In light of recent disclosure of policy development payments to political parties in Queensland, KAP State Leader Robbie Katter has called for a wide ranging shake-up to funding and resourcing arrangements for political parties and politicians in Queensland.
“Currently the government has too much influence over resources, and policy development payments don’t seem to require the delivery of any policy,” the Traeger MP said.
“The way the system is set up at the moment encourages bad behaviour and doesn’t reward parties or politicians who represent their constituents in meaningful ways.
“With the policy development payments we’ve got a situation where parties are incentivised to run as many candidates as possible rather than running good candidates who care about their communities.
“Because of the incentive to get as many votes as possible we see parties carpet bombing elections to fill their coffers rather than trying to make a difference for their voters.”
Analysis of Policy Development Payments show that the ALP has received $564,860, the LNP $537,221, One Nation $218,889, the Greens $142,105, and Katter’s Australian Party $36,922.
Mr Katter said new criteria needed to be put in place for allocating resources.
He said that despite having a small fraction of the funding of other parties, the KAP had introduced four Private Member’s Bills this parliament while the LNP have only introduced one.
“I’d like to see more emphasis put on tangible activity when determining allocation of resources,” Mr Katter said.
“Things like constituent engagement and development and introduction of bills are far better measures of value to the Queensland taxpayer than the number of first preference votes.
“Ultimately as politicians we’re voted in to listen to our people and influence legislation in the way we think is best. If each individual member can’t prove they’re doing that, their party shouldn’t be getting funding.”
Mr Katter’s calls come as scrutiny of the government’s actions in removing KAP staff resources have exposed the Premier to potential jail time.
“The Premier clearly tried to use her power in controlling resources to achieve political ends,” he said.
“This is completely inappropriate and could potentially send her to jail. This reflects a clear breakdown of the system and the system must be changed to ensure people can trust it,” Mr Katter said.
“Recommendations from both the Integrity Commissioner and the CCC have stated that resourcing allocation processes need to be changed.
“KAP MPs want to see resourcing allocation processes changed, but they have to be changed in a way that rewards good behaviour and punishes slack major party politicians who sit behind closed office doors in safe seats,” Mr Katter said.