The Labor ‘fixer’ behind latest integrity crisis

DAVID Barbagallo, AM, has been a key figure in Queensland Labor politics and corporate life for over three decades, and is widely regarded as an effective "fixer''.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's chief of staff - now embroiled in the Government's second intregrity crisis in a week - began working in the Australian Labor Party in the 1980s and, after serving as a systems analyst for Australia Post, became IT adviser and chief adviser to premier Wayne Goss.

During his early years with Labor he did something which was later to come to the notice of the Shepherdson inquiry into allegations of electoral fraud.

The Shepherdson inquiry led to high-profile resignations of then deputy premier Jim Elder, and high-profile MP and ALP state secretary Mike Kaiser.

 

David Barbagallo with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk
David Barbagallo with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

 

But Barbagallo was the only ALP identity charged with electoral rorting.

In 2002 he admitted that while working for the ALP in the 1980s he had falsely enrolled one person amid some factional brawling over an important Brisbane seat.

He was fined $1000 with no conviction recorded.

Barbagallo's name was also brought up when a ranger in far north Queensland in 1993 located a ute that belonged to his brother Paul.

The ranger was suspicious that the ute may have been involved in the smuggling of prized Foxtail Palm seeds - an allegation Paul Barbagallo denied.

He was later fined $200 over the saga.

David Barbagallo was accused of smuggling foxtail palm seeds.
David Barbagallo was accused of smuggling foxtail palm seeds.

While Paul Barbagallo was being questioned at the Cooktown police station David Barbagallo turned up with another Goss government employee, Denis Atkins, who later worked as a journalist for The Courier Mail.

Allegations were made that David Barbagallo was there to interfere with the investigation, but those allegations were later found to be untrue by then watchdog the Criminal Justice Commission.