February 11, 2019 21:08:33
Chris Davis says he wants to return to politics and work as part of a team. (7.30 Queensland)
Doctor and estranged Newman government MP Chris Davis has won $1.5 million from Brisbane’s Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) after a legal tribunal found he suffered unlawful discrimination owing to his political beliefs and actions.
In August 2014 — three months after he was sacked as assistant health minister in Mr Newman’s Liberal National Party government — Dr Davis applied for a senior medical officer position at the Royal Brisbane and Women‘s Hospital, controlled by MNHHS.
Dr Davis had resigned as the Member for Stafford about a week after his political demotion at the hands of then premier Campbell Newman.
Though Dr Davis was the only qualified applicant for the position at Royal Brisbane, he never got the job.
On Monday, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found MNHHS delayed interviews and eventually decided the appointment would be filled internally.
“Dr Davis was being told between 2 September 2014 and 26 September 2014 that there were delays occurring that pushed back the likely date for an interview.”
“The only person left out of the loop after 2 September 2014 was Dr Davis,” she said.
She did not accept Dr Alexander’s statement that “it was unlikely” he would become involved in a process to fill the senior medical officer role when that application was made by Dr Davis, given the former MP’s public stoush with the premier.
“Given the recent turbulent events involving Dr Davis and the Liberal National Party government, it is beyond credence that the chief executive officer would not discuss matters relating to Dr Davis seeking employment as a public hospital doctor with the board chairman,” she said in her ruling.
She said there was “no innocent explanation” given by Mr Stamp or Dr Alexander to negate the inference that Dr Davis was not employed because of his political beliefs and activities.
“In fact, the evidence reveals that no reason was given for the decision by the chief executive officer at that time: not clinical streaming, not budgetary concerns, not a concern about his ‘fit’ for the role,” she said.
“It is reasonable for the tribunal to draw the inference that the reason for the decision was directly connected to who the sole applicant was and to his recent actions (less than four months previously and as recently as late July 2014) as a politician and a potential future political candidate.”
In a statement, an MNHHS spokesperson said the claim “dates back a number of years”.
February 11, 2019 21:06:39
Contact Leonie Mellor
stories from Queensland