Newman denies Katter party official status in parliament

Ray Hopper's defection to Katter's Australian Party won't give KAP official party status after the Newman government changed the rules.
Ray Hopper's defection to Katter's Australian Party won't give KAP official party status after the Newman government changed the rules. Greg Miller

THE LNP stopped Katter's Australian Party from getting thousands of dollars in extra resources after defector Member for Condamine Ray Hopper joined the minority party this week.

In a bill passed late on Thursday night, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney changed registered political party laws, which since 2003 allowed party's with three members to access the extra money.

After Mr Hopper left the LNP earlier this week, joining Katter's Party, he increased the party's numbers from two to three, effectively qualifying the party for extra resources under state laws.

But Mr Seeney's changes prevented the minority party from accessing the funds; on the grounds the three MPs did not contest the last state election under the party banner.

"The three Katter's Australian Party members are now claiming recognised political party status under the act and the receipt of the relevant salary and other benefits afforded to a recognised political party under the act and the Members' Entitlements Handbook," Mr Seeney told parliament.

The bill was rushed through the parliament without being referred to a committee, on the grounds it was urgent, and on the same day the clerk of the parliament approved the party to access the extra funds.

The Labor opposition did not oppose the bill, but Gladstone Independent MP Liz Cunningham opposed it on the grounds the changes were introduced inappropriately, but she did not necessarily oppose the contents of the bill.

KAP MP Shane Knuth said the LNP were "living in a delusion", asking the chamber if the party should be afraid "the numbers might go from three to four, five, six, seven or eight".

"The opportunity should have been given for this bill to go to a committee so that the bill could be talked about and thoroughly investigated to ensure we have an effective opposition," he said.

Topics:  campbell newman jeff seeney katter's australian party politics queensland parliament ray hopper

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