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Fresh claims in Davis QCAT battle

AAP logoAAP 4/08/2016 By Alexandra Patrikios

Staff at Queensland's biggest public hospital thought former LNP MP Chris Davis would know the withdrawal of a vacancy he had applied to fill was "BS", documents in his anti-discrimination case claim.

Former Stafford MP Chris Davis launched proceedings in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal earlier this year after his August 2014 application for a full-time gerontologist position at the Royal Women's and Children's Hospital was rejected.

In his original application, he alleged his political beliefs and activities were referred to as a "tricky issue" in internal hospital emails after he lodged his application, which was deemed the only viable submission.

Fresh documents filed by his legal team detail further alleged email conversations, including a September 2014 exchange in which head of internal medicine Dr Charles Denaro discusses with two other employees how to inform Dr Davis the position will no longer be filled externally and tells them he appreciates they're trying to find a "sensible solution to this problem".

According to the claim, he then suggests he explain to Dr Davis that, given the establishment of clinical streams across the Metro North Hospital and Health Service, all the vacant positions were being re-evaluated but may be re-advertised in the new year.

"He will realise that it is BS," the email allegedly concludes, with then-executive director Professor Keshwar Baboolal agreeing a response "along those lines" is appropriate.

The documents also outline an alleged telephone conversation between Dr Denaro and the former politician in which the staffer says the hospital has bowed to political pressure and taken the easy way out and, in doing, discriminated against Dr Davis.

MNHHS has staunchly denied the allegations brought by Dr Davis in the tribunal proceedings.

"This allegation dates back a numbers of years and as it is currently before QCAT, we are unable to comment in any detail," a spokesperson said.

"However we can state that the allegations are denied and the matter will be strongly defended."

Dr Davis is seeking general and aggravated damages, as well as future economic loss amounts, totalling $1.2 million.

He also wants a public apology and changes to anti-discrimination training practices in the service.

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