Palaszczuk under fire
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk will be investigated by State Parliament’s powerful ethics committee over allegations she was in contempt by threatening to strip funds from Katter’s Austra- lian Party. Speaker Curtis Pitt said there were “sufficient questions” to be asked over the Premier’s conduct. “I have not taken this decision lightly. I have given this decision serious consideration,” he said.
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk will be investigated by State Parliament’s powerful ethics committee over allegations she committed contempt when threatening to strip funds from Katter’s Australian Party.
Speaker Curtis Pitt yesterday revealed he was referring Ms Palaszczuk on the grounds her repeated comments about KAP may amount to threats, intimidation, molestation of a member, compulsion to menace and improper influence.
Mr Pitt released a 12-page detailed statement into his reasons but stressed his referral did not amount to an assumption of guilt or innocence.
“I have not taken this decision lightly, I have given this decision serious consideration,” he said. “There are sufficient questions of fact to be determined against the evidence such that it would be prudent to refer the question as to whether there has been a contempt to the ethics committee.”
Ms Palaszczuk repeatedly in State Parliament and in public demanded Katter’s Australian Party State MPs denounce Senate recruit Fraser Anning’s controversial “final solution” comment or face being stripped of funding.
“I will be re- viewing those resources unless I hear from Robbie Katter,” Ms Palaszczuk (pictured) said on August 21. Queensland’s corruption watchdog earlier this month warned there was “prima facie” evidence Ms Palaszczuk’s comments breached the criminal code. The Crime and Corruption Commission decided not to pursue criminal proceeding and suggested the Premier’s fate should be a matter for the Legislative Assembly to decide.
Ms Palaszczuk initially dismissed the matter as comments made “in the heat of Question Time” but later refused to comment further. She wrote to Mr Pitt insisting her comments did not breach Parliament’s rules.
The Opposition and KAP demanded investigations and for Ms Palaszczuk to stand down during the deliberations.
Mr Pitt ruled while elements of Mr Katter’s complaints did not amount to contempt, there were serious matters that were neither technical or trivial that needed investigation. Ms Palaszczuk will now earn the dubious record of being one of the few premiers ever investigated by a Parliamentary committee for a serious charge. Parliament has the power to force an apology. It can also fine or jail dissident MPs but that is highly unlikely.