Former Brisbane mayor named in lobbying complaint

 

A LOBBYING scandal embroiling the Palaszczuk ­government on the eve of the election has deepened with a second complaint to corruption officials about its dealings with Labor heavyweight Jim Soorley.

The Courier-Mail can reveal that seafood restaurant owner Neil Jedid has gone to the Crime and Corruption Commission over claims he paid Mr Soorley $2500 cash through the window of the former lord mayor's BMW in the venue's carpark for him to lobby Transport Minister Mark Bailey and then-deputy premier Jackie Trad, despite Mr Soorley not being a registered lobbyist at the time.

Former Brisbane mayor Jim Soorley has been named in complaints made to the Crime and Corruption Commission.
Former Brisbane mayor Jim Soorley has been named in complaints made to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The state Opposition also complained to the CCC about the unregistered lobbying claims.

As revealed by the newspaper last month, Mr Jedid has launched court action alleging he handed the cash to Mr Soorley in March 2018 after he agreed to lobby the government for a long-term lease over state-owned land his ­Wilsons Boathouse restaurant occupied at Manly.

Mr Jedid is now fighting to claw back the money.

Mr Soorley, a former Catholic priest and lord mayor up until 2003, deregistered as a lobbyist in 2015 upon being appointed chair of state-owned CS Energy under the new Labor administration.

Mr Soorley has previously strenuously denied the claim, saying he had "never done any lobbying since I came off the lobbyist register", while Ms Trad says she was "not lobbied on this matter by anyone".

She said that the only person to raise the issue with her was Mr Jedid himself at a mid-2018 event.

Mr Bailey confirmed Mr Soorley "asked" him about Mr Jedid's issue, but said he told him it was a matter between Mr Jedid and his department.

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Former Brisbane mayor named in lobbying complaint


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