Palaszczuk strips Katter of staff over Senator Anning’s speech

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pictured at the state Labor conference on Sunday.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is pictured at the state Labor conference on Sunday. Photo: AAP

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has stripped Katter’s Australian Party of extra staff over federal Senator Fraser Anning’s “final solution” speech.

Ms Palaszczuk on Sunday said the additional staff, funded under an agreement made in the previous hung parliament, would be withdrawn.

It comes after sustained campaigning from the Liberal National Opposition, following Senator Anning’s inaugural speech last month.

LNP said it was five extra staff, but Queensland KAP leader Robbie Katter told The New Daily it was now actually four staff. The party had one less electorate officer since the state election last November, he said.

Senator Anning used the Nazi-associated phrase “final solution” and also called for a plebiscite to ban Muslim immigration, relying on fudged crime and welfare figures.

Ms Palaszczuk said the speech was “abhorrent” and counter to basic human rights.

“Yes, we have the right to free speech in our parliaments but that free speech is not free of consequence nor is it free of responsibility,” she said.

fraser anning - katter - palaszczuk

It comes after federal Senator Fraser Anning (pictured left with federal party leader Bob Katter) used the Nazi-associated phrase “final solution” and called for a ban on Muslim immigration. Photo: AAP

“So, because his party will not denounce him, I denounce his party and I withdraw the additional staff I granted to the Katter’s Australian Party.”

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander on Sunday said the government was “shamed” into the decision.

“It’s a sweetheart arrangement with the Palaszczuk government. This is above the allocation that they deserve and that the parliament gives to them,” Mr Mander told reporters.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk made this agreement in the last term of parliament because they needed their vote. Now they realise they don’t need the Katters.”

He also called on the government to put KAP last on how-to-vote cards in North Queensland at the next election.

robbie katter KAP

Queensland KAP leader Robbie Katter said it was not about Senator Anning. Photo: AAP

Robbie Katter said Ms Palaszczuk’s decision was cynical political opportunism.

“Don’t be fooled that this is about Fraser Anning,” he said.

“This is just the Labor Party being scared of what we’re going to do to them [at the next election] in North Queensland.”

He agreed Ms Palaszczuk initially entered the agreement to secure votes from the then-two KAP MPs in minority government, which Labor no longer needed.

He said suggestions Senator Anning was borrowing a Nazi phrase that refers to the extermination of Jewish people from Europe was “nonsense, and doesn’t warrant a response”.

Robbie Katter said the minor party “bloody achieved with A+” and deserved the extra staff considering the number of private members bills KAP has introduced.

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