Tuesday June 27, 2017
16
Feb

Norsefire Burning


Written by David Marler
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 Norsefire Burning

 

 Norsefire Burning

Introduction

Former Australian cricket wicketkeeper and channel 9 sports commentator, Ian Healy, endorsed LNP candidate for Redcliffe, Scott Driscoll

      
 

No one really paid much attention to the State seat of Redcliffe during the 2012 Queensland election. Redcliffe is situated on the northern coast of Brisbane City. A long, low bridge connects locals to the metropolitan area.

Like many others, it had always been considered a safe Labor domain. When Campbell Newman came to power with an overwhelming majority, Redcliffe was swept along in his draft.
It fell to the LNP's Scott Driscoll, a first time MP greenhorn who'd been raised in Redcliffe City and had run businesses there. Former Australian wicketkeeper and Channel 9 commentator, Ian Healy, endorsed Driscoll in a series of newspaper advertisements.

There had been a minor kerfuffle in the days before the March election in which it was alleged that a former Redcliffe constituent (now living in Melbourne) had been contacted via email to consider voting for Driscoll. The constituent claimed he had only ever given his email address to Campbell Newman when he was mayor of Brisbane and that Driscoll must have gained access to the email address list against privacy policy. However, nothing ever came of this and it had no impact on the outcome of the Redcliffe election results.

In two party preferred results, Driscoll won easily with 60% of the vote against his ALP rival.
Source: 'Melbourne man says email from Redcliffe LNP could only have come from Campbell Newman's address list'

Ch1 Scott Driscoll MP

 

Scott Driscoll MP


Driscoll had been vitriolic in his stance against unions and the Australian Labor Party (ALP).  Australian online media outlet Crikey reported that pre-election, Driscoll had been a 'retail industry WorkChoices warrior', aligning him with the strong industrial relations policies of the Australian Federal Government under former Prime Minister John Howard

Driscoll had also been highly critically of the Labor Rudd Government. During the 'pink bats' insulation episode, four workers died from heat related stress. Driscoll labeled this as the result of 'extreme green politics'.
  Rising through the ranks: L-R: Tony Abbott, Scott Driscoll and Bruce Billson, circa 2010
He strongly opposed the then proposed emissions trading scheme (ETS) stating that many small business owners would 'suicide' over the increased cost.

He applauded Tony Abbott's rise to Opposition leader over Malcolm Turnbull, the removal of the 'arrogant and out-of-touch silvertail'.

Driscoll had become President of the Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers' Association (QRTSA); a lobbying group to represent the interests of small retail businesses. He was also a director of Outsourcing Council Asia-Pacific Limited (OCAP) and the Australian Small Business Coalition. He was a patron of the Redcliffe Community Association of Moreton Bay (RCAMB), a community group which helped the homeless and those with mental illness in the area.

As with many politicians, these positions helped raise his profile in his community and brought him into contact with senior party figures. Rival retail organisations often accused him of inflating QRTSA membership numbers to make the association seem more powerful but he would always cite confidentially if asked to substantiate membership numbers.
Driscoll Tweets: 2 Ladies From Bramble Bay Bowls Club    Crikey also reported that Driscoll was the largest individual donor to the Campbell Newman election campaign with $55,000.

Over the course of 2012, Driscoll would go on to push his conservative views using social media platforms such as Facebook and twitter in hashtag #qldpol. He was always quick to condemn announcements or failures of the Labor Party both federally and locally.

Most recently he tweeted excitedly from the floor of Parliament that Premier Newman had exposed 'Labor games' involving Queensland Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, two ladies from Bramble Bay bowls club and Labor Federal member for Petrie, Hon Yvette D'Ath.

Like all of Newman's MP's not selected for cabinet, Driscoll was made members of Parliamentary committees. He served as member for the  'State Development, Infrastructure and Industry Committee' from May 2012 until February 2013 and is a member of 'Health and Community ServShopkeepersices Committee' from November 2012.
Considered a 'loud mouth' by some, Driscoll would remain out of the public eye for 2012.

Source: 'ALP critic faces legal action over 'deception'
Source: 'Miners Developers Pile In To Fund Newman's LNP Campaign'
Source: Queensland Parliament Biography

 

Ch2 Driscoll and the Qld Retail Traders and Shopkeepers' Association (QRTSA)

Driscoll and the Qld Retail Traders and Shopkeepers' Association (QRTSA)


On February 19th 2013, The Courier Mail's Mark Solomons and Kelmeny Fraser broke a story about Driscoll's financial dealings before becoming a MP.

He'd been an unpaid President of the Queensland Retail Traders and Shopkeepers' Association (QRTSA). When he became a MP it was alleged that he had not declared this position to Parliament. It was not until September of 2012 that the Presidency was passed to his wife, Emma. It was further alleged that Driscoll had been directing the association throughout the course of 2012, signing off on correspondence as 'National President, United Retail Federation' (the successor to the association).

All but defunct, QRTSA had its business address directed to secretary and long-time business associate Bruce Mills' consultancy in Redcliffe. The registered website postal address was changed to a house owned by the Driscolls.

QRTSA financial backers were repeatedly frustrated by Driscoll's refusal to provide receipts for up to $700,000 worth of transactions. Of this, $100,000 had been given to the association to represent the retail industry in trading hours disputes. A further $550,000 was received by the association from sale of premises in the northern Brisbane suburb of Kelvin Grove. A Chrysler 300 company car was also not accounted for.

Members such as Metcash IGA, other independent store owners and former QRTSA executive committee members were prevented from accessing business records due to a Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) blanket ban. It appeared that the documents were protected going back as far as 1996 and which had been invoked by Driscoll and Mills.

A former QRTSA executive, John Hockings was quoted in The Courier Mail, "My main interest is to find out what's happened because it's the members' money."

The Courier Mail reported that former QRTSA chief executive, Ian Baldock has written to the QIRC to query the QIRC ban as he was unaware of any irregularities when he was in charge.

Both Driscoll and Mills have maintained that all asset sales have been handled correctly and funds were used to pay off debt with leftover money placed into the general account of QRTSA.


Source: 'Questions for rookie Queensland MP Scott Driscoll on cash records'

Ch3 Allegations of Sexual Harassment

Allegations of Sexual Harassment


The following day, The Courier Mail published another story with allegations of sexual harassment against Driscoll. These had been made by a former QRTSA employee, Amy Ellingworth. She had worked as a personal assistant to Driscoll in 2009. Among other complaints, upon informing him of a medical condition called 'endometriosis' he made her keep a calendar with the likely dates of her period. Ms Ellingworth, later dropped her official workcover claim for sexual harassment as she had fallen pregnant and didn't need the stress at that time.

Another worker, Alex Macmillan, told the Courier Mail of Driscoll's lewd remarks and told of the time he made her wear a cowboy hat and had pictures taken of her.

Driscoll was also to employ a bikini model to hand out electioneering material during the 2012 campaign for Redcliffe.


This prompted others to come forward with sexual harassment claims as told in the form of a change.org petition. Rachel Maree stated "I successfully took this man and QRTSA to fair work and won a discrimination case against him / QRTSA."

Another, Rebecca Greer claimed "I was sexually harassed by this man at the Story Bridge Hotel and was nauseated to see him become a MP."
   Driscoll Bikini Electoral Flyers
 Driscoll IntWomens Day  

Channel 9 Queensland's Spencer Jolly also revealed that Driscoll had taken out a 2009 RSVP online dating site advertisement in which he'd written that he was after a woman who was "genuine, real and available for meeting with intent" and "It would be very handy if you had a few cocktail frocks and weren't afraid to use them."

Driscoll did not respond to Spencer Jolly's inquiries on this and has not explicitly confirmed or denied the advertisement. However, it would be quite easy to frame a person with a few readily available photos in this way.

Driscoll denied all claims of sexual harassment. QRTSA released a statement indicating that legal action may taken against the allegations for 'making false claims'.

Source: 'Former staff allege Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll subjected them to sexual harassment'
Source: 'Legal action possible over Queensland MP 'smears'
.

Source: 'Former employees say this Member of Parliament sexually harassed them -- Campbell Newman, dismiss Scott Driscoll immediately'.

Source: 'Premier Campbell Newman asked to sack Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll'.

Ch4 Driscoll, Norsefire and RCAMB

Driscoll, Norsefire and the Regional Community Association Moreton Bay (RCAMB)


On the 21st of February 2013, Driscoll responded to The Courier Mail allegations that he had not declared to Parliament directorships at the  Outsourcing Council Asia-Pacific Limited (OCAP) and Australian Small Business Coalition (ASBC) until November. Associate Bruce Mills, was also a director in both of these. Driscoll declared it an 'oversight' to the clerk of Parliament and informed him of his resignation from both non-trading entities.

Colin Dorber, who was acting as an advocate for the QRTSA body, told The Courier Mail that he had been dealing with Driscoll up until mid-September 2012. It was then that Bruce Mills took over as instructing officer. Driscoll denied that he had been acting in any way for QRTSA at the same time he was a MP. The Courier Mail cited August 2012 emails sent from Driscolls' parliamentary email address giving instructions to staff at QRTSA.

On his regular radio interview at 4BC, Premier Newman made his first statement about Driscoll. They had a conversation and Newman was satisfied that Driscoll had not done anything wrong.

“At the end of the day local electorates and the electors in the electorate get to have their say at the ballot box," Newman told listeners.

Later in the day, as quoted on ABC News Queensland, Driscoll stated, "I left my position as the honorary/voluntary president in September last year and ceased having an operational role immediately after the March election."

When asked if he believed this, Premier Newman said, "Well, I've no reason to believe otherwise."

Also on this day, Amy Remeikis from Brisbane Times published a piece which introduced readers to a company called 'Norsefire'. Driscoll stated in the article that his directorship of this company had been declared on his pecuniary interests when he became a MP and that the sole shareholder in 'Norsefire' was his wife Emma.

Norsefire is also the name of a fictional fascist party that comes to power in the comic and subsequent movie V is for Vendetta. Whether there is any connection to this fictional name and Driscoll has never been revealed but Norsefire would certainly be in keeping with his right-wing views.

Seeney Newman Driscoll Mills 
   Norsefire had been employed as a consultancy by the Regional Community Association Moreton Bay (RCAMB) under the presidency of Driscoll's business associate, Bruce Mills.

Mills had taken over RCAMB in 2011 and commissioned Norsefire for consultation on restructure of the association. Norsefire employed Steve Jarron who spent 8 days on the project. The Norsefire bill was $13,200.

In a media statement, Mills affirmed that Scott Driscoll had negotiated the consultancy rates between RCAMB and Norsefire which were "well below the commercial rates that would normally apply to engage a professional team that delivered these fantastic outcomes.”
Originally opposed to the Norsefire contract, was the RCAMB CEO Nett Griggs. Griggs was made redundant during the restructure and the position of general manager created in place of CEO. Jarron was then appointed acting general manager until July 2012. No reason for his departure was made public due to a commercial in confidence agreement.

Under Mills and Jarron the association's advertising expenditure rose sharply from $6512 in the 2011 financial year to $48,910 the following financial year. Also unhappy with the consultation process, were two board members Rae Frawley and Shane Newcombe. They later resigned.

Frawley told Brisbane Times, that her vote was never needed to get things through and there existed in terms of approvals "a bloc of people who were quite like-minded and that is when I decided it was time to go."

Source: 'Qld Premier stands by MP for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll accused of moonlighting'
Source: 'Redcliffe MP fails to declare personal business interests and blames the slip on an 'oversight'

Source: 'MP at centre of questions over consultancy company'
Source: 'Regional Community Association turmoil'

Ch5 Bruce Mills

Bruce Mills


Like Driscoll, Redcliffe businessman Bruce Mills had been a strong LNP supporter and vocal in his opposition to both unions and the Australian Labor party. He was quick to join social media attacks against anyone that voiced 'left wing views', be they ALP MP's, general public or yours truly (@Qldaah on twitter).
He seemed particularly harsh on Qld Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk and newcomer Jackie Trad who had replaced Anna Bligh in the seat of South Brisbane.

He repeated accusations at many that they were being paid by the ALP to tweet. I'd been campaigning for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) for Queensland at the time. I became his '22nd outed Labor paid tweet monkey'.

His rantings and accusations became so great that I eventually blocked and filtered him from my twitter feed. It wasn't until January 2013 that I noticed him pop up on a report from Jessica Ross from Ten News Queensland.

  
Bruce Mills Tweets 
Wearing his United Retail Federation (URF) hat, (the successor organisation to QRTSA) he protested against a McDonalds decision to trial retail sales of bottled milk. He labeled it 'un-Australian' and 'an attack by the American giants on the Mom and Pop stores of Australia.'
Bruce Mills from United Retail Federation speaks to Ten News Qld about McDonalds selling bottled milk   At the same time, Mills was also joint CEO of a company called 3W which provided IT consultancy and facilitated overseas outsourcing of Australian IT jobs.

Under Mills, the URF reversed it's long-held opposition to deregulation of trading hours in southeast Queensland. This surprised many including Metcash, the holding company for grocery stores IGA.  Premier Campbell Newman was also 'surprised' to hear of the change and stated he would be willing to consider the future of the lobby group's new position.

Source: 'United Retail Federation accepts deregulation of trading hours in southeast but not regions'

 

Ch6 Allegations of Driscoll's Bullying and Coercive Tactics

Allegations of Driscoll's Bullying and Coercive Tactics


By this stage, Driscoll's internal LNP political rivals began to tell their stories. On 23 February 2013, The Courier Mail's Mark Solomons and Kelmeny Fraser reported on allegations of Driscoll's bulling and coercive tactics. Premier Newman was still maintaining it was up to the Redcliffe electorate to decide Driscoll's fate at the next election.
   Driscoll Sixty Mins
During the preselection period a former LNP President, Con Galtos was given a signed statement by an ex-girlfriend of Driscoll alleging serious allegations. Galtos did not respond to The Courier Mail's inquiries for more information.

During the election campaign, chairman of the Redcliffe branch of the LNP, Mike Bowden, made multiple complaints to senior LNP figures, President Bruce McIver, VP Gary Spence and state director Mike O'Dwyer. He maintained that Driscoll was aggressive after a branch meeting in May 2011 where Bowden had been elected chairman.

Speaking behind closed doors, Bowden alleged that Driscoll swore at him and told him not to interfere with with his election campaign or he would come down heavier on him. In the end, all of Bowden's complaints to the LNP hierarchy were ignored.

Driscoll did not return The Courier Mail's phone calls.


Source: 'LNP ignored warnings over Scott Driscoll's suitability as an MP'

Ch7 Bruce Mills Resigns from RCAMB

Bruce Mills Resigns from RCAMB


Things had settled down for a few days and then came the sudden resignation of Bruce Mills on 2nd March, 2013. The Courier Mail reported he had stepped down due to health reasons. He did not return phone calls and this was the last known public action of Bruce Mills.

The RCAMB treasurer, Geoff Jamison, also resigned, stating that there had been a lot of rumour and innuendo but none of it was true. His reason for resignation; 'due to other commitments'.
The Courier Mail
report also announced that an investigation had begun into RCAMB by Queensland Department of Communities on the basis of a complaint.  It appeared that staff had raised concerns over the sharp rise in advertising expenditure from $6500 in 2011 to $49,000 in 2012.It was also noted that RCAMB had also received a sum total of $1.4 million in grants from both State and Federal governments. The article went on to reveal that RCAMB staff had not been paid wages and were now locked out of the office.

