We can reveal that we have been told that there are internal rumblings within the Labor Party and that what happened yesterday is that Jo-Ann Miller threatened the Premier and that if she was forced to apologise to the parliament in relation to the phone call that she made that she would resign from the ministry, resign from parliament and have a by-election that would cause more crisis for this government," he said.

"Jo-Ann Miller should resign today her ministry for police or the Premier should sack her."

The QT sought comment from Mrs Miller about Mr Bleijie's claims but a spokesman said as the matter had been referred to the CCC it would be inappropriate for her to comment.

 

Topics:  annastacia palaszczuk, crime and corruption commission, jarrod bleijie, police minister jo-ann miller, rick williams



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