Email trail lays bare Qld Greens’ civil war
Damning leaked emails have exposed the internal schism that has rocked the Queensland Greens ahead of the October state election, with tit-for-tat allegations of questionable fundraising and threatening behaviour.
The email trail details claims about how JobKeeper payments for former Clayfield candidate and staffer John Meyer were funnelled into the Maiwar campaign account of Greens MP Michael Berkman.
The emails reveal the increasing fraught exchanges between the Greens and Mr Meyer before he was sacked for alleged aggressive behaviour towards female officials.
Mr Meyer has previously vigorously denied any wrongdoing.
The Greens have staunchly rejected the allegations, which come just weeks before the state election, in which the party hopes to clinch the balance of power in state parliament.
The emails show Mr Meyer wrote to party officials on August 21 and 28 with concerns about the legality of a guitar raffle in which $2500 worth of tickets were sold.
"I insist that all funds be returned to purchasers of raffle tickets," he wrote.
He was subsequently summoned to a meeting with the Greens hierarchy, including state director Kitty Carra.
Mr Meyer wrote back on August 30 saying that he would not attend the meeting and that he had quit his party role working for Mr Berkman over ethical and legal concerns with JobKeeper payments.
He said that Ms Carra told him on April 30 that his role was not able to attract JobKeeper payments, but she advised him on August 12 that the party was receiving money for his position.
"Kitty Carra texted me on 12 August 2020 asking me to keep the fact that I am on JobKeeper private as she did not want to attract 'undue attention'," he wrote.
But Greens convener Penny Allman-Payne said Ms Carra told Mr Meyer to speak to his line manager "as JobKeeper payments pertain to wages and entitlements not available to everyone".
Mr Meyer said Ms Carra later told him he had not been paid from JobKeeper, but "the funds from JobKeeper had been allocated to the Maiwar campaign".
"Due to my concerns over the ethics and legality of these arrangements, I immediately acted (to) terminate my employment in order to protect the integrity of our party…" he wrote.
Greens secretary Kirsten Kennedy wrote to Mr Meyer informing him that the Greens' campaign committee had determined that his emails were threatening.
"Due to this breach of your candidate agreement, your candidacy has been suspended, effective immediately," Ms Kennedy said.
Ms Allman-Payne rejected the claims in Mr Meyer's emails, saying the party's use of JobKeeper had been reported to both the tax office and the electoral commission.
"John was receiving his JobKeeper payments embedded in his fortnightly pay, as do all eligible employees on JobKeeper," she said.
Ms Allman-Payne said if there were any problem with the raffle, Mr Meyer was to blame given he had collected the prizes and sold tickets.
"Due to his disendorsement, all raffle tickets have been now refunded," she said.
Originally published as Email trail lays bare Qld Greens' civil war