Queensland’s Labor Opposition had accused the LNP government of trying to hide with its shorter budget estimates process.
A controversial trial of shortened budget estimates hearings in Queensland will begin on Tuesday, with the opposition saying it won’t be deterred by the curtailed sittings.
Under the trial, estimates hearings have been cut from seven days to two, with ministers to give evidence concurrently.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Monday a Labor government would return to the seven-day system, and have each committee sit on a separate day to ensure proper scrutiny.
“The LNP wants to hide, hide their ministers,” Ms Palaszczuk told reporters.
“This is not about an open and accountable government. This is about hiding from media scrutiny and not facing up to scrutiny.”
The opposition is yet to reveal what they’ll be pursuing, other than questions about whether the LNP leaked personal information about its candidate in Saturday’s Stafford by-election.
A Labor favourite, the travel expenses of deputy premier Jeff Seeney, is also expected to be a focus.
The government says the all-day hearings will see the government questioned for just under 85 hours, compared to 58 hours last year.
The premier himself will give evidence for five hours and 45 minutes, compared to three hours last year.
Racing Minister Steve Dickson, Transport Minister Scott Emerson, Mines Minister Andrew Cripps and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek were some of the ministers who defended the new system as they headed into their weekly cabinet meeting.
“I think what you’ll see is there will be appropriate scrutiny of all the areas, including my Department of Transport and Main Roads,” Mr Emerson said on Monday.
Ministers and department heads who give evidence at estimates are compelled to answer honestly.
The opposition’s lines of questioning in the past two years have claimed some scalps.
The director-general of Transport, Michael Caltabiano, was eventually sacked after giving evidence over the hiring of the son of former IT Minister Ros Bates to his department.
Ms Bates herself stood down as minister.
Former housing minister Bruce Flegg also resigned from his portfolio over claims he misled a parliamentary estimates committee about contact between his office and his lobbyist son.
Set up in 1994, estimates evolved after recommendations from the Fitzgerald Inquiry into corruption.
Tony Fitzgerald has said it would be up to voters to judge whether the new-look hearings reduce accountability.
Estimates hearings will be held on Tuesday and Thursday.