Confusion reigns over the fate of civil unions in Queensland after the release of Campbell Newman’s blueprint for his first 100 days of government.
The Liberal National Party (LNP) released the action plan several days before Saturday’s sweeping election victory.
Newman had previously promised he would “immediately” look at civil unions if the LNP were elected.
The document details action on the LNP’s 4 percent unemployment target, initiatives to lower the cost of living, establishing a Commission of Audit to assess the state’s finances, taking action on the Bruce Highway, establishing a ‘Mums and Bubs’ service, recruiting more police and removing Labor’s $7000 stamp duty.
There is, however, no reference to either the repeal of civil unions or an attempt to look at the legislation.
The confusion over the Civil Partnerships Act’s fate comes as speculation mounted last week that a relationships registry, which would remove the option of a ceremony, was being seriously considered by the LNP as an alternative to civil unions.
Despite previously saying he would not repeal the legislation if a civil partnership had been registered and formalised in Queensland before the next election, Newman appeared to backflip in February, saying he would look at completely repealing the Act.
“In relation to civil unions [and] gay marriage our position is very clear, we voted against the Bill and we’ve said that if we get into government, we will repeal it,” he said.
“That may not be possible … I’ve said before I don’t want to leave couples in legal limbo, but that’s the very strong position of my entire parliamentary team, my candidates across the state and my party.”
Newman would be able to repeal civil unions by putting forward legislation amending the Acts affected by the recent changes to laws — of which there are more than 20.