Wellington wants an end to the ‘bickering’ as speaker
ORDER in the House as opposed to sneering, arrogant bickering will be the order of the day in the new Queensland Parliament, according to Peter Wellington, Labor's nominee for the Speaker's job.
The Nicklin MP, whose vote gave ALP leader Annastacia Palaszczuk the power to form government, said if elected he expected to control a Parliament vastly different from that of the past three years.
"I'm expecting to see good government and genuine debate from both sides and the cross benches," Mr Wellington said yesterday.
"The numbers in this Parliament will be so tight, no one can afford to be sent outside for 'a cup of coffee' (for disorderly conduct)."
Mr Wellington said his nomination by the Premier would not make him Labor's lap dog.
Instead he said it should expect that if the Opposition proposed good laws he would support them.
"I won't be just a rubber stamp for Labor," Mr Wellington said.
The ALP has 44 seats in the new Parliament due to sit for the first time on March 24. The LNP has 42 seats and Katter's Australian Party two.
If KAP votes with the LNP Mr Wellington's vote would be required to break the deadlock.
He wants new bills and law proposals from both sides of the House to be considered by committees represented by both Labor and the LNP and KAP.
Mr Wellington said LNP leader Lawrence Springborg had already signalled he won't simply oppose legislation put forward by Labor.
"He has sent a clear message that things will be different. Ms Palaszczuk has also made clear to me that her Ministers would be respectful and not display an air of arrogance," Mr Wellington said.
"The numbers are tight. No-one will want to carry on."
Mr Wellington said legislative suggestions from both sides would be referred to the relevant committee and properly considered.
Department officers would be expected to give frank advice to enable committees to return to Parliament with considered proposals.
"I'll support good laws from either side," he said.
Ministers would also be expected to answer questions put to them directly and not as they chose.
Mr Wellington said he would ask that answers be relevant and for Ministers to take matters on notice if they could not respond directly, and to then come back with an appropriate response later in the session.
The prospective Speaker has also received Ms Palaszczuk's support to return news cameras, removed by the Newman government, to the parliamentary chamber to ensure "a more transparent, accessible and accountable parliament".
HOW IT WORKS
- The Speaker is elected by secret ballot of all 89 parliamentarians
- A vote would be required only if there is more than one nomination
- As is the case in other elections, if the voter puts anything on the ballot paper other than the required vote it becomes invalid
- If there is a tie, a second vote is taken after which the Speaker would be chosen by a draw from a box