QUEENSLAND PARLIAMENT QUESTION TIME
All sides of Queensland politics are up in arms over a government move to delay a pay rise for the public sector.
Public servants who were due for a pay rise in the next financial year will now have to wait until 2022 after the state government introduced a legislative amendment to delay the hike.
The Liberal National Party was initially in favour when the Palaszczuk government announced a pay freeze at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, they are now against the delay.
"It's a dog's breakfast," the party's deputy leader Tim Mander said.
"Because of the process and what the public servants have been subject to, which is confusion and uncertainty ... we will oppose the legislation and therefore oppose the wage freeze."
The Greens Michael Berkman declared "hell has frozen over in Queensland" and that the Labor government had been "outflanked on the left by the LNP".
"I appreciate that the LNP is going to vote against the wage freeze this time, but what it really goes to show is that you can't trust Labor or the LNP when it comes to workers' rights," he told reporters on Wednesday.
Mr Berkman, the only Greens member in state parliament, said the Queensland economy needed stimulus, not austerity measures.
"And if we need to raise more revenue it should come from the big corporations," he added.
Meanwhile, Queenslanders will be able to cast their vote on who will lead the state at more pre-polling booths and over more days ahead of the October election.
"That means more pre-poll locations, longer pre-poll hours and more pre-poll voting days in the two weeks prior to polling day," Attorney General Yvette D'Ath told parliament on Wednesday.
"It means Queensland will have an election period - not just an election day."
The Electoral Commission of Queensland will take telephone votes from vulnerable voters and be given the resources to respond to an emergent public health risk.
"In extreme circumstances, such as a localised outbreak, this could include the ECQ delivering the election to some electorates as a total postal vote," Ms D'Ath said.
A global pandemic was declared by the World Health Organisation five days before pre-polling for the state's local government and Bundamba and Currumbin by-elections in March.
One million people voted in the pre-poll period and another 2.5 million turned out to booths on election day, despite medical experts saying doing so risked spreading coronavirus.
Ms D'Ath said there were no cases of COVID-19 linked to the election and said the commission had since been contacted by officials in New Zealand, Canada and across Australia to share details of how polling was managed.
The premier ordered a review after a technical issue with the data feed from polling booths delayed the publication of preliminary results on election day.