This was a secret?? Is that allowed in Australia?
Beats me....lets ask Fred.
Greg Withers, with his wife Anna Bligh after her election defeat. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
The husband of former premier Anna Bligh was this morning cleaning out his desk, according to sources within the Department of Environment and Resource Management.
Greg Withers has been in charge of DERM's Office of Climate Change since its inception four years ago.
Mr Withers is at work this morning, but is understood to have begun clearing out his desk yesterday afternoon.
And the fact that I didn't know speaks highly of Newman, who faced a barrage of personal and family attacks during the campaign.
No, it was not a secret. It just was not particularly well publicised - and quite deliberately on the part of the conservatives.
Greg Withers is a highly competent member of the Queensland public service - a long term member of the Department of Premier and Cabinet. When his wife became Premier he voluntarily took an unpaid leave of absence from his job to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. He did not have to do this legally, but it was a wise decision in the circumstances.
He was hired to take on his new role, quite simply because he was the most qualified person available. Whatever we may think of the idea of climate change, the fact is a new agency was created and it needed somebody to run it. Anna Bligh did not have any influence over his selection - believe me, we scrutinised it in detail to see if she did. He was appointed on merit.
The conservatives in politics did not make a major issue of this in the election because there was no reason to do so. He was simply doing a job he was qualified to do, and selected to do fairly, for a government. We did not believe he should have to completely derail his career because of his wife's position - once he had moved out of a position where she could have (not that she necessarily would have) had an undue influence on him, that was the end of the matter.
It wasn't a secret - it was mentioned in the media quite openly on occasion. But it was not an election issue.
Mr Withers has also been asked to stay on his role to dismantle the department and after he has done so, assuming he does as good a job as we would expect from a senior public servant with his record, he can expect to be appointed to some other senior position. He's an asset - and we don't punish public servants for carrying out the wishes of the elected government - that's their job.