HIT HARD: Member for Southern Downs James Lister said rising fuel prices is something nobody can escape.
HIT HARD: Member for Southern Downs James Lister said rising fuel prices is something nobody can escape. Matthew Purcell

MP: Push-gate is 'a stunt'

SOUTHERN Downs MP James Lister has struck back at allegations he "pushed" Queensland Labor MP Peter Russo in a state budget estimates hearing on Thursday.

Mr Lister said it's a desperate political ploy from his governmental opposition.

"I did put my hand on his shoulder to get his attention. Everyone was there and saw it," Mr Lister said.

"He could have kicked me out of the chamber as the chair if he wanted to but he didn't."

Mr Russo is chair of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee and was leading Thursday's hearing.

"He was trying to get my attention," Mr Russo told The Courier Mail.

"He couldn't get my attention. He stood up and basically pushed me on the left shoulder to try and get my attention."

A Labor spokesman said the Member for Toohey Mr Russo had written to the Speaker to make a complaint about a confrontation with Mr Lister.

But this afternoon Mr Lister received word that the complaint had been declined.

"I am pleased that the Speaker of Parliament has declined to proceed with Mr Russo's allegations," he said.

"I wasn't even required to respond before the Speaker released his statement.

"Channel Seven's footage of the event clearly shows that absolutely nothing happened - nobody batted an eyelid at the time and the whole thing just was a silly attempt to use the media to take the heat off the government.

"I thank the many people who have contacted me to offer their support.

"This (was) a complete fabrication to distract the media away from Labor's abysmal estimates performance."

Mr Lister said it was a "ridiculous" political move.

"Yes, I was shocked but I am done talking about it, I don't want to dignify it, it is ridiculous," he said.

"It's just one of those silly games that gets played in politics that makes me glad to get back to my electorate and away from them all down there."

It is the second referral to the Speaker stemming from last week's session after Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath also wrote to complain about Leader of Opposition Business Jarrod Bleijie's cuff links.

Mr Bleijie's cuff links were alleged to been emblazoned with the initials "FU", a pop culture reference to House of Cards character Frank Underwood.

Stanthorpe Border Post


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