Gibson 'unaware of suspension'

IN an address to media former Police and Corrective Services Minister David Gibson said he made the decision to voluntarily resign because he felt he fell short of the standards of the new LNP Government.

In the media conference held just outside his office in Channon St, Mr Gibson refused to answer questions.

Instead he read a prepared statement.

Mr Gibson said he simply forgot to pay to the fine and was not aware that subsequently his licence was suspended.

"I can say unequivocally, that at no time did I receive any notification that my licence was suspended or about to be suspended for not paying a fine," he said.

He did say that he was committed to serving the Gympie electorate and Queensland in his role as Member for Gympie.

Mr Gibson would not answer questions about how many times he was caught speeding.

'I feel very sorry for him'

Premier Campbell Newman said he regretted losing Mr Gibson, who resigned on Monday nightApr16 amid claims he was caught speeding while driving unlicensed, but he had to take a firm line on ministerial accountability.

"The first thing he did is sped, he's broken the law. That is not a hanging offence but then he has failed to pay the fine," he said.

"Every Queenslander should respect the law and pay a fine, he's failed to do that and there were multiple notices.

"He then, it appears, completely ignored the process of the State Penalties and Enforcement Register organisation and then ended up being suspended.

"Then he may well have driven while suspended and then allegedly he committed another driving offence.

"I'd hoped we wouldn't have anything like this happen, certainly at this stage of this administration.

"I said during the campaign that we would set a standard that people from Queensland could look up to, that the ministers would be people the community could admire, could look up to, people there to lead the state and take Queensland forward.

"So we have set a high benchmark and we must deliver on that benchmark

"(Mr Gibson) was unable to give me a satisfactory explanation, sadly.

"I'm totally satisfied he did see at least one item of correspondence from SPER and I can't understand why he would not take action to pay the fine.

"I therefore had no alternative but to point out his position as a minister in this government, part as police minister is untenable.

"I feel very sorry for him, feel sorry for his family and friends as well.

"I know David feels he has let a lot of people down, but he will have to live with that."

Mr Newman would not rule out Mr Gibson returning to the ministry down the track, but his role now was to look after issues in his own electorate.

"At the moment he has to reflect on what's happened. I like Mr Gibson, I think he is a man of ability," he said.

"He's a person of great capability, that's why he was made police minister, but sadly he has let everybody down by these actions.

"Now he's got to go away, sit in the sin bin, contemplate life for a bit and serve the people of Gympie.

"That's what I want him to do, but we'll see what happens in the future."

In an interview with APN before Easter, Mr Gibson said he was committed to the Westminster system of ministerial accountability.

"I was elected by the people of Gympie to represent them, I was appointed by the Premier to fulfil a role to the people of Queensland," he said.

"If I don't fulfil that role and I'm not diligent in my duty, I don't deserve to hold those roles.

"That's not to say I won't make mistakes. But not every mistake is dismissible."

During a press conference before Easter, Mr Gibson urged people to be safe on the roads.

"The smallest mistake you make, driving in conditions that are inappropriate, speed being as factor or even just forgetting to have your seatbelt on can actually have major implications to the point of taking someone's life," he had said.

Timeline:

May-June 2011: David Gibson caught speeding on the Bruce Hwy between Brisbane and Gympie.

June-November: SPER issues at least five notices asking him to pay the fine.

November: SPER issues a notice Gibson's licence is suspended for three months to February 18 because of the outstanding fine.

February 16, 2012: Gibson is caught speeding on the Bruce Hwy in a hire car.

April 3: Gibson is sworn in as Police and Community Safety Minister.

April 5: Gibson learns he has an unpaid fine.

April 16: Gibson resigns as minister amid allegations of speeding while driving unlicensed.
 

Gympie Times

Topics:  campbell newman, david gibson, member for gympie, police minister



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