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Who are you calling a crook Jo-Ann?

Labor party leader Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) with Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller in Ipswich.
Labor party leader Annastacia Palaszczuk (right) with Bundamba MP Jo-Ann Miller in Ipswich. Rob Williams

BUNDAMBA MP Jo-Ann Miller has claimed Ipswich is infested with "shadowy political and business figures" who are desperate to bring her down.

In a blistering speech in State Parliament, the Labor member accused individuals of using cash carried in "brown paper bags" to promote themselves and their interests.

And she claimed the same individuals poured $85,000 into funding the failed campaign against her by LNP candidate Michael Kitzelmann.

But she failed to name those she suspected of wrong-doing, earning her the scorn of Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, who accused her of abusing parliamentary freedoms to make unsubstantiated allegations.

Mrs Miller was one of just seven Labor MPs in Queensland to survive the LNP's landslide victory this year. In her 20-minute tirade, Mrs Miller said the LNP had fought "one of the filthiest and dirtiest campaigns ever seen in Bundamba".

Mrs Miller said she been forced to call the police during the campaign after two men followed her home. She said she was also the target of foul-mouthed rants and false accusations on Twitter.

She also accused Mr Kitzelmann of breaching his severance agreement with the State Government. He was employed by the Premier's Office before quitting the post to stand in Bundamba. He is now employed as an electorate officer for the LNP member for Logan.

Mrs Miller said her rival's severance agreement actually barred him from working for the state for three years.

During a speech in which she was interrupted by LNP members, she also claimed:

Mr Kitzelmann demonstrated "hubris" by wearing a business suit, which she said was 'a bit unusual for the Bundamba electorate'.

Mr Kitzelmann was a "blow-in" candidate whose only contribution to the flood recovery effort was barbecuing sausages.

After savaging the LNP candidate, she turned to his supporters, whom she described as "shadowy political and business figures more attuned to the corporate lunches and their own self-promotion in Ipswich", adding that they "allegedly have brown paper bags - yes, I suppose real-life bagmen - in their hands more often than how-to-vote cards."

Mayor Pisasale said he was saddened to hear Mrs Miller's claims.

"They are very serious allegations and she should take them to the CMC and the police. If she can't present the evidence it will be very sad," he said.

"If they (the Labor Party) are to learn anything about the last campaign they should focus on helping other people rather than using parliamentary privilege to attack people."

Mrs Miller has lodged a complaint to the CMC about Mr Kitzelmann's position and it is now subject to a parliamentary inquiry. Mr Kitzelmann said he could not comment because the investigation by the clerk of the parliament.

"Until such time that the review is completed it would be inappropriate to comment," he said.

Mrs Miller, who said she was "happy to be an open and accountable book" during her speech, did not return calls made by The Queensland Times yesterday.

Topics:  bundamba, campaign, jo ann miller, mp




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