Dametto and Knuth Criticize Government Over Private Members Bills Delays

Shane Knuth MP, Robbie Katter MP and Nick Dametto MP.

9 July 2024

Katter’s Australia Party (KAP) State Members Nick Dametto for Hinchinbrook, and Shane Knuth for Hill, have fiercely criticized the Queensland Government for their failure to process Private Members Bills in a timely manner and with the same degree of priority as Government bills.

Their comments come after it was revealed that Mr Knuth’s bill, introduced to the Parliament on the 22nd of May 2024, would be revoked due to a technicality over whether the bill would draw on consolidated funds. Mr Knuth intends to introduce an amended version of his bill in one of the two remaining sitting weeks this term.

Mr Dametto’s vital Criminal Code (Defence of Dwellings and Other Premises—Castle Law) Amendment Bill 2024 (Castle Law Bill) and Mr Knuth’s amended Crocodile Control and Conservation Bill 2024 (Crocodile Bill), are now both at risk of lapsing when State Parliament dissolves later this year. Given current timeframes, the two bills stand to not be debated, or even reported on by the relevant Parliamentary Committees before then.

Prior to being revoked, Mr Knuth’s Crocodile Bill would have been reported on but most likely not debated prior to the dissolution of Parliament and now to not even have a committee report was salt in the wound according to the Hill MP.

“The Government’s stalling tactics and failure to allow these bills to the floor for debate are unacceptable. Queenslanders have a right to see their elected officials debate and vote on these critical issues,” Mr Knuth said.

“With over eighty per cent of the crocodile population located North of Cairns, properly controlling the exploding population is a matter of life and death for North Queenslanders.

“The Government’s forced withdrawal of this Bill shows a blatant disregard for the safety and well-being of our communities.”

The Crocodile Bill 2024 aimed, amongst other things, to establish the Queensland Crocodile Authority in Cairns, enforce a zero-tolerance policy for crocodiles in waterways frequently used by humans, and provide economic opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders through a regulated crocodile industry.

“Essentially the whole bill was revoked due to a technicality over minor appropriations for travel expenses for a voluntary advisory committee,” Mr Knuth continued.

“The Government’s excuse of a technicality to withdraw the Crocodile Bill is laughable and insulting. This Bill is about saving lives, and their avoidance tactics reveal their true priorities.

Nick Dametto also highlighted the urgent need for Castle Law, designed to ensure the safety and security of Queensland residents.

“Over 40,000 Queenslanders signed a petition supporting the right to defend yourself in your own home against intruders,” he said.

“The Castle Law Bill has been designed to act as a deterrent to would be home intruders by giving Queenslanders the right to defend their loved ones and property by whatever means necessary.

“The scales need to swing back the other way when it comes to rights and protections for those who stand up to these criminals.

“I would strongly urge anyone who supports the Castle Law Bill to urgently contact their local Member of Parliament and ask what they are doing to ensure that Castle Law is debated before the October election.”

The Committee report for the Castle Law Bill has been declared as the 1st of November, after the State Election.

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Nick Dametto MP