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Beattie denies knowledge of Nuttall allegatio -

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Beattie denies knowledge of Nuttall allegations

Annie Guest reported this story on Friday, September 11, 2009 12:14:00

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Queensland's former premier Peter Beattie has rejected allegations his office
knew of concerns about the now disgraced former minister Gordon Nuttall years before investigations
began into his conduct.

A former Nuttall staffer says she approached the premier's chief of staff Rob Whiddon back in 2002
and told him the minister planned to stray from standard processes in awarding a government
contract.

Both Peter Beattie and Rob Whiddon deny the claims, describing her comments as a general whinge.

Nuttall is currently facing corruption charges.

Annie Guest reports from Brisbane.

ANNIE GUEST: When Jacqueline King was a senior policy advisor to the then industrial relations
minister Gordon Nuttall she says she was concerned about his plans surrounding a government
contract.

So in 2002 Jacqueline King says she raised it with premier Peter Beattie's chief of staff Rob
Whiddon.

JACQUELINE KING: The options were open to us in terms of discussing the issue with the premier's
office, which I did and I spoke directly with Rob Whiddon at the time to raise those concerns.

ANNIE GUEST: Jacqueline King doesn't deny she didn't get on well with her minister. She was sacked
some months later and is currently the general manager of a training company run by the Electrical
Trades Union.

Meanwhile her former boss Gordon Nuttall, is now facing corruption charges after allegedly
receiving $152,000 in payments from Brendan McKennariey over a five-year period to September 2006.

But back to what she allegedly told Peter Beattie's chief of staff in 2002:

JACQUELINE KING: Well specifically, that there was proposed contracts that was going to be issued
and the details of the contract.

ANNIE GUEST: And what did you say were your concerns about the minister's plans?

JACQUELINE KING: Well my concerns were that it was something that was totally outside of the
departmental budget and we'd just been through the budget and the estimates process so it was
something that had not gone into the next 12 month's plan; and that you know, this project was
being set up to be overseen by an internal review and not to go to tender at that point in time.

ANNIE GUEST: And you said all of that to the chief of staff?

JACQUELINE KING: That's what I recall, yes.

ANNIE GUEST: No-one is denying a conversation took place between Jacqueline King and Peter
Beattie's chief of staff Rob Whiddon.

But the man who ran Queensland for a decade says it was only a general whinge and the specific
allegations were not raised.

PETER BEATTIE: The core issue on this is that she now claims that there was material relating to a
particular, inappropriate or dishonest action on behalf of Gordon Nuttall that was raised with my
chief of staff.

I was not aware of that. That was never drawn to my attention. I was never aware of it. My chief of
staff tells me it never happened.

So the bottom line with all this is if Jacqueline King is serious about this matter she needs to go
back to the CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) today and ask for this matter to be fully
investigated. She needs to ask, she needs to give the CMC the name of this alleged public servant
who raised the matter with her.

ANNIE GUEST: Jacqueline King says she detailed all of her allegations to the Crime and Misconduct
Commission in 2006.

But Peter Beattie says she should talk to the independent investigator again.

PETER BEATTIE: Ask them for an investigation and name the public servant and my staff, Rob Whiddon,
is very happy to cooperate with any investigation. He made that clear to me. And he would be
willing to be part of any investigation.

The only matters that I've ever been aware of in terms of ministers are general whinges from staff.
If there's ever been a matter of improper behaviour raised with me or came to my attention, it
immediately went to the CMC.

ANNIE GUEST: Peter Beattie's former right hand man Rob Whiddon has not returned The World Today's
phone call.

ELIZABETH JACKSON: Annie Guest with that report.