Ethics com­mit­tee to probe Palaszczuk’s KAP threat

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - STEVEN WARDILL

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 state­ment into his rea­sons but stressed his re­fer­ral did not as­sume guilt or in­no­cence.

“I have not taken this de­ci­sion lightly,” he said. “In my view 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 de­manded in both State Par­lia­ment and in pub­lic that KAP State MPs de­nounced Se­nate re­cruit Fraser An­ning’s con­tro­ver­sial “fi­nal so­lu­tion” com­ment or face be­ing stripped of fund­ing.

“I will be re­view­ing those re­sources un­less I hear from Rob­bie Kat­ter,” she said on Au­gust 21.

Queens­land’s cor­rup­tion watch­dog this month warned there was “prima fa­cie” ev­i­dence the Pre­mier’s com­ments breached the crim­i­nal code.

The Crime and Cor­rup­tion Com­mis­sion de­cided not to pur­sue crim­i­nal pro­ceed­ings and sug­gested her 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 re- fused to com­ment fur­ther.

The Op­po­si­tion and KAP both de­manded in­ves­ti­ga­tions and for Ms Palaszczuk to stand down dur­ing the de­lib­er­a­tions.

Ms Palaszczuk wrote to Mr Pitt on Wed­nes­day this week in­sist­ing her com­ments did not breach Par­lia­ment’s rules.

How­ever, Mr Pitt ruled that while el­e­ments of Mr Kat­ter’s com­plaints did not amount to con­tempt, there were se­ri­ous mat­ters need­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Annastacia Palaszczuk.

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