MP hits back over breaches

EMBATTLED Member for Burnett Rob Messenger has aired concerns about being able to adequately defend himself against breaches of parliament.

The Parliamentary Ethics Committee tabled their report on Thursday which found Mr Messenger guilty of breaching two standing orders.

In the first instance, Mr Messenger inadequately obscure the name of a child in a document tabled to parliament. For the second breach, Mr Messenger mentioned in parliament a matter still before the district court.

In the report, the committee recommended Mr Messenger be banned from parliament for two and three days respectively for each charge.

Mr Messenger is expected to provide a defence to the house at the next sittings on November 15. After his defence, the house members will vote whether or not he will be banned from the parliamentary precinct.

But Mr Messenger said he will find it "very difficult" to mount an adequate defence.

"I will not be able to refer to the matter (before the court)," he said.

Mr Messenger has also written to the speaker of the house questioning whether the report tabled by the committee was in breach of the same standing order for mentioning the matter before the court.

The MP said he would like to see the house vote on the breaches put off until the matter has progressed through the court system.

"I believe that's the only fair way to deal with this because it's almost a catch-22 situation," he said.



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