Australia Queensland MP referred to corruption watchdog over leak allegation

07:46  02 june  2020
07:46  02 june  2020 Source:   brisbanetimes.com.au

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Queensland 's corruption watchdog has directed the state government to investigate saying the alleged corrupt conduct is of a serious and possibly systemic nature.

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Brittany Lauga © AAP Image/Jono Searle Brittany Lauga A Queensland MP has been referred to the state's corruption watchdog for allegedly leaking information a Rockhampton nurse gave to coronavirus contact tracers.

A union, representing the nurse at the centre of central Queensland nursing home coronavirus scare last month, has referred Keppel Labor MP Brittany Lauga to the Crime and Corruption Commission.

Nurses' Professional Association of Queensland spokesman Jack McGuire alleges information the nurse gave to contact tracers was passed on to Ms Lauga, which was then leaked to the media.

The nurse told contact tracers she had travelled to Blackwater to watch a sunrise, which was leaked to journalists last week.

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Mr McGuire said the CCC needed to investigate why Ms Lauga was given the information and how it was leaked to the media.

"She used prized information that is not available to the public to attack our member," he said.

"She cherry-picked information so it is now with the CCC."

In a statement, Ms Lauga said: "I read, in the media, of reports that the nurse travelled to Blackwater."

"Standing up for the health and safety of my community is my number one priority," she said.

"I wish the nurse who tested positive for COVID-19 a speedy recovery."

The 52-year-old nurse tested positive to the coronavirus on May 14 forcing the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre into lock down and triggering a massive response from health authorities.

An independent investigation has been ordered to drill down into events between May 3 and May 18 when the woman continued to work at the centre while waiting for a coronavirus test result and suffering respiratory symptoms.

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Queensland Health asks the state's corruption watchdog to consider whether "potential corrupt conduct" was involved in the publication of former "Following a request from Minister for Health Steven Miles, we referred the matter to the health ombudsman this morning," a Queensland Health

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Information the nurse gave contact tracers about travelling to Blackwater was used to strengthen perceived links between her case and that of Nathan Turner, who initially tested positive for COVID-19 after his death.

Subsequent tests came back negative.

When asked if the nurse was owed an apology, chief health officer Jeannette Young said the nurse had provided several different accounts of her possible contacts to health officials.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the comments that the nurse might have been in contact with Mr Turner were "fair" because at the time, he stressed, "any link could have been a coincidence but that we were investigating it".

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