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Palaszczuk to flex new parliamentary muscle with legislative agenda

Amy Remeikis reports in The Guardian (15.12.17) that, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk winning a majority in parliament in November’s election, her Labor government is now in a strong position to pass legislation which it failed to pass in its last term.

‘For the first time since 2015, the Queensland Labor government has a majority. And it plans on using it.

‘For just short of three years, the Palaszczuk government managed to pass a majority of its legislation, despite an at times fickle crossbench, but also suffered defeats, particularly over tightening tree-clearing laws, after a 33% rise in 2015-16.

‘Labor vowed to reverse the Newman government decision that reduced restrictions on what landholders could clear after intense lobbying from the farming industry and other traditionally Nationals-aligned interest groups. But the legislation failed, after Labor lost the vote of a crucial crossbencher.

‘Now, with a one-seat buffer, Queensland Labor is set to try again, but will drop the reverse-onus-of-proof element of its original legislation, which would have forced landholders to prove it was not they who cleared the land, rather than authorities needing to prove their case.

‘… The promise is part of Queensland Labor’s attempts to meet the desires of voters who might otherwise potentially turn to the Greens, particularly in the south-east, while also balancing the need to retain votes in the regions.

‘The need to walk this tightrope led to Labor’s veto on any taxpayer-funded Naif loan for the Adani coalmine rail line, a calculated move that won votes in the south-east, without risking support in north and central Queensland.’

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