LNP says Qld premier hiding laptop truth

Marty Silk |

Liberal National Party leader David Crisafulli has accused the Queensland premier of hiding what she knew about an alleged raid on the integrity commissioner last year.

He’s also accused one the state’s top public servants of using “weasel words” and claims the premier’s office has tried to background journalists against Integrity Commissioner Nikola Stepanov.

Dr Stepanov resigned from her role as the lobbyist watchdog last month, to finish in July, and has since complained of interference.

The Crime and Crime Corruption Commission is probing her complaint that a laptop was taken from her office and wiped without her knowledge or permission last year.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk denies any knowledge of the laptop, but Mr Crisafulli says he doesn’t believe her.

“The premier’s claim that she knew nothing just does not cut it,” the LNP leader told reporters on Tuesday.

“I don’t believe it, I don’t think average Queenslanders believe that the premier didn’t know what was going on.”

Public Service Comission chief executive Robert Setter has also denied the PSC raided Dr Stepanov’s office or seized anything from the Integrity Commissioner.

However, he said in statement that “a lap top was provided to the CCC at their request”.

Mr Crisafulli said Mr Setter “had more weasel words than answers” about the device.

“I don’t cop it there that it wasn’t taken from the office,” the opposition leader said.

“They can use whatever words they like, but this was a stitch up, and … to take a laptop with sensitive information, and to wipe it, that is not the actions of a democratic and independent public service.”

The LNP leader also accused the premier’s office of backgrounding journalists against Dr Stepanov.

Mr Crisafulli said Ms Palaszczuk was trying to put a “black cloud” over the integrity commissioner.

“I’m hearing like all of you that there are those who are going around trying to shop stories to discredit her,” he said.

“We know that’s happening.”

The premier said she tried to have old bullying and credit card misconduct claims against Dr Stepanov probed after the integrity commissioner had complained about the laptop.

Ms Palaszczuk she was obligated to refer Dr Stepanov to the Economics and Governance Committee.

The committee dismissed the allegations, which were two-years old and had previously been dismissed by the CCC.

Ms Palaszczuk on Monday wouldn’t comment on whether she wanted  the committee’s report published.

“That’s a matter for them, I can’t comment on the committee,” she told reporters.

Mr Crisafulli said it was only “fit, and proper, and reasonable” for the committee to clear the Integrity Commissioner’s name.

He also called on the premier to reveal what was on the laptop and what she knew at the time of the alleged raid.

“Something that was on that laptop raise the eyebrows enough for the most important person in this state to refer a trivial HR matter to a committee,” the LNP leader said.

“Somehow the premier wants us to believe that that’s the only bit of information that she was told related to an HR complaint.”