Monday, August 5, 2013

Qld parliament ethics boss in porn scandal - Brisbane Times

AAP

The Queensland premier must have known about a porn scandal involving the head of state parliament's ethics committee, former committee chief Alex Douglas says.

The current head of the powerful committee, Redlands LNP MP Peter Dowling, is facing claims he sent pornographic images of himself to his mistress.

The allegations have been made in a letter by his former mistress to Speaker Fiona Simpson, The Courier-Mail reports.

The paper says it has seen several explicit text messages, including pictures of a penis in a glass of red wine.

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The woman, who asked not to be named, detailed how they repeatedly used Mr Dowling's parliamentary annex bedsit and electorate office for sex during their two and a half year affair.

Dr Douglas said he and others in the parliament had known about the allegations involving Mr Dowling for some time.

It defied logic that the premier himself did not know, he said.

"People have known about it for a while. I think they wanted to know who would do something," Dr Douglas told AAP on Tuesday.

"The premier has got a huge staff and they trawl all the social networking sites. If they didn't know about this, then they're pretty slow."

Dr Douglas, a former LNP MP now with the United Australia Party, said the role of the ethics committee chairman was to uphold the high standards of the parliament.

Mr Dowling's position was now untenable.

"If Mr Newman hasn't already removed Mr Dowling, then he's failing in his duty as the premier," Dr Douglas said.

A spokesman for the premier told AAP: "We have been in contact with Mr Dowling who assures us that he has at all times complied with the parliamentary guidelines."

Mr Dowling has also been accused of taking advantage of parliamentary travel trips to meet his mistress in locations including Perth and New Zealand, the Courier-Mail reports.

He confirmed he accepted more than $20,000 in free upgraded flights although he was not required by parliamentary rules to declare them.

Asked about his behaviour, Mr Dowling told the paper: "I have complied fully with all parliamentary requirements for disclosure."

Mr Dowling has not returned AAP's calls.

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin said there must be an immediate investigation into any misuse of public funds or resources by Mr Dowling.

In the meantime he must stand down from the ethics committee, and the parliamentary crime and misconduct committee.

"The personal behaviour of LNP MPs is a matter for the premier and he has to say whether Mr Dowling meets the standards he's set for his MPs," Mr Mulherin said.

Mr Dowling's website says he has been married for 27 years and has two children.


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