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Gladstone backs Liz Cunningham over PCMC sacking

Member of the Queensland Parliament for Gladstone Liz Cunningham.
Member of the Queensland Parliament for Gladstone Liz Cunningham. Luka Kauzlaric

GLADSTONE voters have put their support behind independent MP Liz Cunningham, who was sacked from the Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee last week.

Almost 60% of Observer readers believed her sacking was a crime against democracy and she should be re-instated to the PCMC.

Have your say on the issue by voting in The Observer's online polls and commenting below.

Should Liz Cunningham be re-instated to the PCMC?

This poll ended on 21 December 2013.

Current Results

Yes. This is a crime against democracy

57%

Yes. Someone needs to keep an eye on Newman

26%

No. It's politics and it's done

4%

No. The committee needs to let the government function

11%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Mrs Cunningham and the rest of the parliamentary watchdog team were sacked following the committee's criticism of an investigation into CMC chief Ken Levy.

CMC chair briefed by spin doctor over bikie laws articles

The independent said the government's decision to sack the committee was "tragic, regrettable, and... shouldn't have happened".

She said it sent a number of bad messages including the risk of being sacked for speaking out and that the watchdog for the CMC was vulnerable and could be undermined by the government.

Liz Cunningham says reasons for dissolving PCMC are invalid

Mrs Cunningham said the tabling of transcripts between Dr Levy and government spin doctor Lee Anderson was the tipping point for her sacking.

"It appears whilst the Premier and the Attorney General predominantly cite bias, I think they found it completely unacceptable to them that I'd tabled those transcripts," she said, but stands by her decision.

"The community needed to know the full extent of the information that was available in terms of Dr Levy's interaction with the Premier's department."

She said she would step down from her position if she sees that ministers deal with her in a way that disadvantages the Gladstonites.

Gladstone MP rethinks future after committee sacking

Timeline

  • November 1: Public committee meeting with Dr Ken Levy held.
  • Nov 4: Levy corrected the record in writing.
  • Nov 13: He appeared and gave more evidence, under questioning admitted to initiating a telephone call.
  • Nov 18: Spin doctor Lee Anderson told the committee that Dr Levy had called and asked to chat to him, but in none of that meeting did Dr Levy reveal himself.
  • Nov 21: Mrs Cunningham released transcripts that showed Levy and Anderson contradicted each other.
  • That night: The Government discharged the PCMC.
  • Two sacked Labor MPs and independent Peter Wellington have since been re-appointed to the board.
  • Nov 28: Mrs Cunningham is considering her political career, concerned the decision could hamper her ability to properly represent her electorate of Gladstone.

What should Liz Cunningham's next move be? (Options are suggestions from online commenters)

This poll ended on 20 December 2013.

Current Results

It is time for Liz Cunningham to retire gracefully.

18%

Queensland needs Liz Cunningham, please don't retire just yet.

81%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  gladstone liz cunningham newman government pcmc



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