QLD Gov rejects move for greater scrutiny and accountability
THE State Government has rejected a petition requesting a referendum to be held on the reintroduction of the upper house in the Queensland Parliament.
Under the proposal, the lower house would be made up of 59 members and upper house 30 members with the boundaries of both houses to be determined by the Electoral Commission of Queensland.
Petitioners claimed the re-establishment of an upper house in Queensland would lead to better scrutiny and greater accountability.
The petition, which was tabled in State Parliament last month, was signed by 1347 people and received the backing of Sunshine Coast Independent MP Peter Wellington.
However, Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney said in the government's response that the present system was working effectively.
"Following on from the discussion paper process, the Government decided that there was not a compelling argument to support the restoration of an upper house in Queensland," he said.
"The Government remains of this view and we do not support holding a referendum on this issue.
"The petitioners may also wish to note that the issue of restoring an upper house was not listed by delegates as an issue for inclusion in the Queensland Plan in which more than 70,000 Queenslanders had their say as part of this process.
"With Queensland's unicameral legislature, our parliamentary committee system makes an important contribution to enhancing parliamentary and legislative processes, while also scrutinising government action."
Mr Seeney said the Government was committed to a strong and accountable system of government and it was working hard to ensure that parliamentary committees operate effectively as part of this process.
Queensland's Legislative Council, or upper house, was abolished in 1922 and cannot be re-established unless it is supported by Queenslanders at a referendum.
It is the only state in Australia that does not have an upper house.