State media advisor seeks compo over sacking
A former senior government media advisor who is seeking compensation for his dismissal, has hit out at the "hypocrisy'' of the Palaszcuk government.
Neil Doorley, who spent three years as media advisor to four different government ministers, claims he was dismissed by Premier's department in November, without being given a reason, "The hypocrisy of the Palaszcuk government is just breathtaking,'' Mr Doorley said, after the first directions hearing in the case at Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.
"They come out and promote workers' rights.
"I've been working for the government for three years and they terminate my contract without giving a reason.
"So the process now is to try to find out exactly what was behind what I think was drastic action.''
Mr Doorley was working as senior media advisor to Minister for Housing, Public Works, Digital Economy and Sport, Mick de Brenni, for about five weeks at the time of his dismissal.
He worked for then Environment Minister, Steven Miles for two years and then as media advisor to Leeanne Enoch, Minister for Innovation, Science, Digital Economy and Small Business.
He also worked for Minister for Fire and Emergency Services, Craig Crawford.
Mr Doorley said outside the Commission he received references from Mr Miles and Mr Crawford.
He said he had already spent $20,000 on his application in the six months since his dismissal.
The Department of Premier and Cabinet tried to have his application dismissed, because it was filed three days after a time limit.
Lawyers for the Department told the Commissioner it was doomed to fail, but Commissioner Gary Black ordered an extension of time, allowing the application to proceed.
The Commission has been told Mr Doorley has also taken a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland.
In his QIRC affidavit, referred to in a judgement published by the Commission, Mr Doorley claims the Premier's department dismissed him because he made inquiries and complaints relating to his workplace and took work-related stress leave.
He claims the department knowingly or recklessly made false or misleading representations about his workplace rights.
The Commission heard Mr Doorley complained in August, 2017, about being verbally abused by co-workers and being subject to "professional sabotage''.
He said in his affidavit that in an email that he had raised "specific frustrations and concerns about his role'', in November, 2017.
After he was told in January, last year, that a number of allegations and complaints had been made about him, Mr Doorley requested a copy of any written allegations.
He sent emails expressing his disappointment that the names of the complainants had not been passed on to him.
In his affidavit he said he asked for details so he could exercise his basic right to respond and perhaps seek counselling with any alleged complainants.
He claims Mr De Brenni's then chief-of-staff, Helen Spencer, told him she had not raised any concerns or complaints about him.
Mr Doorley said she told him she had heard positive things about his media contacts, but had also been told aspects of his style and approach were "challenging'' to some.
He said on November 22, last year, he emailed his employer that he would return to work on November 26, after two weeks' stress leave, but asked to be relocated.
He was dismissed on November 27 last year.
The Commission today heard Mr Doorley would call the Director-General of the Premier's Department, Dave Stewart, and the Premier's chief-of-staff, David Barbagallo, who was involved in termination discussions, to answer questions at his application hearing.
Mr Doorley will file an amended application by July 5.