Queensland’s 54th State Parliament opened in Brisbane today, with 51 new members of Parliament taking their seats in the Chamber.
In all, 89 MPs were sworn in including the first woman to be appointed Speaker in this State.
Jane Buckle reports.
The scale of the LNP majority was easy to see . Its members taking 78 seats in the 89 member chamber.
A packed public gallery watched proceedings as members of parliament were sworn in three at a time.
In an historic move, member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson was elected and sworn in as Queensland’s first female speaker.
After the formalities, Campbell Newman was straight to business, addressing parliamentary committees’ new roles.
Campbell Newman, Qld Premier:”Things that we had not made commitments on, things that we had not taken to the people, things that the people of Queensland are talking about right now that they might want change.”
Opposition leader Anna Palaszczuk says she’s concerned Mr Newman is already tearing up the notebook before parliament’s begun.
Anna Palaszczuk, Opposition Leader: “Legislation that he doesn’t want to put through the committee system won’t go through the committee system, so this is a major concern. It’s a threat to democracy and this is not the way that business of government operates.”
Mr Newman fired back, saying it’s a bit rich for the opposition to comment on not putting legislation through committees.
Campbell Newman, Qld Premier: “You’ve all been around; you know what happened in the past. You know that the local government changes were run through the house, they were never scrutinised by any committee.”
Despite the bickering, tomorrow will be a day of ceremony, as Governor Penelope Wensley officially opens Parliament for another three-year term.
With more than half of the MPs sworn in today being parliamentary first-timers, they’ll be watched closely when the parliament gets down to real business on Thursday, and the LNP faces its first question time.
Jane Buckle, QUT News.