The Moreton Bay Regional Council sought advice from the Queensland State Government on how services to the homeless and victims of domestic violence in the area would now be serviced.

Source: 'Redcliffe Community Association of Moreton Bay in turmoil as executives resign and investigation begins'

Ch8 Driscoll's Redcliffe Electorate Office Used For RCAMB Meetings

Driscoll's Redcliffe Electorate Office Used For RCAMB Meetings


On March 6th, 2013 The Courier Mail published a new article alleging that Driscoll had used his Redcliffe electoral office to host RCAMB board meetings at which he was an active participant. Meetings were previously held at Bruce Mills' office at 3W but were moved to Driscoll's office from March 2012 when he became a MP.

It was also revealed that the Federal government was now investigating the transactions of RCAMB which had received around $1 million in Commonwealth funding from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs.

The Courier Mail also revealed that Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) records showed that Driscoll had resigned as sole director of Norsefire on February 25th, 2013. This directorship and his membership of United Retail Federation were removed from a 1 March 2013 dated MP's list of interests.

Driscoll did not respond to The Courier Mail on this report.

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll hosted board meetings in electorate office'

Ch9 Premier Newman Backs Driscoll

Driscoll Vote 1  

Premier Newman Backs Driscoll In Parliament As More Questions Are Raised on Dealings at RCAMB


Back in Queensland Parliament the following day, Premier Campbell Newman pledged his full support for Driscoll when questioned by the State Opposition.

"And I say again today, I have seen absolutely nothing that would disqualify him from representing the people of Redcliffe.''
The previous week, Driscoll had written to his local LNP members stating that he had Newman's backing in this 'disgusting and base level campaign'.  Driscoll went on to draw comparison between Newman's own battles during the election campaign when his own family business interests had been referred to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

Members of the IGA supermarket network told The Courier Mail they were still awaiting an explanation from Driscoll as to how $100,000 they gave QRTSA for a trading hours case had been spent.

Evidence by way of meeting minutes was presented to reporters showing that the taxpayer-funded RCAMB premises had also been used for LNP political meetings free of charge since 2011.

With RCAMB in turmoil, a general meeting had been convened to determine its future but as The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser and Mark Solomons' reported on March 12th, a former chairman of the nearby Petrie branch of federal LNP, Brian Roselt had been installed as acting President in Mills' absence. A close political associate of Driscoll, Roselt had been voted onto the RCAMB board in 2011. The RCAMB premises had also been used for meetings by the LNP's Petrie Federal Divisional Council chaired by Roselt.

With this news, the RCAMB meeting was postponed until April. Former managers then called on Premier Newman to appoint an independent administrator and awaited a response. 

It was also revealed by former RCAMB staff that former President, Bruce Mills held many member votes in the form of proxies which he used to approve decisions at meetings. It also came to light that Driscoll's Redcliffe electorate office was used for monthly RCAMB meetings during 2012. Even though he was not a board member, attendees told The Courier Mail that Driscoll played an active role in decisions making.


A day later, 13 March 2013, The Courier Mail reported that a forensic audit into RCAMB had been launched by Qld Health in conjunction with the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs. State Government representatives had attended RCAMB the previous Friday, 8th March. Queensland Health confirmed it had already investigated one previous complaint but had found no breaches and that a new service agreement with RCAMB was effective from 1st July 2013.
By the ides of March (15th), The Courier Mail reported that Driscoll had sent out thousands of flyers to his Redcliffe constituents informing them not to take any notice of the 'baseless allegations' against him in the media and declared that he would stand firm. He refused to answer any of the media's questions as to the expense of the mail-out.    Driscoll Flyer

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll claims support from Premier Campbell Newman'
Source: ' Questions over Redcliffe community association linked to MP'
Source:  'Audit for Regional Community Association of Moreton Bay tied to Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll'
Source:   'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll has mailed flyers to his electorate to protest 'baseless allegations'

 

Ch10 Norsefire Burning

Norsefire Burning


By the 18th March, The Courier Mail revealed a series of emails from Driscoll's parliamentary email address to staff at RCAMB. He had previously declared his directorship in Norsefire but stated it was 100% owned by his wife Emma. He declared himself as 'a patron' of RCAMB.

Trained as a florist, Emma had been added onto the RCAMB payroll as 'HR admin officer'. In addition, she was the sole owner of Norsefire which had been contracted by RCAMB to perform consultancy. There were no other employees listed for Norsefire.

The company was paid almost $120,000 to perform 'media communications strategy and management', 'press liaison' and 'secretariat management fees'.  It was of the opinion of RCAMB staffers that no benefit came from this consultancy work. RCAMB had received $1.6 million in government funding but staffers also told The Courier Mail that they were unable to access funds to buy food for their homeless clients.

Panicked by a formal request from the Department of Communities for information on payments to Norsefire, Emma had sent an email to Bruce Mills and wife Leesa at RCAMB asking for help to "delete what is in the drop box that was on my laptop which I have of course left at RCA (RCAMB)".

She added, "Is there a way we/you can do a complete sweep of that computer both files/trash/word docs etc ... so there is nothing left on there?"


Driscoll had the backing of RCAMB board. All bar one member had worked on his election campaign. His campaign director was Ben Scott, his campaign treasurer Geoff Jamieson and local LNP chairman Brian Roselt, who was to succeed Bruce Mills after his resignation from RCAMB President.

Mills had held around 50% of the 20 RCAMB members votes as proxies, giving the 'Redcliffes' a commanding power base to control of the organisation. Driscoll would tolerate no insubordination. He moved swiftly when former RCAMB treasurer, Terry Rogers questioned the Norsefire consultancy. Rogers himself had been the former MP for Redcliffe winning the seat from Labor in a by-election only to lose it less than twelve months later at a next general election.
Driscoll Emails    On Rogers, Driscoll wrote to Scott and Mills:

"The buck stops with an elected MP or Minister to make any required disclosures not Terry Rogers ..."

"I personally suggest it's time his position on this board was considered for him and action taken pretty quickly right now".

Rogers resigned shortly after.

As this information hit the early morning edition, cabinet ministers were becoming worried. They expressed their concerns to the media at a procession of doorstops.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek, "Mr Driscoll needs to answer these (allegations) and I'm sure he will."
Energy Minister Mark McArdle, "I think Mr Driscoll has to clear the air very quickly and if there's evidence of misconduct, put it to the CMC and have it investigated properly."

Mining Minister Andrew Cripps, "If the Labor Party or anyone else have got anything that they want to put to the CMC, or anyone else who wants to investigate it, I think its important they do so."

Driscoll moved to refer himself to the Queensland Integrity Commissioner, Dr David Solomon. This would seem to be a magnanimous gesture however, the IC has no investigative powers and can only advise on actions an individual plans to take in the future, not on events of the past.

After everything that had been documented and published in the press, Premier Newman asked for a 'fair go' and no 'trial by media'.  It was an indication that Newman was going to ride this out. Three of his ministers had resigned for less, David Gibson for speeding fines, Dr Bruce Flegg for not recording meetings in the lobbyist register and Ros Bates for the same.
Driscoll On Ten News Queensland     Seeing that Newman was categorically going to back Driscoll, Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk began her challenge. Unable to ask Driscoll direct questions as he was not a minister, she focused on Premier Newman.

"Does the Premier still have full confidence in him today?"

ALP MP Jackie Trad had referred allegations on Driscoll to the Queensland Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart and Auditor-General Andrew Greaves.
Newman stated, "It's about him and his community. The next time he goes to the ballot box they'll be making a call on these matters."

Later that day, destined for a LNP party meeting, Driscoll avoided media scrutiny by hanging back behind a closed door until reporters were shut out of a parliamentary corridor.

Representing RCAMB, Ferguson Cannon lawyers released a media statement which read the organisation "emphatically rejects any suggestion that it in any way has not always operated as an entirely independent board and made any and all decisions entirely of its own volition."

The statement also went on to say that RCAMB "suspects is a serious breach of security in its email and internet systems over recent weeks."

Also on this day, The Courier Mail revealed information of a late night 6 hour meeting Driscoll had attended with LNP hierarchy on February 22, 2013. LNP legal adviser, Bernard Ponting had requested numerous transactional documents relating to Norsefire and QRTSA but Driscoll had refused citing privacy and commercial-in-confidence reasons.

Source: 'Queensland Liberal National Party MP for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll link to fund scandal and claims of secret control of taxpayer-funded community association'

Source: 'MP faced all-night grilling by LNP hierarchy after allegations raised'

Ch11 Secret Bases

Secret Bases


There seemed no limit to the amount of information The Courier Mail had on the Driscoll affair. On March 19th, they released details on transactions between QRTSA and Norsefire.

It was claimed that whilst using his electoral office for QRTSA meetings, the organisation paid Norsefire $350,000 per year for management services. This was another source of income for wife Emma on top of the $120,000 that had been paid into Norsefire from RCAMB.

The paper was also able to establish that Driscoll and his campaign director and fellow RCAMB board member, Ben Scott, had signatory powers over QRTSA. They had obtained these powers in April of 2011 but there was no record of the executive committee approving this.
  Driscoll Corridor
Driscoll Front Page   

Key QRTSA assets were transferred to Norsefire. Said to offset additional amounts owed to it by QRTSA; a Land Rover Discovery, mobile phones, fuel cards and a Honda CRV.

The sum of $110,000 given to QRTSA by IGA store owners to fund a trading hours case was traced to Norsefire without IGA's knowledge.

As for the sale of the QRTSA premises, multiple versions of the April 2011 meeting minutes appear to exist at which it was claimed by Driscoll that the board had agreed to the sale. A final complete version of the minutes was agreed upon in January.


Driscoll used his parliamentary email address throughout 2012 which made it ripe for right to information (RTI) searches. He'd been specific and detailed in his instructions to Scott over the QRTSA wind-up. He'd maintained that proceeds of the sale were used to pay down QRTSA debt and an overdraft.

However, this did not correspond with recent Bank of Queensland records which showed that lawyers had demanded QRTSA to repay a $110,000 overdraft, which had been outstanding for years.
Metcash, owners of the IGA brand, had allegedly submitted documents to LNP state director, Brad Henderson. It was not clear why they had done this  and not to the CMC. They declined to answer any inquiries from The Courier Mail.

A letter from Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk to the clerk of Parliament had asked a series of questions about his register of interests. Under mounting media pressure, Driscoll was on his feet at 11am that morning making a Parliamentary statement.

He re-affirmed that his membership of QRTSA and been declared. He admitted that his spouses' interests had not but he would but he would be updating the register to show she drew an income from Norsefire.

Claiming it was an oversight he stated, "Whilst her involvement in this company is already declared I will be updating a section of her interests register today to reflect the fact she receives income from that company of more than $500."

He also denied installing telephone lines in his electorate office for the use of QRTSA staff. He informed Parliament that he had sought approval from the clerk of Parliament for the phone lines to be installed as part of a community hub for local community groups.

Premier Newman also tabled documents from November and December 2012, showing that a CMC investigation into RCAMB and Norsefire had not found any criminal activity.

Newman went on to say ". . . the matters that were alleged in November 2012 are the matters up to and including The Courier-Mail article yesterday that have been canvassed in the media."

However, what Newman misunderstood was that the CMC complaint was from Norsefire payments from 2011, before Driscoll was elected to parliament. Throughout the parliamentary session, Newman repeated his calls for a 'fair go' for Driscoll.

The Courier Mail also reported that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) had cited a number of irregularities in QRTSA, including failure to hold proper elections.

Source: 'Redcliffe LNP MP Scott Driscoll's office was secret base for lobby group, as wife's company paid $350,000 per year'

Ch12 Scripted Responses

Scripted Responses


It was a carefully worded speech by Driscoll to Parliament.

It had also been revealed that he had spent time with two of Premier Newman's media officers to help him prepare media statements. It was they who advised him to declare that Norsefire was not his company but 100% owned by his wife, Emma, being the sole shareholder. He confirmed he was a director of her company but stepped down on February 25, 2013.
   Driscoll Parli Sm
He also declared that his wife had been unfairly targeted and that he was the victim of a 'campaign of falsehoods'.


Source: 'Embattled MP Scott Driscoll given advice on handling response to scandal
'
Source: 'I'm the victim of a 'campaign of falsehoods', LNP MP claims'

 

Ch13 Range of Complaints

Range of Complaints


By 20th March, it was revealed that Queensland State LNP director, Brad Henderson had written to Driscoll regarding a 'range of complaints' from within the party in the Redcliffe region. The email was dated December 16th, 2012 in which he wrote:

"I have received a range of complaints against you over a number of months and the party has also received a number of resignations."

Driscoll responded to Henderson deflecting the focus to an unnamed party member who was waging a campaign of 'ongoing sniping' and 'attacks' against him. Driscoll demanded that Henderson take action in this matter.

"I again implore you to act quickly to remove this threat to the stability and good name of the LNP and myself in Redcliffe," he wrote.

Source: 'LNP bosses received 'range of complaints' about Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll as early as December last year'

Ch14 The Whistleblower

The Driscoll scandal according to Leahy   

The Whistleblower


Word also came through that an unnamed RCAMB whistleblower had delivered thousands of documents to the CMC alleging serious misconduct by Driscoll.

Further information was sighted by the paper in which a contract between QRTSA and Norsefire had been drawn up in 2010 to pay Driscoll's company $342,000 per year.
Later in the day, responding to a complaint from Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk, Speaker Fiona Simpson informed the house that she had referred Driscoll's pecuniary interest register inconsistencies to the Ethics Committee.

Source: 'Controversial Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll faces a possible CMC investigation after whistleblower provides documents'

 

Ch15 Tangled Telephony and the Easter Egg Hunt

Tangled Telephony and the Easter Egg Hunt


By 21st March, 2013, Driscoll began to get into a tangle over the phone lines that had been installed in his electorate office. The previous day, he'd told parliament that they were for a community hub and that the Clerk of Parliament had been notified.

However, The Courier Mail was now alleging that the phone lines were being used by taxpayer funded staff in his electorate office for QRTSA (now URF) business.

They cited emails sent from Emma Driscoll on Scott's behalf:

"We will must have a separate URF account for the new phone lines. We cant & don't want our bill being mixed in with Scott's office phone bill," she wrote. "Scott no longer wants virtual phone lines, he wants proper phone lines . . . there is a big Telstra phone box thing (don't know what you call it) that the office phones somehow use or are connected to. From my understanding Scott assumes that we can get the URF phone/fax lines somehow connected to it."

Assuming this was true, it would mean Driscoll had lied to parliament. In Queensland, this is a criminal offence subject to prosecution. One of the first initiatives of the new Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie was to introduce this legislation in 2012.

Driscoll was on his feet again in parliament making another statement, emphatically denying that he had lied to parliament about the phone lines.

"I most certainly have not lied to this Parliament and I find such a claim to be contemptuous and disgraceful."
Of The Courier Mail's article he labeled it 'smear and innuendo' and went on to state, "This article relies on private emails, including from my wife especially, to base its false allegations. My wife's terminology in private emails to me is not relevant to my actions as an MP."

