Queensland speaker Fiona Simpson.
Queensland speaker Fiona Simpson. Nicola Brander

Speaker: Sacking PCMC was legally okay

QUEENSLAND speaker Fiona Simpson has confirmed the Newman Government was within its legal rights to sack the parliamentary crime and misconduct committee.

The Newman Government took the extraordinary step last month of sacking the entire committee on the final sitting day of the year.

It accused non-government MPs of bias against Queensland Crime and Misconduct Commission acting chairman Ken Levy.

The committee were investigating Dr Levy after earlier accusing him of misleading State Parliament.

Independent MP Peter Wellington, who sat on the committee, wrote to Ms Simpson asking her to rule on whether the Newman Government's actions were illegal.

In documents tabled in State Parliament today Ms Simpson said Mr Wellington raised issues that had serious implications if proven.

She said there was also keen public interest surrounding the matter.

Ms Simpson said she had sought advice from external barrister Mark Hinson, who concluded the actions were lawful.

"In my opinion, the motion was lawful and applied to all members of the PCMC regardless of whether they were nominated by the Leader of the House or the Leader of the Opposition," he said.


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