Inquiry into Newman Government becomes a 'circus'

A STATE Labor candidate's testimony and claims a donation to the Federal Liberal party changed Queensland LNP coal mining policy led to the Senate Inquiry into the Queensland Government descending into chaos.

Liberal Senators on the committee exploded on Friday when witness John Martin, testifying as a Queensland Council of Unions representative, admitted he was standing as the Labor candidate for Clayfield at the next state election.

Speaking to the media after the first session Liberal Senator Barry O'Sullivan said the inquiry had become a "circus".

"We're midway through a testimony, given to this committee, of what is meant to be an independent witness who had something to offer, we find out that they're a candidate for the Australian Labor Party," he said.

Lock the Gate president and anti-coal seam gas campaigner Drew Hutton later claimed the LNP policy towards the New Acland Coal mine shifted after a $700,000 donation to the Federal Liberal party.

It was a claim the Liberal Senators again took exception to - with Mr O'Sullivan claiming CSG companies had not donated a single dollar to the Queensland LNP.

That claim resulted in laughter from the Lock the Gate members, including a number of people knitting, in the audience.

There were attacks towards other senators throughout the day with Senator Ian Macdonald taking exception to Mr Lazarus refusing to accept Liberal points of order.

"You're referred to the as the 'brick with eyes', but I see you're now showing you are a one-eyed brick," he said.

Despite the chaos, Mr Lazarus said the inquiry was serving its purpose and giving Queenslanders a chance to express concerns about the LNP government.

- APN NEWSDESK



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