Senate debates

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Committees

Certain Aspects of the Queensland Government Select Committee; Appointment

3:44 pm

Photo of Glenn LazarusGlenn Lazarus (Queensland, Palmer United Party) Share this | Hansard source

The Australian Constitution states that there must be a clear separation of powers between the parliament, the executive government and the judiciary in Australia. The separation of powers and functions ensures no single body is able to exercise total authority or to misuse power. This system is considered to be one of the fundamental elements of a fair, democratic and honest government.

In Queensland our parliament consists of one house, the lower house. There is no upper house to provide the critical checks and balances needed for open, representative and transparent governance in parliament. Over the last 18 months, serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters. In fact, on 9 September, at four minutes to midnight, the Queensland government introduced a last-minute amendment to the mineral and energy resources bill to remove the legal rights of land owners to object to mining projects being undertaken on their land. The Commonwealth allocates funds to the state of Queensland and Australian taxpayers need and deserve clarification in relation to the appropriate use of these funds by the Queensland government. The Commonwealth has an obligation to ensure that funds are being used appropriate purposes. The select committee will consult with the Queensland community to undertake these assessments. It is for this reason the chamber must ensure that this motion is established and a select committee on certain aspects of Queensland government administration be considered. Standing orders must be suspended to enable this to happen.

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