Parliament continues as Independent Gordon backs Labor

QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will continue to govern Queensland as if she had a large majority, despite the fact she has lost an MP from her party.

The saga surrounding Cook MP and former Labor member Billy Gordon came to a halt on Wednesday when he released a statement saying he would continue serving as an MP and would support his former party.

There has been speculation about whether and how a Labor government would operate if Mr Gordon held his seat but did not vote in support of the ALP.

Labor now has 43 seats, the LNP 42 and Mr Gordon is a crossbencher alongside independent Peter Wellington and the two Katter's Australian Party MPs.

Ms Palaszczuk, who moved to sack Mr Gordon after domestic violence allegations were made against him and his criminal history was revealed, would not say whether or not she would accept Mr Gordon's vote in Parliament House.

She said the voting system did not work in a way that would require Labor to ensure they had Mr Gordon's vote to pass legislation through.

"The government votes. The LNP votes and then the votes are tallied from Katter (MPs) and independents at a later stage," she said.

"You cannot interfere in a person's vote, it's contempt of the parliament."

Mr Gordon released a statement saying he decided to continue serving as an MP following advice from the Parliament Clerk that he was able to legally continue as the Cook MP.

"I will sit on the crossbenches with members of Katter's Australian Party and will play a constructive role in allowing the Palaszczuk government to govern with confidence, while at all times ensuring that I represent my constituents."

Federal MP Bob Katter released a statement about the hot topic, saying he could not help but think that the Queensland Government had thought they had a "little black puppet on a string" when it came to Mr Gordon.

"I think that they are going to find out that they have created a Gladiator," Mr Katter said.

Mr Gordon said sacking him and calling for his resignation from the Parliament after his criminal record was revealed was the Premier's prerogative, but that he was not obliged to reveal his past criminal convictions because they occurred years ago and had been expunged.

"This is a difficulty for anyone who has rehabilitated from juvenile wrongdoing who seeks public office: does one make a disclosure that the law does not require one to make? I put myself forward as a candidate for election, relying upon the law that says people like me are entitled to a second chance in life."

Ms Palaszczuk also announced the government would reintroduce Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, which would include $60 million for next financial year to support up to 8000 job seekers.

Attorney-General and training minister Yvette D'Ath said the program would get the right skills for the job market and they would determine what training was needed in needy areas to meet local employment demands. 

Former Labor MP Billy Gordon
Former Labor MP Billy Gordon
 

EARLIER: Billy Gordon will keep backing government, will not resign

QUEENSLAND MP Billy Gordon says will vote alongside the Labor Party but will not resign his seat in Parliament.

In a statement released this morning, the Cook MP confirmed he would not give up his seat in Parliament after allegations of domestic violence had been made against him and his past criminal record was revealed.

"My decision is based on advice from the Clerk of Parliament, who gave detailed reasons why I did not have to resign over past events and allegations," his statement said.

"I am also determined to honour my commitments to my constituents."
 

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Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made moves to sack him from the party after allegations emerged and his past criminal history, dating back to the 80s and 90s, was revealed.

But Mr Gordon resigned from the party before the sacking became official. The Premier also called for him to give up his seat in Parliament and for a by-election to be held in the Cook electorate.

But legally, he can retain his seat and vote as a crossbencher, which is what Mr Gordon intends to do.

"I will sit on the cross benches with members of Katter's Australian Party, and will play a constructive role in allowing the Palaszczuk government to govern with confidence, while at all times ensuring that I represent my constituents."

He said Queenslanders needed a stable government.

"As such, I will support the Palaszczuk Government according to the aspirations of my constituents, and my conscience."

In his statement Mr Gordon said Ms Palaszczuk's response to sack him after learning of his past criminal record was "her prerogative" but under the Queensland law, those convictions had expunged and he was not obliged to disclose them.

"This is a difficulty for anyone who has rehabilitated from juvenile wrongdoing who seeks public office: does one make a disclosure that the law does not require one to make? I put myself forward as a candidate for election, relying upon the law that says people like me are entitled to a second chance in life."

He said the leaking of juvenile records for political ends was deeply disturbing.

"My focus now is on demonstrating to my family, my children and my community that I am a good man and that I will honour their vote for me.

"I have remorse for past events, but I have learned many lessons since I was a young man."



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