Former Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser
Former Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser Claudia Baxter

Legal advice the reason Fraser did not investigate Ludwig

FORMER Queensland treasurer Andrew Fraser has told an inquiry he would have pursued an investigation into allegations against Labor powerbroker Bill Ludwig, if only his department had told him how.

Mr Fraser fronted the Queensland Racing Commission of Inquiry on Friday, days after Mr Ludwig was quizzed by James Bell QC over claims he misused his position.

Mr Ludwig was accused of using a proxy vote without proper permission to try to extend his term as a board director for Racing Queensland Limited.

Mr Fraser - the responsible minister at the time- said he was told of Mr Ludwig's apparent misconduct, referring the claims to the Crime and Misconduct Commission, ASIC and police.

Each said there was evidence of misconduct it was outside their jurisdictions.

When Mr Bell quizzed the then-minister on why he did not have the Office of Racing investigate, Mr Fraser said he was simply following government legal advice.

This advice did not refer at all to the allegations of misconduct, but a separate issue, which Mr Fraser took as a sign to pursue it no further.

Mr Fraser said he was aware of Mr Ludwig's status as the former head of the Australian Workers Union, so he chose to follow the advice he was given exactly.

"I was aware the decision was going to be challenged from both sides of the matter," Mr Fraser said.

"I would likely concede that a different course of action would have been in the public interest if the advice had been supplied in addition."

Earlier in the inquiry, Mr Ludwig maintained his innocence, but conceded he had never read the RQL's manual on law and governance.

The inquiry continues.



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