Courier Mail – Deleted Article

The Courier-Mail    Brisbane 17°C – 24°C. Cloudy, mostly fine, light shower.

Premier Campbell Newman says cabinet minister asked Bates to take leave ahead of parliamentary sittings

Ros Bates Michael Caltabiano

Arts Minister Ros Bates Source: The Courier-Mail

PREMIER Campbell Newman has now claimed another cabinet minister suggested to Arts and Science Minister Ros Bates that she take leave ahead of this week’s parliamentary sittings.

The Courier-Mail revealed on Saturday Ms Bates had suddenly taken two weeks off on the same day as Transport and Main Roads’ boss Michael Caltabiano stood aside over allegations he misinformed parliament about his work history.

Ms Bates and Mr Caltabiano worked together at lobbying firm Entree Vous which was part owned by the Minister and her son Ben Gommers – who is now employed as a senior departmental liaison officer at TMR.

Although her office said Ms Bates was on annual leave, on Saturday Treasurer Tim Nicholls declared the Minister was taking time off on the advice of her surgeon.

Ms Bates underwent shoulder surgery on September 13 and has been wearing an antibiotic drip since.

Today Mr Newman faced questions about Minister Bates – who was videoed driving and shopping on the Gold Coast on the weekend.

He said he and the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Attorney-General, were all concerned for Ms Bates’ health and one of them asked her to take leave – but it wasn’t him.

“I did not, I just said the Deputy Premier, the Treasurer and the Attorney-General and myself were concerned about her health so we asked her to take some leave but I did not,” said Mr Newman.

Michael Caltabiano

Transport and Main Roads Director-General Micahel Caltabiano appears at the Estimates Committee Hearing. Picture: Philip Norrish

“I know (Deputy Premier) Jeff Seeney has for some time wanted her to take some leave.”

The Premier said it was not appropriate that he ask Ms Bates about her previous working relationship with Mr Caltabiano – who has denied having any professional experience of Mr Gommers, or even working for Entree Vous.

Mr Gommers’ appointment to TMR after the March 24 election, is the subject of a Crime and Misconduct Commission investigation.

“It is not appropriate that I investigate ourselves,” Mr Newman said.

“The people of Queensland would qutie rightfully say that me investigating the conduct of Mr Caltabiano or Minister Bates was not correct. That’s why I’ve referred it to the Ethics Committee.”

He said he had not spoken to Mr Caltabiano since he stood aside while the Ethics Committee investigates statements he made to the budget estimates hearing.

Mr Newman said if he was found to have committed an offence, he would be expected to repay legal costs currently being funded by taxpayers.

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Then it looks like someone at the Courier Mail must have gotten a rap across the knuckles and the link to the original story went to this:
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Hmmm… Curious.  So I went looking for Robyn Ironside’s article about the situation with Minister Bates and found a toned down and softened version posted about two hours later: 
The Courier-Mail    Brisbane 17°C – 24°C. Cloudy, mostly fine, light shower.

Premier Campbell Newman says cabinet minister asked Bates to take leave ahead of parliamentary sittings

Ros Bates Michael Caltabiano

Arts Minister Ros Bates Source: The Courier-Mail

ARTS Minister Ros Bates has issued a statement to explain her absence from parliament this week, saying she is recovering from shoulder surgery and caring for her son Ben Gommers who has been diagnosed with depression.

The statement ends days of conflicting stories from the government about her leave – which began abruptly last Thursday coinciding with the decision by Transport and Main Roads’ Director-General Michael Caltabiano to stand aside over allegations he misinformed parliament about his work history.

Ms Bates and Mr Caltabiano worked together at lobbying firm Entree Vous which was part owned by the Minister and her son Ben Gommers – who is now employed as a senior departmental liaison officer at TMR.

Her office told The Courier-Mail on Friday she was on annual leave, then on Saturday Treasurer Tim Nicholls said Ms Bates had been advised by her surgeon to take two weeks off.

Today Premier Campbell Newman said Ms Bates had been asked by senior Cabinet Ministers to take leave, out of concern for her health and how she was coping with the “extra stress” of recent weeks.

Ms Bates said she had accepted medical advice that she required “further rest” adding that her “attempts to return to work (since surgery on September 13) had been premature”.

“During this period, I’ll be spending time with my son Ben who has been under enormous stress and continued scrutiny from often incorrect and sensational reporting of his chosen career,” said Ms Bates.

“On Monday, October 22 Ben was admitted to hospital to be treated for depression.

Michael Caltabiano

Transport and Main Roads Director-General Micahel Caltabiano appears at the Estimates Committee Hearing. Picture: Philip Norrish

“He remains under the care of a specialist.”

She went on to say she would always be “a mother first and an MP and Minister second”.

“His recovery, and my own, will be my current priority,” read the statement.

“I would ask for privacy during this period.”

The admission follows Premier Campbell Newman’s revelation this morning that senior Cabinet Ministers had asked Ms Bates to take leave, out of concern for her health.

He said himself, the Deputy Premier, Treasurer and Attorney-General were very concerned and wanted her to take time off.

“I know (Deputy Premier) Jeff Seeney has for some time wanted her to take some leave,” Mr Newman said.

The Premier said it was not appropriate that he ask Ms Bates about her previous working relationship with Mr Caltabiano – who has denied having any professional experience of Mr Gommers, or even working for Entree Vous, but who was listed on the lobbyists register in 2008 as being employed by Entree Vous – jointly owned by Ms Bates and her son Mr Gommers.

“It is not appropriate that I investigate ourselves,” Mr Newman said.

“The people of Queensland would qutie rightfully say that me investigating the conduct of Mr Caltabiano or Minister Bates was not correct. That’s why I’ve referred it to the Ethics Committee.”

He said he had not spoken to Mr Caltabiano since he stood aside while the Ethics Committee investigates statements he made to the budget estimates hearing.

Mr Newman said if he was found to have committed an offence, he would be expected to repay legal costs currently being funded by taxpayers.

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So… now I’m kinda curious why was the article removed, and who had Robyn Ironside’s article ‘softened around the edges’ today to make the LNP look more sympathetic and less like criminals hiding from a firing squad???
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