Inside Labor’s cash for access meetings

BUSINESSES have paid up to $10,000 for private meetings with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, but she's only revealing what was said in some them.

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has made public some of the notes taken during a cash for access session at last year's Queensland Labor state conference.

It follows a ruling by the office of the information commissioner that the documents should be made public after an initial attempt by the Liberal-National Party to access them under Right to Information laws was rejected.

But taxpayers cannot see what happened during all Ms Trad's meetings that day with some notes including those taken during a controversial meeting with a company bidding for Cross River Rail remaining secret.

 

The LNP want all notes from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s cash for access meetings made public. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle
The LNP want all notes from Deputy Premier Jackie Trad’s cash for access meetings made public. Picture: AAP Image/Jono Searle


A spokesman for Ms Trad said the normal RTI process had been followed and some notes were ruled to be party political in nature.

"Not all the meetings held required formal notes or any follow up actions," she said.

The notes reveal some of the companies discussed government policy with Ms Trad.

Tabcorp discussed the Government's contentious point of consumption tax and the Australian Sugar Milling Council spoke with Ms Trad about sugar marketing legislation.

Labor brought back the business observers program in the lead up to the 2015 election campaign after former Premier Anna Bligh scrapped it.

Businesses paid up to $10,000 to join the program, gaining one-on-one access to ministers.

The LNP has a similar program, QForum.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington accused Ms Trad of trying to cover up the meetings by not releasing all of the notes.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says Ms Trad’s failure to table her notes from three cash for access meetings raised questions about what was discussed.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington says Ms Trad’s failure to table her notes from three cash for access meetings raised questions about what was discussed.

"Only releasing part of the meeting notes raises more questions than answers, Queenslanders deserve to know what was really discussed," she said.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk should show some leadership and order the Treasurer to release all the meeting notes immediately.

"The LNP will continue to fight to force Labor to release these meeting notes."