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Labor’s dam cover-up must end

21st November 2019

The future of fed-up Queensland farmers remains in limbo more than two months after water releases began at Paradise Dam.

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander joined growers and producers in Bundaberg this morning to demand answers from the Palaszczuk Labor Government about the Paradise Dam scandal.

Mr Mander said Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop the cover-up.

“Today is National Agriculture Day and the Palaszczuk Labor Government is treating Queensland farmers like dirt,” Mr Mander said.

“Queenslanders have a right to know why Paradise Dam has been reduced to 42% in the middle of a crippling drought.

“That is why the LNP called for a public parliamentary inquiry into the design and construction of the dam.

“It’s only 13 years old and already alarm bells are ringing.

“Water is the lifeblood of regional Queensland but it’s going to waste under Labor.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop playing games with the lives of farmers who are in a world of hurt from her anti-dams, anti-regions and anti-jobs agenda.

“Labor isn’t working for Queensland.”

LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said farmers and businesses in Wide Bay have made major investments based on the water security that the dam provides, but that security has now been destroyed.

“Locals deserve answers and a guarantee this won’t happen again,” Mr Bennett said.

LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt said only the LNP has a plan for water security.

“LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has a vision for Queensland which includes the New Bradfield Scheme and the establishment of the Queensland Dam Company which will build dams and upgrade existing ones,” Mr Batt said.

“Only the LNP has a job-creating infrastructure plan that supports communities because we know water means jobs.”

Labor need to come clean on Paradise Dam scandal

18th November 2019

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has renewed calls on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to come clean on Paradise Dam in the wake of new disturbing media reports.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to stop covering up the Paradise dam debacle,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The people of Wide Bay deserve to know if Paradise Dam was designed and constructed properly.

“Queenslanders have a right to know why the dam had to be reduced to a staggering 42 per cent in the middle of a drought.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is the weakest Premier in living memory and she has failed to be open and transparent about the integrity of the dam.

“This is a massive scandal and the buck stops with Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“Enough is enough – Labor need to come clean and tell the community what their plan is to fix this mess.”

Labor’s irrigation water price increases unacceptable

14th November 2019

Fixed prices for irrigation water used to grow food and fibre in Queensland are set to increase by as much as 372% in some parts of the state, under the Labor commissioned QCA draft report.

LNP Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last said the QCA’s draft report completely failed to acknowledge farmers concerns of year-on-year water price increases.

“Farmers using Sunwater’s Callide irrigation scheme are staring down the barrel of more than 30 years of consecutive price increases under Sunwater’s so called ‘cost reflective price’ for water,” Mr Last said.

“This is just one of many Sunwater irrigation schemes facing unsustainable price increases that will result in scheme failures, job losses and economic decline*.

“SunWater’s own ‘cost-reflective’ water prices numbers will effectively kill numerous irrigation schemes in regional Queensland, yet this report has not offered a solution.

“I’ve met with farmers throughout Queensland in these schemes. This isn’t just some abstract water pricing exercise being decided in Brisbane, these are real regional communities with real jobs on the line.

"There are serious questions that need answering around SunWater's ability to deliver value for money for farmers.

“The LNP have already called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to reject any move to include dam safety costs being recovered through the water price farmers pay.

“It is unsustainable to expect farmers to pay for community safety costs of public assets.

"Water prices are skyrocketing because Sunwater can't control its costs. It’s completely unacceptable for Sunwater to now be demanding more money from farmers just because they can’t get their house in order.

“Queensland farmers are currently getting a bad deal with SunWater.

“The LNP understands that where there is water there is wealth.

“Without water these rural and regional communities will lose production, which results in less jobs and more expensive food and fibre for all Queenslanders.

“Unlike Labor, the LNP believes in the economic and social power of water. That is why we have a plan to build the New Bradfield Scheme, Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam, Rookwood Weir and to raise the Burdekin Falls dam.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is anti-farmer, anti-regions and anti-water.

“It’s time for Annastacia Palaszczuk to step in and guarantee the future of irrigated agriculture in Queensland”.

