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You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 2 July 2007 – 16 June 2008 Allegation of inappropriate Queensland Rail train tour — 13.05.2008
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 2 July 2007 – 16 June 2008 Allegation of inappropriate Queensland Rail train tour — 13.05.2008
You are here: Home News and media CMC media releases Media releases — 2 July 2007 – 16 June 2008 Allegation of inappropriate Queensland Rail train tour — 13.05.2008

Allegation of inappropriate Queensland Rail train tour — 13.05.2008

The Crime and Misconduct Commission has found there is no reasonable suspicion of official misconduct in relation to an allegation of inappropriate commissioning of a Queensland Rail train for party political purposes.

There were concerns that the Minister and his policy adviser arranged for the Australian Labor Party Transport Policy Committee to be taken on a train tour funded by the Department of Transport.

Evidence shows that the Minister did not make any such arrangements and was not even aware of the planned tour. In any event, even if the Minister had knowledge of the tour, such action could not amount to a criminal offence and, therefore, would not fall under the CMC’s jurisdiction.

In relation to the policy adviser, it appears he personally acted upon a request from the ALP Transport Policy Committee to arrange the tour.

All written material relating to the request refers to the tour being for the ALP Transport Policy Committee. It appears there may have been some confusion and the departmental officer arranging the train trip did so in the belief it was for a parliamentary backbench committee. A taxpayer funded tour for such a group would have been acceptable.

The evidence suggests the policy adviser’s actions were transparent and he did not deceive anyone in an attempt to avoid the ALP paying for the event. However, his belief that he was doing nothing wrong in his capacity as Ministerial Adviser – that is, arranging a clearly private political event - could be regarded as a gross error in judgement.

The position of ministerial adviser is an extremely influential one and anyone in that role should be very mindful that when making requests of public servants, these officers may feel obliged to carry out their request.

The CMC considers that in this case, the policy adviser’s conduct does not amount to official misconduct. However, the question of whether disciplinary action is warranted for any other disciplinary breach remains with his employer.

The CMC recognises that on occasions for ministerial staff there is a fine line between providing legitimate assistance and support to a Minister and using government resources for political party purposes.

To help avoid such situations in the future, the CMC’s Research and Prevention area has offered to assist the department in reviewing its policies and training of ministerial staff.


Media inquiries:
Karen Crook or Leanne Hardyman 
Ph:  07 3360 6344     Mobile:  0407 373 803     Fax:  3360 6235

Last updated: 18 January 2012
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