June 17 2016
The Queensland Parliament’s newest unicorn impersonator has apologised for his “light hearted” hand gestures which made headlines across Australia.
Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek apparently forgot about the Parliamentary cameras on Wednesday, and was captured demonstrating how to shake a sauce bottle, before indicating how one would polish a unicorn horn, on the footage.
While he made the gestures, following a warning from Peter Wellington to a fellow LNP MP about his own hand gestures – which although strictly G-rated, had captured the ire of the Speaker for their ability to rile up the government backbenchers.
Shortly after Mr Wellington said he could do without Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin’s provoking hand gestures, Mr Langbroek demonstrated his own ability to provoke, which proved much more effective, prompting Labor minister Kate Jones to rise in the chamber the following day.
“My concern is that the Member for Surfers Paradise immediately disregarded your ruling,” she said on Thursday.
“As such, I believe it is a reflection on the chair. The Member for Surfers Paradise should explain his actions and whether indeed they were directed at the Speaker or his own Opposition member.”
On Friday, Mr Wellington told Parliament in light of Mr Langbroek’s clarification and apology, no further action would be taken and he would not be referred to the Ethics Committee.
LNP leader Tim Nicholls has said he would remind Mr Langbroek of appropriate parliamentary standards.
While the actions rubbed the shine off the Opposition’s budget reply speech, it did make Mr Langbroek momentarily famous.
But after an appearance on his sister’s radio show, where she threatened to tell their parents, and a day of jokes within the chamber, Mr Langbroek decided to bring the matter to a head late Thursday night – and apologise.
“My gestures were a light-hearted exchange between MPs and not meant to reflect on your earlier ruling or any MP,” Mr Langbroek said.
“Please be assured of my respect for the Parliament and appropriate behaviour at all times.”
Parliament resumes on Friday, where the government, barring any more distractions, hopes to pass the budget.
Source : Brisbane Times