Jo-Ann justifies her feisty estimates grillings
JO-ANN Miller has justified her grilling of Labor Party ministers at estimates hearings and vowed to continue to bring to the fore issues that impacted the lives of her constituents and Queenslanders.
"Estimates has always been my favourite part of the parliamentary year," Ms Miller told 612 ABC in an interview with Steve Austin on his morning program on Thursday.
She outlined three reasons - the chance to ask questions of Ministers, the opportunity to expose the Opposition for being "inept and lazy", and "where you can raise issues of importance to your local electorate".
She said she had missed the parliamentary debate in budget week as she was in hospital for a week after an asthma attack. Ms Miller said she regularly distributed a newsletter to her electorate on items of interest after the budget and said estimates was her only chance now to raise issues that were important to members of her electorate.
Mr Austin asked Ms Miller if there was an element of payback in her questioning of Labor ministers. She did concede the leadup to her sacking as Police Minister was akin go "political live baiting" and that her treatment had disgusted many in her electorate during what was a tough time for her personally.
But Ms Miller reiterated throughout the interview that her questioning of both ministers and the Opposition was not done out of spite.
Ms Miller has raised issues in estimates which are indeed of interest to many battlers in both the electorate of Bundamba and throughout the state, and she has hung her political hat on representing those constituents.
She told Mr Austin she was for "truth, justice and standing up for the workers…particularly the coal miners of Queensland".
She said that was why she raised issues about "the black lung disaster which has re-emerged in Queensland".
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out a royal commission into the black lung debacle.
But Ms Miller has vowed to continue to fight for answers and lobby for a royal commission, on behalf of more than 15,000 miners in the state and those retired miners who may have "a death sentence" hanging over their heads.
She told 612 that her father, who is nearly 90, told her that her grandfather suffered from black lung and that there were many retired coal miners in her electorate who believe they suffered from the illness.
"We thought black lung had been eradicated decades ago. Now it has come back we need to get to the truth and we need to know…who is responsible for this," she told Mr Austin.