Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has been suspended from the LNP.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan has been suspended from the LNP.

MP suspended by LNP over harassment claims

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk says concerns had been raised about maverick MP Jason Costigan "over a number of years".

Her comments come in the wake of revelations overnight that the Whitsundays MP had been suspended from the LNP over allegations of harassment of a young woman.

But Ms Palaszczuk refused to comment any further,.

"I don't know the full details," she said this morning.

"The details I have read are quite alarming. There have been concerns raised about him over a number of years. You can go back through the history books and have a look at that.

"The Deputy Premier raised issues relating to that (Jason Costigan) six months ago."

When asked whether she was surprised by the allegations, the Premier said it must have been very serious.

Mr Costigan is facing expulsion from the party over explosive harassment allegations.

In an email complaint to the LNP, obtained exclusively by The Courier-Mailand being strenuously denied by Mr Costigan, a woman claims her 18 -year-old daughter arrived at her grandparents' home to find the MP shirtless.


BIKINI GATE: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan celebrating International Bikini Day with young travellers in Airlie Beach last Friday.
BIKINI GATE: Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan celebrating International Bikini Day with young travellers in Airlie Beach last Friday.

"His behaviour from that point was extraordinary," the complainant alleged of his behaviour while he was staying at the home. "She is traumatised by his revoltingness."

Mr Costigan, who once saw himself as a contender for Deputy Premier, last night told The Courier-Mail he denied the allegations and would be pursuing legal action.

"This is a stitch-up of the highest order," he said.

He has been suspended from the party.

Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan caught up with some tourists for International Bikini Day.
Member for Whitsunday Jason Costigan caught up with some tourists for International Bikini Day. Facebook

Full details of the allegations against Mr Costigan cannot be revealed at this time.

But in the letter, the complainant said Mr Costigan had arranged via a friend to stay at the remote interstate property on January 22 during his travels around the country.

The grandparents had left early that morning with Mr Costigan alone at the property when the 18-year-old arrived, the complaint states.

The complaint alleges he was "intimidating".

"I hope you take this matter very, very seriously as it has tainted my daughter's summer and put her through an extremely traumatic experience," she wrote.

The complaint was emailed to LNP state director Michael O'Dwyer on Friday morning. The party called Mr Costigan to a disciplinary hearing on Sunday.

A complaint was also made to the office of LNP leader Deb Frecklington.

The party's president's committee moved to suspend the Whitsunday MP yesterday ahead of his expected expulsion when the LNP's powerful State Executive meets to discuss the matter tomorrow.

Mr Costigan was labelled a "creep" and a sleazebag" by Deputy Premier Jackie Trad over a video he posted about world bikini day last year - an incident he dismissed as "political correctness on steroids".

Jason Costigan at Parliament House this week. Picture: Peter Wallis
Jason Costigan has been suspended by the LNP

He will now start the parliamentary year on the crossbench with Ms Frecklington declaring Mr Costigan had failed to meet the standards she had set for her team.

"Mr Costigan doesn't have the morals and the values to be part of my team," she said.

"Integrity and trust are everything to me. I demanded strong action from the LNP in relation to the complaint against Mr Costigan and the LNP has acted strongly."

Acting LNP president David Hutchinson said the decision to suspend Mr Costigan was "a very serious one, and has not been taken lightly".

"The LNP expects its elected representatives to uphold at all times the highest standards," he said in a statement.

"I thank the LNP's parliamentary leader Deb Frecklington for making it very clear that she sets a very high bar for members of her future government. The party's leadership wholeheartedly supports this position."

The decision to dump Mr Costigan could make it hard for the LNP to retain the seat at the October 2020 State Election, especially if he decides to run again.

Labor launched a concerted campaign to unseat the MP in 2017 with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk choosing to spend the first night of the campaign in the electorate. They will likely redouble efforts following his expulsion from the LNP.


Queensland Treasurer and deputy premier Jackie Trad speaks during Question Time at Parliament House in Brisbane, Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad was vocal about Jason Costigan's bikini video, calling him a "sleazebag". DAN PELED

The move will also mean the LNP will return to Parliament with 38 seats in the 93-seat house, exactly 10 fewer than Labor.

Mr Costigan has courted controversy inside and outside the House in recent years, including drawing the ire of Ms Trad over the bikini video. He has also been a critic of the LNP, slamming its 2017 election loss, which saw it hold just two north Queensland seats, Burdekin and his own.

Mr Costigan also attacked the party's handling of the suspension of former Howard government minister Peter Lindsay and Richmond Mayor John Wharton who later quit the party.

"We need to have some people in our team who can sell ice to the Eskimos and at the moment some of us couldn't sell ice to an Afgani camel driver," he said at the time.

Mr Costigan put his hand up to be appointed the deputy leader of the Opposition following the election loss and the resignation of former leader Tim Nicholls, declaring the party needed a "Barnaby of the North" to help it win back regional voters.

The Courier-Mail was told at the time that his bid secured him just two votes, with Tim Mander winning the job.

Mr Costigan then repeated his criticisms of the party in his official Address-in-Reply speech to Parliament at the end of last year. The party decided against taking any action against him for the comments.

The LNP appeared to move against the MP in the lead-up to the 2017 election, reopening nominations after allegedly ­receiving no "complete" applications. He most recently dismissed rumours he was considering jumping ship to the Katter's Australian Party.

There was also speculation he could challenge George Christensen for federal preselection in the seat of Dawson.

He initially would not rule out the potential challenge, but did not put his hand up by the close of preselections.