Corrupt former minister Gordon Nuttall should be jailed for up to 14 years for selling the integrity of Queensland, a court has been told.


Nuttall, 57, was last month found guilty of five perjury charges and five counts of official corruption.

During a sentencing hearing in the Brisbane District Court on Thursday, prosecutor Ross Martin, SC, said Nuttall had “sold the integrity of the state”.

“In truth it’s clear that corruption contaminated his entire career as a minister, and had its roots even before then,” Mr Martin said.

He said Nuttall deserved the maximum sentence of 14 years, cumulative on the seven-year sentence he’s already serving for receiving secret commissions.

Nuttall’s barrister John Rivett argued his client should receive a seven-year concurrent sentence, which would mean he would serve no additional time.

He argued that even though Nuttall championed the interests of his friend, businessman Brendan McKennariey, he did not overtly abuse government process.

“My client, even though he promoted Mr McKennariey as a person with whom the government could contract, he then insisted the proper processes be carried out by government in terms of negotiating these contracts,” he said.

During his second corruption trial earlier this year, the court was told that between October 1998 and April 2006, Nuttall corruptly received $17,200 in payments while he was the Queensland minister for industrial relations and health from Mr McKennariey.

The crown contended he received a further $130,000 after his term with the government ended.

In return for the payments, Nuttall used his ministerial influence to help Mr McKennariey win government contracts.

The perjury charges related to testimony given to the Crime and Misconduct Commission in September 2006.

Judge Kerry O’Brien adjourned sentencing until December 16.

Outside court, Nuttall’s son Andrew said he would not comment on the matter until the date of sentence.

Premier Anna Bligh, once a staunch supporter of Nuttall, said she hoped Judge O’Brien would “throw the book” at her former colleague.

“I think we’ve seen evidence brought before the court, which satisfied a jury, that Mr Nuttall has been involved in dishonesty for a number of years,” she said.

“That’s nothing short of a disgrace and frankly, I hope they throw the book at him.”