Political observers say dirty tactics in state politics may have reached a new low today.

The Courier-Mail revealed the opposition LNP hired a former Labor staffer to gather personal and professional information on its members.

Sarah Honan reports.


The news of the files has outraged people on both sides of the political divide.

Labor says they show the depths Australian politics has now sunk to.

Andrew Fraser, Queensland Deputy Premier: “What we see here is a new low in Australian politics, that crosses the line, that’s not been seen before in Australian politics.”

Mr Fraser called on LNP Leader Campbell Newman to sack those responsible.

They include the state director, as well as James McGrath, the party’s campaign director who hired Labor staffer, Robert Hough.

Andrew Fraser, Queensland Deputy Premier: “He needs to cut them out of the core of his campaign team, because as long as they stay in there, it says that he supports their activities into the future.”

Mr Newman rejected calls to sack the two men saying they have already been reprimanded for their involvement.

Campbell Newman, LNP Leader: “Let’s be very clear, they have been strongly reprimanded by myself and I’m sure the president.”

The files detail the personal lives of Labor members, as well as their professional strengths and weaknesses.

Parts of Anna Bligh’s file were published in today’s Courier-Mail, with the rest of the party’s files due to go to print tomorrow morning.

Mr Newman has publicly apologised for the invasion of privacy, but says Labor’s probing for his declaration of pecuniary assets is a similar issue.

Campbell Newman, LNP leader: “I am sorry that my party has done this. I am sorry to the people of Queensland, but I point out that it’s about time that the Labor party also declared a ceasefire.”

He says the way forward for both parties from here is to focus on policy.

Campbell Newman, LNP Leader: “I have advised our president that all this material should be shredded. I’ve also advised our president that I’m after policies, procedures and training for our campaign.”

Sarah Honan, QUT News.