The Courier-Mail

WILLIAMS ‘HAS TO GO’

Pensioner calls for MP to quit for backing bikie over burned boat

- EXCLUSIVE DAVID MURRAY KELMENY FRASER

A PENSIONER has demanded Labor MP Rick Williams quit Parliament for begging a court to go easy on an ex-Rebels bikie who stole and torched the man’s prized fishing boat and forced him to flee his home.

Bob Buhmann spent 18 months building his 4.8m Shark Cat twin hull boat and had launched it for the first time only days before career criminal Mark Mitchell stole it from his house.

The 72-year-old, who was uninsured, was also forced to leave Bribie Island with his seriously ill wife after police told him it was unsafe to stay due to fears of reprisals from Mitchell when he was charged with the theft.

The Courier-Mail last week revealed Mr Williams had written a glowing character reference calling on a court not to send the violent thug to jail in 2012 when he was awaiting sentencing for stealing Mr Buhmann’s boat and setting it alight.

It was also revealed that Mr Williams had been to

the former bikie’s home, had sold car parts to him through the MP’s former towtruck business and had other business dealings with him.

Labor has been standing by Mr Williams despite the troubled MP falsely telling the party he didn’t even know Mitchell, whose rap sheet includes conviction­s for assault, drugs, arson, theft, fraud and extortion.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had publicly vowed to sack Mr Williams – who was already under police investigat­ion over allegation­s about his past – if he had been dishonest with her, but with her minority government on the line, she is refusing to take action.

Mr Williams maintains he has always told the truth as he was unaware of Mitchell’s criminal history.

Mr Buhmann yesterday said Mitchell was “the lowest of the low” and that there was “no way” Mr Williams should be in Parliament.

“How could you write a let-

ter about a bloke that’s an absolute scum?” he said.

“He’s got to go. He shouldn’t be writing those sorts of letters, and he should not be holding that position.”

Mr Buhmann and his wife had scraped the e up cash the togetherbo­at to after doo buying it for $1500. They had planned to take it fishing and cruising on the Bribie passage in their retirement.

Mr Buhmann installed a special seat for his wife, who is severely disabled, and the twin hull made it possible for her to board it comfortabl­y.

Th The couple had launched the boat for the first time on a Tuesday and it was stolen on the Sunday.

Mitchell, who had lived up the road from Mr Buhmann, watched him build the boat before stealing it. He was not ordered to pay compensati­on.

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 ??  ?? BOAT BATTLE: (left to right) Bob Buhmann; Rick Williams; The Courier-Mail story; the boat before and after the blaze; Mark Mitchell. Pictures: Adam Smith, Shane Mathern
BOAT BATTLE: (left to right) Bob Buhmann; Rick Williams; The Courier-Mail story; the boat before and after the blaze; Mark Mitchell. Pictures: Adam Smith, Shane Mathern
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