A pair of House of Cards-inspired cufflinks with the letters F and U were deliberately brandished at the chairman of Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission by Opposition MP Jarrod Bleijie, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath has claimed.
Mr Bleijie wore the accessories in plain view while questioning Alan MacSporran at a budget estimates hearing this morning.
In the popular Netflix series, Kevin Spacey’s psychopathic character – US president Frank Underwood – was given the cufflinks as a gift.
Ms D’Ath said she would write to the Speaker about what she described as an appalling and deliberate attempt by Mr Bleijie to intimidate Mr MacSporran.
She said the inappropriate apparel was obvious to people at the hearing, and to observers on Twitter.
“I have reviewed Twitter and I seek leave to table the Twitter [photo],” Ms D’Ath said.
“And it has been confirmed that the Member for Kawana was wearing, during the committee, cufflinks with the letters F and U on them and crossed his arms in a fashion which was clearly obvious to the witnesses of the committee while he was questioning the chairman of the CCC.
“This is inappropriate behaviour and potentially interference or intimidation of a witness before this committee.
“It is appalling behaviour of the Member for Kawana, who is also manager of opposition business and is also a former Attorney-General in this state to conduct himself that way – that appears to be very deliberate in his actions.”
Mr Bleijie brushed off the comments.
“In estimates today I talked about Labor cover-ups and corruption and they want to talk about cufflinks,” he said.
“Their priorities are all wrong.”
Mr Bleijie said it was a simple pop culture reference.
“These are cufflinks I’ve had for years. They were a gift from my kids. I love the TV show,” he said.
Appointment process criticised
The cufflinks kerfuffle followed damning criticism by Mr MacSporran of Queensland Cabinet’s board appointment process, with one controversial appointee not subjected to due diligence until after he was chosen.
Mark Algie was appointed to the board of Energy Queensland in 2016 two weeks after his CV was privately emailed to then-energy minister Mark Bailey.
“After the appointment was approved by Cabinet there was due diligence carried out the following day,” Mr MacSporran said.
“One would think that would be the wrong order of things.”
Mr Bailey was cleared of any wrongdoing but criticised by the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) after an investigation into the use and subsequent deletion of his private email account last year.
Mr MacSporran previously said there was insufficient evidence to raise a reasonable suspicion that any person involved in the appointment engaged in corrupt conduct.
But he called on the government to make board appointments more transparent.
Mongrels spotted in Queensland
Earlier in the estimates hearing, Ms D’Ath announced that Queensland Police would crack down on the Mongrel Mob, a bikie gang originally from New Zealand.
It is the latest group to be added to a list of 28 “identified organisations” under anti-gang laws.
“The Mongrel Mob is regarded as one of the world’s fiercest and we are determined to stop it establishing a foothold in Queensland,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Police have advised that Mongrel Mob members have recently displayed their colours in public in Brisbane, Logan, Rockhampton and the Gold Coast.”
The opposition said there had been reports of Mongrel Mob activity since early 2016.
“It is staggering it has taken Labor so long to act,” LNP police spokesman Trevor Watts said.