What will the committee do?
The motion would ask the committee to inquire into and report on:
- what the Queensland Government has done with funds given to them by the Federal Government since 26 March 2012 (which is when Premier Campbell Newman took up his office);
- judicial independence and separation of powers;
- the approval process for development projects related to exporting resources or services;
- whether the Queensland Government's policies are consistent with Australia's obligations under international law, including environmental law and human rights instruments; and
- how appropriate it is for the Federal Minister for the Environment to delegate his approval powers to the Queensland Government under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
But! Because of Australia's federal system of government, the committee can only look into these things if they in some way relate to the Commonwealth.
Senator Lazarus explained that he believed the motion was necessary because "serious issues have been raised across the community regarding Queensland government appointments, judicial appointments, project approvals, use of funds, policies and practices, environmental degradation and various other matters" (see his full explanation).
Background to the motion
This is the second time that Palmer United Party Senator Glenn Lazarus has introduced this motion. The first time failed because Liberal Senator Eric Abetz managed to amend the motion so the period of inquiry would begin from 21 March 2009 and therefore include former Labor Premier Anna Bligh's government.