Six year anniversary of Labor's day of shame

The six year anniversary of Labor’s recall of Parliament to exonerate corrupt former Minister Gordon Nuttall is a timely reminder Labor is more interested in protecting themselves than protecting the interests of Queenslanders, the State Opposition said today.

LNP Parliamentary Leader Jeff Seeney said 9 December 2005 would forever be remembered as one of the most shameful days in the history of the Queensland Parliament, and one of the most shameful days of the tired, 20 year old Labor Government.

“Queenslanders should never forget that Labor recalled State Parliament to exonerate then Minister Gordon Nuttall for lying to a Budget Estimates Committee and to ensure he wasn’t prosecuted,” Mr Seeney said.

“At the time, Anna Bligh claimed Gordon Nuttall was a ‘decent man’ and a ‘man of integrity’, while our current Attorney-General Paul Lucas said ‘I know the Member for Sandgate well and believe that he is a good and honest man’. (Hansard, 9 December 2005)

“This is what Labor leaders said about a man who has since been convicted of corruption and is currently languishing in a jail cell.

“I remember sitting in the Chamber that day being sickened by the actions of this Labor Government and the conga line of Labor MPs singing Gordon Nuttall’s praises.

“I stand by the comments I made on that day that this was a ‘clear cut case of whitewashing a Labor mate’ and ‘of providing an out for a Labor mate who has been caught out doing what this Government does so well, and that is hide the truth’. (Hansard, 9 December 2005).

“The sad thing is that six years on little has changed, with this tired, 20 year old Labor Government still refusing to take responsibility for its failures and still lying to Queenslanders.

“After 20 long years in power, Labor is more interested in looking after themselves and their mates than looking after Queenslanders.”

Mr Seeney said after exonerating Gordon Nuttall, Labor went further and changed the law to make it legal for Ministers to lie without the fear of criminal proceedings.

“Queenslanders can’t have any confidence in a State Government which is prepared to sanction its Ministers lying to Parliament and its committees,” he said.

“The LNP twice introduced Private Members Bills to repeal Labor’s legalised lying laws, but twice Labor used its numbers to defeat our attempts to restore Ministerial accountability.”

Mr Seeney said the LNP was determined to bring back higher standards to the governance of Queensland and our parliamentary and political processes.

“The LNP will restore accountability and transparency in Government, and we will scrap once and for all Labor’s laws that have made it legal to lie to Parliament,” he said.

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