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Robert Desmond Messenger (born 26 October 1962) is an Australian politician. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland representing the Electoral district of Burnett. Originally a member of the Queensland branch of the Nationals, he became a member of the Liberal National Party of Queensland when that party was formed from the union of the Queensland branches of the National Party and the Liberal Party in 2008. He resigned from the Liberal Nationals in 2010 and became an Independent. He lost his seat to the LNP at the 2012 election. Since then he has been involved in the Palmer United Party and was an adviser to Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Rob Messenger
LeaderJacqui Lambie
Preceded byParty established
Succeeded bySteve Martin
Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly
for Burnett
In office
7 February 2004 – 24 March 2012
Preceded byTrevor Strong
Succeeded byStephen Bennett
Personal details
Robert Desmond Messenger

(1962-10-26) 26 October 1962 (age 56)
Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia
Political partyNational (2001–2008)
Liberal National (2008–2010)
Independent (2010–2013)
Palmer United (2013–2014)
Fern Messenger
(m. 2010)
Children2 stepdaughters
EducationNorth Bundaberg State School
OccupationExecutive producer
(WIN Television)
(Seven Network)
Electrical tradesperson
(Royal Australian Air Force)
Trades company director
Military service
AllegianceCommonwealth of Australia
Branch/serviceRoyal Australian Air Force
Years of service1978–1987
RankAustralia RAAF OR-5.svg Corporal

Political careerEdit

Messenger, who had worked as an electrician both in the RAAF and through his own small business was chosen by the National Party to re-take the traditional safe seat of Burnett in the 2004 Queensland election. Burnett had been lost to the Labor Party in the 2001 Queensland state election. Messenger succeeded in winning Burnett from the Labor candidate Trevor Strong, managing a swing of 4.3 per cent.[1]

He was re-elected in 2006 with an additional swing of 4.7 per cent.[2]

Bundaberg Hospital ScandalEdit

In 2005 Messenger was approached by Toni Hoffman, an experienced surgical nurse, distressed about one of the surgeons at the Bundaberg Base Hospital where she worked. She had previously consulted with hospital management with no success.

As a result of a long discussion with Hoffman, he named Jayant Patel under Parliamentary privilege. Messenger first raised the matter in Parliament on 22 March 2005, for the protection of patients at the Bundaberg Base Hospital intensive care unit and the wellbeing of the medical staff.[citation needed]

Shortly afterwards it was discovered by Courier Mail journalist Hedley Thomas that Patel had previously been charged with misconduct in the United States.

Patel's activities subsequently came into the public arena and he eventually became the central figure in the "Dr. Death" scandal which resulted in a Commission of Inquiry.

On 8 February 2007 Messenger was censured by the Queensland Parliament for a sarcastic comment made to the Premier over the scandal.[3]

Resignation from LNP to sit as an independentEdit

In May 2010, Messenger and Beaudesert MP Aidan McLindon resigned from the LNP to sit as Independents, claiming that the party had become victim to "flawed political process".[4] Shortly afterwards it was revealed Messenger and McLindon were under party scrutiny, with Messenger's travel claims raising some concerns.[5] Messenger denied that he had done anything wrong and called upon the LNP president Bruce McIvor to resign.[6]

Messenger has campaigned for a sex offenders register that would allow parents to protect their children from known sexual offenders.[7][8]

In June 2011, Messenger indicated interest in joining the newly formed Katter's Australian Party if his policy demands were met, including a ban on Sharia law in Australia, and an increase in military numbers.[9]

Messenger lost his seat at the 2012 state election to his former party.

Palmer UnitedEdit

In May 2013, Messenger joined the Palmer United Party (then called the United Australia Party) and was announced as its first federal candidate, contesting the seat of Hinkler.[10] He won 17.65% of the vote, coming third behind the LNP and Labor candidates.[11] In April 2014 he was appointed chief of staff to incoming Palmer United senator Jacqui Lambie of Tasmania.[12] Following tensions between Clive Palmer and Jacqui Lambie, he was expelled from the party in November 2014.[13]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "2004 Burnett Electoral Results". ABC News. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  2. ^ "2006 Electoral Results". ABC News. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  3. ^ "Nationals MP censured for apology to prostitutes". ABC News. 8 February 2007. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "MP's visits for work or pleasure?". 13 May 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  6. ^ "Messenger lashes out on travel row". News Mail. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  7. ^ "Campaign to out sex offenders". News Mail. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  8. ^ Buchanan, Kallee; O'Brien, Chris (3 November 2010). "Government rejects call for public sex offender register". ABC News. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Messenger lured by Katter's party". 6 June 2011. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  10. ^ "Home - United Australia Party". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  11. ^ Commission, Australian Electoral. "House of Representatives Division First Preferences". Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  12. ^ Alcorn, Gay (18 April 2014). "The underdog bites back". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2019.
  13. ^ Bourke, Lakita (13 November 2014). "Jacqui Lambie's chief of staff Rob Messenger expelled by Palmer over 'misleading statement'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 13 November 2014.
Parliament of Queensland
Preceded by
Trevor Strong
Member for Burnett
Succeeded by
Stephen Bennett