Gordon cleared over claims he mis­led Parlt

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - Peter Wardill

SPEAKER Peter Welling­ton has re­fused to re­fer al­le­ga­tions about Cook MP Billy Gordon’s fail­ure to lodge tax re­turns and pay child sup­port to Par­lia­ment’s Ethics Com­mit­tee.

In a state­ment this week, Mr Welling­ton in­sisted Mr Gordon’s claims in March last year that he had moved to ad­dress the mat­ters were ac­cu­rate when he made them.

The Courier-Mail re­vealed one of Mr Gordon’s ex part­ners had lodged a com­plaint with Mr Welling­ton al­leg­ing the Cook MP had a sig­nif­i­cant un­paid child-sup­port bill and might have mis­led Par­lia­ment by claim­ing to have paid the out­stand­ing amount.

How­ever, Mr Welling­ton found there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to sug­gest Mr Gordon de­lib­er­ately mis­led Par­lia­ment.

“I have, there­fore, de­cided that the mat­ter does not war­rant the fur­ther at­ten­tion of the House via the Ethics Com­mit­tee and I will not be re­fer­ring the mat­ter,” he said.

Mr Welling­ton will for­mally out­line his de­ci­sion when Par­lia­ment re­sumes next year and mem­bers can vote to re­fer Mr Gordon to the Ethics Com­mit­tee for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

In cor­re­spon­dence with Mr Welling­ton, Mr Gordon said he en­gaged an ac­coun­tant the day be­fore mak­ing his state­ment and had since com­pleted all tax re­turns ex­cept for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

He said he was only re­fer­ring to the part­ner of his younger chil­dren in his March 2015 state­ment and he had later moved to make ar­range­ments with the mother of his older chil­dren for un­paid child sup­port.

“The Child Sup­port Agency has now re­ceived from me and dis­trib­uted to both fam­i­lies ap­prox­i­mately $2300 per fort­night,” he wrote to Mr Welling­ton. “This was or­gan­ised through the par­lia­men­tary pay sys­tem.”

In a state­ment to the me­dia, Mr Gordon blasted the LNP and the me­dia

“The al­le­ga­tions against me were po­lit­i­cally driven and ma­li­cious,” he said.

“Every time ac­cu­sa­tions have been made against me since en­ter­ing Par­lia­ment, I have been pros­e­cuted as guilty by jour­nal­ists and po­lit­i­cal op­por­tunists.”

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