Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk wants state to vote on four-year fixed terms

Queenalanders will go to the polls next year to vote in a referendum on fixed, four-year parliamentary terms after Labor and the LNP united to back laws to the change the state’s Constitution today.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk deemed it a historic vote for State Parliament.

If successful at the looming referendum, future State Elections will be held on the last Saturday of October, every four years.

Fixed four-year terms will likely begin after the next term of government, which will be the final three-year parliamentary term.

A date for the referendum is yet to be fixed but could potentially coincide with next year’s council elections in March.

Parliament’s two Katter’s Australian Party MPs Robbie Katter and Shane Knuth voted against the changes with Mr Knuth arguing he did not believe the major parties should be given an extra year in power before facing voters.

Independent Billy Gordon voted in favour of the changes.

The people of Queensland will have their say on fixed four year terms.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said Queenslanders would consider whether fixed four-year terms should be introduced at a referendum.

The laws were passed by the Queensland Parliament on its final sitting day of the year.

Mrs D'Ath said a fixed term would give voters the certainty of knowing when to expect an election and allow governments to plan their work around established election dates.

“We have taken a bipartisan approach to this issue – seeking to work constructively to ensure the best outcome for the future of Queensland’s system of government,” she said.

“It’s only right that the people of Queensland have their say.

“Fixed four year terms will allow governments to take a long-term view in developing and implementing policies and projects that enhance the quality of government decision-making.

“Longer terms also give greater certainty to the private sector in forward planning, resulting in greater business confidence and flow on benefits to the state in investment and employment opportunities.”

Mrs D’Ath said fixed four year terms would need to be supported by a majority of voters at a referendum before it would be introduced in Queensland.

“Maximum three year terms have been in place for the Legislative Assembly of Queensland since the 1890s,” Mrs D’Ath said.

“This is a significant constitutional reform for this state, and a notable change to Queensland’s parliamentary landscape. It will bring us into line with all other Australian state governments and city councils in Queensland.”

 

Source: Courier-Mail & Government Portal

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