Lying to Parliament a criminal offence

Published Thursday, 02 August, 2012 at 04:32 PM

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice
The Honourable Jarrod Bleijie

The Newman Government has delivered on another election commitment today by passing laws making it a criminal offence to lie to Parliament.

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and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie said the Queensland Criminal Code would be amended to re-enact laws repealed under the previous administration.

“This Bill inserts repealed section 57 to make it an offence to knowingly give false evidence to Parliament or its committees,” Mr Bleijie said.

“It also reinstates repealed sections 56 and 58 of the Criminal Code.

“This means it will be a criminal offence to cause a disturbance while Parliament is sitting or refuse to attend a Legislative Assembly or Parliamentary Committee and provide evidence.

“These amendments will not capture the everyday operations of the Parliament but they will apply to Members and non-Members.

“Section 57 was repealed by the previous Government in 2006 in response to allegations that then Health Minister Gordon Nuttall had misled a Parliamentary Committee.

“The Parliament resolved to deal with the matter as contempt of Parliament, rather than a criminal offence.

“Parliament accepted Mr Nuttall’s resignation as a Minister and member of the Executive Council and his apology to Parliament as an appropriate penalty.”

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

The provisions in the Bill will apply upon assent from the Governor.

Media contact: Lisa O’Donnell – 0400 986 432