Ethics committee to probe Palaszczuk’s KAP threat
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.