Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Liz Bowing out after an Interesting Time in Parliament; Retiring Member for Gladstone Says Being Sacked as the Chair of the Crime and Misconduct Committee Was a Major Turning Point

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Liz Bowing out after an Interesting Time in Parliament; Retiring Member for Gladstone Says Being Sacked as the Chair of the Crime and Misconduct Committee Was a Major Turning Point

Article excerpt

Byline: TEGAN ANNETT Politics

BEING sacked as the chair of the Queensland Crime and Misconduct Committee in 2013 was a major turning point for Liz Cunningham and her role as the independent member for Gladstone.

At the time of the sacking, Mrs Cunningham told The Observer she would not force a by-election, but she was seriously considering her political future.

The committee had been investigating Crime and Misconduct Commission chair Dr Ken Levy after earlier accusing him of misleading the parliament.

In parliament then, Mrs Cunningham tabled transcripts of conversation between Dr Levy and the head of the State Government's media unit, Lee Anderson.

The Newman government responded with claims non-government MPs were biased against Dr Levy and consequently sacked the entire committee.

Mrs Cunningham said at the time the government's actions sent out a "number of bad messages, including the risk of being sacked for speaking out".

Reflecting back yesterday, Mrs Cunningham said that event was one of the major influences in her decision to step down.

But, she said, it wasn't the only reason.

"The former government and current government... have not made decisions that have helped the (Gladstone) community," she said. "They haven't been particularly supportive of our community in spite of the heavy industrialisation," she said.

But, she said she was "at peace", both personally and with the wider Gladstone community. "This is a really good community and I want what is best for them," she said.

During her time representing the Gladstone region she noted upgrades to the hospital scanning facilities and availability of specialists and the infrastructure of the courthouse and Tannum Sands State High School among the highlights.

"I believe (the Gladstone community) is truly amazing. …

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