September 13, 2018
Katter’s Australian Party has struck back over the loss of four staff members in Queensland by referring four MPs – including Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington – to the Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission.
Also referred were Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander and Member for Warrego Ann Leahy.
KAP President Shane Paulger claimed the MPs may have breached the criminal code “by using threats to influence a Member of Parliament”.
“Under the code an officer of government cannot intimidate or threaten a member of Parliament in any way, particularly with financial resources, which the Premier has clearly done,” a statement from Mr Paulger said.
The State Government removed KAP’s right to the discretionary staff positions after KAP Senator Fraser Anning’s controversial maiden speech in Canberra which targeted Muslim immigration and used the term “final solution”.
Premier Palaszczuk called on KAP to denounce the speech, but the party refused.
“Because his party will not denounce senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party,” she told the recent Labor State Conference, announcing the withdrawal of the extra staff which had been granted to the Queensland branch of KAP during the hung parliament.
Mr Paulger’s statement said ” four diligent parliamentary staffers lost their jobs through no fault of their own”.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and the LNP wanted to punish Katter’s Australian Party because the Party has a different immigration policy stance to the major parties’ views.
“No matter what your view, Queensland should not have to tolerate the blatant hypocrisy of Labor and the LNP working together to try and curb free speech and shut down debate on important issues such as immigration.
“Minor parties exist to ensure that everyone can have their say, and to provide equal and fair representation for all Queenslanders in Parliament.”
Speaking in Townsville, Mrs Frecklington said the extra funding for KAP had been “a sweetheart deal” by Premier Palaszczuk when she relied on KAP’s vote during the hung parliament.
She said it should have been dropped at the last State election.