Bundaberg MP’s political email comes under scrutiny

ELECTION TIME: Leanne Donaldson of the Labor Party is running for the State Government seat of Bundaberg. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
ELECTION TIME: Leanne Donaldson of the Labor Party is running for the State Government seat of Bundaberg. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

A POLITICAL email from Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson to rural fire service officers is at the centre of an ethical standards unit investigation.

Under questioning from Opposition police spokesman Jarrod Bleijie during budget estimates on Thursday, Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Commissioner Katarina Carroll revealed she had referred the matter to the unit.

The email about Labor's policy on the workers' compensation bill for firefighters was sent through QFES's official email account.

Mr Bleijie asked Commissioner Carroll whether it was "standard practice for departments to distribute political propaganda to members of the public".

She said it was obviously against QFES policy and it was an error of judgement being investigated by the Public Safety Business Agency's ethical standards unit.

Commissioner Carroll said a rural fire service officer was incorrectly told he could send Ms Donaldson's email, which was then sent to eight people.

She said the officer who sent the email and the senior member who gave the incorrect advice were both "counselled".

"I am aware that a meeting was trying to be arranged between a member of the (Rural Fire Brigade Association Queensland) and the member for Bundaberg," Commissioner Carroll said.

"I understand that meeting did not come to fruition and an email was sent to Mr Williams, who then distributed it to some other eight people.

"I did send it, though, to the ethical standards unit to be open and transparent about what we had found, and if it is anything more than that, I will get advice from them as to what action I will take."

She said Ms Donaldson's email was withdrawn.

Earlier this month, Ms Donaldson told the NewsMail that a local QFES representative asked her to write the letter for them to distribute to members, and she believed they had received their supervisor's approval. - APN NEWSDESK

Topics:  estimates leanne donaldson

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