Katter’s Australian Party state leader and member for Traeger Robbie Katter has said he won’t apologise for Senator Fraser Anning despite losing staff in state parliament over the matter.
His statement came after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has confirmed she will withdraw funding for staff allocated to the Katter’s Australian Party.
The decision comes in the wake of KAP Queensland Senator Fraser Anning’s maiden speech in Federal Parliament last month, in which he talked about the “final solution”.
Ms Palaszczuk said Mr Anning’s comments were abhorrent and counter to the most basic human rights, including equality and freedom from discrimination.
“To believe, as we do, in equality and basic human rights means we do not merely support their existence,” the Premier said.
“We stand up and call out those who would rip them away.
“No one uses the words ‘final solution’ except in sorrow, anger and shame.”
Mr Katter said the Senator’s words and the KAP’s position had been misrepresented.
“If the Premier had taken the time to ask what our policy is on immigration, she wouldn’t be so offended,” Mr Katter said.
Ms Palaszczuk said politicians had the right to free speech in our parliaments but that free speech is not free of consequence nor is it free of responsibility.
“So, because his party will not denounce him, I denounce his party and I withdraw the additional staff I granted to the Katter’s Australian Party,” she said.
“That party tolerates the intolerable and defends the indefensible and I will not be a part of it.”
I withdraw the additional staff I granted to the KAP- Annastacia Palaszczuk
The Premier’s move was egged on by Opposition leader Deb Frecklington who had earlier called for Ms Palaszczuk to act to rip up Labor’s “special deal” with the Katter Australia Party.
“I urge the Labor Party conference to move a motion to compel the Premier to rip up her special deal that gives the Katter Party $500,000 of taxpayer funded assistance beyond their entitlement,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It’s clear Annastacia Palaszczuk is using the Katter Australia Party as an insurance policy to keep her as Premier.”