The Queensland government is in crisis.
Having won power in a surprise result in the January election, Annastacia Palazsczuk’s government could now lose its ability to pass legislation if disgraced MP Billy Gordon decides to resign from parliament and force a by-election in his seat of Cook.
Following Gordon’s admission of undeclared criminal offences, which include an apprehended violence order against him, Premier Annastacia Palazsczuk and Speaker Peter Wellington have called for Gordon to resign.
The ABC reports that Gordon cannot be forced to resign as an MP, according to University University of Queensland Professor of Law Graeme Orr.
“No-one is disqualified for having previous convictions,” Orr said.
Gordon may decide to sit as an Independent on the cross-bench.
However, if he does step down and a by-election is called in Cook and the seat changes hands, Labor may no longer have enough seats in Parliament — they currently hold 43 against the LNP’s 42 — to pass legislation.
Katter’s Australian Party — which holds 2 seats — could potentially tip the balance of power.
Fairfax Media reports KAP is currently in discussions with Labor, according to Mount Isa MP Robbie Katter.
“We are making progress with the ALP, at the moment we’re not there, where we could show them support,” Katter said.
“But we’d like to be optimistic about that because we don’t want to be in the business of tearing down governments every six months or every year.”
He added the LNP had already agreed to act on the Katter Party’s primary political concerns.
Speaker Peter Wellington said his support for the Government “hasn’t changed” and would remain if a vote of no confidence is moved.
Queensland’s next parliamentary seating is not until May 5.
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