A Queensland MP who was found to be dishonest about his personal business has quit before he was shoved.
Queensland MP Scott Driscoll has quit parliament before he could be expelled for being dishonest about his business dealings.
The Redcliffe independent MP handed in his resignation hours after parliament’s ethics committee recommended he be fined around $90,000 and expelled.
Premier Campbell Newman and Labor would have supported the findings at a vote on Thursday.
Mr Driscoll said he wanted to debate the allegations on the floor of parliament but can’t because of his deteriorating health.
“Under different circumstances, I would have been a very respectful, though robust and motivated, participant in debate,” he said in his resignation letter.
He went on to say his family would be left without an income and hoped any fine can be minimised.
Mr Newman says Mr Driscoll, whose resignation is effective immediately, is likely to be summonsed to the bar of the parliament as there are still matters to deal with.
The ethics committee found Mr Driscoll guilty of 49 counts of contempt of parliament for deliberately misleading the house and trying to hide some of his personal income and business dealings.
Mr Driscoll is accused of failing to declare all of his interests with Queensland Retailers Traders and Shopkeepers Association (QRTSA) and the Regional Community Association Moreton Bay.
The committee said it had obtained material indicating Norsefire, a company Mrs Driscoll had a controlling interest in, had received $522,266 from both groups since Mr Driscoll was sworn in as an MP.
It said Mr and Mrs Driscoll’s joint bank account had received payments totalling $215,670 from Norsefire since Mr Driscoll had been an MP, but those payments were not declared.
Mr Driscoll was also found to have deliberately misled parliament claiming he’d resigned as president of the QRTSA in September 2012.
He went to great lengths to hide his continued influence, and concocted resolutions of a meeting to create the impression he had ceased the role, the committee’s report said.
Ethics committee chairman Michael Crandon said the former Liberal National Party MP turned independent had hurt the honour and dignity of parliament.
The committee said the collective impacts of Mr Driscoll’s behaviour meant he should face the extraordinary penalty of expulsion.
“The cumulative effects of its findings was so serious as to have a bearing on the honour and dignity of the legislative assembly,” Mr Crandon told parliament.
The police and the Crime and Misconduct Commission are considering complaints against Mr Driscoll.
The MP, who has been absent from parliament for long periods this year, was in the house when the report was tabled. Earlier this week he revealed he had bipolar disorder.