News National Queensland premier’s diary identified ASIO agent
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Queensland premier’s diary identified ASIO agent

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's diary entry revealed the identity of a secret intelligence agent. Photo: AAP
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Queensland’s Palaszczuk government has published the name of an ASIO operative in a “disgraceful” bungle the opposition believes has compromised both the intelligence officer and national security.

The name of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation agent was published online in a routine release of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s diaries, The Guardian reported on Thursday.

Ms Palaszczuk’s office said the name was removed and apologised for the administrative error.

In a brief statement, her office added that measures have been put in place to stop it from happening again.

ASIO declined to comment but pointed to federal legislation prohibiting the publication of the identities of ASIO employees under penalty of up to 10 years’ prison.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said publication of the agent’s name was not deliberate but it reflected the environment of Ms Palaszczuk’s office.

“It is normally the job of the chief-of-staff to check that detail, but instead he’s up to his neck in controversy,” Mr Dutton told The Courier-Mail.

“The wheels are falling off the Palaszczuk government, and this is just the latest disaster, but I fear not the last.”

The error piles more woe onto the Labor government also facing calls from one of Queensland’s most powerful unions for the state’s treasurer to resign over a property purchase that has for weeks caused them a headache.

The ordinary Woolloongabba home bought by treasurer and deputy premier Jackie Trad’s husband with a trust she benefits from isn’t much to look at yet it has plunged the Labor party into scandal.

It is close to the Cross River Rail project Ms Trad was overseeing, a role from which she has stepped down now that the buy is being assessed by the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The issue has given the opposition ammunition for endless questions about Ms Trad’s integrity.

Now they also have the administrative bungle over the ASIO spy that LNP Leader Deb Frecklington says has “compromised national security and compromised an intelligence officer who is serving our nation”.

The Woolloongabba home issue has also captured the attention of the union movement which on Thursday called for Ms Trad’s resignation.

Hundreds of trade workers protested beyond the perimeter of Parliament House, yet its walls were not enough to block out their frustrations.

It was their strongest showing against Ms Trad yet, with union leaders saying she is no friend of the worker and that the party has lost its way.

Ms Palaszczuk has refused to be drawn on the house issue, a position that has seen her labelled by the opposition as the weakest leader in Queensland’s history.

But her deputy’s crisis has dogged her through a full parliamentary sitting week.

And in coming days she will face the heart and soul of her party and its federal leader Anthony Albanese when members meet for the annual state conference.

-AAP

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