Queensland’s deputy premier says he doesn’t have a copy of an alleged document that would prove Clive Palmer sought special favours for his coal interests.
Queensland’s deputy premier says he doesn’t have a copy of a document that would prove Clive Palmer sought preferential treatment for his coal projects in the Galilee basin.
Jeff Seeney has said Mr Palmer approached him in 2012 with draft legislation that would have given him exclusive access to the rail line and port facilities for the Galilee basin.
But Mr Seeney said he didn’t read the document, and pushed it back across the table, telling Mr Palmer – a former Liberal National Party member and donor, and now federal MP – that the Newman government wasn’t going to do him special favours.
He said he knew what the document proposed because Mr Palmer told him what was in it, but he didn’t read it.
“It was a bill that Clive Palmer said that he had drawn up. He said to me, his exact words: ‘I’ve done all the work for you’. That gave him exclusive access to the rail line and port facilities for the Galilee basin,” Mr Seeney told the ABC on Wednesday.
“And I considered that to be entirely inappropriate.”
Despite his concerns, Mr Seeney did not refer the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission at the time.
It was only this week that Mr Seeney passed documents relating to the government’s dealings with Mr Palmer to the corruption watchdog.
But they apparently don’t include the alleged draft legislation, which Mr Seeney says he does not have a copy of.
Mr Seeney has not made any specific complaints against Mr Palmer to the CMC, saying it’s up to the watchdog to decide whether to pursue the matter. He denies the lack of a specific complaint has undermined his credibility.
The leader of the Palmer United Party in Queensland, Alex Douglas, has accused Mr Seeney of concocting the story, and says he hasn’t got a single shred of evidence to back his claims.
“He’s got to produce the April 2012 document and if he doesn’t do so immediately then he is going to be held to be a scoundrel,” Dr Douglas has told the ABC.
Mr Seeney has said that with the benefit of hindsight, he probably should have reported Mr Palmer’s alleged actions to the CMC back in 2012.
But he said he didn’t because he was too busy implementing the Newman government’s plan to build a stronger Queensland.
He said he only passed on documents to the CMC this week because Mr Palmer had challenged him to do it.