The state government has backed off on its controversial plan to ban journalists from publishing corruption allegations about candidates during election campaigns.
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath had introduced the amendments to parliament on Thursday, citing a report tabled by the Crime and Corruption Commission early in July.
Under the proposed changes, CCC complaints about electoral candidates to the CCC would be kept under wraps until investigations became official, or three months had lapsed and breaches could land a person in jail for up to six months, or face thousands of dollars in fines.
Unions and the LNP opposition were up in arms accusing the government of trying to silence whistleblowers before the October state election.
Then in a brief statement on Friday the Attorney-General dropped the proposal, citing time constraints.
"Given the limited time for the parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee to consider the law changes the CCC seeks... the bill introduced yesterday in state parliament is withdrawn," Ms D'Ath said.
KAP leader Robbie Katter had slammed the plan as outrageous and hypocritical.
"This Government has got form; it was the reporting of corruption allegations into Jackie Trad that ultimately caused her to resign from Cabinet," Mr Katter said.
"What does Labor know that we don't and what are they afraid will be revealed?"
However the Local Government Association of Qld says the government need not have completely withdrawn the bill.
LGAQ CEO Greg Hallam said councils did not support provisions criminalising journalism, but they did support the introduction of penalties to stop complainants publicising their complaints to do reputational damage to their opponents during local government election campaigns.
"Rather than withdrawing the Bill, councils believed it should be amended to protect journalists and then passed," Mr Hallam said.
"The focus of the Bill should be on providing a disincentive to those who make baseless complaints to the CCC during election campaigns in order to denigrate their political opponents."
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