Queensland’s premier not answering fresh questions about controversial chief justice pick Tim Carmody, instead referring media to his comments last week.
Queensland’s premier has held his first media conference in five days, but was coy when questioned about his government’s controversial selection of Tim Carmody as the state’s new chief justice.
Since Campbell Newman last stood before reporters, Judge Carmody’s controversial addition to the Supreme Court has been approved by the state’s governor.
Judge Carmody’s meteoric rise has divided the judiciary, with critics arguing he’s too inexperienced and too close to the government.
But Mr Newman has declined to offer any new comment on the appointment of Judge Carmody, even though Court of Appeal justice John Muir has joined senior legal figures in slamming the appointment process.
“Go back to what I’ve said when I announced it about a week and a half ago,” Mr Newman told reporters on the Sunshine Coast.
“You’ve got my comments.”
Late last week, Governor Penelope Wensley issued writs for the July 19 Stafford by-election, where the ruling Liberal National Party is considered the underdog despite its seven per cent margin.
Asked why the media wasn’t invited to that event, Mr Newman pointed to his June 5 speech to parliament.
“The announcement was made in parliament, look at the record,” Mr Newman said, adding media weren’t usually invited for by-election declarations.
“I’ve held many press conferences since I made the announcement in parliament.”
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk accused the premier of hiding from voters during the past week, with Mr Newman’s last media conference on Tuesday in Mount Isa.
“The premier has been in hiding now for over a week, afraid to front the music, afraid to talk to people in this state,” she told reporters in Brisbane.
The premier was on the Sunshine Coast on Sunday holding a community cabinet in Maroochydore, which is also in Clive Palmer’s federal seat of Fairfax.
A cabinet meeting is being held in the same beachside suburb on Monday.
It would come three days after Mr Palmer lodged a defamation writ against Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney in the Supreme Court, after he alleged on the ABC that the mining tycoon had sought special favours for his Waratah Coal interests in the Galilee Basin in 2012.
Mr Palmer is also suing Mr Newman for defamation after the premier claimed that he tried to “buy” the Queensland government.