Peter Slipper really a 'decent, nice' guy, says angry wife

THE wife of Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper says she has been disgusted by rumours that their marriage is a sham.

"Our marriage is real,'' Inge Slipper told reporters.

"I love Peter.''

The daughter of Buderim real estate identity Bev Hall said she had been subjected to rumours that her marriage was not real and that they had been divorced.

"I have had to listen to rumours spread throughout this community that our marriage is not real,'' Mrs Slipper said.

She spoke out in defence of her husband, who has been the subject of a sexual harassment claim by gay staff member James Ashby.

"I am standing by my husband and I do love my husband,'' Mrs Slipper said.

"I took my vows seriously when I married him seven years ago on the 12th of August.''

Mrs Slipper saidt the Ashby case had been a "direct hit on our marriage," Mrs Slipper said.

"Our marriage is real, I have stuck by Peter, I love Peter, there is so many things you guys don't understand about him.

"He's made some mistakes, yes.  But he is actually a really nice, decent, kind-hearted guy. 

"You just don't really understand him and I think that is really sad."

In announcing he would stand in the upcoming federal election, Mr Slipper said he faced a 'David and Goliath' battle because he was up against the major parties.

But he said it was about providing voters with real choice.

Mr Slipper took repeated shots at LNP candidate Mal Brough, blaming him for his role in the Ashbygate affair.

He said it was interesting Mr Brough had not sought leave to appeal the judge's damning findings against him.

The long-time LNP parliamentarian, who left the party to support Labor, answered questions about the sordid text messages between him and his adviser James Ashby.

"They were personal and private messages between two people who were friends.''

He said they were not messages between an employer and an employee.

Mr Slipper said he was proud of the fact that he had been repeatedly re-elected after running eight times on the Sunshine Coast.

"It is a great privilege to serve in the Australian Parliament for more than 20 years.''

But he said the past 18 months had a 'great impact on him'.

A teary Mr Slipper said he really appreciated the support of his wife and family.

"I am very confident to be judged by the people of Fisher.

"People have seen through the plot to get me,'' he said of the public reaction after a judge threw out the sexual harassment case against him by Mr Ashby.

On the charges against him over taxi charges fraud, he said there were often disputes between MPs and the department over what was appropriate.

"Peter Reith was allowed to repay $50,000, no questions asked.''

Mr Slipper said he had been disappointed by Mr Brough's action.

He said he had signed up Mr Brough to the LNP yet Mr Brough had later described the party as one built on lies and deceit.

"He sought to stack me out,'' he said of the LNP branch stacking claims in his seat.

Mrs Slipper took a blast at the media, saying she had been targeted by photographers with a long lens while she accused a local media crew of leaving fingerprints on her car as they were in hiding at their Buderim home.

Mrs Slipper said her husband had put up with 'absolute rubbish' every day while getting funding for the electorate.

She admitted Mr Slipper had made mistakes.

When pressed about that, Mr Slipper said: "We have all made mistakes, my friend.''

"He was crazy enough to marry me,'' Mrs Slipper added.

Mr Slipper also dismissed the Daily's phone poll which has given him little chance of success.

"The real poll is the poll on the 7th of September.''

In his official statement, Mr Slipper says he is overwhelmed by support

" And following many approaches from local residents, I have decided to nominate to provide local people with a real choice" he said in a statement.

"It is a great privilege to be chosen to represent the people of Fisher on eight occasions so far and I feel humbled by the support I am receiving. I am aware of the enormous challenge facing me as this is a "David and Goliath" battle against the major parties.

"This will be our most difficult campaign ever.

"As an Independent Speaker in the Westminster tradition I introduced reforms to the operation of the House of Representatives as I wanted to make the Australian Parliament an institution of which the Australian people could be truly proud.

"Unfortunately the Ashbygate affair in which the Liberal National Party candidate Mal Brough and other LNP and Liberal figures were deeply involved has prevented me to date from completing the reform process.

"This is despite the vindication I received when Justice Rares of the Federal Court threw out Ashby's case as an abuse of process.

"I note Mal Brough unlike some others adversely mentioned by the Judge did not seek leave to appeal the adverse findings against him by the Court.

"I am proud of the many achievements I have secured for Fisher including recently the $46.8 million for the Sunshine Coast Health and Social Wellbeing Learning Precinct, one of the biggest projects to be announced on the Sunshine Coast, Bruce Highway upgrades as well as improvements to help develop the Sunshine Coast Regional Tennis Centre at Caloundra.

"I want to make it clear that I am totally opposed to the plans by the LNP to sell off the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital to private interests.

"There is much more to be done on the Sunshine Coast particularly in the area of infrastructure and I look forward to continuing to provide effective local representation.

Anyone who would like to assist in my campaign should contact my office via peter.slipper.mp@aph.gov.au or ph. 54444888.

Peter Slipper among candidates at Maleny election breakfast

The independent Member for Fisher gave the greatest indication yet that he may contest the September 7 poll when he appeared at a meet the candidates breakfast at Maleny this week.

Mr Slipper is not considered having much chance of success as an independent against LNP candidate Mal Brough.

In his speech to the breakfast, Mr Slipper said democracy was well served by a hung parliament and hoped that he could hold the balance of power.

"It's a great privilege to serve in the parliament since I ceased to be Speaker," he said.

"Ministers personally have come to me for my vote because on a number of pieces of legislation my vote was the key vote on whether a legislation would pass or not.

"Since I became an independent, after I was Speaker, I was as busy as I was when I was Speaker, without some of the job satisfaction.

"But having said that, it's been great to be able to play a role in determining whether key pieces of legislation are passed or not."

Mr Slipper described the election as a David v Goliath-prospect, and the major parties as "tweedledee and tweedledum".

Questioned about his electoral chances, he said he did not believe they would be harmed by his ousting from the LNP.

He pointed to a Daily poll last week which found 44% of Fisher voters had yet to make up their minds, but failed to mention he attracted just 0.5% of the vote.



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