Accusations Lister acted in contempt of Parliament quashed
ACCUSATIONS the Member for Southern Downs James Lister acted in contempt of Parliament by assaulting fellow parliamentarian Peter Russo were dismissed this afternoon.
In a statement to the Parliament, Speaker Curtis Pitt addressed the allegations after the member for Toohey Mr Russo made an official complaint that Mr Lister "pushed" him twice during state budget estimates on Thursday.
Mr Russo alleged Mr Lister rose from his seat to commit the assault, which he alleged was an act of contempt of Parliament.
But the Speaker said Mr Russo, who was leading the estimates hearing as the Chair of the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee, made no immediate call to order after the alleged contempt.
"Immediately after the incident, the Chair took a point of order from the Member and ruled on the point of order," Mr Pitt said.
"But no mention was made of the alleged assault in the hearing either by the chair, other committee members or witnesses."
Mr Lister, who denied the allegations entirely, said he was pleased with the decision not to proceed with an investigation.
"I wasn't even required to respond before the speaker released his statement," he said.
"I did put my hand on his shoulder to get his attention everyone was there and saw it.
"He could have kicked me out of the chamber as the Chair if he wanted to but he didn't."
Mr Russo alleged Mr Lister's actions were aggressive.
"He was trying to get my attention. He couldn't get my attention. He stood up and basically pushed me on the left shoulder to try and get my attention," Mr Russo told The Courier Mail.
But Mr Lister said the accusations were a "political stunt" designed to detract "the media away from Labor's abysmal estimates performance."
"Channel Seven's footage of the event clearly shows that absolutely nothing happened - nobody batted an eyelid at the time and the whole thing just was a silly attempt to use the media take the heat of the government," Mr Lister said.