Seeney claims Wellington is part of Labor's poor legacy

Member for Nicklin, MP Peter Wellington.
Member for Nicklin, MP Peter Wellington. Cade Mooney

NICKLIN MP Peter Wellington claimed he was offended by "untrue" comments the deputy premier made when he raised the Mary Valley tenant purchase scheme in Queensland Parliament on Thursday.

He later found himself in stoushes with his neighbouring MP David Gibson over his suggestions the properties should be sold on the open market.

During Question Time, Mr Wellington said there was no infrastructure investment on some properties since the leases began, many of the leases were less than market rental and that the state had a significant debt to reduce.

He asked whether the government would amend the scheme so tenants were notified the land would be sold on the open market and if they were not successful then their lease might end to facilitate the property sale.

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney responded by accusing Mr Wellington of being part of the "terrible legacy" the former Labor government had left.

"He rushed across here to support them to put them into power, so he too must bear some of the responsibility for the legacy," he said.

Mr Seeney said communities in the Mary Valley were destroyed and the impact on people's lives profound so it was important they were "treated fairly".

"The Member for Nicklin was part of the problem and now he needs to be part of the solution," he said.

Jeff Seeney
Jeff Seeney Chrissy Harris

Mr Wellington argued Mr Seeney was misleading the house and the comment should be withdrawn.

Mr Seeney's disingenuous withdrawal, arguing it was "a personal reflection", met further ire from Mr Wellington.

"I asked for an unequivocal withdrawal because the words are incorrect and they deserve rectification," he said.

Mr Seeney said he withdrew unconditionally but again attacked the Nicklin MP.

"Order! Members will cease interjecting," deputy speaker Mark Robinson said.

Gympie MP David Gibson then issued a press release criticising the neighbouring MP.

"If the government was to adopt the latest thought bubble of Peter Wellington it would once again rip at the fabric of the local community by preventing local residents who are currently on a lease-back arrangement or a long-term tenants from remaining in the valley," he said.

"The stated policy of the Mary Valley Tenant Purchase Scheme is to give long-term sitting tenants and former owners who are renting back their old property an opportunity to purchase which will help stabilise the Mary Valley community.

"These properties, like all other Mary Valley properties placed on the market, will be offered for sale at current market value."

Mr Wellington then made a private member's statement in parliament attacking Mr Gibson, again arguing the valuable Mary Valley land should be sold on the open market.

He said there should not be "secret sweetheart deals behind closed doors", that the tenants did not deserve preferential treatment.

"It's a sham," he said.

"The government only intends to recover a fraction of the former government spent on acquiring this land.
"That land belongs to the people of Queensland."

Topics:  david gibson, jeff seeney, mary valley, parliament, peter wellington, queensland government



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