His reasoning behind the allegations was, "individuals jealous of the fact that I have been given the honour of representing my beloved home town of Redcliffe".
   Easter Egg Hunt
Shortly afterward, Premier Newman rose to give his now famous 'Easter Egg Hunt' speech backing Driscoll, linking the whole affair back to Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk.

"This is now taking the appearance of some Easter egg chocolate hunt. You get an Easter egg and you are told by the Leader of the Opposition there's another one over there and there's another one down there."

By weeks end Driscoll was facing a total of six different investigations. A forensic investigation by an accounting firm into RCAMB. The CMC was assessing the documents by the RCAMB whistleblower. He'd been referred to the Ethics Committee over pecuniary interest declaration. Another complaint on 'ghost invoicing' at RCAMB was received by Queensland police. Complaints relating to RCAMB had been received by the Queensland Auditor-General. The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission was investigating complaints received on QRTSA.


Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll has been caught lying to Parliament about phone lines installed in his office'
Source: 'An organisation controlled by Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll is being scrutinised by forensic investigators'

Ch16 Suspended From The Side

Suspended From The Side

The first anniversary of Newman's election was now being overshadowed by constant frontpage Driscoll revelations. A discussion between Premier Newman and LNP President Bruce McIver over the weekend resulted in an announcement on Monday afternoon of Driscoll's suspension from the LNP. It was a surprise decision given that Newman had defended him so vehemently.

A weary looking Premier fronted the media. Driscoll was a distraction from the Government getting its message out.

"I believe that until these matters are resolved it is appropriate Mr Driscoll's party membership be suspended," Newman announced from the Sunshine coast. "I would hope that Mr Driscoll can return to the LNP."
In Parliament, Driscoll would now sit away from the LNP on the cross-benches with the other Independent MP's. His office released a statement accepting Newman's decision but blaming both the media and the Labor party for ongoing slurs, innuendo and falsehoods.

"Mr Driscoll has reiterated that he has faithfully served the people of Redcliffe for the last year and will continue to do so. Mr Driscoll again reiterated that he has not at any stage been involved in any wrongdoing."

His office also went on to refute the claims that his wife's company Norsefire had been receiving payment from QRTSA whilst he was a MP. Emma Driscoll had been working pro bono.
   Driscoll Newman Suspended
"No billing or commercial benefit has been derived via such an alleged contract to benefit Mr Driscoll's wife's company since Mr Driscoll was sworn in as the Member for Redcliffe in May 2012. Mr Driscoll's wife has provided support and services to QRTSA of her own volition via her company on a pro bono basis due to her commitment to the small business sector and the QRTSA has never been registered at Mr Driscoll's electorate office."

It seemed as far as Newman and the LNP were concerned the Easter egg hunt was over.

Source: 'Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll suspended from LNP after Premier Campbell Newman acts on impropriety allegations'

Ch17 Cash For Lobbying

Cash For Lobbying


If the LNP thought Driscoll had been put to bed and tucked in they had underestimated the investigative skills of The Courier Mail's Mark Solomons and Kelmeny Fraser.

March 26th, 2013 saw supermarket giant Woolworths enter the affair. They alleged Driscoll, whilst serving as a MP, had approached them for cash in exchange for QRTSA (URF) reversing its long held position against extending trading hours in Queensland.  Historically, QRTSA supported IGA. Their owners Metcash had given QRTSA $100,000 to fight Woolworths and Coles in the extension of trading hours in Queensland. It was alleged that this money had been siphoned into Norsefire.

A letter drafted by Driscoll and sent to Woolworths management stated that QRTSA was "open to exploring a review of our stance on opposing in principle all trading hours extensions that may be sought by yourselves". It also promoted a discussion on "what options may exist for Woolworths to support our organisation financially ... so that we are able to take a more pragmatic view on trading hours matters overall".

However, Woolworths immediately rejected Driscoll's offer and reported it to LNP hierarchy. "We received the correspondence and declined the offer," they told The Courier Mail.

This would have been the ultimate double cross. Just six months prior, Driscoll had informed State Parliament that both Woolworths and Coles were 'the bullyboys' of the retail industry and had "sent out their bought and paid for front organisations to fire off some shots at the new Queensland government".
In November 2012, Driscoll and the Government had taken up a position in the legal dispute over a new Costco store. Morton Bay local council had given planning approval to Costco to build a store at North Lakes. The nearby Westfield, IGA, Woolworths and other local retailers objected to the permission and began a legal challenge in the planning court.

The Queensland Government eventually 'called-in' the litigation. Driscoll appeared on Ten News Queensland stating the Government's position, going against IGA and other retailers. He cited the long expensive legal case as the reason.

Driscoll had repeatedly stated that he had no 'operational involvement' in QRTSA after becoming a MP. He still maintained that Norsefire was '100% my wife's company'.
    Scott Driscoll talks about the Queensland Government’s intention to ‘call-in’ the dispute between Costco and Westfield

However, The Courier Mail was to challenge these statements once again, revealing an email Driscoll had sent using his This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email address. Managers at QRTSA had asked for permission to spend funds on external legal advice.


Driscoll replied, "This could bleed me for serious dollars ... I am now shitting myself what this is going to hit me for."

Payments into Norsefire had begun in June of 2012 with $15,000 paid on regular fortnightly cycles until a sum of $250,000 had been tallied by mid February, 2013. On February 24, at an extraordinary general meeting the QRTSA transferred a Land Rover Discovery, mobile phones and fuel cards to Norsefire in lieu of $336,000 outstanding under the terms of contract. At the same meeting, the QRTSA and Norsefire contract was terminated. Driscoll and Ben Scott also had their signatory powers over QRTSA removed.

Driscoll resigned as director of Norsefire the following day and his wife, Emma became the sole director.

Later in the day of 26th March 2013, AAP was able to confirm with Woolworths that they had indeed received an offer from Driscoll but had rejected it. However, QRTSA were denying Driscoll negotiated with Woolworths at all, he merely acted as their patron in introducing the two parties.

Source: 'Suspended MP Scott Driscoll secretly approached Woolworths for cash to prop up retailers' lobby group'

Source: 'Qld premier pushed to refer MP to watchdog'

Ch18 'I know nothing' - The Sgt Schultz Defence

“I know nothing about today’s allegations at all,” Premier Newman tells ABC 612 Brisbane listeners   

'I know nothing' - The Sgt Schultz Defence


Premier Newman was backing away from taking any further action since suspending Scott Driscoll from the LNP.

He told ABC 612 Brisbane listeners that the first he knew of the Woolworths allegations was that morning in The Courier Mail.
"I know nothing about today's allegations at all," he stated.

"Every single allegation that has been made (so far) has been referred to the relevant investigative arms of government," he assured listeners.

"As far as I'm concerned the matter has always been dealt with properly."

Just exactly what allegations, too which investigative arms and to whom were not clear. Newman wouldn't be drawn any further, falling back to his safe position that Driscoll was no longer a member of the Government.

In the preceding year, Newman had spent a great deal time building up confidence in his government by telling Queensland that his government would be 'open and accountable'.

It seemed not in this case.

A day later, on March 27, at a LNP luncheon fundraiser, LNP President Bruce McIver fronted the media. It had been revealed that Woolworths had lodged their complaint about Driscoll back in November. Asked by the media why Premier Newman hadn't been informed until he read it in the paper four months later, McIver's responses where flat and uninformative.
  LNP President, Bruce McIver on why the Woolworths allegation had not been referred to Campbell Newman, “The information we had was not relevant to the Premier at that time.”
"The information has been passed on to the relevant authorities," he stonewalled.

"The information we had was not relevant to the Premier at that time."

The LNP also stated that Woolworths had not made a 'formal' complaint.

One would have thought once the Driscoll affair began to heat up in February that it might have been time to give Newman all they had. However, a deliberate ploy of restricting information from Newman would protect him from fielding media questions.

In a much broader sense, it was a quandary for Queenslanders. It begged the question; who was really in charge of the State? Had Queensland elected a President in McIver with Newman as puppet Premier?

The independents were scathing at the notion of Driscoll sitting amongst them on the cross-benches.

"He's certainly isn't the calibre of the person that I believe the people of that area thought they were electing," stated Peter Wellington, MP for Nicklin.

"He wont be asking questions that challenge the government, he'll simply tow the party line," said Carl Judge, MP for Yeerongpilly.

MP for Gaven, Alex Douglas wrote, “The Premier doesn’t understand how parliament works and thinks just because Mr Driscoll has  been suspended he can sit in the naughty corner on the cross-benches."

However, Premier Newman mocked their protests.

"Oh, come on, come on, I think they get paid to do their job and they should do it," he laughed, walking away from camera with wife Lisa in hand.

By the 28th March 2013, The Courier Mail was checking with Coles supermarkets to see if Driscoll had approached them to change QRTSA's opposition to extended trading hours in exchange for cash donations. Sure enough, he'd approached them prior to Woolworths and had even told Woolworths that Coles had expressed interest in the plan.  However, Coles had all ready alerted Woolworths management to the likely approach from Driscoll.

Once the offer had been made and rejected, Woolworths director of corporate and public affairs, Andrew Hall, telephoned LNP director Brad Henderson to inform the LNP. While the LNP confirmed this phone call had taken place, Brad Henderson told The Courier Mail that this did not constitute a 'formal complaint' and as such there was no need to inform Premier Newman.

"Mr Driscoll has had his party membership suspended pending the outcome of a number of investigations into allegations against him," Henderson told the paper.

Again, as to what allegations and to whom they'd been reported to was not specified.

QIRC was supposedly investigating a complaint made by former QRTSA executive but nothing had been heard thus far from the commission. Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie assured Parliament that the investigation was taking place.
As ABC News Queensland’s Chris O’Brien found out, Redcliffe constituents were becoming anxious over Driscoll allegations   However, The Courier Mail was able to establish that the investigative Industrial Registrar was on leave all week. With the Newman Government and LNP fumbling around with the Driscoll issue, the paper was able to confirm with Queensland Health that it had commissioned PricewaterhouseCoopers to conducted a forensic audit into RCAMB.

The Newman Government had also frozen funding to the community organisation and concerns were rising over its ability to pay staff.
After a month of allegations, it was no surprise that Redcliffe constituents were anxious for the affair to be sorted out. They wanted it referred to the CMC, if Driscoll had done nothing wrong then he had nothing to fear.

"He looks to me to me as though he's on the borderline of something," stated one gentleman.

"He just can't ignore it, the way he's ignoring it, that's what I think... I voted for him too," said a lady, regretfully.

Local Retiree Alistair George visited Driscoll's office only to be told his MP had back to back community meetings. He told The Courier Mail's Brittany Vonow that he was not impressed and had lost respect for his local MP.

The fallout also had potential implications for all political parties. Deception Bay local Annette Cross stated, "I'm not going to vote for any of them (political parties). I'll vote for Independents. I think they've got to go all out because they're not a big party."
Premier Newman was back on radio the following morning at a regular 4BC interview spot. He seemed to have been briefed overnight on the Woolworths-Driscoll situation. There was nothing he could do. He implied that it was Woolworths, not the LNP, that had chosen to cease action on the matter.

Newman explained flippantly, "They were asked 'Well, what do you want us to do about it?'.... Woolworths said, 'Aw, don't worry about it."

Meanwhile, as Newman was speaking on radio, Driscoll's other mess at RCAMB had gone into financial meltdown.
  Premier Newman tells 4BC listeners “They were asked, ‘Well, what do you want us to do about it?’...Woolworths said, ‘Aw, don’t worry about it.”

Source: 'Premier Campbell Newman kept in dark over damning Scott Driscoll claims'

Source: 'Premier having two bob each way on Scott Driscoll – not on says Alex Douglas MP'

Source: 'Scott Driscoll goes to ground after being suspended by LNP'

 

Ch19 RCAMB Collapse and Staff Stood Down

RCAMB Collapse and Staff Stood Down


Minister for Community services, Tracy Davis had frozen the funding to RCAMB while investigations were underway. Unfortunately, on top of all the financial troubles, this only resulted in the association being declared insolvent on Thursday 28th March, 2013.

Earlier in the day, staff had called for an emergency meeting to ensure that homeless and victims of domestic violence in the area would be catered for. They also informed The Courier Mail that no one from the Queensland Government had contacted them at all. No one from the CMC had been to collect any documents or interview staff.
  Full confidence in the member for Redcliffe?

Calls by staff to acting president Brian Roselt and treasurer Geoff Jamieson were not returned.

Jamieson did respond to The Courier Mail, playing down the problems as 'a short-term cash-flow problem as a result of the media reports about Scott Driscoll.'

He also added that he was unaware until that week that Emma Driscoll was on the payroll, which seems an extraordinary statement for the association's treasurer.

RCAMB staff were surprised when the paper put it to them that Davis had informed Parliament on March 20 that her department was 'working hard with the community centre to ensure its viability.' It was obviously not the case, as eight days later RCAMB employees were locked out. It also raised a serious question as to whether Davis had mislead Parliament.

Thursday night, just before Good Friday and after the nightly news bulletins had aired, Davis rushed out a statement before retiring for the Easter break.

"I have advised my department to activate its contingency plans to ensure that the important services provided by RCAMB would continue to be provided."

"The Pine River Neighbourhood Centre has been engaged to provide the services in the immediate future."


Source:
'Workers at a community association secretly controlled by Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll have been stood down'

Source: 'Statement from Communities Minister Tracy Davis'

Ch20 Care Factor Zero

Care Factor Zero


The focus was now shifting away from Driscoll and onto Minister Davis. Why had she left it to the eleventh hour to act? Why cut off funding, when it had been obvious all along that funding was the main problem in keeping RCAMB alive?

With RCAMB premises locked and clients directed to Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre, staff told ABC News Queensland of their frustrations and wages owed for the last 2 weeks.

"We couldn't pay electricity and telephone bills. We couldn't pay wages," employee Len Thomas said. "Those are fairly drastic situations."

"We've had no IT, being no emails, no access to internet, unable to print anything," Sheree Jackson told 7News Brisbane's Geoff Breusch.
   the department funds the organisation to deliver services, we don’t manage it.”
Interest    On the freeze of funding, Len Thomas added, "They've withheld a lot of funding from the board in order to bring this on but it's resulted in a reduction of service, a lot of angst."

Acting President, Brian Roselt also spoke to 7News and told of RCAMB's lack of government funding to the tune of $500,000 and described the ordeal as a 'political witch-hunt'.

Hypocritically, the day prior, both Tracy Davis and Queensland Housing Minister Tim Mander had attacked the Federal Government for walking away from its commitment to homelessness by not agreeing to long term funding.

The hysterical media statement was a long diatribe ending with, "Because of their inability to look beyond the next election, Federal Labor is threatening Queensland programs that put roofs over needy people’s heads."
Driscoll had also given the Federal Government a fair whack over funding for RCAMB back on 10th July, 2012 in Parliament.

He used adjectives such as 'disgraceful', 'mistreatment', 'shame' and placed the onus on the Federal Labor MP for Petrie, Yvette D'Ath.

If all the allegations were true about Driscoll and Norsefire, he'd been siphoning funds out of RCAMB whilst publicly condemning the Federal ALP Government for its failings.


