Gladstone Port Central.
Gladstone Port Central.

PROBE CONTINUES: GPC complaint referred to new dept

A SECOND complaint made to the Queensland corruption watchdog about the state's biggest multi-commodity port has been referred to Queensland Treasury.

In May the Crime and Corruption Commission was asked to investigate after a Gladstone Ports Corporation contractor was suspended after he questioned Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during the federal election.

The contractor asked Mr Shorten what Labor would do for high-income earners while at a staged meet-and-greet at a GPC facility on April 23.

The Courier Mail reported that the following day the contractor's security pass did not work and his desk was packed up and delivered to his house within the week.

This week a CCC spokesperson told The Observer that following an assessment of the matter, it was referred to Queensland Treasury.

It is the second complaint made to the corruption watchdog about GPC that has been referred to Queensland Treasury.

In August last year a complaint about GPC - which runs ports in Gladstone, Bundaberg and Rockhampton - was referred to the CCC.

In September the CCC referred this complaint to Queensland Treasury for investigation.

While details of the complaint are unknown, it's believed to be related to how the business is run.

In that same month, former GPC chairman Leo Zussino stood aside from his position. It's not suggested the claims in the first complaint - which are still being investigated - relate directly to Mr Zussino's conduct.

The CCC often refers complaints to other departments, agencies or the Queensland Police Service.

When an agency is directed by the commission to investigate a complaint it must provide regular reports and finalise the matter within a specified time period.

"These matters are under investigation by Queensland Treasury and are subject to oversight by the CCC," a treasury spokesperson told The Observer this week.

Queensland Treasury and the CCC said it would be inappropriate to comment further while investigations were ongoing.

In August last year GPC said it was aware of the matter and it was committed to co-operating throughout the investigation.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Mr Zussino was stood aside from his position. This was incorrect - Mr Zussino was not stood aside from his position as Chairman of the GPC.