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Beattie attacks lawyer over bribe allegations

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 24 February 2005

Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has accused Brisbane legal firm Boe Lawyers of interfering and stalling plans to improve the troubled Palm Island Aboriginal community.

The Premier has attacked Andrew Boe in Parliament after revealing he has been accused of bribery by the Palm Island Council.

Mr Beattie claims he may have been secretly taped in a meeting with the Palm Island Council last week, and has referred the matter to the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CMC) for investigation.

He says a goodwill offer he made to wipe the Palm Island Council's $800,000 debt has somehow been interpreted as a bribe.

"I strongly and unequivocally deny making any inducement of any kind and reject such allegations," he said.

"I regard any suggestions to the contrary very seriously and I believe it would appropriate and desirable for the Criminal and Misconduct Commission to review this as a matter of urgency."

Mr Beattie says he had to raise the matter before anyone else did.

"No one would have concluded my discussing of a package could have been anything other than a demonstration of goodwill to resolve their problems," he said.

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