Brett Wortman

Queenslanders to vote on parliamentary term extension

QUEENSLANDERS will go to the polls to vote on a bipartisan move to introduce fixed, four-year parliamentary terms.

The Labor government and LNP opposition agreed to support the bill to introduce four-year-terms, with elections held on the final Saturday in October. Currently elections are held every three years with the Premier choosing the date.

But the voting public will have to confirm the changes at a referendum.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the move would give certainty to voters but they must have the final say on whether the changes should go ahead.

"The people of Queensland rightly must have a say," she said.

"The introduction of fixed-four-year-terms means voters will no longer be surprised (by snap elections)."

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said the changes would provide Queensland business with stability.

But the bill was not universally supported, with the two Katter's Australian Party MPs voting against it.

Dalrymple MP Shane Knuth said he did not believe increasing the amount of time politicians have in power would be welcomed in his electorate.

"My constituents have great concerns. (They) don't trust governments, particularly big governments," he said.

The bill also includes the provision for an "extraordinary election" which could be held in unexpected circumstances - such as the parliament losing confidence in a premier.

The referendum may be held to coincide with the March, 19 2016 council election - although that has not been decided and the idea is opposed by councils.

- APN NEWSDESK


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