Premier referred to ethics committee

PREMIER Anastacia Palaszczuk will be investigated by State Parliament's powerful ethics committee over allegations she committed contempt when threatening to strip funds from Katter's Australian Party.

Speaker Curtis Pitt today revealed he was referring Ms Palaszczuk on the grounds her repeated comments about KAP may amount to threats, intimidation, molestation of a member, compulsion to menace and improper influence.

Mr Pitt took the extraordinary step of releasing a 12-page detailed statement into his reasons but stressed his referral did not amount to an assumption of guilt or innocence.

"I have not taken this decision lightly, I have given this decision serious consideration," he said.

"In my view there are sufficient questions of fact to be determined against the evidence such that it would be prudent to refer the question as to whether there has been a contempt to the ethics committee."

Ms Palaszczuk repeatedly in both State Parliament and in public demanded Katter's Australian Party state MPs denounce Senate recruit Fraser Anning's controversial "final solution" comment or be stripped of funding.

"I will be reviewing those resources unless I hear from Robbie Katter," Ms Palaszczuk said on August 21.

Mr Pitt stressed his referral of Ms Palaszczuk does not mean she is guilty of the offence. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Mr Pitt stressed his referral of Ms Palaszczuk does not mean she is guilty of the offence. Picture: Liam Kidston.

Queensland's corruption watchdog earlier this month warned there was "prima facie" evidence Ms Palaszczuk's comments breached the criminal code.

The Crime and Corruption Commission decided not to pursue criminal proceeding and suggested the Premier's fate should be a matter for the Legislative Assembly to decide.

Ms Palaszczuk initially dismissed the matter as comments made "in the heat of Question Time" but later refused to comment further.

The Opposition and KAP both demanded parliamentary investigations and for Ms Palaszczuk to stand down during the deliberations.

Ms Palaszczuk wrote to Mr Pitt on Wednesday this week insisting her comments did not breach Parliament's rules.

However, Mr Pitt ruled that while elements of Mr Katter's complaints did not amount to contempt, there were serious matters that were neither technical or trivial that needed investigation.

"In relation to each of the potential contempts it would be for the committee to consider whether the Premier's conduct could be considered an improper interference with the free performance of KAP Members duties as members of parliament," he said.

The ethics committee's membership includes three MPs from both Labor and the LNP.

Based on the committee's findings, the Parliament has the power to force apologises, fine and even jail MPs for committing acts of contempt.



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