Senate hopeful Barry O'Sullivan.
Senate hopeful Barry O'Sullivan. Peter Holt

O'Sullivan senate decision waits for investigation results

TOOWOOMBA-born Barry O'Sullivan's senate nomination in Queensland has been put on hold until a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation is completed.

Mr O'Sullivan's name was put forward to replace Barnaby Joyce, who resigned as a Queensland Senator to contest the seat of New England in NSW.

Former LNP state treasurer Mr O'Sullivan's senate nomination was brought before Queensland Parliament on Thursday afternoon for a vote.

After a midday party room meeting, Premier Campbell Newman confirmed Mr O'Sullivan had the party's support but asked for the debate to be adjourned until October 17.

The CMC is investigating allegations LNP - which Mr O'Sullivan was the party treasurer for - offered inducements to Moggill MP Bruce Flegg to resign to allow Mr Newman to run.

News Limited published recorded conversations detailing the offer made to Mr Flegg in 2011.

In the "public interest of Queenslanders" and "transparency", Mr Newman asked Parliament to adjourn the senate vacancy nomination until the CMC investigation was finalised.

"The LNP and Mr O'Sullivan are aware Mr O'Sullivan is presently involved in a CMC investigation," he said.

"To uphold the integrity of the Senate and to ensure the chamber makes an informed decision, the LNP and Mr O'Sullivan have asked the Parliament to move to adjourn the matter until the CMC has completed its investigation.

"Many people get investigated and are cleared by the CMC. Just like in those cases Mr O'Sullivan is entitled to the presumption of innocence until the investigations are concluded."

Mr Newman will also write to the CMC asking the investigation be dealt with in a timely manner.

In a statement, Mr O'Sullivan held hope the allegations would be found baseless as a similar inquiry in 2011 found.

"Whilst I am intent on taking up the seat in the Senate as soon as possible, I am also anxious to see this CMC investigation resolved thereby removing any perceived issue on the part of our party or me in relation to these affairs," he said.

"Accordingly, and whilst I am not the subject of any known allegations in relation to this matter, I have written to the president of our party and asked him to request the Premier to defer debate on my appointment in the Parliament until such time as the CMC can bring their investigations to a satisfactory conclusion.

"While not the subject of the CMC investigation I am of the view that this is the right thing to do."



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