Alex Scott of the Together Union says Queensland's bid to block a public servant pay rise is hypocritical given the massive increase given to MPs.
Alex Scott of the Together Union says Queensland's bid to block a public servant pay rise is hypocritical given the massive increase given to MPs. Sharyn O'Neill

Court action to block public servant pay rises 'hypocrisy'

THE Newman Government has launched Supreme Court action to try to stop public servants getting an interim pay rise, days after approving a 41% increase for MPs.

News Ltd reports the appeal was lodged late Friday afternoon in the same week Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie declared the government had to accept the decision of the Remuneration Tribunal in relation to MPs getting a $57,000 a year pay hike.

Together Queensland state secretary Alex Scott said it seemed there was one rule for Members of Parliament and another for government employees.

"It's the height of hypocrisy that they want to abide by the tribunal's decision when it's lining their own pockets, but want to challenge a ruling that could assist public servants," Mr Scott said.

The Supreme Court action is in response to an Industrial Court ruling last month that the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission did have the power to award an interim pay rise to public servants.

The revelations comes after Right to Information documents show Campbell Newman was advised not to increase his MPs' salaries in line with their federal counterparts.

Acting Premier Jeff Seeney's said 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 a week ago, 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.

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.



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