* QCA Water price increases “not sustainable”: https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/6482291/irrigation-cost-blowout/?cs=4785

** QCA releases irrigation review draft report: https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/6480135/irrigation-dead-in-the-water/?cs=4785

Labor must play its part in helping fight drought

11th November 2019

The announcement by the Federal Government of an extra $1 billion in aid to support farmers and communities fighting devastating drought is welcome, but Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Government is refusing to increase support.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said the Palaszczuk Labor Government was failing to properly respond to the state’s worsening drought situation.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government was handed its drought review report in January this year but has no intention of implementing any new drought support measures until 2021, after the next state election,” Mr Perrett said.

“Despite the deteriorating drought situation in Queensland, all Labor can commit to is cutting freight subsidies for essential fodder and water from July 1 next year, saving them $50 million over the forward estimates*.

“While the Federal LNP is ramping up its assistance to farmers and their communities, Queensland Labor continues to politicise the drought and cut support.

“Cutting drought support during drought is a disgrace and quite rightly needs to be called out.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is completely out of touch with farmers and regional Queensland.

“Producers deserve a Premier who could lead this state during times of severe drought but all they get from Annastacia Palaszczuk is cuts and fake fights with Canberra.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is the weakest Premier in living memory and she’s betraying the Queenslanders who produce our food and fibre.

“The LNP will never turn our backs on farmers and the agriculture industry.”

Students swelter as Labor turns down air-con demands

8th November 2019

As the temperature gauge nudges 40 degrees in parts of southeast Queensland today, many students and teachers are sweltering without air-conditioning to keep state classrooms cool.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the stifling conditions were no place for kids to learn and staff to teach.

“The LNP knows that cool kids are smart kids and teachers deserve to work in modern conditions,” Ms Frecklington said.

“It’s hitting 39 degrees in Ipswich and 38 in Gympie, but Annastacia Palaszczuk doesn’t think all public schools in those regions deserve air-con.

“Classrooms in Brisbane are roasting in 37-degree heat and that makes it really hard for our kids to concentrate.

“While some regions have air-conditioning, Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected demands for air-con in Brisbane, on the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Gympie and Darling Downs.”

Ms Frecklington announced the LNP’s plan to air-condition every state school classroom in Queensland in June 2018.

“Air-conditioning every state school classroom is a big investment, but I think our teachers and kids are worth it,” she said.

“Hard-working P&Cs shouldn’t have to raise funds themselves to pay for air-conditioning in state classrooms.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop playing favourites and commit to air-conditioning every state school classroom.”

Ms Frecklington said the LNP’s plan for education would also include de-cluttering the curriculum, allowing teachers to focus on the core skills of reading, writing and maths.

Labor duds south-east schools over air-con

5th November 2019

Tens of thousands of students from Gympie to the Gold Coast are being left to sweat through summer because Annastacia Palaszczuk is playing politics over air-conditioning, the LNP said today.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington spoke out after Labor today announced it would install air-conditioning at 25 Fraser Coast schools – but shunned demands for air-con in the South Burnett, Somerset, Toowoomba, Gympie Darling Downs, Brisbane, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Ipswich regions.

Ms Frecklington announced the LNP’s plan to air-condition every state school classroom in Queensland in June 2018. Temperatures in the south-east are forecast to hit the mid-30s this week.

“While Labor plays favourites, the LNP will air-condition every state school class room in Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The LNP knows that cool kids are smart kids and our teachers deserve to work in modern conditions.

“Air-conditioning every state school classroom is a big investment, but our kids’ education is worth the cost.

“Labor needs to follow the LNP’s lead and commit to air-conditioning every state school.

“Our hard-working parent volunteers shouldn’t have to fundraise to pay for air conditioning schools.

“Kids find it easier to concentrate in cooler temperatures and they are less likely to become tired and disruptive.”

Ms Frecklington said the LNP’s plan for education would also include de-cluttering the curriculum, allowing teachers to focus on the core skills of reading, writing and maths.

Most of Queensland’s NAPLAN test results went backwards this year.