Newman talk ‘insulting’: dumped port chief

The dumped chairman of the Gladstone Ports Corporation says he’s insulted by the premier’s suggestions it has been mismanaged.

Premier Campbell Newman says he has no confidence in the corporation and will sack chairman Ian Brusasco and appoint a new board of directors.

The government-owned corporation has been feeling the heat over repeated environmental breaches at a massive dredging project related to the coal seam gas industry.

Mr Newman has told parliament the new board will look at environmental and financial management issues.

Mr Brusasco, a former Labor councillor, says the premier’s comments are offensive and the corporation has been well managed amid five years of unprecedented growth.

“Things have gone very well. Naturally, you would get some level of problems along the way,” he told ABC Radio on Thursday.

“But to say we have not managed it properly, financially, I find insulting.”

The discovery of sick fish and other species sparked a three-week fishing closure in some parts of the harbour last year.

Gladstone fishermen have blamed the dredging project for a disease outbreak and are pursuing a claim for damages.

On Thursday, Mr Newman told parliament he had concerns about the port management on a number of fronts.

First, he felt for fishermen who had suffered due to harbour water quality woes.

“The lack of answers and clarity that’s forthcoming from the GPC means that we must, as a government, act to give the community confidence,” he said.

Mr Newman had also taken exception to the port corporation’s spending on corporate entertainment and sponsorships.

He said the corporation had budgeted for $766,775 last year but spent about $1.4 million.

And despite his government’s cost-cutting drive, it had proposed an entertainment budget of $1.5m for 2012/13.

“This is the sort of poor and reckless financial management we cannot tolerate anymore,” he said.

You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress | Designed by: Premium WordPress Themes | Thanks to Themes Gallery, Bromoney and Wordpress Themes