Peter Wellington cracks down on parliamentary rule-breakers
TENSIONS are nearing boiling point within the State Parliament, as sources say the LNP is ready to go to war against Independent Speaker Peter Wellington.
It comes after the Member for Nicklin yesterday referred former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney to the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee for breaching the confidences of the PCCC when he made allegations early on Tuesday.
Mr Seeney had been the LNP's preferred candidate to assume the position of chair of the PCCC - the same committee he will now be investigated by - after Member for Sunnybank Peter Russo made a formal complaint against Mr Seeney.
On Tuesday morning, Mr Seeney rose under privilege to call for Mr Russo's referral to the PCCC for "inappropriately releasing information as part of a Labor Party factional brawl".
The alleged leak related to information about the PCCC investigation into Police Minister Jo-Ann Miller and allegations of misleading declarations relating to paperwork from her previous role as deputy chair of the then-Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee.
Yesterday afternoon, Mr Wellington also referred Mr Seeney to the Ethics Committee, after a formal complaint was lodged by Mr Russo over Mr Seeney's claims, which Mr Wellington slammed in his comments to Parliament yesterday afternoon.
The Nicklin Independent said Mr Seeney had "no supporting information or evidence" to back up his allegations and sent a warning to other MPs about continuing to debate confidential committee proceedings, especially PCCC matters, while investigations were ongoing.
Mr Wellington said MPs who deliberately or mischievously broke the rules should be dealt with sternly.
The Speaker would not comment on the matters yesterday, as they were now in the hands of the committee, and he said it would not be appropriate for him to discuss the matters.
A number of Coast LNP MPs were also unable to comment on the events of the past 48 hours, given the matters were now under investigation.
University of the Sunshine Coast political lecturer Bronwyn Stevens said she thought Mr Wellington was taking an honourable approach in trying to ensure matters under investigation weren't prematurely debated, but said the LNP should continue to pursue a resolution to the Jo-Ann Miller investigation issue.
Mr Wellington also ordered a further 15 Opposition MPs show cause as to why they too should not be referred to the Ethics Committee over education-related questions.
In late-2013, Mr Wellington called for then-Attorney General Jarrod Bleijie to be stood aside after what he deemed to be unlawful sackings of the former Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee, which included himself and ex-Gladstone Independent Liz Cunningham.