Documents advise Premier to avoid passing on MPs' pay rise
THE Queensland Premier was advised not to increase his MPs' salaries in line with their federal counterparts and provided with solutions to avoid the controversial move, Right to Information documents show.
The revelations follow Acting Premier Jeff Seeney's announcement last week that he received Crown Law advice that showed a pay freeze that former Premier Anna Bligh put in place in 2009 was unlawful.
Queensland Parliamentary law stipulates state MPs' base salaries must be $500 less than Commonwealth House of Representative members.
While the Federal MPs' salaries have gone up since 2009, Queensland politicians saw their pay packets stay the same, due to the pay freeze.
As a result of the Crown Law advice received last Friday, Mr Seeney confirmed MPs would be in line for a $57,000 salary rise to close the wage gap between state and federal MPs.
Together Union, on Friday, released RTI material, including advice Queensland Parliament Clerk Neil Laurie provided to Premier Campbell Newman last year to avoid passing on a pay rise.
Mr Laurie advised cutting the ties between state and federal salaries, linking MPs' salaries to public service salary rates or establishing a Queensland remuneration tribunal.
"Given the extent of the review undertaken by the Remuneration Tribunal and the size of the increase to the base salary of federal members, I think it is unlikely that the government would want this increase to flow on to Queensland members," he wrote.
"Further, it is also noted that the Commonwealth remuneration tribunal commented in its report that any linkages between state and federal salaries should be severed as they are no longer appropriate."
But Mr Seeney said the advice the Attorney-General and he received last Friday changed the situation.
"The advice made it clear that the law - as it stands - requires a particular course of action and that action is that members of parliament receive the salary required by the law," he said.
"I wrote to the Clerk of the Parliament and advised him of the Crown Law advice and asked him to comply with the law in accordance with that Crown Law advice.
"There is no other alternative once the legal situation has been made clear by Crown Law."
Mr Scott said the RTI documents exposed the hypocrisy and lies of the Newman Government.
The government gazetted the 41.9% pay increase on Friday.
Opposition leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the pay rise was obscene and totally irresponsible.