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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Bleijie asleep at the wheel again

    Attorney-General, Minister for Local Government and Special Minister of State
    The Honourable Paul Lucas

    Tuesday, August 30, 2011

    Bleijie asleep at the wheel again

    Jarrod Bleijie has been caught out asleep at the wheel again after making a late run at trying to have a position on court fees, Deputy Premier and Attorney General Paul Lucas said today.

    Mr Lucas said that it was unbelievable the LNP had waited until now to try and come up with a credible position on the subject despite the matter being publically raised in Queensland Parliament on June 15.

    “Jarrod Bleijie was in parliament on June 15 when I made a Ministerial Statement about this,” Mr Lucas said.

    “You don’t get more public than a statement in Parliament in the morning with all of the journalists and TV crews there.

    “It only applies to the District and Supreme courts and most people in society will never have a matter in the District or Supreme courts.

    “For those that do, there are hardship provision for people and corporations, including not-for-profits, depending on their financial circumstances.

    “This is in addition to assistance like the Legal Aid Civil Law Assistance Scheme.

    “Importantly for personal injury claims, most lawyers charge on a no win, no fee basis.

    “What this episode shows is that Jarrod Bleijie didn’t bother to listen to what was happening in Parliament.

    “This lack of attention to detail is something that is typical of this flaky, divided LNP opposition.”

    Mr Lucas said the fees were also included in the budget and the Queensland Law Society had been in the Budget lockup.

    “Of course the Bar Association would oppose this, just like mining companies opposed increases in mining royalties,” he said.

    “However, I think most Queenslanders would expect business to pay something towards the cost of judges, the courts and their staff, just as they are prepared to pay big money for their legal representation or commercial mediations.”

    “The fees only apply to new matters filed from September 1 so no existing litigant, no matter how wealthy, will be disadvantaged.

    “The amount of money raised at $3 million is very modest.”

    Mr Lucas said charging court fees would bring Queensland into step with other states in Australia and funds collected this financial year would go towards important initiatives such as the Murri Court and the Queensland Indigenous Alcohol Diversion Program.

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