Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham voted against a bill to deny Katter's Australian Party official party status in the Queensland Parliament.
Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham voted against a bill to deny Katter's Australian Party official party status in the Queensland Parliament.

Gladstone MP disappointed by move denying Katter Party

KATTER'S Australian Party has been stripped of the right to earn official party status in Queensland Parliament in a move Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham says is "disappointing".

Legal changes rushed through by the Newman government on the final sitting day of the year on Thursday mean KAP MPs will not be eligible for extra benefits that come with recognised party status.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney put forward the "urgent bill" just after 7pm on Thursday.

Katter's Australian Party MPs were not in the chamber at the time but one of them, Shane Knuth, returned for the debate and labelled the changes as a "disgrace" that showed the government's arrogance.

Ms Cunningham told the Brisbane Times the process by which the changes were being made was disappointing.

She said she did not necessarily oppose the bill in principle.

"I don't believe this process lends respect to this institution either," she said.

Following Ray Hopper's defection, Katter's Australian Party sought recognition as a recognised political party under the Parliament of Queensland Act because it now had three MPs.

But the changes mean the criteria for eligibility will make clear that registered political party status can be conferred if the party has three MPs in Parliament, but they also have to have run for election under that banner.

MP Alex Douglas voted with Ms Cunningham, fellow independent Peter Wellington and Mr Knuth against the bill.

Read more at the Brisbane Times




 




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