Date published 20 December 2019

In July 2009, former Queensland Minister Gordon Nuttall was found guilty of corruptly receiving almost $360,000 over three years from prominent Queensland businessmen, Ken Talbot and Harold Shand. He was sentenced to seven years jail for each offence to be served concurrently.

As a result of an investigation conducted by the CMC, in October 2010 a Brisbane District Court jury found Mr Nuttall guilty on a further five counts of official corruption and five counts of perjury. The evidence presented at his second trial showed that between December 2001 and April 2006, he had corruptly received payments totalling $152,700 from businessman and close friend, Brendan McKennariey.

He was initially sentenced to five years imprisonment for these offences, but on appeal from the Attorney-General, the Court of Appeal increased this sentence to seven years, and his non-parole period by 18 months, making him eligible for parole on 15 July 2015.

Mr Nuttall was a Minister of the Crown from February 2001 until December 2005. He remained a Member of Parliament until September 2006.

He held three ministerial positions – Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for Health and Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries — over the period that Mr McKennariey received government funds as a subcontractor for two projects:

  • a Workplace Health and Safety training program in Indigenous communities commissioned by the Department of Industrial Relations in 2001; and
  • a study on waste water in hospitals commissioned by Queensland Health in 2004 and 2005.

Recovery of proceeds of crime

The case was referred to the CMC in November 2006 for assistance in recovering the proceeds of crime.  The CMC subsequently sought restraining orders over two properties owned by Mr Nuttall, which were made by the Supreme Court.

The CMC also sought from the Supreme Court and was granted proceeds assessment orders totalling $595,980 against Mr Nuttall. Interest of $72,790 was awarded on these orders, and costs of $47,000 were also made in favour of the State.

The Supreme Court issued enforcement warrants on 19 July 2011, authorising the seizure and sale of Mr Nuttall’s property at Woodgate. This was auctioned on 24 September 2011 and sold for $760,000. The sale proceeds were sufficient to the meet the State’s demands.

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