Newman defends job for friend

PREMIER Campbell Newman has rejected claims he should have excused himself when Cabinet decided to appoint his "close friend" to run the Gladstone Ports Corporation.

He did not shy away from his personal relationship with new chairman Mark Brodie when the Opposition attacked his "integrity and accountability" over the decision.

Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszcuk asked on Friday whether the Premier absented himself from Cabinet deliberations because of the perceived conflict of interest.

"The standard practice for Cabinet ministers in the former Labor government was if there was someone going to be appointed who was a close personal friend or a relative you would absent yourself from the Cabinet room so there was not to be a perceived conflict of interest," she said.

But Mr Newman said he did not leave the discussion because there was no requirement for him to.

A spokeswoman for the Premier said Mr Brodie's appointment this week would not be the last of the changes for the Gladstone Ports Corporation.

She said the newly-appointed chairman would assess the performance of the board and changes would be made in consultation with the government.

Mr Newman told parliament this week he asked for former chairman Ian Brusasco to stand down for what he described as reckless spending and environmental problems.



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