News

Slipper 'looking into' phone rage

PETER Slipper says he is now investigating an incident where his policy adviser seized and tossed the phone of a Daily journalist.

Earlier on Twitter, Mr Slipper said he "Didn't see the alleged incident and wouldn't condone it", when asked about the chain of events by Sunshine Coast Daily sports reporter Steve Zemek.

In a statement, Mr Slipper said he was at the media conference to announce an  exciting opportunity for the Sunshine Coast with Sunshine Coast TAFE.

TAFE has been selected to submit an application for the Educational Investment Fund for a world-class training and vocational education centre.

"I answered questions from the media for thirty minutes and as I had another appointment, my media adviser had to end the interview.

"As you will see from the video attached, I then simply walked away.

"I did not see the alleged incident and would not condone it."

Later in a Twitter response, he said he was looking into the matter.

The policy adviser who threw Mr Jacques phone, James Ashby, this afternoon tweeted: "Interesting day. Since working in the media, it's deteriorated to a point where I'm embarrassed to ever been apart of it."

Slipper staffer in iPhone rage

A JOURNALIST at the Sunshine Coast Daily had his mobile phone taken off him and thrown by the policy advisor of Speaker of the House Peter Slipper MP.

Owen Jacques was attending a 9am media announcement by the Member for Fisher when he asked a question to Mr Slipper about his expenses.

Mr Slipper's representatives ended the interview, began walking away and blocking a nearby television crew's camera.

Another of Mr Slipper's staff, James Ashby, grabbed the phone from the hand of Mr Jacques while it was still filming, throwing it into the air and towards knee-deep scrub.

When questioned, the staffer said, "Go get it Owen."

Daily editor in chief Mark Furler said the behaviour was appalling and the newspaper would be pursuing the matter with authorities.

"Peter Slipper has repeatedly said he is all for transparency and accountability but obviously that doesn't include his own expenditure of taxpayers' money,'' Mr Furler said.

"The Sunshine Coast Daily has been asking the Speaker's office for details of his expenses for weeks yet we are continually stonewalled by his office and the Department of Finance.''

Almost 3000 Sunshine Coast people signed a petition in just a couple of weeks asking for an audit of Mr Slipper's expenses after it was revealed he was one of the biggest spending MPs in Australia.

Mr Slipper has claimed a Department of Finance investigation has cleared him of any wrongdoing over about $640,000 in expenses in just six months in 2009.

But the report has never been made public nor has the department confirmed that Mr Slipper has been cleared at all.

Mr Furler said the Daily had since lodged a Right to Information request for the investigation into Mr Slipper to be made public.

"This goes to the heart of accountability of our politicians,'' he said.

"They are spending our money - not theirs.''

The edited footage that Peter Slipper's PR staff have posted. It stops before the incident occurred.

Topics:  expenses, peter slipper


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