Queensland’s four-year fix: longer terms for stable government?

Queensland is considering whether to introduce fixed, four-year electoral terms. This would bring it into line with other jurisdictions and give public servants greater certainty, thinks Anne Tiernan.

Queensland will look into increasing parliamentary terms from three years to four, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Tuesday, potentially offering greater stability for both public servants and the business community and bringing the state into line with the rest of the country.

The state parliament’s finance and administration committee will hold an inquiry into the prospect of changing to four-year fixed parliamentary terms. Expected to report findings by November 9, it will consider:

  • A comparison with other jurisdictions;
  • The advantages and disadvantages of four-year terms;
  • Determining when and how a referendum question might be put to the Queensland people.

“The length of parliamentary terms in Queensland has long been a subject of debate,” Palaszczuk (pictured) stated in parliament on Tuesday. “It is something our business community require certainty about. Indeed, it is something that all Queenslanders require certainty about.”

Speaker Peter Wellington, who has been pushing for a change, recently wrote to both Palaszczuk and Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg seeking support for the change.

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