A majority of grassroots political parties are campaigning for Queenslanders to vote ‘No’ to the ALP and LNP’s push for fixed four year terms. Until an upper house is reintroduced in Queensland, a move that would bring greater scrutiny to legislation and set right a historical wrong, there should be no consideration given to introducing fixed four year terms.
99 years ago Queenslanders were asked in a referendum whether they wanted to abolish the Upper House. In the strongest response to any referendum held in Queensland they said an emphatic ‘No’, 60.7% of Queenslanders said they wanted to keep the Upper House. Disregarding what Queenslanders clearly said, the Labor government manipulated the system and had the Upper House abolished a few years later.
Reintroducing an Upper House doesn’t necessarily mean more politicians, there is ample scope to reduce the number of Lower House electorates in order to bring in an Upper House without a net increase of politicians. However, the key consideration should be to have a system that ensures proper accountability, ensures there is thorough scrutiny of legislation, and that the sharp edges are taken off ideologically driven policy.
We have seen the instability of the Palaszczuk Government on display this week as another MP chose to sit on the crossbench rather than continue as a member of the Government. It would be detrimental to the economic stability of Queensland if we had a government similar to this current minority government locked in for a fixed four year term.
Giving Queensland politicians more time and power without having appropriate safeguards in place to limit the abuse of that power, is back to front thinking, just like putting the cart before the horse.
We urge Queenslanders to vote ‘No’ in the referendum for fixed four year terms.