Premier Newman with Cary

Date

4BC Mornings: Premier Campbell Newman joins Greg Cary, claiming lobbyist are great at knowing government and business mechanics, and are skilled at getting results, despite taking 4000-5000 emails and correspondence a week, normal Queenslanders have the same level of access and can book a meeting with him if they have a real legitimate issue. The Premier also discusses Dr Bruce Flegg, dairy farmers and euthanasia. 

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman says the media hyped up and overplayed accusations against his housing minister, which ultimately led to his downfall.

Dr Bruce Flegg quit his portfolio last week amid claims he lied to parliament by failing to record the extent of contact his office had with his lobbyist son.

Mr Newman said the media focused heavily on the topic last week which was "not actually the main game of getting Queensland going", and is angry the scandal trumped topics such as new planning legislation.

"Frankly that was completely hyped up and overplayed. I'm not saying it was unimportant," Mr Newman told 4BC Radio.

"He (Dr Flegg) didn't do the wrong thing.

"He resigned because he failed to set his office up in a way to see proper administration."

Mr Newman said Dr Flegg's chief-of-staff Fraser Stephen and media adviser Graeme Hallet, who were both sacked, were responsible for keeping Dr Flegg's lobbyist register up to date and had let the minister down.

Mr Newman also said he has no problem with federal Liberal party vice president Santo Santoro lobbying Arts and IT minister Ros Bates.

Ms Bates also tabled an inaccurate lobbyist register, which failed to note more than 20 points of contact her office had with Mr Santoro.

Political donations from a private investment company linked to Mr Santoro and sidelined director-general of Transport Michael Caltabiano are being investigated by police.

Mr Newman said Mr Santoro does not have disproportionate power.

"Mr Santo Santoro is a registered lobbyist, he's not a criminal, he hasn't been in jail, he hasn't been accused of doing anything wrong and he's perfectly entitled to go and make appointments with ministers to undertake legitimate lawful business," Mr Newman said.

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