Queensland’s opposition says it has been intimidated by police officers and wants parliament’s ethics committee to investigate.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says she and opposition health spokeswoman Jo-Ann Miller were “openly and blatantly filmed” by Queensland police officers while listening to residents’ concerns during a recent community cabinet on the Gold Coast.
The concerns related to a proposed quarry development and meetings with teachers, she said.
“This is an extremely serious matter, namely the intimidation of members of the opposition in the performance of their duties,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Tuesday.
“One effect of such conduct can be to dissuade people from talking publicly with members of parliament, thus interfering with MPs freely performing their duties.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she would write to acting Speaker Mark Robinson requesting the matter be referred to parliament’s ethics committee and would also be writing to Commissioner Ian Stewart.
Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers responded with a scathing attack on Ms Palaszczuk, referring to her as an “April fool”.
“Police are not the enemy so why is Annastacia Palaszczuk attacking us?” he asked in a statement.
“On behalf of all Queensland police I demand Annastacia Palaszczuk withdraws her baseless criticisms of police immediately and apologises for making such ridiculous allegations against police under the protection of parliamentary privilege.”
Mr Leavers accused the opposition leader of trying to score cheap political points, although he applauded the efforts of other Labor MPs.
“The sooner a decent MP such as Yvette D’Ath, Bill Byrne or (Woodridge candidate and former minister) Cameron Dick becomes a plausible opposition leader, the better we will all be,” he said.