‘Build a wall’: What kids would do if they were MPs
THE children of Townsville have given Queensland's MPs a swath of new ideas for the state - and a lesson in civility - at this week's special regional sitting of Parliament.
Scores of students have been bussed to the temporary House at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre to learn about democracy.
But some of them have schooled MPs back via a giant pin board containing their ideas for politicians to contemplate.
Children were asked to finish the sentence "If I were a member of parliament, I would …" and some of the responses are gold.
"If I were a member of parliament, I would … cry," wrote one, who obviously wasn't enamoured with what they'd seen in the House.
Another wisecracker would "keel over and die", while a peer would "not act like a kindergardener (sic), aka 2-year-old".
Among the more fantastical ideas were to research superpowers so that everyone could be a superhero, ban the controversial game Fortnight and make all medicine chocolate-flavoured.
Some eye-raising suggestions were to "establish communism", "build a wall", "ban females from parliament", bring in the death penalty and secede from Queensland.
Others wanted to give their teachers a raise, better protect children, advance the interests of indigenous Australians and make sure sexual offenders were immediately sent to jail.
One heart-wrenching note showed the child would use their new-found power to "find my Dad".
Speaker Curtis Pitt began Parliament by reflecting on some of the excellent suggestions.
"There are many thoughtful responses with students advocating for women's rights, the environment, protection of children and the general desire to improve our society," he said.
"There were many students who expressed a desire to be the Speaker … 'because you can make everyone be quiet … and because you get the fanciest chair'," he said.
"But there was one that stood out for me.
"One student wrote: 'If I were a member of parliament, I would make everyone stop talking when someone is talking … and given Charters Towers a water park'."