Schwarten speaks out on Terry Hill's shock resignation
FORMER Minister for Public Works and Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten has written to the Morning Bulletin, voicing his concerns over the shock resignation of Transport and Main Roads' Program Delivery and Operations regional director Terry Hill.
Below is his letter in it's entirety .
Firstly I have not discussed this with Terry Hill as I know he is far too professional to discuss his employment matters much less his employer with me. Equally I would not seek to compromise his integrity by asking. The fact is however I am most troubled by what I am hearing and reading about Terrys resignation. I am certain of one thing Terry was looking forward to building the next section of Yeppen which was announced by the Prime Minister when she last visited.
No one knows more about the Yeppen project than Terry Hill , he has lived and breathed it for the last decade that I am aware of and could not count the number of briefings I along with others have had with him over the years. He has run community workshops and as far as I am concerned not one public servant in my 20 years in Parliament was more transparent with the stakeholders than Terry Hill. The representative of the Gracemere community attested to this in her warm praise of Terry at the recent overpass opening.
I am particularly disturbed by the statements that appearing in the Morning Bulletin alongside me cost him his job. Neither he nor I asked to be there. I believe that it was the local Gracemere community representative who called out for Brad Carter Terry and myself to join the ribbon cutting ceremony.this was then repeated by the Mayor I made no political comment a d neither did Brad. Terry merely posed for the photo as he has done before on behalf of his department which did the work. I for one have cut kilometers of ribbons on Labor built infrastructure so I was not begging to be involved.
I noted that Bruce Young was most uncomfortable with these arrangements. Perhaps he felt guilty that he was taking credit for a project that according to him because it was done on borrowings was a waste of money. Or perhaps he was honest enough to recognize that his side of politics was dishonestly taking credit for a labor project. Whatever the reason he showed no sincerity in his handshake with me for the cameras and decamped as soon as he could.
Whether this translates into him putting on a turn with the Premier only he can say. Only the Premier can confirm or deny this. For pressure to be applied the minister Emerson would have to lay down at the Premiers feet and lick his boots. Then his Director General would have had to accept such a direction. All of this would be most improper and I can honestly say in 13 years as a minister never happened despite some public servants on occasion deliberately attacking the government. We believed in a democracy that people are entitled to their views and I am sure there were plenty of times when public servants appeared in newspapers alongside federal politicians state non labor politicians and Mayors. Not once did that cause a resignation.
All of this casts a pall over the honesty of this government and until a statement is made inParliament where the LNP brought in legislation to jail those who lie to Parliament will we ever get anywhere near the truth. All three of the above should make statements. Our Mayor should also make inquiries with the Premier as she has been named as the one who caused this issue.
Terry Hill is a highly competent engineer and manager. This state government claims that construction is one of the four pillars that support our economy. Leaving aside the fact that neither Mr Young or Mr Newman are yet to put one brick on top of another the fact is our State needs builders like Terry who have more experience with building civil infrastructure than most other people in the world.
Here is the response to the letter from Keppel MP, Bruce Young. .
I wish to clarify some misconceptions by the former Member for Rockhampton. I arrived early at the event to personally meet the former employees who I used to work with and was pleased to catch up with the many retired Main Road workers whilst there.
I acknowledged both yourself and Brad Carter in my speech, and as the Morning Bulletin video will attest to, I had no reservations in shaking your hand after the tape cutting ceremony. As for your statement that I decamped early, I can only say that I arrived early to the event and spent over two hours there before moving onto my next meeting. In regards to yourself and Brad Carter being involved in the cutting of the tape, I was not uncomfortable with these arrangements as you state, in fact, I don't regard myself as being that precious to allow anything of that nature to worry me. I will leave the politics of your letter for the public to decide but as my father said to me when I was a boy, "hold your head high, tell the truth and don't worry about what they say".