The Senate Inquiry into Queensland kicked off on the Gold Coast last Thursday and was quickly revealed to be a circus.
The only Government voting member on the committee, Queensland Senator Ian Macdonald, labelled the Inquiry a “waste of time and money” and a “witch-hunt”.
“This absurd Inquiry had its first hearing in Queensland’s most south-eastern city and spent its time taking evidence dealing with a toilet block on Main Beach at Southport!!” said Senator Macdonald.
Senator Macdonald and his government colleagues on the committee have questioned the validity of the evidence being presented to the committee, as well as the constitutional basis of the committee itself.
“The only matters being brought before this Inquiry seem to be either personal, vindictive, local or so out of date as to be the work of the former Queensland Labor government.
Senator Macdonald indicated he was not surprised that the Inquiry had already descended into farce.
“According to PUP this Inquiry is supposed to be revealing widespread corruption. So far all it has revealed is a total lack of any evidence to suggest any corruption at all,” said the Senator.
“Instead, the PUP has the Committee traipsing all over the state on a disgruntled would-be coal miner’s personal vendetta against a government that followed proper procedure and refused to bow down to his demands,” he said.
The Senator also pointed out that showcasing the farce that the inquiry is, Mr Palmer and Senator Lazarus’ vision appears not to extend beyond the south east corner.
“Queensland covers a huge and diverse territory but so far the Chairman has completely ignored regional Australia – unless you call the Gold Coast ‘regional’” he said.
It emerged during the hearing that a handwritten assurance from the Premier about no Coal Seam Gas mining on the Scenic Rim was not enough for the environmental lobby groups who had been invited to appear. This prompted Senator Macdonald to ask what did the witness want to satisfy himself that there would be no coal seam gas mining on the Scenic Rim “do you want the Premier to sign in blood?”
“This Inquiry is un-democratic, unconstitutional, un-Australian and unforgivable. It is an embarrassment and a waste of the Senate’s time and should be disbanded without delay.”
The next circus performance is scheduled by the Chair to take place in Brisbane on November 21st 2014.