Former staffer dishes dirt on Labor ministers

A FORMER Palaszczuk Government media adviser has exposed behind-the-scenes problems within ministers' offices, including claims of dysfunction, leaks and a minister being described as 'lazy'.

Former senior media adviser Neil Doorley, who spent three years working for four ministers, has exposed the behind-the-scenes problems he encountered, in a legal claim.

Mr Doorley claims he was sacked "without a reason'' by the Premier's Department last November and is seeking compensation in Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch in parliament. File picture
Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch in parliament. File picture

He claims that in the two years he worked for then Environment Minister Steven Miles, there were several leaks to media by the minister, but he was blamed, sparking his request for a transfer.

Mr Doorley then claims that in 2017, the Premier's then deputy chief-of-staff, Kirby Anderson, asked him to go to Minister Leeanne Enoch's office, saying she was "lazy''.

He alleges Mr Anderson also told him Ms Enoch's office was "a basket case'' and was grossly underperforming in "selling'' the $420 million Advance Queensland initiative to media.

Mr Doorley claims in his affidavit that after he started as her senior media adviser he was verbally abused by some of her staff and accused of being a "mole'' for the Premier's office. He also says he was subjected to "professional sabotage''.

Minister Mick de Brenni.
Minister Mick de Brenni.

Mr Doorley said he drafted a letter of resignation, but withdrew it after Mr Anderson promised him he would be looked after once the government won the 2017 election.

He claims when he later asked to be moved out of Ms Enoch's office, the Premier's chief-of-staff, David Barbagallo, told him there had been complaints about him.

He said he told Mr Barbagallo that he had been forced several times to defend the Office of Premier and Cabinet against derogatory claims by Ms Enoch's staff.

Mr Doorley said he then worked briefly for Fire and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford, before being moved by the Premier's Department to work for Housing Minister, Mick de Brenni.

Mr Doorley said he was told Mr de Brenni's current senior media officer said she would resign if she was not moved. He said while working for Mr de Brenni he witnessed a number of incidents of junior staff "being humiliated and reduced to tears''.

Mr Doorley has filed copies of references from current Health Minister Steven Miles.
Mr Doorley has filed copies of references from current Health Minister Steven Miles.

Mr Doorley claims he kept asking for details of any alleged complaints against him, without success, before going on stress leave in November, last year.

He said a day after he returned to work, Mr Barbagallo gave him a letter of termination, without providing any reason.

Mr Doorley has filed copies of references from Ministers Crawford and Miles, who said he was "a trusted member'' of his office leadership team.

The State Government denies it contravened the Industrial Relations Act in dismissing him, with a payout, because he made inquiries or complaints about his job or took stress leave.

The government claims the application, which is yet to have a hearing, is without merit and doomed to fail.

The Government has declined to comment, as the case is before the Commission.