Messenger banned from house

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger.
Member for Burnett Rob Messenger.

MEMBER for Burnett Rob Messenger has been excluded from parliament for five days for being in contempt of parliament.

An overwhelming majority this morning voted to have the MP removed for five days - two days for failing to adequately obscure a child's name when tabling documents and three days for mentioning a matter before the District Court.

The ban started from about 11am, the time the motion was made in the house.

Mr Messenger slammed the decision after leaving parliament today.

"This shows not just an appalling lack of judgment, but it overwhelmingly illustrates that the members do not have the knowledge or expertise to adequately interpret their own standing orders - they were completely and utterly out of their depth," he said.

"I will not allow (yesterday's) decision to stop me from fighting for my constituents."

Mr Messenger also said he had apologised to the mother of the child he had identified in the documents, but she had said there was no need.

The Parliamentary Ethics Committee had previously found Mr Messenger guilty of the two breaches, but it was not until yesterday the house made a decision on the committee's report.

During a half-hour speech in his defence, the MP said he believed there were politicians on both side of politics who had "dreamed of this moment", referring to their chance to eject him from the house.

He also claimed he was unable to mount a full defence because he was unable to refer to the matter before the courts.

"If I were able to deliver a speech to this place after the court had passed a verdict on this person, I would have been able to present all the relevant facts and a full and comprehensive explanation to members," he said.

Speaker John Mickel interrupted Mr Messenger four times during his speech, reminding him to stay relevant to the Parliamentary Ethics Commission report.

"I have given you amazing licence," Mr Mickel said.

Mr Messenger will not be allowed to return to the house until the five-day ban has been fully served.

This effectively means he will not be able to return to parliament until next year, as there are only three sitting days left in 2011.

In that time, he will miss a vote on the same-sex civil unions Bill.

Mr Messenger had planned to vote against the Bill.

Topics:  ban politics queensland parliament

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