Sacked Newman Minister Chris Davis’ Job Refusal a ‘Charade’, QCAT Told

TV still of sacked Qld assistant health minister Chris Davis speaking to 7.30 Qld.Friday May 16, 2014

Lawyers for former LNP assistant health minister Dr Chris Davis have accused the Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) of a “charade” in delaying interviews to prevent him being appointed to a senior medical officer’s job.

Dr Davis has taken Metro North Hospital to the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) after missing out on a job at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in 2014.

He applied for the position shortly after being sacked as assistant health minister in the Newman government, then resigning as the Member for Stafford over a dispute with then premier Campbell Newman in 2014.

Dr Davis spoke out against the Newman government’s push to implement doctor contracts and changes to the Crime and Misconduct Commission.

Metro North Hospital denied claims of discrimination because of Dr Davis’ political stance.

Dr Davis applied for a senior medical officer (SMO) position after leaving politics in 2014, before the LNP lost government.

He was not awarded the position even though he was the only suitable applicant.

The job was eventually filled internally.

Campbell Newman
The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s internal medicine services executive director, Kate Mason, told the hearing the application process was slightly unusual due to Dr Davis’ high profile.

She said she “briefed up” and had discussions with superiors over the selection process in case there was something “media worthy”.

“Anyone who would have had that level of profile would have been treated like this,” Ms Mason said.

“I don’t believe it was because of his political activities.”

Delaying move was ‘BS’

Representing Dr Davis, barrister Dan O’Gorman SC suggested to Ms Mason the issue of media attention was “totally irrelevant” to a briefing note being drafted and that it was more about buying time to decide whether to offer Dr Davis the job.

Ms Mason disputed this, saying it put the situation into context.

Mr O’Gorman replied: “So you’re continuing with the charade.”

Ms Mason agreed Dr Davis was the only suitable applicant and that another doctor had told her he was adequately qualified as a geriatrician.

The QCAT hearing was told Dr Davis had been in a more senior role at Prince Charles Hospital before entering politics.

It was also told of emails between the head of internal medicine, Dr Charles Denaro, and other employees, canvassing how to tell Dr Davis that “in light of clinical streaming” the position was being withdrawn.

“Dr Denaro was correct when he said this is BS?” Mr O’Gorman asked.

Ms Mason said they were Dr Denaro’s words.

Mr O’Gorman replied: “He was right though, wasn’t he? It was bullshit.”

The hearing continues.

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