Sacked Queensland minister Chris Davis says raising concerns with the premier about the move to ease restrictions on political donations cost him his job.
Chris Davis says he was sacked as Queensland’s assistant health minister partly because he raised concerns about changes to political donation laws.
Premier Campbell Newman sacked Dr Davis this week, saying his decision to speak out against some aspects of the government’s agenda had breached the Westminster principle of cabinet solidarity.
Dr Davis had publicly raised concerns about reforms to the Crime and Misconduct Commission and new work contracts for doctors.
On Friday, he told the ABC he believed there was another factor in his dismissal.
He said he had raised with the premier his concerns about the government’s move to ease restrictions on political donations, and he believed that played a part in the decision to dismiss him.
He cited revelations at the NSW corruption inquiry as proof powerful interest are involved in politics and it would be naive to think similar forces weren’t at play in Queensland.
“You only need to look across the border to NSW to actually see under current arrangements how there are a number of very powerful interests in any political system,” he said.
“We have at the moment on the table a great relaxation of caps and donations and so on, just at the same time the new premier of NSW, Mike Baird is actually saying that he needs to nail shut the back door to government because it is actually causing so much damage.
“You don’t make an investment in business unless you make a return on it. You’d be naive to think that the political gene pool changed when you crossed the border from NSW to Queensland.”
Dr Davis said he was not offered the chance to offer his resignation when he met with the premier this week, and instead was sacked.
He said he believed there’d been a number of complaints made against him, and the premier felt compelled to send a message.
“I think it was a signal on a number of fronts. I think it was not just a technicality of the cabinet solidarity message, I think I had trod on some very powerful toes,” Dr Davis said.
“It doesn’t sting me so much but if you look at social media there has been a lot of concern about what sort of message it sends in terms of our style of government in Queensland, our tolerance, I guess, of democracy.”
Dr Davis did not say if he would contest the next election as a member of the Liberal National Party, saying his pre-selection was a matter for the party.
A spokesman for the premier told the ABC Dr Davis never raised any concerns about electoral donation laws with either himself or Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie and any claim that he did was completely wrong.