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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Lying to Parliament to regain criminal offence status

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
    The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

    Monday, April 23, 2012

    Lying to Parliament to regain criminal offence status

    The drafting of laws making it illegal to lie to the Queensland Parliament will commence with Cabinet to endorse the Government’s election commitment of re-introducing this as a criminal offence.

    Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie MP said the State Government would amend the Queensland Criminal Code to re-enact laws repealed under the previous administration.

    “The Queensland community expects its parliamentarians to act responsibly and with the highest integrity,” Mr Bleijie said.

    “Knowingly giving false evidence before the Parliament or one of its committees is conduct cutting to the heart of parliamentary privilege and is deserving of criminal sanction.”

    Mr Bleijie said that in 2006 the previous State Government had repealed the section that made lying in Parliament a criminal offence after the Parliament had dealt with allegations that the then Minister for Health, Gordon Nuttall MP, had misled a Parliamentary Estimates Committee.

    “At that time, the matter constituted not only a contempt of Parliament but under section 57 of the Criminal Code, knowingly giving false evidence before Parliament was a crime with a penalty of up to seven years’ jail,” he said.

    “The Parliament resolved to deal with the matter as contempt of Parliament, rather than a criminal offence, and accepted Mr Nuttall’s resignation as a Minister and member of the Executive Council and his apology to Parliament as an appropriate penalty.

    “The previous government then passed amendments to the Criminal Code to repeal section 57, giving Parliament exclusive jurisdiction to deal with a person who provides false evidence to it or one of its committees.”

    Mr Bleijie said reintroducing the relevant section of the Criminal Code would enhance the Parliament’s reputation.

    “Allowing the courts to deal with such conduct guards against any suspicions of political interference and cronyism,” he said.

    Media contact: Lisa O’Donnell, 0400 986 432