Enough Is Enough On Stuart Robert

Last night’s revelations on ABC’s 730, putting Fadden MP Stuart Robert at the centre of a scandal engulfing the Gold Coast council, must be the final straw for Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the disgraced former minister.

THE HON MARK DREYFUS QC MP
SHADOW ATTORNEY GENERAL
SHADOW ARTS MINISTER
MEMBER FOR ISAACS

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH ON STUART ROBERT
 

Last night’s revelations on ABC’s 730, putting Fadden MP Stuart Robert at the centre of a scandal engulfing the Gold Coast council, must be the final straw for Malcolm Turnbull’s support for the disgraced former minister.

Mr Robert is already the subject of an Australian Federal Police investigation, after attempting to pass off a trip to China to help out a Liberal donor mate as “personal business”. That resulted in his sacking as Human Services Minister, though it did take Malcolm Turnbull a week to act while Mr Robert’s flatmate Scott Morrison tried to defend him.

Now, he is potentially mired in a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission investigation, for secretly bankrolling two of his former staffers to run as “independent” candidates for the Gold Coast City Council. The Australian Electoral Commission is also examining allegations that a former Tony Abbott staffer, lobbyist Simone Holzapfel, was used to channel mysteriously large donations to those candidates and others.

Just how bad does Stuart Robert have to get before the Liberal-National Party, and Mr Turnbull, finally act? Is Mr Turnbull happy for Queenslanders to continue to be represented by an MP who is involved in as many as three separate investigations by authorities? Is this the standard he is prepared to accept for those who sit on his side of Parliament, as long as they keep the donors happy?

Queenslanders have witnessed dirty politics in their state before, and they do not want to see a repeat of the dark days of the Midnight State. This is a story that can only get worse for Mr Robert and for the LNP in Queensland.

Enough is enough. Mr Turnbull must say today whether he continues to support Mr Robert. If Mr Turnbull stands up in Queensland today and refuses to take a stand on Mr Robert, Queenslanders will know how little respect he has for them as voters.

WEDNESDAY, 18 MAY 2016