The Queensland Parliament’s $82,000 fine handed down to Gordon Nuttall has drawn mixed reactions from politicians and the public.
The fine for contempt of Parliament was an extra punishment for the disgraced former politician.
He’s already serving a 12 year jail sentence after being found guilty of corruption and perjury by the Queensland courts.
Briony Skinner reports.
He came. He pleaded his case.
Gordon Nuttall, Disgraced former politician: “I have never knowingly or wrongfully set out to do wrong.”
But in the end Gordon Nuttall returned to jail a broken and poorer man.
The reaction from his former colleagues was predictable.
Andrew Fraser, Queensland Treasurer: “As he walked in and began his explanation, he was still quite deluded about… that he’s done anything wrong and I think in many ways that delusion is both quite pathetic and ultimately tragic.”
Gordon Nuttall had the maximum fine of $82,000 imposed.
Opposition treasurer Tim Nichols told breakfast radio listeners everyone entering parliament knows the rules.
Tim Nichols, Opposition Treasurer: “It doesn’t matter where he got that income from, or that loan or that gift, he failed to declare it.”
But a sympathetic public saw a more human side to Nuttall which didn’t surprise former politician, now radio broadcaster Gary Hardgraves.
Gary Hardgraves, Radio broadcaster: “I think they saw that emotion, that this is the shattered shell of a bloke who once was and they’re pretty down. People saw the sad side of it, the tragic side of it, the awful side of it.”
Radio talkback: “I really felt sorry for him and I think them going after this money. It’s only going to hurt his family more.”
It seems the public agrees politicians should be held to a higher standard because they have been elected to a position of trust but many questioned whether the crime justified the time.
Gary Hardgraves, Radio broadcaster: People wanted hard penalties, people want hard penalties for everything, a lot of people were also angry that if you rape, you murder, you rob, you don’t seem to get as hard a penalty as this bloke’s got.”
Under rules of parliament the penalty sticks but Gordon Nuttall’s legal battles are not yet over.
The Attorney General’s office has asked for Nuttall’s 12 year jail sentence be increased by another two years, over his five perjury and five corruption charges.
Briony Skinner, QUT News.