Ros Bates quits as Qld arts minister

AAP, with a staff reporter

Queensland's troubled Arts Minister Ros Bates has resigned from cabinet.

Qld Premier Campbell Newman told reporters he had accepted Ms Bates' resignation with regret.

Mr Newman said he did not ask Ms Bates to quit, but also said he didn't ask her to stay.

"She has been under intense pressure," the premier told reporters.

Mr Newman said Ms Bates offered her resignation for health and family reasons.

The premier told reporters she'd done the right thing by herself, her family and the government.

"Ros has done an outstanding job under difficult circumstances," Mr Newman said.

"Unfortunately the demanding role has taken a toll personally and on her health, and she had decided not to risk those issues impacting on the performance of her duties.

"I commend her for her decision. She has done the right thing by her family, her constituents, and the government."

Ms Bates has faced months of pressure over allegations of nepotism involving her son's government job, her contact with lobbyists, and extended absences for health reasons.

Bruce Flegg resigned as housing minister late last year because he failed to declare all contacts his office had with his lobbyist son.

David Gibson also resigned as police minister over his poor driving record.

Mr Newman said Ms Bates had been feeling the pressure, but it had nothing to do with the opposition's attacks.

"The minister has conveyed to me that she has felt under a lot of pressures," he said.

"I think it has affected her health and her recovery from a serious illness last year and I think her family, in particular, has suffered as well. And that's the reason why she's going.

"I didn't ask her to stay given that she's been under intense pressure. It's been written all over her face."

Mr Newman said she performed well in parliament under intense questioning by the opposition over what was and was not listed in her lobbyist register.

"I don't believe the Labor party laid a glove on her actually," the premier said.

"I think they showed that they had nothing."

Newman unsure of cabinet reshuffle

Mr Newman would not say how he thought the latest ministerial resignation would reflect on his government.

"Other people will make a comment on that," he said.

He said he'd announce a replacement for Ms Bates in coming days, and he would consider a wider reshuffle.

Speaker Fiona Simpson yesterday said Ms Bates would not be referred to parliament's ethics committee for tabling an incorrect lobbyist register last year.

Ms Simpson said the lack of accuracy in the document was regrettable, but there was no evidence that the minister had intended to mislead the house.

Ms Bates has been defending herself since tabling the register in October.

She later amended it to include eight meetings, emails and phone calls with lobbyist Santo Santoro, and 14 with representatives from Santoro Consulting, saying a staffer had accidentally left out a page.

The revised register also contained three points of contact her office had with lobbyist Luke Myers, who is the brother of Premier Campbell Newman's chief of staff.

She's also faced months of pressure over the appointment of her son Ben Gommers to a plum job in the transport department.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission is investigating the appointment, made by sidelined transport department director-general Michael Caltabiano.

Mr Caltabiano has been stood aside, on full pay, pending the results of that probe.

He's been accused of misleading a budget estimates hearing about the nature of his relationship with Mr Gommers before giving the minister's son a job.

The bureaucrat last year told the estimates hearing he had a prior personal - not professional - relationship with Mr Gommers.

But subsequent media reports said Mr Caltabiano was listed alongside Mr Gommers on the register for Entree Vous, a lobby firm Mr Caltabiano had helped Ms Bates set up.

The bureaucrat has denied any wrongdoing.

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