Leavers: Choat must resign over anti-police outburst
QUEENSLAND Police Union president Ian Leavers has called for Ipswich West MP Sean Choat to resign over an "anti-police outburst" in the QT, where he accused Senior Sergeant Shayne Maxwell of lying and slammed the union.
Sgt Maxwell, also the vice-president of the Queensland Police Union, had written in the QPU Journal that six LNP backbenchers had "individually approached this union for support at the next election if they run as independent".
Mr Choat scorned what Sgt Maxwell had written, saying "I don't know how they make this stuff up", while boasting that he didn't know Sgt Maxwell's name.
"I don't even know if this sneaky six exists. I am one of the outspoken ones and if anyone was feeling a bit antsy you think they'd come to me and say, 'Hey Choaty…', but no one has said anything to me," Mr Choat said.
"I can't believe that six members of parliament, whether independently or as a group, would seek out some deputy president of the Queensland Police Union to say they are unhappy...and I don't even know this bloke's name.
"I am just really sad that some members of that police union, and it is obviously the upper echelon, are souring things. I talk to the coppers in our area just about every other day. They work so hard and they are so pleased with the extra resources they have got.
"They want their union to focus on that positive stuff.
"The increase in the police budget is $180 million extra. I know we've got a slice of that."
Mr Leavers has fired back, however, saying: "Sean Choat is completely out of touch".
"I call upon this MP to resign for his disgraceful anti-police outbursts," Mr Leavers said.
"I have served in Ipswich for the majority of my policing career and was last stationed at Yamanto.
"I have a particular interest in Ipswich, and I can categorically say morale is at an all-time low within the Ipswich district due to the lack of resources for police.
"I take great offence at this MP calling Senior Sergeant Maxwell a liar. I know Shayne Maxwell is a man of integrity and that many people have said they would firmly believe him, yet they do not believe a word LNP politicians say."
Mr Leavers said Mr Choat was "being tricky with the figures" and that he knew many police in the Ipswich district who were "fearful of retribution from the bullying nature that has spread from the LNP MPs to the police service".
"Morale is so bad in the Ipswich district I have raised the matters directly with the Deputy Commissioner about the lack of resources and poor morale, which is at the lowest I have ever seen it since 1998," Mr Leavers said
"Just (on Friday) an issue arose in Ipswich where they have stripped Ipswich Police District of some of their allocated protective body armour for G20, leaving Ipswich police short and I have again raised it.
"This MP (Mr Choat) must be the most ignorant person in the State Parliament and it is outrageous he would call serving police liars.
"I call upon this MP to resign for his disgraceful anti-police outbursts.
"He has done nothing for police in the greater Ipswich area."