Qld MP under scrutiny for allegedly misleading parliament

Transport and Main Roads Director-General, Michael Caltabiano.
Transport and Main Roads Director-General, Michael Caltabiano.

THE head of Queensland's Transport and Main Roads Department has been referred to the Parliamentary Ethics Committee for allegedly misleading parliament.

During an estimates committee hearing last week, TMR Director-General Michael Caltabiano was asked about his relationship with a departmental liaison officer, Ben Gommers, who is also the son of Arts Minister Ros Bates.

Mr Caltabiano told the committee he had no previous professional working knowledge or experience of any of his departmental liaison officers.

The Courier-Mail reported this week Mr Caltbiano had worked with a lobbying firm, which Mr Gommers co-owned.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson told media this afternoon he was concerned Mr Caltabiano had misinformed parliament.

As a result, Mr Emerson wrote to Parliamentary Speaker Fiona Simpson to request the matter be referred to the Ethics Committee.

"I made the decision to refer it to the Speaker but with the full support of the Premier," he said.

"The Premier and I both shared concerns about the statements that the DG made to the estimates committee and inconstancies with subsequent media reports."

The Ethics Committee will now investigate whether Mr Caltabiano's statements.

Mr Emerson said Mr Caltabiano had "volunteered" to stand aside from the top role but would remain on full pay.

Mr Emerson said he was only made aware about the Director-General's work history through media reports.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk labelled the referral a scandal.

"It has been over a week since the Transport Estimates Committee and the Director-General had every opportunity to correct the record there and then on the day," she said.

"Lets be very clear - this is a scandal and this is a government is disarray.

Topics:  department of transport and main roads michael caltabiano politics queensland government

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