Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner Kevin Farmer

Perrett quizzes Agriculture Minister over donation

GYMPIE MP Tony Perrett has added to the State Government's headache this week, quizzing Agriculture Minister Mark Furner over his knowledge of a Labor donation made by former QUT vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake before he handed down a report into the future of the state's agricultural colleges.

The report recommended those colleges be closed down.

Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner
Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries Minister Mark Furner Kevin Farmer

"Is the minister aware that Peter Coaldrake made a personal donation of $1760 to the Queensland Labor Party two weeks before delivering his final report into the agricultural colleges?" asked Mr Perrett, the LNP spokesman on agriculture, during this week's Budget Estimates hearing.

The Courier Mail has reported today that Minister Mark Furner responded: "I am certainly not familiar with that being the case".

Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Gympie MP Tony Perrett
Shadow Minister for Agriculture and Gympie MP Tony Perrett Cassandra Glover

"This is a matter that has been well ventilated both in the media and by the LNP in the past. Those opposite have been quite disingenuous on this matter with respect to the facts," he said. 

The June 2018 donation is understood to relate to a table purchased at Labor's post-budget lunch last year where Treasurer Jackie Trad delivered a keynote speech.

The Government had pledged $125 million towards a new theatre at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in last year's budget.

Mr Coaldrake is the chair of the Queensland Performing Arts Trust.

The Department of Premier and Cabinet commissioned Professor Coaldrake to conduct the agricultural colleges review for a $61,600 fee.

Gympie Times


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