The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties has accused the Premier of acting in the same manner as controversial politician Sir Joh Bjelke-Peterson by stripping Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) of five parliamentary staff.
Annastacia Palaszczuk announced she would axe the extra positions she granted to KAP last term after the party refused to denounce the contentious maiden speech of its federal senator Fraser Anning.
Civil Liberties Council Vice-President Terry O’Gorman said the Premier’s decision was anti-democratic and should be reversed.
“She said, ‘Senator Anning gave an appalling speech and while there is freedom of speech, there are consequences’,” Mr O’Gorman said.
“Now come on, that’s almost a Joh ‘don’t you worry about’ that comment.”
Mr O’Gorman said Ms Palaszczuk’s actions contradicted recommendations of the 1989 Fitzgerald Inquiry report into corruption in Queensland.
“In that report, Commissioner Fitzgerald reviewed the history of the then Labor opposition complaints that the then Bjelke-Peterson government kept taking resources from the Labor opposition so they couldn’t do their job,” he said.
“And what do we now have? We have a Labor Government doing the same thing.
“It is fundamentally wrong and we call on the Premier to immediately reverse her decision.”
The controversy between the Government and KAP erupted when Senator Anning used his maiden speech to call for a complete overhaul of the immigration system, insisting most migrants should be from a European Christian background and all Muslims should be banned.
In that speech, he also used the phrase “final solution”, the same phrase used by the Nazis under Adolf Hitler, meaning annihilating Jewish people from Europe.
Ms Palaszczuk had called upon KAP to denounce Senator Anning or face losing the five extra discretionary staff, including two electorate positions, granted to the state party last term during the hung parliament.
“Because his party will not denounce Senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party,” she told the Labor State Conference on Sunday.