Ports boss not political appointment: Minister

PORTS Minister Mark Bailey has defended the appointment of a former Labor candidate as Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO.

Former Labor candidate Peter O'Sullivan was appointed as the port's CEO earlier this year.

At parliamentary budget estimates hearings on Thursday, shadow ports minister Andrew Powell asked Mr Bailey if being a Labor candidate was part of the job's "selection criteria".

But Mr Bailey rejected the claims and said the government had no part in Mr O'Sullivan's selection.

"Does he really suggest that was a part of the selection process?" Mr Bailey said.

"Having been a previous political candidate does not disqualify a quality candidate from applying for a job."

Mr Bailey said an independent recruiting firm had selected Mr O'Sullivan, a former school teacher, and a panel unanimously picked him as the top choice.

He said the selection process was "rigorous", "broad" and "independent" and had involved candidates from across the country.

The position was advertised online and in state and national newspapers. Mr Bailey said 70 people applied for the position.

Mr O'Sullivan was at the estimates hearing at Parliament House in Brisbane to answer any questions relating to the port.

The previous CEO, Leo Zussino, a Labor supporter, did not have his contract renewed as CEO under the Newman Government and LNP donor Mark Brodie was named as GPC chairman.

After the Palaszczuk Government came to power Mr Zussino replaced Mr Brodie as chairman. - ARM NEWSDESK