Source: '7News Brisbane : Community centre staff sacked'

Source: 'Commonwealth Walks Away from Homelessness Commitment'

Ch21 Fly On The Wall - Details of the RCAMB Staff Stand Down

Fly On The Wall - Details of the RCAMB Staff Stand Down


With Scott Driscoll off the radar, it was left to his former campaign treasurer and RCAMB board member, Geoff Jamieson, to deliver the bad news to the 23 employees.  Someone at the meeting was taking very good notes which they must have later supplied to The Courier Mail.

He began by explaining he had vacated the RCAMB treasurer position 'some time in February' and then returned so the association could continue to operate. He informed them he had been through all of the accounts and everything was in order. Bizarrely, at this point in the explanation he veered off on a tangent about his croquet game.

"I went right through that with the information that was available to me before I left because what happened is, the day I did that I had to go off, because I play croquet and I was representing the state of Queensland in Adelaide for the ... er, umm, south-east croquet ... er ... state team. So I went away to Adelaide for two weeks ... When you're playing for your state you have to concentrate and I had to block a lot of this out until I got back."

At this point staff interjected, pleading that he get back to the facts.

"You are all stood down," he informed them. "You've asked for it so I'm giving it to you. You asked me for the facts but you didn't let me explain any of the things, so that's what you wanted, OK?"

Several days later, Jamieson was to declare to The Courier Mail of Driscoll, "I am not here for one second to protect Scott Driscoll. He is no friend of mine."

In his maiden speech to Parliament, Driscoll had acknowledged Jamieson's 'friendship and support' and referred to Brian Roselt as 'a great mate'.

Source: 'Scott Driscoll drama is just not croquet'

Ch22 When Easter Egg Hunts Become Witchhunts

When Easter Egg Hunts Become Witchhunts


With the long Easter weekend over and RCAMB insolvent, the rhetoric changed to the 'blame game'. What was left of RCAMB issued a statement saying that it would have to close due to a political 'witchhunt'. It claimed it was owed $295,000 by the Newman Government and would be able to pay debts if funding had not been frozen. This contradicted Acting President, Brian Roselt who told 7News Brisbane over the Easter weekend that $500,000 was owed.

RCAMB went on to reiterate the denial of all allegations involving Scott Driscoll and any financial impropriety was a 'complete nonsense'. They turned their focus on the media and oddly, social media.

"The organisation has endured false, misleading and malicious attacks for the past 12 months, made up of direct threats, attacks on social media and claims through mainstream media. The organisation has been caught up in a political witchhunt because of its association with the local member of parliament. The direct result of this is now the closure of a great local community organisation."

It was all a conspiracy to bring down Scott Driscoll. The result was the collapse of RCAMB, from smear and innuendo of political adversaries. The fault of The Courier Mail, Brisbane Times, Ten News Qld, 7News Qld, ABC News Qld, 9News Brisbane, Woolworths, Coles, the ALP, Whistleblowers, Easter egg hunters, witchhunters, everyone on Facebook, Twitter, you, I and the family dog. Basically, anyone that had ever questioned Driscoll, the LNP and Newman Government throughout the whole affair.

RCAMB further quantified the funding requirements with Amy Remeikis from the Brisbane Times.

"The organisation is owed approximately $295,000 with another $200,000 payable in April. RCAMB only requires approximately $68,000 to meet all current creditors and therefore would be in a very healthy cash position if the government would release funds that are owed."

Driscoll poked his head briefly above the parapet to issue a statement that he had written to the "relevant Queensland government ministers imploring them urgently to take whatever steps are necessary to ensure the continuity of any government related services for Redcliffe based clients of the RCAMB”.

The statement went on to add that those suffering should visit his electorate office if "extreme financial hardship, domestic violence, homelessness or other instances of hardship that they are unable to personally cope with".


Source: 'Driscoll group closes amid LNP MP 'witchhunt'
Source: 'Fresh war of words over Driscoll affair'

Ch23 Double Dipping and the Cancelled Christmas Party

Double Dipping and the Cancelled Christmas Party


Undeterred by the RCAMB board's media blame, The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser and Mark Solomons were back with another revelation. Whilst Emma Driscoll was double dipping into RCAMB via payroll and payments to Norsefire of $2850 per week, it was revealed that Scott Driscoll had knocked back a request for $1000 for the 2012 RCAMB Christmas party.

In November, services manager, Tracey Slater wrote to Driscoll for approval. The email read:

"I have been informed that in the past the board has contributed to this. I would also see this as a great opportunity for team building as the staff I feel have been th(r)ough quite a lot over the past 12 month (sic) and would allow them to put all of that behind them and move on."

To which Driscoll replied in block lettering, constituting shouting, "NOT APPROVED FOR $1000. HAPPY FOR STAFF TO ARRANGE THEIR OWN FUNCTION, BUT WOULD VIEW THEIR PARTICIPATION AT THE VOLUNTEERS CHRISTMAS PARTY IS THE OFFICIAL RCAMB CHRISTMAS FUNCTION (sic)."

Driscoll also knocked back a request for $500 for a Christmas party for mental health clients. The offer had been made to Driscoll for staff to fund their own meals whilst serving clients but this too was knocked back, in favour of tea. (Perhaps scones if they were lucky).

"Re the mental health Christmas party, no extra spending is approved. But I'd encourage a basic morning tea be held in lieu."Staff also wanted to volunteer their time at a local shopping centre for Christmas gift-wrapping fundraiser that would give them greater exposure in the community.

Driscoll would have none of it, "Real time and opportunity cost to paid staff at what should be the busiest time of year outweighs any upside in my view. The potential risk of having to man the event is real. I think we decline this year please."

RCAMB member Len Thomas also reported to The Courier Mail that he was left to meet with Department of Communities officers as treasurer Geoff Jamieson and acting President Brian Roselt had not turned up.  Officers focused on the provision of services for RCAMB's 500 clients but could offer nothing by way of wages owed to staff.

Even though she had investigative powers available to her, Minister for Communities Tracy Davis, had done very little except instigate a meeting with RCAMB staff and her officers.


Source: 'LNP MP Scott Driscoll cancelled a Christmas party to save $1000 and banned staff from wrapping presents, giving the Grinch a run for his money'

Ch24 The Saga Continues...

The Saga Continues...


Patrick Condren from Channel 7News Brisbane also reported that Driscoll's members interest register had been updated with some significant property holdings on 25 January, 2013.

As at November 16th, 2012 Driscoll had listed his real estate interests as a home at Woody Point.  However, two months later this had been updated to include a private home, an investment house and investment land.

As usual, Driscoll would not return media calls to answer any questions on this. It may have been another 'oversight' corrected.
  7News Brisbane reports that Scott Driscoll’s members interest register has grown substantially in terms of property holdings
In another article on the ABC News Queensland website, Melinda Howells reported that Pine Rivers Neighbourhood Centre would pick up the services for the 500 RCAMB clients.  However, RCAMB informed her that they were also in financial difficulty.

Minister Tracy Davis was unaware of PRNC problems "That's not my understanding and certainly not my brief from the department."

April 4th, 2013 and yet another email trail emerged in The Courier Mail. In 2012, Premier Newman had issued a series of funding cuts to community groups totaling $65 million across the sector. Minister for Communities, Tracy Davis informed the Parliament that changes would lead to "greater contestability to ensure spending is targeted most effectively".

RCAMB lost 10% of its funding. As a direct result, in October, Driscoll wrote to service manager Tracey Slater about his intention to 'look at potential staffing structure implications'.

Concerned with loss of state funding, the Federal Government wrote to RCAMB to inquire about the impact of the loss. They had provided $1 million in funding over 2 years via the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs to the organisation.

Tracey Slater was instructed by Driscoll via his Norsefire email address to reply with 'extremely minimal words' and that there had been 'no impact'.

Driscoll later corrected Slater's first draft by writing, "Please say 'no impact' instead of 'little impact'. Then good to go. Please Bcc me in when you send to them."

Source: 'Government under fire over Driscoll-linked community group funding'

Source: 'State LNP MP for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll dictated final words to be used on community association's letter to Commonwealth'

Ch25 The Queensland President's Concerns

The Queensland President's Concerns


Fearing major leaks, LNP Qld President Bruce McIver confronted the Redcliffe State Electorate Council on Tuesday 2nd April, 2013.  The result was a leak to The Courier Mail of the meeting.

He expressed fears of losing the seat of Redcliffe & jeopardising the Federal seat of Petrie in the upcoming election, due to the Driscoll allegations.

"Say this member is found guilty of something. Say it does happen and we throw him out of the party. Will we ever win this seat again? The key thing though for the LNP in Redcliffe is that we must all pull together and move on very quickly otherwise the election of our candidate in Petrie is in jeopardy."

Questions were raised by the audience on the whole issue and recent reports. There had been many complaints on Driscoll's behaviour from within the LNP Redcliffe branch dating back to May 2011, but no action had been taken.

However, McIver was upbeat in his response.

"Some members and others have chosen to leak to the media and that's disappointing because it makes us the issue. Instead the issue should have been whether this gentleman has done wrong or not. So if you have any facts or evidence, or know someone who does, please hand it over to the correct authorities or give it to the party, give it to me and I will hand it over to the correct authorities."

Source: 'LNP president fears Petrie defeat in wake of Scott Driscoll scandal'

Ch26 Reasonable Grounds To Conduct An Investigation

Driscoll received Gov car of former Premier Anna Bligh  

Reasonable Grounds To Conduct An Investigation


Finally, on April 6th, The Courier Mail 2013 was able to report that the Queensland Industrial Registrar Gary Savill had announced an inquriy into QRTSA would begin.

"I'm satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to conduct an investigation into QRTSA, their finances and financial administration."

After months of frustration, store owner and executive committee member John Hockings lodged a new complaint with QIRC alleging that the September election at QRTSA which promoted Emma Driscoll to president and Bruce Mills as secretary was invalid. Neither himself or others had been invited to the election.

His complaint read:

"Since April 2010 he was never informed of any meetings of the QRTSA, its executive or its members. Although eligible he has never been invited to participate in any election. All his efforts to speak to Mr Scott Driscoll, the then executive director, or Ms Emma Driscoll, a person who now claims to be the president of the QRTSA, have been unsuccessful."

It appeared to have fallen to a private citizen to do what the Premier and LNP President were reluctant to do.

By April 8th, 2013 the Queensland Industrial Registrar, Gary Savill had seen enough on QRTSA to refer the matter to QIRC for an inquiry into its finances. There were two major concerns. The first, the organisation failed to include members such as John Hockings in meetings where elections were held for key positions.

Secondly, a discrepancy existed between the number of members listed on the registry at 835 and the 164 filed with Electoral Commission Queensland (ECQ).

Savill stated in his findings,"It would appear that other persons who were members (and perhaps financial members) as at 31 December 2012 may have been removed from QRTSA's Register. I am satisfied that there are reasonable grounds to inquire whether there has been an irregularity in the election and I am satisfied that the circumstances justify an inquiry."

Source: 'Probe of Scott Driscoll's retail lobby group to proceed'

Source: 'Inquiry into elections for MP Scott Driscoll's retail lobby group after organisation members not included in poll'

Ch27 Cover Up - Newman Government Knew About Norsefire

Cover Up - Newman Government Knew About Norsefire


April 10th, 2013 and the revelation came through from The Courier Mail. The Newman Government had been aware for seven months of Driscoll's Norsefire activities and its involvement with RCAMB.

In August, 2012 an unnamed official from Minister Tracy Davis's Department of Communities first raised concern about the Redcliffe MP being involved in the signing of a government contract with RCAMB.

The the official wrote to RCAMB's services manager Tracy Slater, that she would have to seek an Executive Officer's direction "as Mr Driscoll is the sitting Member of Parliament for Redcliffe."
  During the 2012 Qld election campaign Campbell Newman pledged to ‘Restore Accountability in Government’
Slater then forwarded this exchange to Driscoll on his Norsefire email address. In the reply, Driscoll described the official's comments as 'truely bizarre'. He pledged to address her behaviour 'at another place and time in the near future'.
The email exchange between Tracey Slater and Scott Driscoll from September 6, 2012.   He went on to order Slater to book the official's proposed meeting time regardless of President Bruce Mill's availability. If Mills was not available, Driscoll would get his wife Leesa Mills to minute the meeting.

He told Slater not to tell the official of the connection between the Mills couple as 'she could come up with some weird phobia about Leesa too given the time and chance.'

2012 had been a bad year which saw three of Newman's ministers resign. A common theme purveying the Newman Government seemed to be a lack of understanding or acknowledgement of nepotism.

When the media raised questions with Premier Newman over sons and daughters of ministers being employed to government jobs, he was quoted as saying, "That's not nepotism, that's just the way the world works."
In December of 2012, two other Department of Communities officials almost stumbled upon Norsefire's involvement in RCAMB when they met with Bruce Mills and two other senior staff.

They'd asked about the outsourcing arrangement to a consulting firm but failed to ask the name of the company. One of the officials had even been alerted to the involvement of Norsefire with RCAMB, just three weeks earlier.

Back in the office, they must have connected the dots and asked RCAMB to supply details on the consultant company but the information was never forwarded to the department.
The paper also revealed that in December a whistleblower contacted the Department of Communities after an annual meeting at which Driscoll chaired where elections were held.

Details of the complaint showed people had been deliberately excluded from the meeting, that there was no openness toward financial information and the identity of Norsefire as the consultancy that had made sweeping organisational changes was not revealed.

In response to the whistleblower, the North Coast regional director from the Department of Communities, Patricia Occelli replied on February 14.

  Pre-election, Campbell Newman told Brisbane Times reporter, Daniel Hurst that ‘people have to be accountable, that’s why we have ministers.’
"Please be reassured that the North Coast Region is investigating your allegations in order to ensure compliance of responsibilities within their Service Agreement and within the Act. Therefore, it has been determined that no further correspondence from North Coast Region is required regarding your complaint and it will be closed, effective 15 February 2013."

The Courier Mail began publishing the Driscoll affair just four days after this response.

On March 19th, Premier Newman assured Parliament all had been 'properly investigated' by the Government.

The Department of Communities officials have now closed ranks and will not comment to the paper. They will not confirm or deny that Minister for Communities Tracy Davis was briefed on the allegations lodged by the whistleblower.

Questions still remain. How much did the Premier, the LNP and ministers really know about Norsefire? Was there an attempt to cover up the whole Driscoll saga or had they been mislead by the department?

Pre-election, Newman gave an interview to Brisbane Times reporter, Daniel Hurst in which he outlined strict guidelines for ministerial responsibility.  He gave scathing examples of ministers in the then Labor Government that should have been fired.

"At the end of the day, people have to be accountable, that's why we have ministers overseeing departments, that's the principle that's all ways been around."

The only caveat he gave to this would be if a minister was deliberately mislead.


Source: 'Being a State Government ministerial staffer is a family affair but Campbell Newman denies nepotism'
Source: 'Bureaucrats knew of MP Scott Driscoll's consultancy'

Ch28 Application Sought to Lift QIRC Ban on QRTSA Financial Records

Application Sought to Lift QIRC Ban on QRTSA Financial Records


Driscoll and Mills had successfully managed to get a QIRC blanket ban placed on QRTSA financial records dating back to 1996. This would "excuse any previous failures by the QRTSA to supply to the industrial commission 'prescribed information' such as financial accounts."

