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Neumann justifies election support for ALP 'friends'

ALL DONE: Blair My Shayne Neumann leaves the CCC public hearing after giving evidence on his support for ALP members at the 2016 Ipswich local government elections.
ALL DONE: Blair My Shayne Neumann leaves the CCC public hearing after giving evidence on his support for ALP members at the 2016 Ipswich local government elections. Contributed

FRIENDS.

Blair MP Shayne Neumann had more than a few who he supported at the 2016 local government election, and the Crime and Corruptions Commission public hearing has quizzed him on why they were all members of the ALP, and whether by lending his profile to their cause he had assisted in their election.

Mr Neumann was asked to explain the assistance he gave to Cr Kylie Stoneman, who worked in his electorate office before becoming a councillor, and to other candidates in the course of the 2016 elections.

Read more about the CCC hearing:

Glen Rice, the counsel assisting the CCC hearing, said that "on election day you were present and handing out how-to-vote cards for a number of candidates".

Mr Neumann confirmed, when asked, that he did so for Cr Stoneman, Cr Kerry Silver, Cr Andrew Antoniolli and Cr Cheryl Bromage - all members of the ALP.

"They are personal friends of mine, every single one of them," Mr Neumann said.

He later confirmed he had also financially supported candidates and friends Steve Franklin and Darren Baldwin, also members of the ALP, with campaign contributions.

When asked if he had supported candidates who weren't members of the ALP he nominated Cr Charlie Pisasale, a former member of the party, who he voted for.

Mr Rice suggested to Mr Neumann that "you were lending your profile...to support a particular candidate who is known to have the same political alignment as you, correct?"

Mr Neumann responded: "It would benefit a candidate because federal and state members have a profile in their seats...so that's true. I accept that."

Mr Neumann said he did not believe the independence of any candidates he supported was compromised by his actions.

The above-mentioned issue was a powder keg before the 2016 election.

Cr David Pahlke and Mr Neumann were involved in a public spat where Cr Pahlke told Mr Neumann, and other ALP figures, to butt out of his election campaign.

Cr Pahlke, who took exception to their support for Mr Franklin, said at the time he felt he had the full force of the ALP against him.

"This is party politics in local government. It is party politics interfering in the local community," Cr Pahlke said.

At the time, Mr Neumann in response made it clear what his philosophy on his involvement was when he told the QT:

"There is nothing conspiratorial about this," he said.

"I've always said I will support candidates who have Labor Party membership tickets in their pockets and Labor values in their hearts."

In a nutshell, that is what he told the CCC today.

Topics:  crime and corruption commision editors picks ipswich local government election shayne neumann


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