David Marler

David Marler

Queensland reporter at No Fibs
David is a full time Queensland carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs.
David Marler

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David Marler
NSW resident and non member of the Queensland parliament, Dee Madigan, has been referred to the state’s ethics committee for ridiculing Jarrod Bleijie MP.

Dee Madigan Referred To Qld Ethics Committee Over Jarrod Bleijie Ridicule

Author and Gruen panelist, Dee Madigan, has been referred to Queensland’s parliamentary ethics committee for ridiculing in a Tweet the Liberal National Party (LNP) member for the state seat of Kawana, Jarrod Bleijie. Last month, this blogger made a Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) of a scene in the Queensland Parliament in which Mr Bleijie tore up papers and threw them on the floor during debate on changes to the state’s vegetative management act.

Mr Bleijie had been unhappy that the hours of parliament had been extended to close out the bill and pointed to the government’s recent introduction of ‘family friendly hours’. Egged on by the deputy leader of the opposition, Tim Mander, Mr Bleijie digressed into accusations of socialism against the Labor Party before tearing up papers and casting them down. The action drew condemnation from Speaker Curtis Pitt.

Ms Madigan quote commented on the Tweet adding, “Your taxes at work. A toddler tantrum for @JarrodBleijieMP”.

Upon receiving a complaint, the Clerk of the Queensland Parliament Neil Laurie contacted Ms Madigan asking her to delete her comment. He labeled her, “a contracted campaigner of the Labor Party, Queensland Division”. Mr Laurie went on to cite, in its entirety, section 50 of the Parliament of Queensland Act 2001, including that, footage of proceedings in the Queensland parliament should not be subject to such things as ridicule, satire or political advertising. In his view, her Tweet had breached, “the terms and conditions and is a prima facie contempt”.

Ms Madigan pointed out that she was not contracted to the Labor Party in either Queensland or elsewhere, that she was a private citizen, entitled to retweet people and would not be removing the Tweet. She also pointed out that multiple members of the LNP had used parliamentary footage over time to express political opinions and to ridicule.

Mr Laurie pointed to the Speaker’s recent ruling in which two separate complaints had been received, both relating to members of parliament involving satire and political advertising. Further, Mr Bleijie had complained about an image that was taken from parliamentary footage and subsequently tweeted by a ministerial staff member. Leader of the House, Yvette D’Ath, had also complained about footage appearing on the LNP’s website. Both instances had been removed and as such no referral to the ethics committee had been made. The Speaker ended the ruling by noting that members should pass on the information to staff and political parties.

Speaker’s Ruling, Alleged Contravention of Parliament’s Terms and Conditions of Broadcast

In his ruling today, Speaker Pitt said that his, “role is not to determine whether there has been proven fault—a breach of privilege—but rather whether there are sufficient issues in play to warrant the further consideration of the House via the Ethics Committee.”

Upon hearing of the referral, Ms Madigan said it brought into question the issue of free speech over social media. She also said her original Tweet would be staying in place.

Ms Madigan also suggested that the attack was politically motivated given her involvement in Labor’s successful 2015 Queensland election campaign which led to Mr Bleijie leaving office as the state’s Attorney-General.

Brisbane Times journalist Felicity Caldwell said she had contacted Mr Bleijie for comment. However, the Speaker had earlier reminded members of parliament that, “standing order 271 now applies and members should not refer to these matters in the House.”


In his report, the ABC’s Josh Bavas apologised for not being able to list the original Tweet and said, “to avoid breaching those same rules, the ABC cannot republish the tweet — sorry about that.” Tweet about LNP MP’s ‘toddler tantrum’ gets ad exec referred to ethics committee.

Ms Madigan remains at large in Victoria. A “Free Dee Madigan” concert is believed to be underway.


-More to come