David Gibson
David Gibson Renee Pilcher

Gibson fined, banned from driving

UPDATE: Gympie MP David Gibson took an $84,000 pay cut when he was forced to step aside as police minister after being caught driving unlicensed.

The father of five was fined $300 and banned from driving for one month in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on Tuesday.

Mr Gibson lost one of the top portfolios in Queensland just 14 days into the job after it was revealed he had been driving on a suspended licence after failing to pay a SPER fine.

The MP claimed he did not know his licence had been suspended as he did not receive a notice from the State Penalties Enforcement Authority.

Mr Gibson said he and his family experienced "great loss and suffering" as a result of his "oversight", including a 40% salary cut or $84,000.

In an affidavit filed to the court, Mr Gibson said he and his family suffered extensive humiliation at the hands of the media with reporters "squatting" outside his Gympie home for up to 10 hours a day when the story broke.

"Myself, my wife and children felt as though we were prisoners within our own home," the affidavit stated.

The driving whilst disqualified charge had an impact on Mr Gibson's "emotional and mental" well-being.

Court documents state Mr Gibson came unstuck when he was caught driving on the Gateway Motorway in Brisbane on February 16.

In his affidavit, Mr Gibson stated he received two letters from SPER in July 2011 about his fine.

SPER also sent Mr Gibson a letter notifying him they would suspend his licence on October 26, 2011.

But the MP claimed he did not receive the suspension notice and only first learnt of his driving restriction from Queensland Police Commissioner Bob Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson told Mr Gibson on April 4 this year, a week after the LNP had taken office, his licence was suspended and an infringement notice had accrued during the suspension period.

Mr Gibson paid the outstanding SPER debt immediately but the commissioner contacted him again on May 16 to tell him the infringement had resulted in a driving on a SPER suspended licence offence.

In regards to his punishment, Mr Gibson asked Magistrate John McGrath, through his affidavit, for the minimum disqualification period to prevent any serious impacts on his ability to perform MP duties.

"This could result in media and public pressure being borne upon me to resign and force a by-election," he stated.

"I truly enjoy serving the people of Gympie and I would be devastated if I was to be left with no choice but to resign."

Magistrate McGrath fined Mr Gibson $300 and disqualified him from driving for one month.

No conviction was recorded.



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