Speaker rejects One Nation poll claims
ONE Nation claims that a slip by the LNP's chief Opposition whip should have Queensland now heading to the polls as been firmly rejected by Speaker of the House Peter Wellington.
The late-night slip up on the last day before State Parliament's winter recess, if not corrected, could potentially have robbed the minority Labor Government of the money needed to pay Queensland's doctors, teachers, nurses and run every aspect of its administration.
One Nation leader Steve Dickson said Mr Wellington had been wrong to allow the LNP to change its vote after it initially voted against the Appropriation (Parliament) Bill and the Appropriation Bill late on June 16.
He argues Queensland should now be going to the polls because the minority Labor Government could not guarantee supply.
Mr Dickson, the Katter Party and independent Billy Gordon also voted against the bills effectively defeating the budget and leaving the Palaszczuk Government without funds.
He claims the decision by Mr Wellington to allow the Chief Opposition Whip Trevor Watt to reverse the LNP's initial vote was at odds with his ruling not to allow Member for Cook Billy Gordon to change his vote on March 1 this year from support to opposition to the Sugar Industry (Arbitration for Mill Owners and Sugar Marketing Entities) Amendment Bill.
Mr Dickson said he had formed an alliance before the Budget with the two Katter MPs and Mr Gordon to not support it unless it delivered on the infrastructure demands for their electorates.
He said in the lead up to the next state election when it is eventually called One Nation would be reminding voters of the LNP's double flip.
In the lead up to Budget week LNP leader Tim Nichols had made clear he would not block supply unless in the most exceptional circumstances.
But late on the last Friday night before the Winter Recess the Opposition Whip did exactly that before quickly moving to change the LNP's vote.
It is usual for the Government and Opposition whips to declare their own vote totals which are recorded unless challenged which is the right of every individual Member of Parliament.
Mr Wellington said it was wrong to suggest the Billy Gordon situation and the LNP vote were similar.
He said while Mr Gordon may have intended to vote for the 'Noes' he had signed a tally sheet as voting for the 'Ayes' and then only sought to change his vote on a matter of privilege after the result had been declared.
In the case of the Budget vote Mr Wellington said the Opposition Whip reported in accordance with SO 106(5)(ii) the Opposition's votes for the 'Noes' when all intended to vote for the 'Ayes'.
He said it was an obvious error realised by everyone in the chamber at the time.
Mr Wellington had asked Mr Watt to to restate the Opposition's vote which he then corrected.
He said unlike Mr Gordon's matter the error was realised by everyone at the time and rectified before the result was announced.
Standing Order 106(6) allows that "any Member may before the result of the vote is announced by the Speaker, challenge the report of votes reported by the Government Whip, Opposition Whip or the Clerk. If a report is challenged, the Speaker may direct that the report stand, be corrected or that the matter be resolved by a personal vote”.
The LNP said the error had been a consequence of tiredness after Parliament had sat to 1am the previous day.