Michael Caltabiano

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Michael Caltabiano

Michael Caltabiano (born 8 April 1964) was briefly the Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads in the state government of Queensland, Australia until sacked. He was a Liberal Party member of the Brisbane City Council from 1996 to 2005, and a Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland from 2005 to 2006.

In a statement made on 15 March 2013, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman confirmed he had given Mr Caltibiano notice that his employment would be terminated immediately.

Mr Caltabiano was referred to the parliamentarian ethics committee in October 2012, after comments he made two year ago's estimates committee hearing about the employment of Ben Gommers, the son of then arts minister Ros Bates.[1]

Early life[edit]

Caltabiano studied engineering at James Cook University and a Master of Philosophy at Nottingham University (UK) and completed a Graduate Diploma of Business at Queensland University of Technology. He worked as a civil engineer and company director.

Political career[edit]

He was appointed as a replacement Liberal Party Councillor for Chandler Ward of the Brisbane City Council in 1996. Caltabiano replaced Liberal Graeme MacDougall, who was elected to the Commonwealth seat of Griffith and had to resign his Council seat. Caltabiano subsequently won the 1997, 2000 and 2004 elections.

Caltabiano served as Leader of the Opposition in Brisbane City Council from 2000 until 2002, when he was ousted during a factional deal involving a dispute over representation on the State Liberal Council. He was replaced by Margaret De Wit in 2002, who was in turn replaced by Graham Quirk in 2003. He was responsible for writing many of the policies for Lord Mayoral candidate Campbell Newman and was directly responsible for writing the 2004-05 Budget as presented to Council (normally this is the Lord Mayor's duty; however Newman preferred to leave this responsibility to other Liberal councillors.)[citation needed].

He was also actively involved in party politics, serving as Queensland state president of the Liberal Party from 2003 to 2006.

In mid-2005, Labor Deputy Premier Terry Mackenroth resigned from politics, sparking a by-election in the seat of Chatsworth, which included Caltabiano's council ward. Caltabiano was preselected as the Liberal candidate, and faced Labor candidate Chris Forrester, who he had defeated in the previous council election. The Labor government was struggling in the polls at the time, and Caltabiano won the seat with 52.35% of the vote.

Caltabiano was appointed to the shadow ministry upon his election, taking on the role of Shadow Minister for Transport. He was widely viewed as a rising star in the party, and had been tipped as a future Liberal leader. In August 2006, following the accession of Bruce Flegg to the Liberal leadership, Caltabiano was promoted to Shadow Treasurer.

Premier Peter Beattie called an election for 9 September 2006 and Labor preselected Chris Bombolas, a high-profile sports presenter, as its candidate. The Liberals struggled with a series of early gaffes. After a close race, Bombolas succeeded in taking the seat by several hundred votes. Caltabiano is now involved with a political consultancy firm, Entree Vous. His wife Andrea was defeated as the Liberal National Party candidate in Chatsworth for the 2009 state election.

Following the landslide Liberal National Party win in the 2012 state election, newly elected Premier Campbell Newman announced that Caltabiano would be appointed as Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

Investigation[edit]

On October 25 2012, Caltabiano was stood down as Director-General of the Department of Transport and Main Roads pending the result of an investigation into allegations of lying to parliament in budget estimate hearings[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Remekis, Amy. "Sacked bureaucat Caltabiano paid $650,000 in one year". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  2. ^ Ironside, Robyn. "Transport and Main Roads DG Michael Caltabiano referred to Ethics Committee". Courier Mail. Retrieved 28 October 2012.