News

Scott Elms says he looks forward to defamation action

ATTEMPTS to turn Gympie MP David Gibson from a thief into a victim would ultimately fail and raised serious questions about Campbell Newman's future as Premier, critics claimed yesterday.

Rainbow Beach Chamber of Commerce president Scott Elms, the man who publicly exposed Mr Gibson's theft of $7335 while an officer in charge of an army mess hall, said he welcomed any court or defamation action because it would confirm the truth of the matters raised.

Palmer United Party state leader Alex Douglas said Mr Newman had now made two incompetent appointments since replacing him in 2012 as head of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Ethics.

He questioned whether those appointments, first of disgraced Redlands MP Peter Dowling and then of Mr Gibson, were about ensuring Mr Newman had command and control of their decisions in relation to whether acting CMC chief Ken Levy had deceived the committee while Mr Douglas was its head.

Mr Douglas said Mr Newman had failed to tell the truth about

when he first became aware of the fact that Mr Gibson had pleaded guilty to stealing money from the mess hall by creating false invoices, and must now consider his own future in Parliament.

Mr Newman told newspapers this week his first knowledge of the matter was three weeks ago when he immediately referred it to the Clerk of Parliament.

However, Cooloola Coast LNP branch president Graham Engeman has confirmed a letter received last August from Mr Elms had been referred immediately to LNP headquarters.

Mr Elms, Mr Gibson's former campaign manager and a long-term LNP member, was expelled from the party early this month.

He claimed yesterday he was advised by army officers at Duntroon who had served with Mr Newman that they had contacted the Premier's office immediately after Mr Gibson was appointed Police Minister in 2012, warning of his past.

Dismissing claims that he had been acting as an agent for a huge proposed development, Mr Elms said he was a conservative who supported all development that brought jobs and growth to Rainbow Beach.

"I'm an advocate, not a lobbyist," he said.

Mr Elms said Mr Gibson was so compromised by that past that he couldn't open doors to fulfil pre-election promises he had made to remove beach access permits that were killing business in Rainbow Beach.

Mr Elms dismissed claims by Mr Gibson that he had attempted to blackmail him to get a favourable development decision.

And he said any attempt to pursue him under the Criminal Law Rehabilitation of Offenders Act would ultimately also claim Mr Gibson.

"I look forward to any legal discussion about these matters,'' Mr Elms said. "I look forward to any defamation action by David Gibson.

"The LNP spin machine is attempting to change David Gibson from thief to victim in 24 hours. I believe we should hold all politicians to account.''

The chamber of commerce president for the past 10 years and owner of Rainbow Beach's car wash, said he would drop his intention to run as an independent at the next State election if Mr Gibson was not re-endorsed.

If he was elected he would donate his salary for the extent of his time in Parliament.

Dr Douglas said someone as vulnerable as David Gibson should never have been placed in positions where he may have been compromised.

"Ultimately this is not David Gibson's problem,'' he said.

"This is the party and Campbell Newman's problem. If the Premier can't tell the truth about this matter he shouldn't hold the job."

Topics:  david gibson defamation scott elms

Gympie Times