On 10th April, The Courier Mail's Mark Solomons reported that executive QRTSA member, John Hockings had called on the QIRC to lift this ban.

Hockings stated in his application that deputy president of the Commission Adrian Bloomfield, had been mislead in the original ruling.


"Had the honourable member been aware of the situation ... he would not have approved the application."

Hockings further stated that he had been excluded from QRTSA meetings and that the application on the ban had never been authorised by the executive body which made it invalid.

"Had I been informed of it I would have opposed it, as I say it was directly contrary to the interests of the members of the QRTSA at that time," wrote Hockings.

It seemed without John Hockings dogged pursuit of the truth through the QIRC, nothing would be instigated by way of investigation on this front.

Source: 'More heat on Scott Driscoll retail lobby group'

Ch29 When Great Mates Become Great Liabilities

When Great Mates Become Great Liabilities


With the Federal election five months away and spooked by the Driscoll affair, the Queensland LNP decided to remove Driscoll's long time associate, Brian Roselt from the Petrie campaign team. Roselt had helped Driscoll in his own election campaign for Redcliffe. In his maiden speech to Parliament, Driscoll described him as one of three 'great mates'.

The candidate for Petrie, Luke Howarth confirmed to The Courier Mail on April 11th, 2013 that Roselt had removed himself from the position of campaign coordinator. Howarth dismissed claims that his election campaign had been harmed by the Driscoll affair.

"I think anytime the Liberal National Party branch is tarnished that's not good thing," he told reporters. "I think the people of Redcliffe are smart enough to know that I am not Scott Driscoll."

With regard to winding up RCAMB, at which Roselt was serving as Acting President, he stated in a March 28 affidavit that he was suffering from anxiety.

"As a result of my having to take on the role of president of RCAMB and with all the distress of having to deal with allegations involving Scott Driscoll, a member of Parliament with the State Government, and his wife's association with RCAMB, I suffered an anxiety attack on Friday, 15 March, 2013 resulting in my having to seek medical assistance."

Amy Remeikis from Brisbane Times also reported that a Fair Work Commission conciliation meeting had failed to resolve the matter of outstanding wages owed to RCAMB employees.

Roselt was present and informed those present that both Federal and State Governments had 'failed to release essential funding.'

Services Union assistant secretary, Jennifer Thomas told the meeting that multiple attempts had been made to contact Minister for Communities, Tracy Davis to try to resolve the issue before RCAMB's collapse.

Davis attacked the union as being 'disingenuous at best'. She then turned to a common tactic among the Qld LNP when backed into a corner. Blame Labor.

“They look to target the state government, but fail to mention the federal government who also previously directly funded this organisation to the tune of many millions of dollars,” she stated.

Evidently, Davis had not been following things too closely in the media. The Federal Government had contacted RCAMB in 2012 to find out if they were coping with state funding cuts. Driscoll had told RCAMB staffer, Tracey Slater to reply that there was 'no impact'. As far as the Federal Government knew, everything was running soundly at the organisation.

Davis went on to state that her department had not frozen funding to RCAMB until it had been advised of insolvency, just before the Easter break. She clarified that the department funds organisations quarterly in advance.

This contradicted Roselt's and RCAMB official claim that they were owed $295,000 with another $200,000 payable in April. They stated they only needed $68,000 to pay creditors and continue functioning.

RCAMB staff had also told of being unable to pay electricity and phone bills. Staffer Len Thomas had told the media that funding had been withdrawn 'to bring this on.'

If Davis's claim was correct, she would have had to freeze the April payment late on Thursday 28th March, 2013. This was the day the RCAMB application was filed with the Supreme Court.

However, two weeks earlier she'd told Parliament that her department was 'working hard' with RCAMB to preserve its viability. RCAMB staff were surprised when told of this statement as no one had been in contact from any government.

More questions for Davis to answer. It seemed she was slowly digging a hole for herself.

Source: 'Scott Driscoll ally Brian Roselt has bowed out of electoral campaign for LNP hopeful Luke Howarth'

Source: 'Attempts to fix wage dispute fails'

Ch30 QIRC Hears Fraud, Forgery & Improper Asset Sales At QRTSA

QIRC Hears Fraud, Forgery & Improper Asset Sales At QRTSA


The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission was told on Friday 12th April 2013, that Scott Driscoll MP was involved in improper disposal of QRTSA assets. The first official inquiry heard that the $550,000 building, cars and other assets were sold or transferred despite Driscoll's position as President of QRTSA being against the organisation's own by-laws.

It was also revealed that QRTSA anti-corruption campaigner and IGA store owner, John Hockings who had lodged the complaints with QIRC, was still a member of the executive committee of the organisation and had not actually resigned. Now with access to lodged documents, a document was presented showing a false resignation had been lodged with the QIRC in Hockings name.

Commissioner Adrian Bloomfield agreed and commented that many similiar resignations lodged by other committee member's may also be open to dispute. As an action item, he would make a draft order allowing Hockings to gain access to all documents previously banned by Driscoll and secretary Bruce Mills.

In defence of the current president, Emma Driscoll, barristers requested that this order not be open ended to allow Hockings lawyers to 'embark on a general fishing expedition'.

The proceedings were adjourned to allow Hockings team time to examine more QRTSA documents.

Source: 'Driscoll 'wrongly sold off assets' of the QRTSA, Queensland Industrial Relations Commission QIRC told'

Ch31 Guns Blazing

A phone message from Scott Driscoll in the early hours of Feb 23, 2013 vows not to be forced out.  

Guns Blazing


With the start of the April Queensland parliamentary session, Scott Driscoll rang in to report he'd be off for the week. Wife Emma was home sick with an undisclosed illness.

He thanked followers over Facebook for birthday wishes and then went on to make comments about the 'Coles-Woolworths Monster Duopoly'.

"The first thing I wanted to post on Facebook on my birthday is what I have always thought was a really excellent overview of the Coles-Woolworths Monster Duopoly we have here in Australia and what impact it has on each of us as consumers, on our Australian farmers and on our local small businesses.''

Whilst absent from the house, he was replaced in his Parliamentary position on the Health and Community Services Committee by former Arts Minister, Ros Bates. Bates herself had a troubled 2012, with claims of nepotism and incorrect lobbyist recordings forcing her to stand down from the ministry.

Driscoll's removal from this job would mean a pay cut of $8200 per annum.
The week also confirmed reports that both QRTSA and RCAMB were being used by Driscoll's staff and electorate office which prompted the Clerk of Parliament, Neil Laurie to commence his own official investigation into Driscoll on the basis of possible misuse of parliamentary resources.

The Courier Mail
obtained evidence that electorate staffer Ben Scott sent an email on June 4, 2012 to RCAMB President Bruce Mills indicating that he was having software problems.

"Bruce having trouble accessing this from explorer at the Electorate office?? Is there some way I can get in from explorer as parliament services does not allow us to download firefox."

Driscoll had also signed a 2011 contract for Norsefire to provide 'ongoing media, communications and fundraising services' for $961.54 plus GST per week.

In August 2012, this contract was changed to hire Norsefire for $2850 a week for 'secretariat management services'.

The dinosaurs in the LNP hierarchy finally lumbered into action and issued Driscoll with an ultimatium; resign or face an expulsion meeting scheduled for Saturday, 19 April 2013.

In a statement to Channel 9 Brisbane's Spencer Jolly, they said Driscoll had 'brought the party into disrepute' and had made 'false and misleading statements to them and the media'. In terms of his LNP pre-selection for the seat of Redcliffe he had 'answered dishonestly when questioned before his pre-selection and again this year.'
At this, The Courier Mail released February 23 text messages in which a defiant Driscoll conversed with a 'close associate'. He was on his way home from a late night grilling with party bosses when he wrote:

"Just finished at LNP HQ at 12:30am. They are saying all the smear is fine."

"They are claiming to be more concerned with the fact Norsefire has had perfectly legal contracts with either QRTSA or RCA (RCAMB)."

"Because it 'looks like' I stacked their boards just to extract cash and did basically nothing. I'm really getting to the end of my tolerance."
  LNP bosses pull the plug and tell Driscoll to resign or face expulsion hearing
"I don't want to be pushed out the back door from a party after 24 years over lies and slur. I'll walk out the front door guns blazing and a book of names and where the bodies are buried."

Later in the day, "Yes the f---wits at LNP HQ just need to look up the meaning of loyalty instead of suggesting that a company owned by my wife could look bad and be all scary because groups with board who I knew members of prior to the election legally awarded contracts to that company."

Source: 'MP Scott Driscoll dumped from government committee and replaced by Ros Bates'

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll ran second group from electorate office'

Source: 'Driscoll facing LNP expulsion'

Source: 'MP Scott Driscoll to face LNP expulsion hearing'

Source: 'Controversial LNP MP Scott Driscoll has issued a statement announcing his resignation from the LNP'

Ch32 Stayn' Alive

Stayn' Alive


On April 18th, Brisbane Times' Amy Remeikis reported that Deputy Opposition leader, Tim Mulherin had questioned the Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie about Driscoll's involvement in a fundraiser for a new 'Bee Gees' statue.

"I refer to fundraising undertaken by the LNP member for Redcliffe through the Redcliffe Tourism Association for the Bee Gees statue, and I ask, is the Attorney-General aware of the information provided to his office about fundraising by this unincorporated association? What steps has the Attorney-General taken to ensure that all funds raised have been properly distributed?"
Brisbane radio station, 4KQ helped Driscoll promote the fund to create the Bee Gees memorial statue for Redcliffe    Bleijie, of course responded that he new nothing and was unaware of the issue.

However, it did prompt more questions to be asked by investigative journalist, Amy Remeikis.

Upon the death of Robin Gibb in May 2012, Driscoll began a fundraising effort to make a statue honouring the Bee Gees. It would be erected in their home town of Redcliffe. A Westpac bank account had been created to accept donations but Driscoll firmly stated that he was never a signatory to it.

He did publicise it through media outlets such as 4KQ who promoted the fund's account details onair and at its website.
In her article, Amy Remeikis wrote:

The Redcliffe Tourism Association Inc invoiced at least one donor, but a company search from earlier this month lists its status as deregistered.  No names are listed on the search.

An internet search returned one result on a business profile website, which listed it as active from August 7, 2012.


Mr Driscoll said he was "never personally a signatory" to the account and did not "personally establish a Westpac Bank account for such fundraising purposes".

"The account was established by a local voluntary tourism body and that group ultimately presented the funds to council to go towards the costs associated with building the Bee Gees memorial in Redcliffe."

With the fund never having been officially audited, Amy was able to report that the Brisbane Airport Corporation had donated $5000. The Moreton Bay Regional Council confirmed with her that it had underwritten the majority cost of the statue and had received a bank cheque for $5740 from Driscoll.

Publicly, Driscoll never confirmed how much had been raised in total. The Office of Fair Trading which administers public fundraising of this nature, stated that the fund had not been registered with their office.

A spokeswoman told Amy, "Appeals for support for the construction of a memorial for a music group would not usually be considered a charitable or community purpose."

"The Office of Fair Trading did not receive an application for a sanction for the construction of the Bee Gees statue under the Collections Act 1966.”

Driscoll also released a statement which read:

"The end result is a magnificent memorial in Redcliffe that attracts endless streams of visitors day and night. It has rightly paid tribute to the Gibb brothers’ global music career which began in Redcliffe and has also importantly seen Redcliffe put on the world stage via extensive international media coverage surrounding the launch of the Bee Gees memorial."

"Mr Driscoll was not a signatory to the Bee Gees memorial fundraising account so he has no personal responsibility to audit any such accounts as he has no legal association with them."

Source: 'Driscoll facing LNP expulsion'

Ch33 Ghost of Driscoll

Ghost of Driscoll


It had been left to Minister for Communities, Tracy Davis to fix Driscoll's other mess at RCAMB. Or so Parliament thought.

On 20th March 2013, she had informed the house that 'our department is working hard with the community centre to ensure its viability.'

Not nearly hard enough it seemed as RCAMB was declared insolvent 8 days later and 23 staff lost their jobs. Staff were surprised to hear Minister Davis' 'working hard' statement as no one from the Government had been in contact at all.

It raised many questions of Davis which the Opposition was happy to challenge her on when Parliament resumed. Why had she left it to the eleventh hour to act? Why cut off funding, when it had been obvious all along that funding was the main problem in keeping RCAMB alive? Had she mislead Parliament?
  Minister Davis tells Parliament her Dept is 'working hard' for RCAMB
A nervous Davis was peppered with five questions during the one hour question time. As Brisbane Times press gallery reporter, Amy Remeikis noted, 'at times she appeared to struggle to find answers'.

She told the house that the Opposition should direct their questions to the minister for health, rather than herself, over the PriceWaterhouse Coopers audit into RCAMB. To which the Opposition claimed she had misled everyone in her media release as it was implied that her department was performing a forensic audit.

Davis denied this and began a rant, blaming Labor of not caring about the people of Redcliffe and accused the Labor party of using the situation as a tool to hold onto the Federal seat of Petrie.

She began to read an article from The Courier Mail entitled 'Lucky Losers' in which it was alledged Federal Qld ALP MP's would be parachuted into key State seats if they lost at the September 14 Australian election.

She informed the house, "Their (Labor) interest in Redcliffe is only Yvette D’Ath staring down the barrel of defeat at the upcoming state election. They do not care about the people of Redcliffe. They do not care about the workers of the Redcliffe community association. We are about ensuring that services continue to be delivered in the area, and that is exactly what we are doing."

Whilst services had been redirected to another community group in the Redcliffe area, Davis herself had done nothing throughout the whole saga. Her department had simply carried out its standard response plan.

As Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk pointed out, Davis should have taken a lot more interest given that the saga was so closely linked to the Newman Government.

“She had the power to order a forensic audit of the association but when everyone else could hear the alarm bells ringing she did nothing."

“Either the Minister shapes up and starts to take a hands-on approach to this problem or she should go and make way for someone who is willing to do that."

“When the RCAMB and Mr Driscoll have been so closely linked the Minister needs to give priority to sorting out the association’s financial problems and looking after its staff and clients.”

Source: 'Driscoll's ghost haunts question time'

Source: 'Davis Must Do Better Or Go'

Source: 'Qld Parliament Hansard - 16 April 2013'

Ch34 Resignation Before Expulsion

Resignation Before Expulsion


For all his bravado in February, Driscoll ended his relationship with the LNP as a political coward. At the start of the drama, LNP media advisors had recommended he 'hide' from the media when he consulted with them over a reporter at his electorate office.

"Our media guys say give him nothing and hide again tomorrow," Driscoll texted his 'close associate'.

Driscoll was then to leave an electronic trail by dictating via text message a media release on behalf of QRTSA stating that asset sales were used to pay down debt at the organisation. He was later to state publicly that he had 'no operational involvement' at QRTSA whilst serving as a MP.

He even suggested to LNP media advisors that he could blame Redcliffe political enemies of a conspiracy against him.

They responded with, "Keep your powder dry until we see when the couriers next push will be."

Facing discredit by Driscoll, The Courier Mail confirmed that it was in possession of documents signed by him that QRTSA was to pay Norsefire between $312,000 and $342,000 a year.
   Driscoll Resignation

Driscoll was now at the brink. At around 6pm Friday 19th 2013, he pulled the plug and resigned from the LNP rather than face expulsion.

