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BURLEIGH MP Michael Hart has been asked to step away from light rail planning because he has two perceived conflicts — a property and share in a brewery on potential routes.
Labor has called on the LNP frontbencher to remove himself from his party’s future policy planning on the tram route heading south from Burleigh.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington with LNP member for Burleigh Michael Hart.The Government’s favoured route for the trams is south which will pass Mr Hart’s new Palm Beach unit, while the LNP promises to launch a business case to explore a western path to Varsity Lakes that passes close to the MP’s brewery.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey told the Bulletin: “I’m calling on Deb Frecklington to remove Michael Hart from the LNP’s policy decision-making on light rail.
“It’s been publicly reported that not only did he buy a multimillion-dollar property which he didn’t declare for more than a year, which sits squarely on the current proposed light rail route, but his Burleigh brewery is a stone’s throw away from the LNP’s proposed light rail route.
“This is just another example of how the LNP can’t be trusted to manage public transport on the Gold Coast, in the interest of all Gold Coasters.
“Based on the public reporting, it’s clear the business Michael Hart owns could benefit significantly if the light rail goes past that brewery.”
Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled.Mr Hart told the Bulletin: “My business and property interests have been fully declared. I am proud to be a business owner, that employs locals and I am proud to call Palm Beach home with my wife.
“The alternative would be not investing in Queensland and not living in the electorate.
“The Labor Party have attacked me numerous times about part-owning a business in Burleigh and living in the electorate. I think this shows how out of touch they are with the community.
“When my interests have changed I have sought advice from Clerk of the parliament and the Integrity Commissioner and I have always acted in accordance with that advice.
This article first appeared on www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au
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