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Qld gave us a mandate: Newman

QUEENSLAND Premier Campbell Newman rejected any suggestion he was abusing the power of a large majority as he announced plans to fast-track bills through parliament.

Mr Newman said the cost of living bill the LNP planned to deliver on Thursday during parliament's first sitting was the first of many bills that would bypass the committee system, which is designed to scrutinise bills and keep the government accountable.

He said he believed Queensland had given the LNP a mandate to deliver any election promises without question.

"Our ... government has a very big agenda, there's a lot of things we said we'd be undertaking," he said.

"Those things we said we would be doing will go into the parliament and will not necessarily go to committee.

"They will be fast-tracked through the parliament and we believe that's fair enough because we had a very clear agenda that we put to Queenslanders.

"We went to the big committee, the people of Queensland."

When asked if he was abusing a healthy majority, Mr Newman said he would "accept the people of Queensland's judgment on those matters".

"We believe we have a mandate for things we made clear unequivocal commitments on," he said.

"There might be things that require more work and we're happy to do it in most cases, but I'm saying don't be surprised if we don't just take it straight through.

"(With) new legislation and new issues that come up, unless there is a real compelling urgency about them, they should go to committee, they should be debated and there should be public hearings, and you'll see that happen.

"We have to make certain changes otherwise the Opposition will not be able to form committees under the current arrangements."

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Premier was tearing up parliament's rule book even before he had taken his seat.

He said he wanted to bypass an "essential system of scrutiny and accountability".

"I now have grave fears for the fate of estimates committees and the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee under the Newman government," she said.

"Queenslanders who expressed concern the LNP would return to Bjelke-Petersen standards of accountability have had those fears confirmed.

"In the Bjelke-Petersen days our state parliament had no built-in systems of accountability. But since the Fitzgerald report we have seen the evolution of real accountability mechanisms in our parliament.

"Most recently, the last parliament established a system of legislative committees to scrutinise bills. This system had bi-partisan support and was actively supported by the then Opposition LNP.

Topics:  campbell newman parliament



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