Forever the victim, his letter of resignation was a two page rant. He began by stating he wished to serve the people of Redcliffe, something that had been far from his mind throughout 2012.

He now saw himself as an independent champion of the people. He pledged to continue backing Premier Newman in advancing the cause of Redcliffe.

He attacked the Labor party for leaving Queensland 'in a total mess'; a long prevailing doctrine of the Queensland LNP.

Astoundingly, he then turned to the second great doctrine of Qld LNP; the Labor conspiracy.
Driscoll as Batman   "Now all Labor seem to want to do is throw mud and attack people on a personal and family level. Smear and slander based on gossip and rumour is not a valid alternative to having a good policy platform and having an honourable intent to serve the Queensland community. I don’t think they quite get that concept yet."

“I’m not going to let “Team Labor” plus a few other attention seekers get in my way of fighting for Redcliffe locals, all because Labor’s totally obsessed with attacking the LNP brand in any way they can, regardless of what is right or wrong."

Then things got really weird. Movie references to 'Jedi mind tricks', the 'bat-cave' and 'Dr Evil' flowed.

“We’ve heard various utter rubbish allegations that I’ve basically exercised some sort of special “Jedi Mind Control” over people on private Boards that I’ve never even sat on myself or had a razoo of power over, just so they would give my wife a job, or offer her company a contract to provide services, even before I was elected to Parliament. I mean fair dinkum, it’s pretty insulting stuff against a woman like my wife who is more than able to get herself a job on her own merits and has run her own successful businesses long before she ever met me."

“And we’ve been fed lines about some sort of secret “Bat Cave” type set up apparently operating in a secret wall cavity of my Redcliffe office with massive rivers of gold and diamonds basically flowing through to companies my family is linked to. And I supposedly sit their like Dr Evil and get confused between how many millions, billions or trillions are being made while stroking some hairless cat."

At the end of his political life with the LNP, he'd failed on all fronts to serve the people of his electorate. The electronic trail showed he placed himself first.


Source: 'LNP spin doctors advised Scott Driscoll to hide from the media after first reports over business activities'
Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll in meek resignation from LNP despite threats to go out 'guns blazing'

Ch35 Newman's Political Ballet

Newman's Political Ballet


Premier Newman returned from his COAG meeting in Canberra and told reporters that he was happy the whole Driscoll saga was over. He'd failed to take direct action over his MP and ridiculed the saga as a 'Easter egg' hunt driven by the Labor party.

Now he denied that he had ever supported Driscoll. When challenged, The Courier Mail reported that his responses were terse.
  Driscoll Newman Hansard
“You have to go back and look at the record.”

“Mr Driscoll is no longer a member of the LNP. He has not been a member of my government for some weeks.  He now stands accountable to the people of Redcliffe.”

As to the Premier accepting Driscoll's vote in the house he said, “We don’t need his vote. He can vote anyway he likes.”On March 7, 2013 under a question without notice from Deputy Opposition leader Mulherin, Newman informed the house that he had full confidence in the member for Redcliffe.

He then launched into a bizarre attack on the Labor party recycling previous MP's, bikie gangs and paedophiles.

Newman had shown little concern upon losing his 4th MP and seat. He'd washed his hands of the Driscoll saga weeks ago and now he was wiping them; discarding the matter like a restroom paper towel.

He was just happy, the whole matter had been 'dealt with'.

Source: 'Premier Campbell Newman happy Scott Driscoll matter has been dealt with'
Source: 'Newman 'happy' Driscoll is gone'

Ch36 Missing In Action

Missing In Action


Driscoll certainly thought the Premier had his back and that they were kindred spirits.

In a media statement, he wrote, "We have shared several stories about the similar campaign of lies and slurs he and his family suffered from during the last state election campaign."

Newman aside, both sides of politics condemned Driscoll's resignation letter.

Former LNP MP of 21 years, Mike Horan told The Courier Mail "I think people would be appalled at that kind of attitude."

Describing the resignation letter as the most bizarre thing she'd ever read, Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk accused Driscoll of mocking the situation.

"We have serious issues here that have been surrounding the member for Redcliffe and for him to just dismiss them and make fun of them is really unforgivable."
Josh Bavas attempts to track down Scott Driscoll at home    Redcliffe locals and the media were still having difficulty locating Driscoll. Sticking to the LNP script, he did not answer the door to ABC News Queensland's, Josh Bavas.

I think it's good he's gone, I think he should resign from the Parliament itself, not just the LNP and give the people of Redcliffe a chance," remarked one resident.

Another emotional Redcliffe man told ABC that Premier Newman was equally to blame, "Campbell equally to blame now, equally to blame, he is deserving of.... surely they can get rid of the silly bugger."
On Driscoll not facing the expulsion hearing, LNP President Bruce McIver commented, "Everyone is due natural justice but the charges were very specific and I think Mr Driscoll would have had a very hard job addressing them."

After more than a year of sledging from the Newman Government for their failings at 2012 election, green shoots began to appear in the ALP resurgence. At question, should Newman have acted sooner?

Opposition leader joked with Channel 9's Shane Doherty, "The Empire should have definitely struck first, Shane."
  No luck either, Channel 9 Brisbane’s Shane Doherty knocks on the Driscoll home
Redcliffe voters also spoke to Channel 9.

"We don't think very highly of him at all," stated one lady defiantly.

Another lady was disillusioned, "None of them seem to be doing the job properly, anyway, so you just don't know who to vote for any more."

Driscoll had also promised to sort out a car parking problem at Redcliffe Hospital.

As recently as February he had told the Redcliffe & Bayside Herald, "I am expecting a full and thorough report from the Infrastructure Branch of Queensland Health by the end of next month (March 2013), that will go a long way towards making sure an appropriate and site specific solution is delivered for the people of Redcliffe.''

By the end of April and still under review by Metro North Hospital, a spokeswoman for Driscoll told the paper, "Scott, who requested a review in the first place, has asked me to chase this up with Metro North weekly until we receive more information on this and hopefully, ultimately, a solution.''

Another petition had been raised. This time it sought Driscoll's resignation from the Parliament and to vacate his Redcliffe seat. It seemed, for constituents, it was going to be an increasingly drawn out process. Driscoll would now sit on the cross benches with the other Independents.

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll claims support from Premier Campbell Newman'

Source: 'Petition calls for State Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll to resign after he quit the LNP'

Source: 'No action by State Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll on Redcliffe Hospital carparking woes'

Ch37 Newman's 'Easter Egg Hunt' Leads To CMC & Police Inquiry

Happier times. From his website, Scott Driscoll with two members of the Qld Police force  

Newman's 'Easter Egg Hunt' Leads To CMC & Police Inquiry


With Premier Newman out of the way, the investigations were gathering momentum.

By now, Driscoll had racked up seven separate inquiries. The Queensland Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart had briefed Police Minister Jack Dempsey on proceedings. All inquiries would be co-ordinated with the CMC inquiry.

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) and the CMC were able to confirm on 24th April, 2013 to The Courier Mail that a joint investigation was underway into fraud complaints and Driscoll's dealings with QRTSA.
Days earlier, executive board member, John Hockings had written to police pleading for action.

"Can we please bring this bloke and his associates to justice."

"I am still at a loss to understand why the assets, financials, committee meeting minutes etc and everything to do with Mr Driscoll has not been frozen and/or seized well before now.

"There was no doubt that Hockings had the numbers and documents to back him.  He cited a dozen other members who were as bemused as himself to the whole affair.

Driscoll released his usual written spiel to the media without talking directly to the media.

"I have had no contact from any agency whatsoever at this time on any matter."

"I have never acted in any manner that I know to be in any way inappropriate regarding my position as a Member of Parliament," he said. "Should any legitimate agency contact me at any stage I will gladly assist them in any way I am able."

The Courier Mail also reported that Emma Driscoll had resigned as interim President of QRTSA on April 15th.

Source: 'MP for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll faces investigation by CMC and police over allegations of fraud and misconduct'

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll faces seven inquiries'

Source: 'CMC and police investigating MP'

Ch38 Bad Boss

Bad Boss


** Please note: In an earlier version of this section I misinterpreted The Courier Mail's article and misrepresented Mr Jarron's position by stating; Jarron betrayed the whistleblower by forwarding the email to Driscoll. This was not the case. It was 100% the mistake of Greenshack and myself, David Marler. I have apologised to Mr Jarron and corrected the mistake. I have apologised to The Courier Mail's  Mark Solomons who covered the story for any problems this may have caused.**

On April 26th, 2013 The Courier Mail reported that Driscoll may have been fraudulently channeling RCAMB funds into his election campaign. A worker had written to general manager, Steve Jarron.

"A rumour going round that RCAMB is financing Scott Driscoll's election campaign."

Steve Jarron forwarded this email on to Scott Driscoll and Bruce Mills. Mr Jarron later told Greenshack of his purpose for forwarding the email onto Driscoll and Mills.

"It was designed as a warning that their actions were becoming of increasing concern to RCAMB management and staff."

Driscoll's response was typical and foul.

"Frankly I don't give a s--- what lies any of those gutter rats want to spin about RCA funding my campaign or me flying to Mars to have sex with a one legged mutant midget."

Unable to purchase food for homeless clients, the worker began to ask more questions on finances. She was dismissed shortly afterward.

At an August 2012, Fair Work Australia (FWA) hearing into the dismissal, Scott Driscoll MP appeared and spoke on behalf of RCAMB. 

Finance manager Pubudu Madawala warned senior staff that the organisation would run out of money to pay wages. Upon seeing a May Norsefire invoice from Driscoll for $5300, he wrote to general manager Steve Jarron.

"I would like to bring to your attention that we have a very limited budget for consultancy fee like this ($10,000) and we have a tight cash flow situation with forecast loss of $120,000."

Two months later in July 2012, Steve Jarron was made redundant.

Mr Jarron told Greenshack directly that, "I was instantly terminated by the RCAMB Board on 4th July 2012 following several similar incidents relating to conflicting moral values."

Mr Madawala was dismissed weeks later.

From this point forward, Driscoll had complete control over RCAMB and its finances.


Source: 'Scott Driscoll 'helped sack Norsefire whistleblowers'

Ch39 Asleep At The Wheel

Asleep At The Wheel


Meanwhile at the QIRC Deputy president Adrian Bloomfield, described senior management of QRTSA of being 'asleep at the wheel' to having hired Norsfire to conduct consultancy.

Tabled was a total amount of $341,718 that the organisation had received in 2011-12. However, it paid out $380,000 to Norsefire.Mr Bloomfield stated, "In those circumstances where a contract is being awarded to someone which meant that more money was being paid out to the company operating under that contract than the organisation was receiving, one would seriously have to question the competency, capability . . . the bone fides of the people who are seeking to remain (in charge of) the organisation."

"One might be so bold as to suggest they were asleep at the wheel, or they were operating in a cave."

He drew specific attention to the inconsistencies of the 'interim' executive committee. They had failed to declare a letter of demand from the Bank of Queensland to the sum of $100,348.

He ordered all interim committee members to produce affidavits detailing their knowledge of every QRTSA meeting held and provide copies of all minutes of meetings produced to them, and to verify the dates and their level of understanding of their resignations from the body.The Courier Mail also confirmed that several CMC officers were also present at the hearing.

A separate QIRC hearing into Norsefire was adjourned as Emma Driscoll failed to attend citing 'severe anxiety attacks and stress-related illness'.


Source: 'Scott Driscoll's retail lobby team 'asleep at wheel' over contract to wife's company'

Ch40 Hunting The Phantom MP

Hunting The Phantom MP


By the end of April 2013, constituents were frustrated enough to protest against Driscoll's lack of interest.

Driscoll had attended the ANZAC Day dawn service but dodged the later parade in Redcliffe City.

There had also been his promise to a solution for the growing problem of parking at Redcliffe hospital.

Quest Moreton reported that Driscoll stated in March 2013, "I insisted a strong Queensland Health focus on the Redcliffe Hospital carpark occur soon after my election in March last year."

"I am expecting a full and thorough report from the Infrastructure Branch of Queensland Health by the end of next month (March 2013), that will go a long way towards making sure an appropriate and site specific solution is delivered for the people of Redcliffe."

In his absence a spokeswoman from his electorate office was left to tell the paper that she had been instructed to keep on top of the issue.

On another matter, the council of Redcliffe had been merged with Moreton Bay and residents were pushing to reverse this decision through de-amalgamation. Several councils in Northern Queensland had been given a vote on the issue by the Newman Government and had overwhelmingly chosen to separate their regional councils.

Residents had been looking to Driscoll to represent them in State Parliament on this issue. Frustrated, they staged a protest outside his home and office. Channel 9 News Brisbane's Jenna Hudson tagged along with the protestors to cover their dissatisfaction.
   A small group of protestors are outside Scott Driscoll's home demanding the Redcliffe MP resign
Angry protestors are now chanting outside #Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll's office door. No sign of him
Protesters have dubbed him 'The Phantom MP'
True to form, Driscoll blamed Labor's Federal MP for Petrie, Yvette D'Ath for organising the protest.

In an email message to his constituents the following day, Driscoll wrote, "Mrs D'Ath chose to rally and encourage her protesters at the private family home... even though it has been clearly on the public record that Mr Driscoll's wife is suffering from a serious medical condition and was at the family home during Mrs D'Aths protest."

However, protest organiser from Save Redcliffe City, Peter Houston confirmed that the group had planned the event themselves. Ms D'Ath had been invited by another group member to attend.

As to his non attendance in state parliament, Driscoll's statement read, 'he is attempting to provide care for his ill wife, who has no other family living locally and to continue to act in his role as the local State Member for Redcliffe.'

The Redcliffe electorate office had been locked due to advice from police but was otherwise open for business.

As for the QRTSA case with the QIRC, an order had been issued to Driscoll's associates to lodge accounts in the form of affidavits of the group's affairs by Friday 3rd May, 2013.

Capping off the week Reg Gully, the State LNP member for Murrumba which borders Redcliffe made a surprise statement to Parliament about his former party colleague.

"I have heard many descriptions of the member for Redcliffe and I agree with most of them."

"Today I would like to add the word 'prophet'. Our conversation was terse and the last words to me before he hung up was: 'Reg we have nothing in common.' So true. But not only with me, but with the values of the LNP."

He later told Quest Moreton that he would assist where possible in representing Redcliffe constituents in State Parliament.

"My first reaction is disappointment at the Member for Redcliffe. Clearly his motivation has always been to put his own interests first and (he has) shown a disregard for his role which should be representing the people of Redcliffe.''

"Redcliffe is a very resilient and capable community so I have great confidence in that respect.''

Perhaps the LNP was getting worried about the upcoming Federal election and sent Gully on a damage control exercise. Or may be Gully was the traditional style MP, that wanted to serve the public.

Time would tell.

Source: 'No action by State Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll on Redcliffe Hospital carparking woes'
Source: 'Protesters march through Redcliffe demanding State Member Scott Driscoll resign immediately'

Source: 'State Member for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll says Federal Member for Petrie Yvette D'Ath organised protest'

Source: 'Scott Driscoll's associates at a retail lobby group have until Friday to provide their account of the group's affairs'

Source: 'Formerly friendly fire hits MP for Redcliffe Scott Driscoll, as former LNP colleague goes on attack in State Parliament'

Source: 'State Member for Murrumba Reg Gulley takes a swing at Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll'

Ch41 The MP, The Mayor & The Push-Poll

The MP, The Mayor & The Push-Poll


TUESDAY, MAY 7 2013, Premier Campbell Newman had his engines fully in reverse. He told an audience at the Queensland Media Club that Scott Driscoll needed to resign from parliament so that the people of Redcliffe could have a by-election.

