Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not apologise for telling parliament her ex chief-of-staff had complied with integrity provisions when he hadn’t.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not apologise for telling parliament her ex chief-of-staff had complied with integrity provisions when he hadn’t.

‘I won’t apologise about Barbagallo’: Premier

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she won't be apologising for telling parliament her chief of staff had complied with integrity provisions even though he hadn't.

Ms Palaszczuk said she held the integrity of her government "very dearly" and was "very, very, extremely disappointed" that former chief of staff David Barbagallo had not properly declared his directorship in a company that won $267,500 in taxpayer investment for a cruise ship app.

"I hold integrity very dearly to my government and I'm very, very extremely disappointed," she told reporters in Rockhampton.

"I feel let down.

"I mean, staff members have to abide by their obligations and some of those obligations in this circumstance were not met."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaking with her ex-chief of staff David Barbagallo. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk speaking with her ex-chief of staff David Barbagallo. (AAP Image/Jono Searle)

Ms Palaszczuk said she would not be apologising to parliament for telling them that Mr Barbagallo had sought integrity advice and had fully declared his conflicts of interest when he had not.

The Premier also told Parliament that Mr Barbagallo had informed her of a successful application made by his company Fortress Capstone that secured $267,500 in taxpayer investment from the Advance Queensland Business Development Fund.

But she later told the CCC she had "no recollection" of ever being told by Mr Barbagallo about the application.

"I am disappointed because I really believe in my integrity and I will always tell parliament what I believe to be honest," she said.

"… I did not mislead parliament."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not apologise for comments made to parliament. Photo: Lyndon Mechielsen
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not apologise for comments made to parliament. Photo: Lyndon Mechielsen

Asked why she didn't correctly sign Mr Barbagallo's declaration of interests during his tenure in her office to note she had read them, she said: We have accepted all of the recommendations."

Ms Palaszczuk was asked about text messages between Mr Barbagallo and Fortress Capstone's chief executive that the CCC said "clearly create the perception that Barbagallo intended to use his position as Chief of Staff to assist Fortress Capstone advance their agenda within the cruise ship industry".

"There was no finding that he did influence me," she said.

"… There has been no finding of any corrupt conduct.

"The CCC has made recommendations and my government has accepted all of those recommendations."

Mr Barbagallo left his role on October 15 last year.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said Ms Palaszczuk had a string of questions to answer.

"The Palaszczuk Government has been plagued with integrity scandals since the beginning," she said.

"But this rests at the Premier's feet and it is time for the Premier to explain and apologise to Queenslanders."

She said Fortress Capstone should be made to pay the money back.

"The only reason why her chief of staff isn't there is because before those disciplinary proceedings could happen (he left)," she said.

"… The Premier was asked on numerous occasions in relation to her chief of staff and receiving a government grant to her chief of staff.

"The Premier covered up for her chief of staff.

"The buck stops with the Premier."

Originally published as 'I won't apologise about Barbagallo': Premier



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