MEDIA RELEASE BY TERRY O’GORMAN VICE-PRESIDENT, QUEENSLAND COUNCIL FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES

The Civil Liberties Council today called on both the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Deborah Frecklington to declare their public support concerning CCC Chair Alan MacSporran QC’s call for the Queensland Independent Remuneration Tribunal to take over setting staff entitlements for Queensland political parties.

QCCL Vice-President Terry O’Gorman said that when the issue first broke, the QCCL said that the Premier should immediately review her decision to strip the KAP of three Parliamentary staff as it represented a breach of a major pillar of the 1989 Fitzgerald Report which mandated that non Government party members must be properly resourced to enable them to do their job.

“The CCC Chair’s comments yesterday that the allocation of resources to elected members of Parliament is a fundamental plank in a democratic system and that there should not be political interference with Opposition parties’ resource allocation should be supported and acted upon immediately by both the Premier and the Opposition Leader”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“Indeed, there is a necessity for the Premier today to immediately reverse her decision to strip KAP of its three Parliamentary staff and restore their staff entitlements”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman said that any Parliamentary Committee set up to examine the fallout from the issue should also look at the Opposition’s role in the matter.

“When the decision to strip KAP of its Parliamentary staffing was announced, Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander said the Opposition had shamed the Government into taking action to strip KAP of its Parliamentary staff”, Mr O’Gorman said.

“If Mr Mander is calling for a Parliamentary Committee to examine the matter, the Opposition’s ‘behind the scenes’ role in the ultimate decision by the Premier to strip KAP of its Parliamentary staff must be examined and exposed”, Mr O’Gorman said.

Mr O’Gorman can be contacted during business hours on 07 3034 0000 or after hours on 0418 787182