Bikie associates legislation to be delayed by one year
Tradespeople with criminal bikie gang associations will have their year-long reprieve made official. Photo: Getty Images
Once the pomp and ceremony of the first parliamentary sitting week finishes, the Palaszczuk Government isn't wasting any time getting down to business, as it seeks to begin the process of putting its election commitments into action.
The government plans on introducing five bills in its first week, most likely on Friday, the first real day of business, following the completion of the ceremonies which accompany a new government into parliament.
Labor plans on introducing legislation it brought up during the election campaign, with lowering the donation declaration threshold back to $1000 to be the first cab off the rank. It will also introduce legislation to 'restore autonomy of the Speaker', allow a crossbencher onto the Committee of the Legislative Assembly, the parliamentary committee which looks after the parliament, and link politician pay rises to the public sector increases.
Following up on a key promise of the campaign, tradespeople with criminal bikie gang associations will have their year-long reprieve made official, with the government planning on putting its 2016 review of the anti-association laws and VLAD into legislation.
The Newman Government laws would have put the licences of about 500,000 electricians, plumbers and other trade professionals into doubt, with its plan to strip named professions of their licences, if they were found to have criminal gang associations.
Unions and civil libertarians protested the move, which they said would have wider ramifications for the community, with the laws not making clear what was considered an association, and police to make the determination.
The Labor government has committed to reviewing the laws, putting a moratorium on the licence clause until the review is finished in 12 months.
In the same bill, payroll tax breaks for businesses which take on apprentices will be introduced, on the back of an election commitment to help encourage businesses to take on junior workers for training. The Mount Isa copper smelter will see its life continued and those who read water metres will have to be fully licensed plumbers.
And in a throwback, the exhibited animal bill (which was introduced by the LNP in 2014) will be re-introduced, which basically provides a framework for minimising biosecurity and safety risks, as well as ensuring animal welfare for exhibited animals.
But with just one vote from independent MP Peter Wellington giving Labor power, the government cannot count on any of their bills passing, unlike the previous government which held an unassailable majority when it came to legislation.
While the Newman Government instigated Operation Boring in an attempt to win the public over, the Palaszczuk has started how it intends to go on, launching 'Operation Steady Ship' when it came to power.
That won't change in relation to how it deals with its legislative agenda. The government doesn't expect to debate any of these bills until the second May parliamentary sitting at the earliest, as it seeks to allow the committee review process to move forward "properly".