Labor votes against “Truth in Parliament” Bill

4 Dec 2008 3:14 PMJann Stuckey

4 December 2008

Member for Currumbin, Jann Stuckey fought for truth and honesty from politicians when she supported the criminal Code (Truth in Parliament) Bill introduced by Leader of the LNP, Lawrence Springborg.

The bill sought to make it an offence to give false evidence to Parliament and overturn Labor’s ‘Freedom to Lie Bill’ of 2006 but was voted down by Labor’s huge majority. 

“Parliamentary privilege should not be abused, nor should Members in this Parliament expect that they should receive even further supra legal protection against action by this Parliament, and indeed the Courts, where a Member knowingly provides false evidence to Parliament,” said Ms Stuckey.

“Like all the other Gold Coast members—the members for Burleigh, Southport, Broadwater, Albert— the member for Mudgeeraba did not have the courage or conviction to speak to the “Freedom to Lie Bill in 2006 and neither did they tonight.

“Yet all of them eagerly voted for the appalling 2006 legislation. When the Labor Member for Mudgeeraba Di Reilly, was asked at a public event for over 200 people on 23 September 2006 if she voted for the ‘Freedom to Lie Bill,’ she said she did not.

“But that is what the whole bill, as brought in by this Beattie-Bligh government in 2006, was all about: being able to tell porky pies and get away with it and not have to face the judiciary like the rest of Queensland.

“The Member for Mudgeeraba can try to wriggle out of this one as much as she likes, but I have witnesses—several of them—who, like me, were disgusted to think that a member of parliament would tell a bold-faced untruth at a large public gathering.”

Mr Springborg said Anna Bligh had promised a new era of openness and accountability when she became Premier, but had failed to back up her words with actions.

“Up until two years ago, Ministers could be prosecuted under criminal law if they deliberately lied to a Parliamentary committee,” Mr Springborg said.

“However, after former Health Minister Gordon Nuttall was caught out lying to an Estimates Committee, the Labor Government changed the laws.”

“I am truly disappointed for the people of Queensland who had a realistic chance of getting integrity, truth and honesty restored through this legislation, have once again had it eroded by the Beattie-Bligh government,” said Ms Stuckey.

Ends

Media contact Jann Stuckey 0439 755919