Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is shielded from the rain by her media advisor as she takes a phone call. Photo: DAVE HUNTPremier Annastacia Palaszczuk doubled down on her threat to go to the polls if “anyone stood in my way” in regards to her legislative jobs agenda, but was forced to concede the government had no bills before the House which would cause her to pull the election trigger.
As the fall out from Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s defection to the cross bench continues, with Deputy Premier Jackie Trad forced to publicly state her loyalty to both Ms Palaszczuk as leader and the Labor Party, and grumblings of other unhappy backbenchers making their way to ministerial offices, the government is fighting to present a united, cohesive front.
Ms Palaszczuk has attempted to turn the loss of Mr Pyne, which brings Labor’s numbers in the House down to the LNP’s 42 seats, into her fighting for the State.
Scrapping the “business as usual” line, which was the government’s original response to Mr Pyne’s resignation, Ms Palaszczuk has wielded a threat since Tuesday to head to the polls, vowing to get the public’s support, if she can’t get the Parliament’s.
But on Wednesday, the Premier was forced to admit there were no bills currently before the Parliament which would cause her to follow through on her threat.
“Not at the moment but there could be in the future,” she said.
“As I said, if anyone stands in my way. They don’t want to push me on this one. If they want to stand in my way and in the public’s way of creating jobs then there will be.”
Presenting a united front, Ms Trad, who had clashed with Mr Pyne over local government issues, particularly over his call for an inquiry into corruption and how complaints are handled and was facing some of the blame internally in the party for his defection, pledged her on-going support for Ms Palaszczuk’s leadership.
“I am 100 per cent loyal to Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Australian Labor Party and every single member who entrusted their faith in me at the sat election to be part of the Labor Government here in Queensland unlike Mr Pyne,” she said, adding she had known Ms Palaszczuk for a quarter of a century.
“Whatever is speculating around in the media is fanciful and it doesn’t belong in reality.”
Ms Trad said she “absolutely” believed Labor could win, if an election was to be held now.
Ms Palaszczuk believed she would hold on to all the MPs she had left heading in to any election, although, despite answering most other questions at length, was frugal talking about her backbench’s contentment levels.
“Are you confident that everyone on the backbench is happy,” she was asked.
“Yes, I am”.
“Do you want to elaborate on that?”
“No,” she said.
Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg, who has repeatedly said he did not believe there was a reason to head to the polls and the LNP would not attempt a no-confidence motion in the deadlocked 42 MP a-piece chamber, wasn’t so sure it was all sunshine and lollipops in the caucus.
“The fact now that it has ignited now to the extent where other members are openly speculating to the media, it gives real cause for concern for the long term stability of this government and that is because of the lack of the leadership of the Premier,” he said.
“…We have two Labor backbenchers who have left since the election, we still have a cloud over Rick Williams, that is quite uncertain, we don’t know what the police investigation referral to senior counsel really meant the other day, but certainly I don’t think anything is guaranteed in this current parliament.”
Parliament resumes on Tuesday.
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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.