Peter Wellington: Newman government to call early election
THE Newman government appears to be gearing up for an early election call.
That is the belief of Independent MP Peter Wellington who says the possibility of Bob Katter and Clive Palmer joining forces will be causing the Premier and his LNP colleagues real anxiety.
While Mr Palmer yesterday dismissed the idea of merging his Palmer United Party with the Katter Party, he seems more at ease with an alliance touted by Mr Katter last Friday.
Mr Wellington is also willing to discuss working with Mr Palmer provided it best suits the needs of his electorate and gets rid of Premier Campbell Newman.
"Clive Palmer is no fool no matter what the government wants us to believe," said Mr Wellington.
"He has been in politics longer than most members of parliament. He is very smart and I think he sometimes uses his boisterous manner to cause debate.
"Because of Clive's federal representation he has a forum to raise concerns about issues in Queensland and the government here and you can bet Campbell Newman does not like that."
Mr Wellington is confident the government will call an election sooner rather than later, perhaps in July, saying that declining popularity and the drop in the polls will be a cause for concern.
"The two important bills concerning changes to the CMC and electoral reform are scheduled for next week and the Government will look at it as easy sailing to the budget after that," he said.
"Estimates have been scheduled for two days and to get round to all the meetings will be almost impossible. We just don't have the same resources as the Government to make that happen and we all know they will use Estimates as stage to spring new changes and then call an election saying they need a mandate on the future finances of Queensland."
The Member for Nicklin said he had heard talk around the traps that the Newman government would be dropping some MPs after telling them they were not in the picture for preselection.
And while Mr Palmer is talking up having more than 100 candidates at the next election he says emphatically that he will be choosy about which LNP MPs, if any, he will approach.
Mr Wellington's support of Mr Palmer has found little favour with the government.
"Peter Wellington needs to come clean about who he's working for," said Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie.
"Is he really representing the people of the Sunshine Coast or is he Clive Palmer's puppet?
"He shared the stage at Clive Palmer's campaign launch, he endorsed him in TV ads and now there's revelations he wants to form an alliance and has even tried to poach LNP MPs for him.
"The Member for Nicklin has questions to answer about what Clive Palmer has offered him for his support."
Mr Palmer's poor relationship with the Queensland Premier is well documented. He is threatening to sue Mr Newman after the latter intimated Mr Palmer had used "inducements" and "cash" to get MPs to leave their party and join PUP.
On Tuesday Mr Palmer said it was the Premier's integrity, not his own that should be questioned, alleging the LNP had given Campbell Newman large inducements to be the party leader prior to the 2012 state election.
"Mr Newman demanded the LNP pay him a six figure salary and other entitlements including staff and a motor vehicle to take on the role of Opposition Leader outside of parliament," Mr Palmer said.
"The LNP's State President Bruce McIver and Vice-President Gary Spence offered Mr Newman generous inducements, which he gleefully accepted.
"As time went by and the election neared, Mr Newman demanded even more money and more entitlements and resources. This was provided by the LNP hierarchy.
"Campbell Newman seeks to judge others by his own standards yet he and the LNP have no standards at all."
The Premier's office chose not to comment on the allegations.
Would you like to see Campbell Newman call an early election?
This poll ended on 07 June 2014.
Yes. The sooner we have the chance to get rid of the LNP, the better
No. The LNP needs more time to clean up Labor's mess
I'd like the minor parties to have more time to gain ground
This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.