Driscoll had now missed six days of parliament and the main ANZAC ceremony in Redcliffe.

Newman's call, of course, prompted no action from the member for Redcliffe and he remained in his bunker for another week.
  Channel 10 News Queensland reports on the missing Scott Driscoll and Premier Newman’s calls for him to resign
Enter Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor, Allan Sutherland.

Sutherland became Mayor in 1994. The council election of 2012 saw a developer, David Trask donate $75,000 to his election campaign.

Nothing wrong with that so long as it is declared.
Driscoll Should Resign Newman   What was surprising was the fact that Trask had also popped $1000 into the bank account of Sutherland's rival, Cr Chris Whiting.

Unaware of the donation, Whiting missed the deadline for declaration before the council elections. He was reported to the CMC.

He was eventually cleared and repaid the sum to Trask.

All this could have gone very wrong had it not been for the fact that Sutherland was taped boasting about 'the trap' he had set for Whiting.

The idea was that if Whiting had money in his account from a developer he would be less likely to complain about Sutherland's own ongoing developer donations.
This matter was also referred to the CMC but Sutherland was cleared within hours of the complaint being lodged.

There's no law about popping money into someone's bank account.

Local Government Association's Greg Hallam commented that while the public may be appalled at the behavior, it was all part of the 'rough and tumble' of politics.

Enter Scott Driscoll.

The story had uncovered more details into Sutherland's election campaign by The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser.
The regional council elections were held a month after the Queensland State election of 2012.

Driscoll used Norsefire as the consulting company to run polling and campaigning. Sutherland paid it two sums of $10,000 followed by $22,500.

The telephone polling was loaded with negative information against rival Cr Chris Whiting.  The result was 50% of residents answering that they would be less likely to vote for Whiting with his 'Labor-backed and union funded' campaign.

This is known as 'push-polling'; obtaining the results you want and delivering a negative message to voters about your opponent. It is not illegal.
  Driscoll & Sutherland walking the beat
The Courier Mail published a statement from Sutherland that his campaign committee, "had been approached by a company called 3W operated by Bruce Mills, an associate of Scott Driscoll, to conduct polling" but the committee "at no time authorised push polling".

He probably should have left it at that but went on to distance himself from Driscoll having "had no involvement in campaign activities"

This later turned out to be incorrect when documents were obtained by The Courier Mail.

In another recording obtained by The Courier Mail, Sutherland had deliberately kept Driscoll out of the plot to trap Cr Chris Whiting telling a meeting, "The other reason I didn't want Scott here is because I didn't want him going bang, bang, bang around the place."

All up, Sutherland had committed no crimes. He looked dodgy in the eye of the public and his association with Driscoll made it worse.

Most recently, Sutherland told The Courier Mail he, "severed his relationship with Scott Driscoll and (my) campaign in the very early days" - "certainly within a fortnight".

The Courier Mail reported that it had copies of a series of emails between the pair right up until the council elections in April 2012.

Ultimately, Sutherland's fate is in the hands of Moreton Bay voters at the next election.

Source: 'Driscoll get back to work or leave: Newman'
Source: 'Newman tells Driscoll: show up or quit' 

Source: 'Premier Campbell Newman calls on Scott Driscoll to resign as Member for Redcliffe'

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll helped get Allan Sutherland re-elected as mayor of the Moreton Bay Regional Council'
Source: 'Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Allan Sutherland referred to CMC over election 'set-up' revealed on tape'
Source: 'Recording of Mayor Alan Sutherland discussing 'trap' for Cr Chris Whiting'

Source: 'Local Government Association's Greg Hallam dismisses Allan Sutherland trap for rival as ''rough and tumble'' of politics'

Source: 'Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland did not trust MP Scott Driscoll with plans to 'trap' political rival'

Source: 'Moreton Bay mayor Allan Sutherland now says he cut ties with embattled Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll'

Ch42 Raid and Consequence

Redcliffe Town Hall Meeting  

Raid and Consequence


On 3rd May 2013, the Driscoll home and storage containers were raided by Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) officers.

Neighbours told The Courier Mail of 'men in suits' who would not identify themselves appearing outside the home late in the afternoon.

Several police had also been seconded to the CMC investigation.

The QIRC was ready to hand matters over to police for a fraud investigation.

It had heard from National Party member, Nick Withycombe on a 'standing proxy' he had given to Driscoll around 18th April, 2011.
Withycombe stated that he did not attend any meetings of the QRTSA in any form from that date forward.

However, with this sworn statement he also lodged papers recently received from Emma Driscoll alleging he had attended six meetings by phone at which he proposed and seconded board motions.

QRTSA's own by-laws stated that executive board members' presence at meeting was 'a paramount requirement and obligation'.  There is no reference to proxy votes.

Without his consent or attendance, at an April 2011 meeting, Withycombe was voted onto the executive board.
He had been made into a phantom executive board member.

It was at this same meeting that the decision to sell the QRTSA headquarters was approved.

At another meeting in October 2011, the phantom Withycombe was used to second a motion allowing Norsefire to be paid $60,000 in lieu of annual increase to the existing $350,000 pa contract to administer QRTSA.

He was used again in June 2012 in an 'empower the president' motion to allow Driscoll to liase with another person on the office relocations.

Withycombe told the QIRC that he was unaware of any of these decisions until a great amount of meeting minutes were provided to him on April 27th, 2013 by Emma Driscoll.
  QIRC asks police to investigate fraud allegations against Driscoll
In its findings, the QIRC also noted that QRTSA funds spent since April 2001 were unauthorised and attributed to fictional meetings.

Driscoll had also given his house cleaner a proxy vote and invented other businesses to attribute other proxies to.  Meeting minutes were concocted and false documents provided to cover falsehoods.

QIRC Deputy President, Adrian Bloomfield announced his decision to refer the matters to police as 'activities which might be regarded as criminal in nature.' He added that he had been previously mislead in 2012 dealings with QRTSA.

He also raised suspicions over a $49,000 Driscoll payment lodged with the Queensland Electoral Commission.

The LNP was quick to distance itself from the finding. It stated that this was not a donation but 'Mr Driscoll made a candidate contribution to his own campaign."

Source: 'Home of controversial Redcliffe MP raided by Crime and Misconduct Commission'
Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll's company payment approved by phantom board member'

Ch43 Heroes and Villains

‘Extremely angry’. John Hockings estimates QRTSA members have lost $750,000 to $800,000   

Heroes and Villains


Representing QRTSA & local store owner, John Hockings had pursued Scott Driscoll all the way to the QIRC.

He'd even written to police stating, "Can we please bring this bloke and his associates to justice?"

Without his conviction and due diligence, it's unlikely anything would have happened on this front. It prompted QIRC Deputy President, Adrian Bloomfield to investigate the Driscolls & their involvement in QRTSA.
He told ABC News Queensland's Brad Ryan how 'extremely angry' members were.

"We wont use words in public that we would like to use but, yeah, extremely angry."

Mr Hockings estimates that $750,000 - $800,000 is owed to the retail union.

Part of that money is a $50,000 donation Driscoll made to the LNP. Mr Hockings wrote to the LNP asking for the money to be returned if it was found to have been misappropriated from QRTSA by Driscoll.

Despite Premier Newman now calling for Driscoll to be investigated by the Parliamentary Ethics committee, the LNP would not confirm if the money would be returned.

Mr Hockings had also requested that a company car be returned to QRTSA. They had managed to repossess a four wheel drive but a Honda CRV was still missing and would be reported to police as stolen.

Queensland Parliamentary Speaker, Fiona Simpson received documents from the QIRC that indicated Driscoll had mislead Parliament in his March speech.  She referred this to the ethics committee.

John Hockings is a true Australian, one we should all look to emulate.

Source: 'LNP asked to return $50,000 donation from Scott Driscoll if it's found to be misappropriated from lobby group'

Source: 'Premier asks inquiry to re-open Scott Driscoll probe'

Source: 'Retail traders group to call police if Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll doesn't return company car'

Source: 'MP accused of misleading parliament'

 

Ch44 Sickie & 'Un-Australian Bums'

Sickie & 'Un-Australian Bums'


On Day 12 of his absence from from Parliament, Scott Driscoll sent a 'sickie' note to Parliamentary Speaker, Fiona Simpson.

Driscoll had made headlines in 2012 when describing those who didn't come to work on the Friday between Thursday's Australia Day and the weekend as ‘Un-Australian bums’.

The reality was, it was January where Australians used legitimate annual leave to make a long 4 day weekend. At this time, employers generally expect employees to take leave.
  Driscoll Sickie
Driscoll's sickie note was a formal requirement.  It meant he could continue being absent for a full 21 days. Given the Queensland Parliamentary sitting schedule, this would get him through until mid- September before a constitutional provision was enacted.

Premier Newman once again called for him to resign.  However, no one was really taking the Premier seriously. He'd missed the chance months ago to show leadership on the issue and he'd bungled it.

In the meantime, various State and Federal Governments were moving in on Driscoll's dealing with RCAMB. The federal department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) commissioned accounting firm Deloitte to conduct a forensic audit.

In March, PriceWaterhouse Coopers had been jointly hired by Queensland Health and FaHCSIA but it hadn't been conducted at a forensic level.

Source: 'Absent Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll provides sick note to parliament'
Source: 'In defence of sickies'
Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll to miss another Qld Parliament sitting'
Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll allegations referred to Parliament's ethics committee'
Source: 'Federal Government to audit Driscoll community association'
Source: 'Feds investigating Driscoll's financial dealings'

 

Ch45 The Shock Jock & The Legal Advisor

The Shock Jock & The Legal Advisor


The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser and Mark Solomons investigation also revealed a plan by Driscoll's Redcliffes to bail out a financially troubled local community radio station, 99.7 FM.

Driscoll had been in and around commercial radio for some time. In a 2009 piece on Commercial Radio, he was big noted as, "In his capacity as the head of a national peak industry body, Scott also formally meets with and briefs the Reserve Bank of Australia on a monthly basis, outlining industry and financial trends nationally."

In May 2012, Driscoll's campaign manager Ben Scott had called station manger, Greg Honchin with a $3 million deal with a condition that Driscoll would not appear on the station's program until the deal was signed.

The following week, campaign treasurer Geoff Jamieson arrived at the station with an offer of a loan from one of his companies in exchange for a number of changes to the radio's constitution. One of these was allowing the board to limit the number of members that run the station.

It seems as though Driscoll was up to old tricks.

The offer was turned down by Honchin but Jamieson tried a different angle in September of 2012.

This time the deal was for Jamieson's company, Tamlin to manage the station's daily affairs.  This would cost 99.7 FM $10,000 a year over 10 years to the total of $1.35 million. Contract termination would cost the station $3 million. Tamlin would also be entitled to annual bonuses and travel and accommodation expenses.

Jamieson would also stack the station with 25 new board members, 11 of which were either family or business associates and including Ben Scott and Brian Roselt, who also worked on Driscoll's election campaign.

With the annual running cost of the station at $70,000 the offer was again turned down.

Mr Honschin told The Courier Mail, "How could we sign a document like that when there was no guarantee we could find the sponsorship to bring that amount in all the time. The radio station was on a hiding to nothing."

Mr Jamieson denied to The Courier Mail, that he had been sent to the station on behalf of Scott Driscoll.

"The organisation was in dire straits and I was trying to help it out and it had nothing to do with Scott Driscoll."

Rupert Murdoch, the Redcliffes were not.

Meanwhile, it was revealed by The Courier Mail that Mrs Emma Driscoll had personally advised her husband's current and former electorate staff that they did not have to speak to the police or CMC with regard to the investigation into Scott.

It was around 3rd May, 2013 when police & CMC arrived with a search warrant to the Driscoll home.

She also recommended and supplied the contact details of a criminal law firm who they could liaise with if they chose not to speak out.

The Courier Mail contacted the law firm in question who did not wish to be named and was quoted as saying, "no arrangement ... in relation to referring clients".

The paper also confirmed that the CMC was aware of the approach Mrs Driscoll had made to the staff.

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll linked to bailout bid for community radio station'
Source: 'The Retailers Association - Why does Scott know?'
Source: 'Scott Driscoll's wife tells electorate staff they are not required to co-operate with CMC probe'

 

Ch46 Saving RCAMB

Saving RCAMB


On Monday, 24 June 2013, The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser reported that barrister and former Labor Attorney-General Dean Wells, had offered his services pro-bono to RCAMB staff who were fighting to keep the homelessness service provider from being dissolved.

The organisation had been closed by the board members, Driscoll's 'Redcliffes' who declared it 'insolvent' in April, 2013.

Mr Wells, held the neighbouring seat of Murrumba for 26 years before losing it to the LNP's Reg Gulley.

Mr Wells would not comment to The Courier Mail, however former RCAMB staff member Len Thomas was quoted as saying, "I would like to restore the organisation to its former good state."

"If there are moneys to be recouped I would like the organisation to exist so it can recoup any money that is owing to it."

A meeting is scheduled for Monday, 24th June by RCAMB board member, Geoff Jamieson to decide the future of the organisation.  The paper was made aware that Mr Jamieson attempted to secure proxies ahead of the meeting.

Dissolving RCAMB would make it near impossible to recover the tens of thousands of dollars suspected to have been channeled into the Driscoll family company, Norsefire.


Source: 'Community group under 'secret control' of Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll battling for survival'

 

Ch47 'Your body will turn up somewhere'

'Your Body Will Turn Up Somewhere'


Chilling words were revealed by former Driscoll associate, Bruce Mills as he turned QIRC informant.

The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser and Mark Solomons reported that Mr Mills had fronted the QIRC in June 2013 to testify against Driscoll.

"I do have a fear of Mr Driscoll," he told investigators. "Mr Driscoll has used the words, you turn against me, and, you know, your body will turn up somewhere."

He cut ties with Driscoll in February 2013 as revelations of alleged impropriety hit the headlines.  The pair had known each other for a couple of years; with Mills having worked on his 2012 election campaign, in QRTSA and RCAMB.

"I met Scott Driscoll around two, two-and-a-half years ago when he was the candidate for Redcliffe at a White Ribbon day and Scott Driscoll and I did form a - form a friendship. I've - now I regret very much, very much forming it."

Mr Mills suffered a breakdown, attempted suicide and spent an unspecified time in hospital.

"Look, this came about from a misplaced loyalty to - to Mr Driscoll through lies, that he told me and I believed," he said.

"He's exceptionally good at coming up with conspiracy theories - and tying you to those conspiracy theories, and, you know, this whole circumstance came about out (from) him wanting to protect his own political career, and I found myself in a situation of knowing something was wrong, trying to work out how to exit or solve - solve what was wrong, do the right thing.

"I couldn't find a way out, which, finally, took me to the point of suicide."

Mills informed the commission that none of the QRTSA meetings that were lodged with the QIRC in the form of minutes had actually taken place. His IT business in Redcliffe had been used as a registered address for the organisation but no board meetings had taken place there.

