By Tess Lawrence, edited for online by Sarah Richards
Queensland’s new-look Parliament will officially be sworn in tomorrow, just under two months after the Liberal National Party’s landslide win in the state election.
It will serve as another reminder for the Labor party of their crushing defeat, after only managing to retain seven state seats.
Of the 89 members walking into Queensland Parliament tomorrow, 76 will be from the LNP.
On the eve of his crushing victory, Premier Campbell Newman promised to govern with humility, grace and dignity.
But the LNP has already denied the opposition access to parliamentary offices.
Queensland Council for Civil Liberties president Michael Cope is concerned the newly devised LNP committee structure will mute legitimate debate.
“You would think that the new committee system was one of the good improvements of the previous government of the parliament and you’ve now got the difficulty that there’s not going to be enough opposition members to sit on them,” Mr Cope says.
Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson will be elected Parliamentary Speaker and has promised to ensure her party’s staggering majority will not be abused.
She says while the majority of voices heard will be LNP members, she will ensure every MP gets a fair go.
“Well these are the numbers that the people have given the parliament, the democratic process has delivered this,” Ms Simpson says.
“I have been in the parliament when the shoe was on the other foot, when the landslide went the other way.”
She says she is also looking forward to the role of speaker being returned to its former glory under this government, a personal assurance from Mr Newman.
“I’ve been given the commitment by the Premier that the position of speaker would be restored and I certainly look forward to seeing the Queensland Parliament able to operate in a way that those conventions dictate,” Ms Simpson says.
Newly appointed leader of the opposition Annastacia Palaszczuk could not be reached for comment.
On the eve of the new government been sworn in, the opposition is yet to have office phone lines connected