Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says his director-general will divest himself of all business interests to stop conflicts-of-interest claims.
The Queensland premier’s director-general will give up all his business interests to end conflict-of-interest claims.
Jon Grayson has been under pressure to explain links with disgraced NSW Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid and involvement with Australian Water Holdings, the company at the centre of a NSW corruption investigation.
He says he has fully disclosed his pecuniary interests but continued media coverage could distract from the government’s agenda.
“I will divest my interests in full, without consideration, in private companies which I have direct interest and have prior involvement in management,” he said in a letter to Premier Campbell Newman, which was read in parliament on Tuesday.
These include BT Minerals, Coal Logistics Australia, and Gasfields Water and Waste Services (GWWS).
Mr Grayson is a major shareholder in GWWS and Mr Obeid’s nephew Dennis Jabour is the director.
Mr Grayson says Queensland’s integrity commissioner found his business dealings should not stop him serving as director-general, and what he had done to manage conflict issues were sufficient.
Furthermore, any meetings held with former business partners or people who have common shareholdings don’t put him in a position of conflict.
“I’ve gone beyond my strict legal obligations,” Mr Grayson said in the letter.
Mr Newman says the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) found no basis to investigate Mr Grayson and advised NSW’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) of that.
“Now, will the Labor Party now stop the innuendo and the smear?” Mr Newman told parliament.
“The matter is put to bed.”
But Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says given ICAC appears not to have replied yet, a cloud still hangs over Mr Grayson.
She wants his pecuniary interest register to be tabled in parliament.
“He has had direct interests in companies that deal with the Queensland government. Does this stink? Absolutely.
“This is the premier’s right-hand man, who goes into cabinet meetings, who sits next to the premier when he decides who gets what contracts.”
Mr Obeid, a former NSW minister, has been implicated by the ICAC for using his standing as a Labor factional leader to advance his commercial interests.