Everything owned by QRTSA had been moved to Driscoll's electorate office.  Mr Mills believed, as with others, that the clerk of Queensland parliament had sanctioned part of the office to be used for 'not for profit' organisations.

He said Driscoll made use of QRTSA's phone lines, Foxtel and Diners Card accounts, its photocopier and a Land Rover
Discovery which had magnetic 'Scott Driscoll MP' stickers placed on it.

Mr Mills informed investigators that he repeatedly questioned Driscoll on these items as reports in the media began to pick up momentum. He even told Driscoll at one point to remove the stickers from the vehicle.

Both he and his wife were placed on the interim committee of QRTSA without much consultation.

"I was specifically told that we were on it because our names were put up and the QIRC had accepted our names, so we were on it."

The Driscolls are still under multiple investigations by Police, QIRC, CMC and a Federal Government sponsored forensic audit.

Source: 'Former ally Bruce Mills testifies to QIRC that Scott Driscoll threatened him over turning against the MP'

 

Ch48 Big Red Car

Big Red Car


June 27th, 2013. QRTSA interim President, John Hockings told The Courier Mail's, Mark Solomons that he had tried to report to police a Honda CRV belonging to the organisation as stolen after Emma Driscoll failed to hand it over.

"They wouldn't let me report it without the rego (registration
number) and the CMC wouldn't give it to me."

Investigations by the paper led to a Redcliffe dealership which confirmed that it had dealt directly with Scott Driscoll on a Honda CRV.
  Big Red Car - Scott Driscoll MP
A spokesperson confirmed to the paper, "We did trade in the Honda CRV six or eight months ago along with an old Ford LTD and an old Nissan panel van."

"They all had clear title on them."

"He bought a red Ford GT, a 2003 model. It was for sale for about $19,000. It wasn't an expensive car."

Ford LTD: ‘Scott Driscoll MP Member for Redcliffe’   The Honda was on sold to an undisclosed third party and are now a matter for police.

QRTSA minutes from the time, cited by The Courier Mail, show the Honda had been 'handed over' to Norsefire in lieu of outstanding debt.

In the QIRC hearing the previous week, all meeting minutes had been shown to have been 'concocted' with the said meetings 'fiction'.

All QRTSA expenditure post April 2011 was found to be 'unauthorised'.

Source: 'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll traded his Qld Retail Traders and Shopkeepers Association car for V8 Ford Falcon'

 

Ch49 Breaking Silence

Driscoll Breaking Silence   After 15 weeks of silence, the ABC's Chris O'Brien secured an interview with Scott Driscoll.

Driscoll believed that he would be, 'exonerated as having done nothing wrong whatsoever'.

He wouldn't speak further on allegations but sidetracked into the pay rise scandal for Qld MPs, vowing to take up the fight against it in parliament.
He also called for a plebiscite on the splitting of Redcliffe council from Moreton Bay council.

This had been a long time request from constituents. All Driscoll had to do was submit the paperwork early in his tenure and it would have been resolved.

Driscoll also emphasised that his 'political career is not over.'
Driscoll moves to secede, a year after deadline

'Driscoll moves to secede, a year after deadline'

 

Ch50 The Games Played

Premier Newman announces he’s disgusted with Scott Driscoll’s actions   Scott Driscoll now begins a series of attacks against the Newman government.

The magic number for MPs in the state of Queensland to be absent from parliamentary sittings is 21 days.

After that, MPs automatically forfeit his/her seat. A relic rule from when parliamentarians had to travel vast distances by horse and/or cart and granted them enough time to arrive in Brisbane for the sitting.

Driscoll was now repeatedly exploiting this. He would be absent for weeks and appear in parliament at the death knell to reset the clock.
  Driscoll Body Of Evidence
He held a press confidence on 'a matter of State importance' but would not take questions from the media, walking out and leaving them somewhat stunned.
Scott Driscoll’s full press statement lasting around 6 mins.  
His claim was that the Newman government was misusing ministerial advisers for party political purposes and he had 'a body of evidence' that he would release at a later date.

Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll accuses Premier Campbell Newman of misusing ministerial advisers for party political purposes

'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll accuses Premier Campbell Newman of misusing ministerial advisers for party political purposes'


Brisbane Times state political reporter, Amy Remeikis, documented his antics as she watched on from the Queensland press gallery over a number of weeks:
The games Scott Driscoll plays

'The Games Scott Driscoll Plays'

DriscollMisleadingInformation   Driscoll also revealed to ABC News Queensland's Melinda Howells that he was suffering from medical issues. 

He explained that there had been 'some misleading information' around why he had not been attending parliament.

In a letter to the Premier, we were later to find out he was suffering from bipolar disorder.

 

Ch51 Legal machine grinds into action

The QIRC announced that it would investigate Scott Driscoll and his wife Emma as separate cases.

Deputy president of Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC), Adrian Bloomfield said, "The CMC can investigate matters relating to public servants and people elected to public office. Mr Driscoll is certainly a member of Parliament. Mrs Driscoll is not."


The Courier-Mail reported that 'as many as 10 investigators, comprising sworn police and CMC officers and lawyers, are employed full-time probing matters relating to the Driscolls.'

Police investigate fraud and misconduct allegations against Emma Driscoll

'Police investigate fraud and misconduct allegations against Emma Driscoll'


Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) was also investigating Driscoll's 2012 campaign.  It appeared that use of QRTSA staffer and former Young Liberals member, Ben Scott had not been declared as Driscoll's campaign manager.

ECQ wrote to QRTSA (now being run by whistleblower, John Hockings).

'The commission is advised that your organisation in 2011/12 may have given Liberal National Party of Queensland a gift of office space and the paid endeavours of an employee, Ben Scott.'

'Foregone rental of office space constitutes a gift in kind that should be disclosed. Wages or salary paid to an employee whose work is gifted to a party or candidate also represent a gift in kind.'

'If Mr Scott gave his own time without payment by your organisation, his efforts would constitute volunteer labour that need not be disclosed.'

John Hockings was not able to answer the ECQ as all documents pertaining to QRTSA were now with the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC).

Ben Scott had previously told The Courier Mail he had been a volunteer on the Driscoll campaign.

As far as the QIRC knew, Ben Scott was an 'employee of the QRTSA but had later been employed by Norsefire, the Driscolls' private family company.'

It would be Driscoll's agent, James Martin, now a ministerial adviser, who would cop the $11,000 fine if convicted.
Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll may face fine over campaign query

'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll may face fine over campaign query'


Supreme court documents also revealed that Regional Community Association Moreton Bay (RCAMB) paid Emma Driscoll's company Norsefire $3200 per week for 'marketing fees' and 'consultancy fees'.

Before it collapsed in March 2013, a total of $90,000 had been paid out by RCAMB, which provided help to mentally ill and homeless in the area. It was a sum of money it could not afford.

Chartered accountant, Lisa Bundersen filed a report to the court which detailed the extent of the financial misappropriation. RCAMB had its 'intellectual property' valued at $250,000, including $43,000 value of an anger management course. These findings instantly took the RCAMB's net asset position down from a surplus of $16,000 to a deficit of $74,000.

Emma Driscoll was also shown to be employed by both RCAMB and Norsefire.

Scott Driscoll's Norsefire company paid $3000 a week by Regional Community Association Moreton Bay

'Scott Driscoll's Norsefire company paid $3000 a week by Regional Community Association Moreton Bay'


In terms of the Queensland parliament, the ethics committee was given the green light to investigate Scott Driscoll's conduct in terms of misleading the parliament.

Scott Driscoll will face parliamentary probe

'Scott Driscoll will face parliamentary probe'

 

Ch52 Premier and petition

Since leaving the LNP, Driscoll was now desperately trying to give the impression that he'd flicked the switch to independent MP.

In one case, the Newman government was looking at a submission to allow schools the option of providing gender neutral uniforms.

Driscoll leapt on this immediately and told Brisbane Times of his; 'express outrage” at the “sickening volley of 'political correctness' which 'has just been coughed up on a foot path outside a Queensland state school near you.'
Scott Driscoll rails against inclusive education policy

'Scott Driscoll rails against inclusive education policy'


The voters of Redcliffe had long since stopped listening.  The Premier's department had received so many complaints and requests for Driscoll to resign from parliament, that they had to reply with a standard letter.

Initially, it fully defended Driscoll but then it was changed as events over took the embattled politician.
Scott Driscoll warrants LNP form letter as thousands complain

'Scott Driscoll warrants LNP form letter as thousands complain'


Driscoll's appearances in parliament were becoming less frequent and of shorter periods. In one instance during the morning session, Premier Newman called for him to resign as a MP only to have him turn up for the afternoon session. 

A report to Speaker Fiona Simpson recommended the number of days MPs could be absent from the house be revised down from 21 to 12 sitting days. Also, a medical certificate would be needed for more than 4 consecutive days.

As this was announced, Driscoll spent much of the time looking at his iPad. He knew how to work the system and he had a long standing certificate indicating he was suffering from bi-polar disease.

Absentee MP Scott Driscoll makes rare appearance in Parliament

'Absentee MP Scott Driscoll makes rare appearance in Parliament'


By October 2013, Premier Newman had accepted a petition from the voters of Redcliffe asking for Scott Driscoll to be removed from parliament.

Newman told them, ""There are two investigations going on, one is happening with the Crime and Misconduct Commission, but there is also an ethics committee investigation into him here and I hope that they can try and get some positive action."
Premier Campbell Newman accuses MP Scott Driscoll of 'taking money for doing nothing'

'Premier Campbell Newman accuses MP Scott Driscoll of 'taking money for doing nothing'


LNP MP Reg Gulley, whose seat of Murrumba borders Redcliffe, described Driscoll as a narcissist.  Gulley had volunteered to represent Redcliffe as best he could since Driscoll had disappeared from the scene.  He estimated just under half his constituent work came from Redcliffe.

"Scott Driscoll is clearly a narcissist. He’s a very selfish man, it’s all about him. He should not have taken that oath to serve a community."
Scott Driscoll's constituents 'have had enough'

'Scott Driscoll's constituents 'have had enough'

 

Ch53 Ethics and resignation

By 19 November 2013, the parliamentary ethics committee had returned its findings and recommended Scott Driscoll be expelled from the parliament. He was also to be fined $90,000 for 'failure to declare interests and deliberately misleading parliament'.

Driscoll committed 40 contempt of parliament. One of which was deliberately misleading the house by declaring he had ceased being voluntary president of QRTSA in September of 2012.
  Scott Driscoll walks into parliament for the last time to resign
A motion would be put to the house in which all members could vote to expel the MP. It would have been an unprecedented move for the house to have voted out a MP.

However, before that could take place, Driscoll arrived at parliament and formally resigned to Speaker Fiona Simpson citing health reasons.

Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll resigns from Qld Parliament

'Redcliffe MP Scott Driscoll resigns from Qld Parliament'

Ethics Committee Report No. 139

'Ethics Committee Report No. 139 (Scott Driscoll)'

“This is a damning report ... it confirms everything that I’ve been saying over the last few months.” - Newman  

Premier Newman was quick to claim ownership of the ethics committee findings.

He told ABC News Queensland,"This is a damning report from the ethics committee and confirms everything that I've been saying over the last few months."

It seemed over for Scott Driscoll but he had one more parliamentary game to play.

 

Ch54 Keep calm and enjoy retirement

Scott Driscoll changes his Twitter profile to read, ‘Keep calm and enjoy retirement’.   A seemingly relaxed Driscoll changed his social media Twitter account to read 'Keep calm and enjoy retirement' against a backdrop of a man sitting on the beach.

It was condemned by all sides of politics and constituents in Redcliffe.

He was due to face the bar of parliament the next day.

 

Ch55 Before the bar of parliament

Queensland parliament has a standing tradition of MPs being invited before the bar of parliament to address the assembly.

Most recently, in May 2011, disgraced Labor MP Gordon Nuttall was taken from his prison cell where he was serving a sentence for corruption.

Under parliamentary privilege, he maintained his innocence and used the occasion to attack members of the CMC. He also requested the parliament overturn his fine of $82,000 for contempt of parliament.
  Scott Driscoll (back row) was brought before the bar of parliament on 21st November 2013.

It was denied.

Scott Driscoll now followed in his footsteps with the similar plea for mercy. Unlike Nuttall, Driscoll sat with head bowed and allowed his solicitor Peter Russo to explain his actions.

In a plea for leniency for 'a broken man', Russo requested the $90,000 fine be lowered to $12,000 due to financial hardship. This was met with disgust from all sides of Queensland politics and denied.

Just days earlier, Driscoll had revealed in an email to Premier Newman that he had bipolar disorder.

MP Scott Driscoll felt 'forced' to disclose bipolar disorder

'MP Scott Driscoll felt 'forced' to disclose bipolar disorder'

Premier Newman informs parliament of when he changed his position on Scott Driscoll.   Campbell Newman used Driscoll's plea before the bar of parliament to condemn his actions and state for the record when he changed his position on defending him.



Ch56 Driscoll Transfers Assests into Mother's Name

Saturday 22 February 2014, polling day in the Redcliffe by-election.

As the sausages at polling booths began to sizzle, The Courier Mail's Kelmeny Fraser and Kathleen Donaghy reported that Scott Driscoll was laying low in the country town of Murgon, north of Kingaroy, about 240 kilometres away from the electorate.

Driscoll had disposed of most of his properties, his Redcliffe home selling for $745,000. He transferred his Murgon home into the name of his mother for a sale price of $115,00.

Liquidators at QRTSA had notified the corporate regulators ASIC of potential fraud but were yet to file official, detailed reports.

Behind the collapse of the organisation, liquidator Andrew Fielding noted, 'fraud, poor financial control, including lack of records, and poor strategic management of business' were behind the collapse of the QRTSA’s corporate arm with debts of over $120,000.

Reports say, Mr Driscoll has already joined the Murgon Golf Club and the RSL — the social hub — and has made acquaintances with the local business community.
Scott Driscoll lies low at Murgon northwest of Brisbane, transfers assets into mother’s name

'Scott Driscoll lies low at Murgon northwest of Brisbane, transfers assets into mother’s name'



A Final Wrap?

A Final Wrap?


It is unlikely that stories will cease appearing in the media over the Driscolls and Norsefire. The history of corruption in Queensland is a long one, dating back to the Joh Bjelke-Petersen years and revelations from The Fitzgerald Inquiry. Any whiff of corruption makes the public's ears prick up.

What is uncertain at this point is if it will be treated seriously by the Newman Government and pursued independently through the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC). As recently as April 3rd, 2013 the Newman Government was handed the Callinan report into the CMC. It recommended changes to the commission, one of which was that research should be sanctioned on specific matters by the Attorney-General, the LNP's Jarrod Bleijie.

Perhaps, in the back of their minds, the 'Redcliffes' saw themselves as a rising power faction within the LNP. One day they would influence the Premier and Government. Perhaps to rival NSW Labor's Eddie Obeid and his 'Terrigals'.

Assuming all allegations were true, the 'Redcliffes' had left a vast electronic trail which was now exposed like fresh footprints on a remote beach.To this, of course, Scott Driscoll would say it was all a work of fiction. 'A complete nonsense', the LNP's favourite catchcry.





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