The political point-scoring and mud-slinging in Queensland’s parliament shows no sign of abating as the Billy Gordon scandal continues.
The Liberal National Party opposition have ramped up pressure on the state’s fledgling Labor government which is scrambling to win over two Katter’s Australian Party MPs to hold on to power.
Cook MP Mr Gordon was forced to resign from the party after allegations of domestic violence by an ex-partner and a failure to disclose his criminal history emerged last Friday.
But he’s resisting calls from both major parties – who aim to win a by-election to gain power – to quit parliament.
The LNP on Thursday seized on apparent inconsistencies in Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and her deputy Jackie Trad’s approach to the outcast MP.
It came after Ms Trad told ABC Radio Mr Gordon was entitled to sit in parliament and vote.
This, the opposition claims, countered the premier’s statement in an earlier open letter to the Cairns Post that he should resign.
“It’s unfortunate (they) are at odds over their position regarding the member for Cook – what has fallen through the cracks are the real victims in this scenario,” Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek said.
But Labor says the political back-and-forth over Mr Gordon, as well as other MPs’ past indiscretions, are just a dethroned government trying to get even.
“(Lawrence Springborg) was a wrecker in government and he’s a wrecker in opposition,” Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller said.
Ms Miller stressed the state still had a functioning, stable government under Ms Palaszczuk and appealed to the KAP MPs – who have again emerged as potential kingmakers – to see through the LNP’s attacks.
For their part, the KAP duo have recycled their post-election mantra to champion regional interests and are in no rush to make a decision until parliament next sits on May 5.
Mr Katter said there were no deal-breakers with the government and KAP planned to work with Mr Gordon on the cross bench “as long as he remains there”.
He said Mr Gordon deserved his right to natural justice and shouldn’t be pre-emptively judged.
The Queensland Council for Civil Liberties agreed and said most of his criminal history was for minor matters.
And fresh domestic abuse claims needed to be found to be proven, president Michael Cope said.