Last week NQ First Leader Jason Costigan announced former long-serving Wujal Wujal Mayor Desmond Tayley as the NQ FIRST candidate for the seat of Cook.
Mr Costigan who is also the Member for the seat of Whitsunday made the announcement during a quick visit to Cooktown on May 15.
The Cook Shire Council is one of 20 local government areas in Queensland that have been limited to essential travel only as part of the federal government’s Biosecurity Act during the current crisis.
Queensland Police have confirmed that a police investigation is now taking place into Mr Costigan’s movements and travel in the Cooktown shire.
At the time Mr Costigan said he “we went through the appropriate steps to ensure that we had the capacity to come into the community and that was on the advice of a high ranking police officer.” Mr Costigan said
“As an MP we’re deemed to provide an essential service. In the discharge of my duties, it’s important that I see what’s going on there and how we’re handling the biosecurity situation.”
At the time Mr Costigan offered The Express “I’m happy to send you the correspondence that came from the copper.”
The visit infuriated federal MP Warren Entsch, who raised the matter with authorities over the weekend.
“I have spoken to many residents who have been unable to re-enter the community,” Mr Entsch said.
“This is a highly sensitive biosecurity area which is at greater risk than other communities.
“I think he has broken protocol and I have made a formal complaint.”
Mr Costigan said the LNP had long courted the Indigenous leader Desmond Tayley who lost his long-running mayoral role at the recent local government elections.
“The Member for Leichhardt [Mr Entsch] is dirty because he couldn’t get Desmond to run for the LNP,” Mr Costigan said.
“Some years ago Mr Entsch sounded out Desmond Tayley to run for the LNP, but Mr Tayley turned him down.
“This is just political revenge from the Liberals.”
Mr Costigan admitted that during his trip met with Cook Shire mayor, Peter Scott.
“The mayor had no problem with me being in his community,” he said.
In a statement from the Cook Shire council; “Mr Costigan phoned Cook Shire Mayor Peter Scott on Friday to advise he was travelling to Cooktown. Cr Scott advised that Mr Costigan would not meet any of the three categories for entry to the region. Mr Costigan did not apply for entry under the exemption category. Mr Costigan did not indicate why he was travelling to Cooktown, however he did request to meet with the Mayor late on Friday.
Cr Scott also asked Mr Costigan to use any opportunity he could in Parliament to advocate for easing travel restrictions into Cook Shire as soon as it is safe and practical to do so.”