Nance Haxton

Lying in parliament

Winston Peters and Trevor Mallard would be screwed if a similar law came in here!

MARK COLVIN: The Queensland government is drafting bills to make lying to Parliament a criminal offence.

Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie says if they become law, they’ll amend the Criminal Code to re-enact laws repealed under the Beattie government.

In 2006 the previous government repealed the section that made lying to Parliament a criminal offence. It happened during the scandal over allegations that the then Health Minister, Gordon Nuttall, had misled a Parliamentary Estimates Committee.

But University of Queensland Associate Professor of Law Graeme Orr says the change to the criminal code is not as significant as the LNP is making out.

As Nance Haxton reports.

NANCE HAXTON: Queensland’s new Attorney-General, Jarrod Bleijie, says making lying to Parliament a criminal offence is an important legal reform for Queensland.

He says allowing the courts to deal with such conduct will guard against any suspicions of political interference or cronyism.

JARROD BLEIJIE: This is actually not just if they gave false information, this is if they knowingly provide it. So it’s parliamentarians or members of the public going into these committees or Parliament saying something that they know is a lie. And we’re saying that, you know one of our election totems, the Premier Campbell Newman was talking about was we want to restore accountability in government.

And this is the first sign that we’re certainly restoring this accountability and we’ll make it again once more illegal to lie to Parliament or parliament committee.