Labor MP Jackie Trad has been kicked out of the Queensland parliament for three days after accusing the deputy premier of lying over asset sales.
Jeff Seeney was speaking about the merits of selling a $2.6 billion recycled water pipeline and $1.2 billion Gold Coast desalination plant – a topic raised repeatedly during Thursday morning’s sitting.
He claimed the $150 million spent on interest repayments for the “mothballed” projects could be better spent elsewhere.
But Acting Speaker Mark Robinson interrupted Mr Seeney to admonish Labor MP Jackie Trad for her interjections.
“Your interjection claiming that the deputy premier’s statements were `such a lie’ I believe I heard are unparliamentary and I ask you withdraw,” he told Ms Trad.
After Ms Trad withdrew her comments, he ordered she leave parliament for an hour.
When she replied “with pleasure”, government MPs took offence and voted to exclude her for three days.
Ms Trad told AAP she respected the acting Speaker’s ruling, but it means she won’t be able to sit on the ethics committee.
She said her expulsion proved the Newman government can’t handle criticism over controversial issues.
“Campbell Newman has learnt nothing from the Redcliffe by-election,” Ms Trad said.
“This is the most arrogant, aggressive and blinkered government that Queensland has ever seen.”
Over coming weeks, cabinet will decide whether to keep the pipeline and desalination plants for times of extreme drought, and investigate alternative uses or sale.
Premier Campbell Newman said the projects were largely funded through debt, which was costing Queenslanders $150 million a year in interest repayments and $33 million a year in care and maintenance costs.
Two power generators and two ports could also be sold after the next election.