There’ll be plenty of fresh faces on George Street. when state parliament resumes on Wednesday.
And for the first time in more than a century, one of them will be the Premier.
Brock Taylor reports
After their landslide victory in March the new LNP government will officially be sworn in tomorrow.
Premier Campbell Newman will finally have a chance to lead his party from inside the chamber after spending last year representing the LNP from the outside.
Campbell Newman, Qld Premier: “I’m really keen to get in there and I’ll just say up front that it’s going to be very hard for me to not say Madam Chairman, you’ve got to understand that I’ve been saying Madam chairman for many years down at the BCC and I can’t make a commitment that I will say Madam Speaker so there you go.”
Minister for Education, Training and Employment, John-Paul Langbroek, says the new comers are all excited about the week ahead.
John-Paul Langbroek, Minister for Education, Training and Employment: “I think they’ve had four days of induction training at parliament itself so they’re all looking forward to being sworn in tomorrow and then the ceremonial aspects go on Wednesday then on Thursday we’re down to business.”
Of the 89 state members, 51 will be sitting in parliament for the first time, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of the government. 48 of those members are from the LNP and they will be joined by Rob Katter, son of Federal MP Bob Katter, Labor’s Bill Byrne and South Brisbane by-election winner Jackie Trad.
The Liberal National Party holds 78 seats in parliament, Labor just 7.
Mr Langbroek denied that the overwhelming majority would diminish the role of parliamentary debate.
John-Paul Langbroek, Minister for Education, Training and Employment : I think it’s important that what we see is rational debate, good policy and I know that Premeier Newman said we’re going to have a different style of politics in the chamber and I think Queensladners will welcome that.”
Outgoing Speaker John Mickel says the new government has undertaken the right steps to ensure parliament remains viable but maintains there is more to be done.
John Mickel, Outgoing Speaker: “The executive members of parliament should not be administering parliament, there should be a separation and if we can achieve that I think we’ve undone the damage that was done to the institution by the unfortunate decisions of the last government.”
He says the changes brought in by the Bligh government to reduce the role of the speaker must be repealed.
John Mickel, Outgoing Speaker: “I’m hoping that the new government will recognise that the speaker should be the one who presides over the entire precinct and secondly should preside over the committee of the legislative assembly.”
The Governor, Penelope Wensley, will officially swear in all members of parliament before the new speaker takes the chair.
Brock Taylor, QUT News.