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Former QLD trade official accused of commercial conflict

Former QLD trade official accused of commercial conflict article image
Former Queensland cabinet minister Steve Bredhauer has been questioned over his commercial links during his stint as Queensland's trade representative to China and Vietnam after the Opposition found he received a 'success fee' after assisting a major company. The government's register shows Bredhauer received the money after advising Leighton Contractors and Associated Entities. The associated Leighton Asia has offices in China and Vietnam. Opposition trade spokesman Lawrence Springborg pointed out an "obvious conflict of interest" but Bredhauer denied the connection. "I don't do any work for [Leightons] internationally in Asia or anywhere else," he said. "I considered this before I accepted the appointment ... but the reality is that the company I work for, Leighton Contractors, doesn't do business in my markets, in China or Vietnam." Springborg says this is untrue. "It's absurd to say that they are not related when Leighton Construction and Leighton Asia are both arms of the same company," he said. "If a construction company was wanting to seek the assistance of a trade commissioner to help develop a business in Asia, or in any other region of the world, they would hardly feel comfortable about confiding their market plans and business plans to the trade commissioner if they knew they were on the payroll of a competing company." He concluded it was ethically wrong to have a government-funded trade commissioner receiving commercial commissions and called on the government to act.

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