'Legal, moral' referral: MP defends calls for CCC probe
MARYBOROUGH MP Bruce Saunders has defended referring Ted Sorensen to the state's corruption watchdog over decade-old land deals, saying he had a "legal and moral obligation" to do so.
This is despite the claims previously being raised on numerous occasions in the last decade, with Hervey Bay MP Mr Sorensen responding in Queensland Parliament eight years ago.
The row between the two MPs, who have clashed in the chamber more than once, reached fever pitch on June 12 after Mr Saunders called on the Crime and Corruption Commission to look into the land deal involving "a sitting member in this House".
Mr Saunders did not use parliamentary privilege to name Mr Sorensen or the local business involved in the deal.
Speaking to the Chronicle yesterday, Mr Saunders said he chose not to name Mr Sorensen because he was "not low like the LNP".
"That's not me, I don't use coward's castle for that," he said.
"I don't believe in that sort of behaviour, but in saying that if other people want to do it, that's up to them.
"I'll let the CCC do their job, all I was doing was what I have to do legally and morally."
The Courier-Mail on Wednesday revealed Mr Sorensen was the MP at the centre of Mr Saunders' claims.
The concerns date back to 2006 while Mr Sorensen was the mayor of Hervey Bay City Council, before amalgamation into Fraser Coast Regional Council.
Queensland Land Registry documents revealed Mr Sorensen and his half brother, Norman Leslie Gillespie, entered into contracts with Wide Bay Water Corporation on November 4, 2006, to sell two lots of land for a total of $1 million.
Minutes from the council meeting in December 2006 say it had been notified by Mr Sorensen's solicitor of the mayor's interest in the land due to his position at the council and chairmanship of the local water business working group.
Mr Sorensen responded to queries about the deal in Parliament in 2011, at the time saying it was "part of an estate which was sold up".
When asked about the matter being raised on numerous occasions before, Mr Saunders repeated his claim he had a "legal and moral obligation" to report it.
Mr Sorensen was contacted for comment but had not responded at the time of going to print.