‘Screeching, tantrums’: Disorder in the House, debate gets personal

 

The State Government has voted down moves by the Opposition to shake up how the Budget is scrutinised, as the LNP slammed the estimates process as "broken".

It came amid a heated debate, during which a Labor MP claimed a Liberal National MP had screeched and thrown a tantrum during a Budget estimates hearing.

The Opposition moved a motion in Parliament calling for an inquiry into the longstanding estimates process - where MPs get to question ministers and senior public servants about their departments.

Despite attracting support from every crossbench MP, along with the Opposition, the Government voted down the proposal while hitting out at the LNP over how the former Newman government had run estimates six years ago.

 

Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson. Picture: Liam Kidston
Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

Opposition integrity spokeswoman Fiona Simpson used the debate to call for reform, claiming the current estimates process was broken.

She accused government MPs of seeking to block questions to ministers, describing it as a "protection racket".

"Budget estimates is the one time of the year when parliamentarians who are not part of the executive should have the opportunity to ask questions of ministers and their departments and statutory office bearers about their budget and administration of that budget in greater detail," Ms Simpson said.

"This year it was an absolute joke in the way some of the government members behaved."

In her speech, Labor Member for Jordan Charis Mullen suggested Ms Simpson had screeched during last year's estimates hearings.

"What takes up time (during estimates) Member for Maroochydore (Ms Simpson) is when a member throws a terrible tantrum, screeches - which is the only way to describe it," she said.

 

Leader of the House Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Liam Kidston
Leader of the House Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Liam Kidston

 

"I swear my dog heard it in Springfield.

"And then is thrown out for poor behaviour and does an amateur drama teacher stomp out of the chamber."

Former LNP leader Tim Nicholls came under fire from Labor in 2016 when he claimed then MP Kate Jones had screeched in the parliament in "her usual banshee fashion".

Leader of the House Yvette D'Ath criticised the LNP over how it had run estimates when in office, saying: "They truncated the estimates process to run over two days.

"This was about avoiding transparency by the public because it also stretched the media to try to cover every estimates process at the same time."

The LNP wanted its proposed inquiry by the Committee of the Legislative Assembly to consider increasing the time available for questioning, increasing the ranks of people who may be questioned and broadening the hearing program.

 

 

Originally published as 'Screeching, tantrums': Disorder in the House as debate gets personal



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