A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will reduce electricity costs to support irrigators and supercharge regional economies.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said ending Labor’s high electricity prices would increase production and create more secure jobs for Queenslanders.
“Within the first 100 day of forming government the LNP will task the Productivity Commission to develop a new set of modern and affordable agricultural tariffs to reduce the skyrocketing cost of electricity,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The Commission will overhaul the current system and introduce a new demand-based tariff structure that rewards productivity and efficiency.
“This is all part of the LNP’s ambitious food and jobs security plan, which has a goal of increasing the value of agricultural production by 2035, from $18 billion to $30 billion and then doubling it to $60 billion by 2045.
“The centre piece of this bold plan is the delivery of water infrastructure which includes the drought-busting New Bradfield Scheme and more dam projects throughout the state.
“We have a plan to grow agriculture in Queensland, including a commitment to reduce the costs of critical inputs and end bad regulations that impact the profitability, productivity and ultimately jobs throughout the entire agricultural supply chain.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Agricultural Industry Development Tony Perrett said cheaper electricity for farmers is in addition to slashing nearly 20 per cent off the price of water for Queensland’s 5,000 Sunwater irrigation customers from 1 July 2021.
“By getting the basics right, an LNP Government will secure Queensland’s food and fibre first, backing local farmers and supporting local jobs,” Mr Perrett said.
“Labor’s plan for tariffs will result in even high price spikes and even more businesses pulling the plug.
“The LNP knows that modern agricultural businesses have a wide variety of needs and demands when it comes to electricity that cannot be solved with a blanket tariff.
“That is why we will deliver a complete overhaul to our farmers’ tariffs to make them cheaper.
“The Commission will work with industry to achieve an outcome that delivers upon the LNP’s vision to more than double agriculture by 2035.
“This is not about throwing out the progress already made by industry and farmers but building upon it with a new set of priorities based on increasing production, not gauging users.
“The LNP is the only party with a comprehensive plan for rural and regional Queensland to grow agricultural production and secure the thousands of jobs that comes with them.
“The LNP will build a stronger economy and get Queensland working again.”
The LNP has also committed to lowering electricity costs for Queensland manufacturers by around 20% through a $493 million community service obligation that will deliver millions in savings to businesses through the agricultural supply chain.
An LNP Government will build two new dams in the Wide Bay – Burnett to supercharge the region’s economy and create 5000 new jobs.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the new Cooranga and Barlil weirs were a key part of her party’s plan to double the value of Queensland’s agricultural output by 2035.
Ms Frecklington said the new weirs would be in addition to the LNP’s commitment to fix Paradise Dam and restore it to its full previous supply level.
The irrigation water in the region already generates $1.3bn of food each year, but has been held back by Labor’s failure to build new dams over the last 15 years.
“It is a disgrace that Wide Bay has the highest unemployment rate in the nation under the Palaszczuk Labor Government,” Ms Frecklington said.
“This region’s huge potential has been wasted because Labor is anti-regions, anti-dams and anti-jobs.
“The LNP will build new weirs for Wide Bay - Burnett because water means jobs.
“Only an LNP Government will invest in new dams and weirs, supercharge the regions and create 150,000 new jobs.
“Only an LNP Government will get Queensland working again.”
Wide Bay unemployment has surged to 11.9% under the Palaszczuk Labor Government, with 5,400 local jobs lost in the last year alone.
The $25m Cooranga Weir will be built on the Boyne River south of Munduberra, securing 900 existing jobs and creating a further 2,000 jobs once operating.
The $20m Barlil Weir will be built at Barambah Creek and will create around 3000 jobs.
Both projects will be fully-funded by an LNP Government to get shovels in the ground as soon as possible.
LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt said the LNP’s Job and Food security plan also includes the New Bradfield Scheme and an extensive program of regional water infrastructure projects – including fixing Paradise Dam.
“This region is hurting because Labor has failed to invest in our future,” Mr Batt said.
“The LNP’s plan for water will create new jobs right across this region and we will also fix Paradise Dam.
“Only the LNP will build job-creating dams and weirs – and we will build them properly too.”
LNP Member for Callide Colin Boyce said local growers have had to battle both drought and the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“Water reliability is the biggest challenge farmers are facing and Labor has not lifted a finger to help us,” Mr Boyce said.
“The Cooranga Weir will drought-proof the Munduberra fruit bowl and unlock this region’s economic potential.
“The LNP’s investment in the weir will be repaid many times over with new jobs for local people – and that means more revenue to fund the schools, hospitals and police we need.”
LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said Labor had no plan and no Budget to get the region working – in stark contrast with the LNP.
“The LNP will create more secure local jobs by building weirs and fixing Paradise Dam,” Mr Bennett said.
“The LNP will also stimulate our economy by giving Wide Bay drivers a $300 rego rebate before Christmas, which will give struggling small businesses a vital end-of-year boost.
“The LNP’s plan to four-lane the Bruce Highway will create constructions jobs and boost our long-term economic growth.
“Only the LNP will get Queensland working again.”
The Liberal National Party has the best plan to deliver for Queensland farmers and regional communities according to AgForce which represents thousands of the state’s graziers, grains and cane growers.
