‘Big Trev’s’ medal claims not a one-off
"BIG Trev" Ruthenberg falsely claimed he received a military medal for overseas peacekeeping on his personal website and on his now-defunct Newman government website, despite claiming the latest incident was a one-off.
An investigation by The Courier-Mail has revealed the LNP candidate for Longman's former website as state MP also listed "Australian Service Medal" under a section entitled "official awards".
The revelation has cast fresh doubt on Mr Ruthenberg's claim that he's no military impostor, as he fights to win next weekend's Longman by-election, sparked by Labor MP Susan Lamb's dual-citizenship bungle.
Angry veterans have condemned Mr Ruthenberg after The Courier-Mail revealed on Monday he had wrongly claimed he received the decoration for overseas peacekeeping despite never serving overseas.
The former air force corporal instead received the Australian Defence Medal, an award given to every member of the armed services after they have served for four years.
Mr Ruthenberg, who touts himself as "Big Trev", has insisted he inadvertently gave State Parliament the wrong medal name during the heady days of orientation week while a new state MP.
He maintained he had not searched or seen his biography on the State Parliament website since supplying the information in early 2012.
Labor has called for Mr Ruthenberg to be disendorsed, drawing comparisons with a West Australian MP who resigned in May after being exposed for wearing fake medal purchased online.
"In my experience, most people know what they got their military medals for," Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said this week.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has insisted Mr Ruthenberg made an honest mistake and had apologised for the error.
"Big Trev is as honest and straight as he is big," he said.
However archived versions of Mr Ruthenberg's now-defunct personal website, from when he was the state member for Kallangur, also repeat the incorrect claim he was an Australian Service Medal recipient.
The website, which was regularly updated for constituents until his loss at the 2015 state election, includes a picture of Mr Ruthenberg wearing what appears to be his Australian Defence Medal.
An LNP spokesman insisted Mr Ruthenberg's personal website simply reflected the same error he had already apologised for.
"Trevor Ruthenberg has corrected the record and apologised," he said.
"In contrast, Susan Lamb has not apologised for lying about her eligibility to sit in the Parliament, during which time she benefited from more than a quarter of a million dollars of taxpayers' money in salary, travel and expenses."