Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Suspension of Standing Orders
Pursuant to contingent notice, I move:
That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent me moving a motion relating to the conduct of the business of the Senate—namely, a motion to give precedence to a motion circulated in the chamber to establish a select committee on certain aspects of Queensland government administration.
The Australian Constitution states that there must me a clear separation of powers between the parliament, the executive government and the judiciary in Australia. The separation of powers and functions ensures that no single body is able to exercise total authority or to misuse power. The system is considered to be one of the fundamental elements of a fair, democratic and honest government.
In my home state of 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, quarry approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation, and various other matters. In fact, on 9 September, at only a few minutes to midnight, the Queensland government moved a last-minute amendment to the Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014 to remove the rights of land owners to object to mining on their property.
The Commonwealth allocates significant 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. I constantly receive many phone calls from Queensland residents who are crying on the phone and desperate for my help to stop the terrible things that are happening in my home state of Queensland.