Wellington discovers discredited MP can still vote
SPEAKER Peter Wellington has confirmed that disgraced MP Billy Gordon can still vote in Parliament despite having a criminal history.
Mr Gordon, the member for Cook, left the Labor party this week after his past criminal history and allegations of domestic violence were made public.
He has also been accused of not lodging tax returns and not paying child support to his two children.
On Tuesday his Facebook page - which he has been using to give public statements - was removed and it was revealed that another alleged victim has come forward.
Mr Gordon's former partner sent an email to politicians, including Mr Wellington, last week.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's office has also received fresh domestic violence allegations from another woman, which have been forwarded to authorities.
Mr Wellington tabled a report to Parliament on Tuesday which detailed the email he received from Mr Gordon's former partner.
Mr Wellington asked for the Parliament clerk to investigate whether Mr Gordon could be disqualified, based on recent revelations.
The report said if Mr Gordon was convicted of common assault or deprivation of liberty he could be disqualified from Parliament, depending on the sentence imposed.
But it also found that Mr Gordon had no lawful obligation to disclose his past criminal history because it had been a long time since he was convicted of offences including breaking, entering and stealing, public nuisance and breaching bail. These date back to the 80s and 90s.
The report stated Mr Gordon's former partner indicated the alleged domestic violence incidences occurred in 2005-2008.
Ms Palaszczuk has referred these allegations to the police, who have been considering it this week.
The parliamentary report said a person could be disqualified from parliament if they had been convicted of an offence within two years before the day they were nominated and sentenced to more than one year's jail.
The report stated Mr Gordon was entitled to the presumption of innocence.
"Neither the Speaker, party leader, nor the House itself can generally disallow Mr Gordon's vote on any matter," the report concluded.
There have been calls for Mr Gordon to resign from his seat in Parliament but Mr Gordon said earlier in the week that removing himself before the investigation had taken place was denying natural justice.
Mr Wellington said if Mr Cook chose to hold his seat, his vote would count like that from any other MP.
The report said Mr Gordon would not be considered a cross bencher.
"In other words, it is not up to the discretion of a party leader as to whether they are going to use Mr Gordon's vote. Mr Gordon has a right to vote," it said.
- APN NEWSDESK