Question Time: Will Labor ban cash for access meetings?

On Thursday 24 October 2019, Michael asked Premier Palaszczuk whether Labor would ban cash for access meetings.

You can read the answer below or in the official Queensland Parliament Record of Proceedings (Hansard), or watch it HERE.

Mr BERKMAN: My question is to the Premier. Plenty of regular Queenslanders would be very interested in a 10-minute face-to-face meeting with a minister but, unlike the 168 lobbyists, banks and mining companies that had cash-for-access meetings this year, they cannot afford the $5,500 price tag. Will the government ban cash-for-access meetings so that neither Labor nor the LNP can sell access to powerful decision-makers?

Ms PALASZCZUK: I reject the premise of the member for Maiwar’s question, because I meet with Queenslanders every day. I am out there talking to Queenslanders every single day. I will continue to do that and my government will continue to do that, because we listen and we deliver.

A government member: How did she meet Allan Allaway?

Ms PALASZCZUK: Exactly! I take that interjection. Members only had to listen to my ministerial statement today to hear about a 20-year journey—of meeting someone 20 years ago and finally, as Premier of this state, being able to do something about it. That is what Labor governments do. When it comes to opportunity and the most vulnerable in our society, we treat people equally. I once again remind the member for Maiwar, because he was not here, that the first piece of legislation that this government introduced into this House was to lower the donation threshold from $12,400 down to $1,000. If we had not done that, that threshold would have been $14,000 today. That is the commitment that we made. I am very proud of that first piece of legislation that we introduced into this House. Secondly, we introduced real-time disclosure. I note that some other jurisdictions are following that. When it comes to reforms, openness and transparency, when it comes to issues such as donations, that is exactly what we are doing. Of course, those reforms are on the Electoral Commission website for all to see. That is unlike those opposite where we have seen from them in total three High Court cases challenging our laws, and I would like to know the cost of that. Our laws are robust. We have banned property developers from donating. We have made that the same for the state government and councils. That is absolutely our commitment to the people of this state.

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