Bill of Rights wrong approach for Westminster democracy
QUEENSLAND Labor’s weekend conference threw up some real policy curve balls.
It was encouraging to see Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk commit to tackling “ice” addiction via programs funded from the proceeds of crime. But the debate around Australia’s recognition of Palestine was more than curious. I’m not sure Middle Eastern leaders have taken stock now Queensland Labor has spoken.
On the question of mining, it’s clear Labor, with its newly empowered Left faction, is balancing pragmatism with ideology. On the one hand, Labor pledged to end sandmining on North Stradbroke Island earlier in 2019 – potentially putting blue-collar workers out of a job. On the other, environmentalists were urged to be “pragmatic” over coal mining.
Getting the balance right between left and right interests is just one of the many challenges the Palaszczuk Government faces.
That’s why I’m a little concerned with the conference’s unanimous decision, spearheaded by the Together Union, to go down the Bill of Rights path, a direction no doubt inspired by Newman government changes to union and political donation laws.
While I’m not opposed to a Bill of Rights – Queensland’s lack of an upper house and history of dictatorial governments are good reasons for a Human Rights Act – I’m unconvinced of the urgency of