Opposition smells a vegetable in mining petition

COULD Mr Broccoli Broccoli please stand up?

Because Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg thinks something stinks about a petition signatory with that name.

The petitioners were pushing for the government to overturn controversial Newman government legislation restricting community objections on mining projects.

Despite LNP opposition to the move, the Palaszczuk government successfully reinstated stronger objection rights with support from Katter's Australian Party and independent MP Billy Gordon.

During parliament's estimates hearings on Tuesday, Mr Springborg questioned how the government could be sure someone existed if petitioners did not provide addresses or other identifying information.

He did not suggest any restrictions on tabling documents, such as this petition.

But Mr Springborg asked Speaker Peter Wellington and parliament's Clerk Neil Laurie what could be done to ensure all petitions were reliable.

"My concern related to a document that was tabled that then put in place an acceleration of events and no real ability to be able to test the veracity and the bona fides of individuals who made particular claims on that petition, and that is what it relates to," Mr Springborg said.

"It accelerated a whole process of parliament including the collapsing of a committee process to put through so-called urgent legislation.

"We had no way of identifying whether they are within the state or whether they actually exist."

Mr Laurie said MPs were always allowed to table non-conforming petitions, those that do not have the names and addresses of petitioners.

He said it was just that conforming, formal petitions triggered responses from ministers.

"At the end of the day the one very powerful tool that members of the Queensland parliament have that is not present in many other parliaments in Australia or Canada or in the UK is the ability to table any document that they desire without the leave of the House," Mr Laurie said. - APN NEWSDESK



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