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Premier backs exit of pub fight MP from key committee

Politics

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the removal of Labor MP Les Walker from the transport and resources committee and as a temporary Speaker is suitable punishment for another pub altercation.

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The Mundingburra MP was charged with assault and banned from Townsville’s safe night precinct for the second time this year after an altercation on July 30.

He has since written to the premier about standing down from his roles and Palaszczuk says the clerk of parliament will oversee when it takes effect at parliament’s next sitting.

“The parliament’s meeting at the end of this month so the parliament will actually put that into effect from that date,” she said.

“The parliament has to give it effect is my understanding.”

Earlier this month, the premier said she was “very disappointed” and “angry” with Walker after being involved in another fight incident in Townsville.

In a previous altercation in January, he was knocked out at the Mad Cow Tavern after being hit during a fight with two men while celebrating his birthday.

Opposition MP Jarrod Bleijie says estimates reveal Walker is still being paid his $24,000 committee salary, and he remains unpunished.

“After his Mad Cow incident in January, Les Walker promised the people of Townsville he would not find himself in trouble, yet here we are again,” he said in a statement.

“This isn’t about the alleged incident or the upcoming court case, this is about trust.

“Mr Walker has broken his promise to the people of Townsville and cannot be trusted to represent them any longer in Parliament.”

Police issued Walker with a notice to appear for common assault and disorderly in a licenced premises and he will appear in Townsville Magistrates Court on August 16.

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