Australia: Queensland Premier forced to apologise after threatening Katter MPs over Fraser Anning speech - - PressFrom - Australia
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Australia Queensland Premier forced to apologise after threatening Katter MPs over Fraser Anning speech

06:05  22 october  2019
06:05  22 october  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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Katter 's Australian Party MPs are angry about the Queensland Government stripping their staffing resources over Senator Fraser Anning ’s controversial maiden speech .

Robbie Katter wearing a suit and tie: Robbie Katter said the Premier's apology was © Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Robbie Katter said the Premier's apology was "heavily qualified". (ABC News)

The Queensland Premier has been found guilty of contempt of parliament over her threats to strip Katter's Australian Party (KAP) MPs of staff after they refused to denounce former colleague Fraser Anning's speech calling for a Muslim immigration ban.

The findings from parliament's powerful Ethics Committee were released today, forcing Annastacia Palaszczuk to immediately apologise.

"I accept responsibility for the actions I took which led to those findings and I offer my unreserved and sincere apology to the house," she told Parliament this morning.

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The Queensland premier , Annastacia Palaszczuk, will withdraw the generous staffing arrangements made for Katter ’s Australian party MPs in the Queensland parliament after a speech made by KAP senator Fraser Anning .

Fraser Anning , the sole senator representing Katter 's Australian Party, called for an overhaul of Australia's immigration system during his speech The outrage over Anning 's comments follows fury earlier this month after broadcaster Sky News aired an interview with far-right agitator Blair Cottrell

The Premier was originally referred to the Crime and Corruption Commission by Robbie Katter after threatening to remove the minor party's parliamentary resources, unless its members denounced the "final solution" speech made by their former party colleague Senator Fraser Anning in August 2018.

"We have the right to free speech in our parliaments, but that free speech is not free of consequence," she said at a public event at the time.

"So because his party will not denounce Senator Fraser Anning, I denounce his party."

The Premier removed their resources when they refused to back down.

But the Crime and Corruption Commission handed the matter back to Parliament to deal with late last year.

The Ethics Committee found the threats and actions to remove resources "amounted to an improper interference with the free performance by the KAP members", forcing her to apologise.

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Katter 's Australia Party senator Fraser Anning said in his maiden speech that Australia should ban Muslims from settling in the country and hold a He said: And, in this country of Australia with such ample space , with such inviting varieties of soil and climate … and with a people occupying that soil

Katter dismisses one of the most controversial elements of the speech , which calls for a 'final solution' to immigration, as a 'malapropism'. Labor pursues environment minister over grant to private foundation and fallout continues from Fraser Anning ’s ‘final solution’ speech .

It also recommended Parliament develop a new set of guidelines to determine resourcing for cross-bench parties.

The KAP eventually dropped Senator Anning from its party late last year.

'I don't get to bully people': Katter

Robbie Katter said the Premier's apology was "heavily qualified".

"There was a hell of a lot of talk about what was causing this and what brought us to this point — and that's fine. I'm offended by a lot of things in this Parliament but I don't get to use my position or be able to intimidate or bully people into a position," he said.

"We find a lot of views from that side of the house abhorrent as well but I don't get to try and force you into a position on your voting by whether or not you get your staff taken off you — which we're arguing about here.

"If we want to flash our moral self-righteous credentials in here I'm happy to do that.

"It's very nice making this association between us because it must be by imputation with us and the Nazis — that's really kind — I take very serious offence to that — it has nothing to do with our imputation on that."

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said the Premier's apology was "swift".

"This action and timeframe in which the honourable Premier has done so speaks volumes of the character of the woman who leads our great state — the same character she showed when she rallied against those racist and xenophobic comments of Senator Anning.

"After all we were not elected to stand aside when we see wrongs, we were elected to stand up and that's what the Premier did … she stood up to be counted."

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