Dee Madigan ruled in contempt of Queensland Parliament over Bleijie ‘toddler tantrum’ tweet
High-profile advertising executive and Labor strategist Dee Madigan says she is disappointed she will not be jailed in Queensland Parliament’s wine cellar after being ruled in contempt over a tweet ridiculing Opposition frontbencher Jarrod Bleijie.
- Dee Madigan referred to ethics committee over tweet using parliamentary video
- Madigan refused to delete tweet and it remains online
- Ethics committee ruled tweet breached Parliament’s broadcast terms
Ms Madigan was referred to Parliament’s ethics committee in June over the tweet, which showed a snippet of parliamentary video depicting the LNP MP tearing up sheets of paper.
Accompanying the video tweet, Ms Madigan wrote: “Your taxes at work. A toddler tantrum for @JarrodBleijieMP.”
It was not the words alone, but their use together with the parliamentary video that breached the rules.
Ms Madigan refused to delete her retweet of the vision with her accompanying comments, despite repeated requests from the Opposition, the Clerk of Parliament and the Speaker’s office.
“It’s ridiculous,” she said in response to the ruling.
“I’m still not removing the tweet, they’re doing nothing about it — my argument is if it’s a stupid law, then you change the law.
“It didn’t bother me. Literally I didn’t care, because it’s so stupid and there’s nothing they were going to do about it anyway.
“It shouldn’t have got this far — it’s a complete waste of parliamentary time for it to even have got this far.
“To be honest, I was kind of hoping to be jailed — the parliamentary jail cells have been turned into wine cellars, and the idea of a couple of days peace and quiet in a wine cellar was pretty appealing.”
Jarrod Bleijie’s complaint over a video tweet was referred to the parliamentary ethics committee. (AAP Image: Dan Peled)
Queensland’s strict parliamentary broadcast rules stipulate material, “must only be used for the purposes of fair and accurate reports of proceedings” and must not be used for political advertising, satire or ridicule and commercial sponsorship.
In the ruling, the ethics committee found Ms Madigan was in contempt of Parliament but found the breach “relatively minor” and recommended no further action be taken.
Ms Madigan has worked on both state and federal election campaigns for the Labor Party and is a regular media commentator on the ABC’s Gruen program.
In the committee’s findings, ethics committee chairman Joe Kelly said the vision and accompanying words constituted a breach of Parliament’s broadcast terms and conditions.
“We find it disappointing to see any person, more so one with a public profile, deliberately disrespect the rules of a democratically elected Parliament,” he said.
The committee also noted rules surrounding the use of parliamentary footage for satire and ridicule had been repealed by other jurisdictions.
“It may be timely for the Queensland Parliament to consider the matter,” Mr Kelly said.
Mr Bleijie has been approached for comment.