Last month in perhaps the biggest comeback since (according to some) Lazarus returned from the dead the Queensland Labor Party won back power in the state. The party had slumped to 7 seats out of 89 at the previous election but thanks at least in part to the appalling reign of Tony Abbott nationally and Campbell Newman locally Labor won a knife edge majority. The party has 44 of the 89 seats in Queensland’s Parliament and rely on an independent for confidence and supply.
Recent revelations concerning Labor MP Billy Gordon have caused ructions. He did not disclose to the party criminal convictions that he has which include burglary, public nuisance, breach of bail and theft. The offending is somewhat historic with the last occurring in 1999 but more recently he was served with an apprehended violence order and allegations have been made by a former partner that he subjected her to sustained domestic abuse.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has forced him to resign from the Labor Party caucus and is insisting that he should resign as a Member of Parliament. Gordon is resisting this and is stating that he will remain on the cross benches although he will give Labor his vote.
She has referred the matter to the police to investigate. Before the last election she had a candidate deselected after allegations of domestic violence were made against him. I can’t think what else she could have done.
The Liberals are criticising Palaszczuk and asking her when she found out and why she did not act earlier. The domestic violence allegation was made in a letter received on March 18 and it took her about a week to act. Given the circumstances I would categorise her speed as being exceptionally fast and the extent of her actions perfectly appropriate.
Clearly the Liberal National Party is behind the release of the allegations and have played some part in the timing of their disclosure. Dirty politics is not exclusively a local problem.
It makes you wonder how a similar scandal would be handled over here …