Capalaba MP Don Brown to serve fourth year as chief government whip in Labor government

IN SESSION: Springwood MP and Minister of Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni with Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown at Queensland Parliament this week.
IN SESSION: Springwood MP and Minister of Energy, Renewables and Hydrogen Mick de Brenni with Redlands MP Kim Richards and Capalaba MP Don Brown at Queensland Parliament this week.

DON Brown will once again wield the whip over Queensland Labor MPs as he serves his fourth year as chief government whip.

The Capalaba MP said he was delighted to be serving again in the 57th Parliament.

"It's a role I enjoy immensely. I've always loved the Parliament, it is such a beautiful and historic building and it's a real honour that I get to play an essential role in the day-to-day running of the house," he said.

Mr Brown said he relished the democratic process and the close working relationships he had with his caucus colleagues across the state.

"It's a fast-paced job that keeps you on your toes especially when there are divisions or votes in the house," he said.

Party whips ensure discipline, help manage legislative business and carry out a variety of functions on behalf of the party leadership.

The most important role of a party whip is to ensure enough members are present to take part in votes, to maintain a parliamentary quorum and to prevent censure motions succeeding.

Party whips, whether in opposition or government, usually are hard characters who know how to work numbers and pull recalcitrant MPs into line.

"Of course, the biggest highlight for me is representing the people of Capalaba, and I'm sure any of my colleagues will tell you I'm a fierce fighter when it comes to getting the best outcomes for our community," Mr Brown said.

Probably Queensland's toughest and most successful political disciplinarian was the quietly spoken National Party president Sir Robert Sparkes who ruled his party's MPs from outside the Parliament during the Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen years.

All MPs feared a tap on the shoulder from Sir Robert if they were not working hard enough or appeared to be deviating from the party line.

Mr Brown has an applied science degree and a law degree. He also worked as a United Voice union official.

The annual base salary for Queensland MPs is $159,122, and pay is higher for MPs who hold leadership positions. The chief government whips gets $243,414.

A minister takes home $327,705 and a committee chairperson earns $219,330.

Queensland MPs have not had a pay increase since September 2017 and in August announced they would have their salaries frozen until 2022.