Better government services, business confidence and job creation are all significant advantages in having fixed, four-year terms of government, according to the LNP.
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker today introduced a Bill to provide for fixed terms for the Legislative Assembly so that Queenslanders are served with a more accountable Parliament.
Mr Walker said that that while the Palaszczuk Labor Government was conducting yet another review into the matter, the LNP had done the work and the laws were ready to go.
“Given the finely balanced nature of Queensland’s current hung Parliament and the seemingly bipartisan support for the proposal there’s no better time to take action,” he said.
“We want to provide Queenslanders with the business confidence, better government and economic certainty they deserve.”
Mr Walker said the LNP had been consulting with Queenslanders about this important issue and discussions had commenced with academic and legal bodies, such as the Queensland Law Society, Bar Association of Queensland and district law associations.
“Our proposal ensures that Queenslanders will have a direct say in how their governments are elected and the manner in which elections are called,” he said.
Mr Walker said in February 2015 the LNP announced that it would conduct a referendum on fixed four-year parliamentary terms if elected into office.
“Currently, the Premier of Queensland can call a general election at his or her whim, subject to the agreement of the Governor,” he said.
“This obviously gives the government of the day the political advantage of being able to do so at a time which is in their political interest. This can often undermine both business confidence and public confidence in the government.
“The issue of representative democracy and confidence in the government are fundamentally important issues for Queenslanders.
“That’s why the LNP is demonstrating leadership by introducing this important Bill and we call on the Labor Government to put politics aside and support it.”
- The Bill provides that a general election must be held on the second Saturday in March in the fourth calendar year after the calendar year in which the last election was held.
- The Bill provides for exceptional circumstances in which the Governor can and must dissolve the Legislative Assembly and issue a writ for a general election, prior to that four year period.
- There is also a provision for which polling day can be postponed by up to 35 days for exceptional circumstances such as the timing of a Federal election or natural disaster.
- The Bill provides that should it be passed by the Legislative Assembly, and be approved at a referendum, it would not commence until after the next general election, meaning that the 57th Parliament would be the first to have a fixed, four year term. (we are currently in the 55th Parliament)
- New South Wales was the first Australian jurisdiction to adopt a four year fixed parliamentary term in 1995.
- Since 2008, local governments in Queensland also now have fixed four year terms.