According to AgForce’s ‘2020 State Election Scorecard’ the LNP were best placed to deliver for AgForce members and their regional communities with its bold agenda to decrease water and electricity costs, build new dams and revamp legislation like Labor’s unfair vegetation management and reef regulations*.
LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Tony Perrett, said that the endorsement of the LNP’s plan to lead the state out of recession showed the bold agenda to unleash agriculture and the regions was clearly resonating.
“The LNP have engaged strongly with AgForce for the past three years as we value the input it has through its grassroots members throughout the state,” said Mr Perrett.
“That is why the LNP was the only party to formally respond to the AgForce’s ‘Strong regions for a strong Queensland’ election platform.
“A centrepiece of the LNP's plan is to unlock the full potential of our regions and the agricultural sector, which is one of our state's most important and valuable economic drivers.
“A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will build the drought-busting New Bradfield Scheme, back new dam projects across Queensland, and reduce the price of water for SunWater irrigators by almost 20%, ensuring it is affordable for farmers to grow more local food and fibre.
“The LNP will set an ambitious goal of doubling the value of agricultural production by 2035, from $18 billion to $30 billion, and then doubling it again to $60 billion by 2045.
“The LNP is committed to reducing the costs and bad regulations that impact the profitability, productivity, and jobs throughout the entire agricultural supply chain.
“The LNP will review the state's vegetation management framework to ensure the laws support the development of economically sustainable agricultural production - something I know that has been extensively worked through with AgForce.
“The LNP has also committed to work with the agricultural sector to review and develop new environmental reef standards which will be enshrined in legislation.
“The LNP understands water prices are already too high and without affordable water Queensland businesses and farms won't be able to employ Queenslanders.
“That is why the LNP has announced its plan to slash nearly 20 per cent off the price of water for Queensland's 5,000 Sunwater irrigation customers from 1 July 2021 - something that will directly assist many Agforce members.
“The LNP's plan for Queensland also includes a no-new-tax guarantee and cheaper electricity prices for regional areas, delivered through the introduction of retail price competition.
“Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government has a plan to create a stronger economy and to get Queensland working again.”
* AgForce’s 2020 State Election Scorecard: https://standwithregqld.org.au/2020-agforce-queensland-state-election-scorecard/
LNP Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington would fight to upgrade several key roads across the region if the LNP wins the next state election.
Ms Frecklington said urgent upgrades were needed to Kilkivan-Tansey Rd, Byee Rd, Maidenwell-Bunya Mountains Rd and the Mundubbera-Durong Rd.
“These are important connecting roads have been neglected by Labor for far too long,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The Kilkivan-Tansey Rd is a major connecting road between the Central and North Burnett and the coast and locals know how terrible sections of this road have become.
“In fact many often choose to take an alternative route rather than risk travelling on this road.
“The Byee Rd is in the same condition. While a short section in the middle has been fixed, the remainder of the single-lane sections need to be widened.
“This road connects the South, Central and North Burnett, and is used by many families to get their kids to Wheatlands State School.
“I have also been fighting for the final section of Maidenwell-Bunya Mountains Rd to be sealed, to improve the main connector to the popular Bunya Mountains.
“I’ll also want to see funding for the Mundubbera-Durong Rd to widen an 11km single-lane section which is critical for the economic prosperity of our region, in particular for primary producers and transport companies.
“Labor has neglected and ignored regional Queensland for too long. Only an LNP Government has an economic plan to supercharge Queensland’s economy to lead Queensland out of recession and create a decade of secure jobs.”
Photo: The Mundubbera-Durong Road.
An LNP Government will mandate government contracts to go to Queensland businesses in three strategic industries to support local jobs and drive economic recovery.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the new procurement mandate would make Queensland businesses the only ones in line for government contracts for food, manufacturing and medical supplies.
The new procurement policy will be kickstarted with a $25 million plan to replace the ageing marine rescue fleet of VMR and coastguard, which will support boat builders and secure more local jobs up and down the Queensland coast.
Labor’s broken procurement system has led to more than $1.2 billion in taxpayer-funded contracts awarded to interstate and overseas companies.
“It’s never been more important to buy local and back Queensland businesses,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The LNP’s plan to buy local and go Queensland first will secure more high-paying jobs and ensure profits stay in Queensland.
“It’s time to be loud and proud about local business and go Queensland first.
“The LNP will back Queensland milk in Queensland hospitals.
“Writing cheques with taxpayer money for businesses in other states and overseas stimulates their economy, not ours.
“Purchasing Queensland food, Queensland manufacturing, and Queensland medical supplies ensures taxpayers’ money stays in Queensland.
“Businesses will be able to build a sustainable revenue base and grow with an LNP Government as their anchor customer.
“The LNP’s procurement policy will open up new opportunities for businesses and more high-paying local jobs in Queensland.
“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again.”
The three strategic industries under the LNP’s new local procurement mandate are:
Any government contract that falls under these three industries will be mandated to be delivered to a Queensland business – by more than doubling the current weighting for local suppliers (30% to 70%) – of any size, as long as they can meet the specifications of the contract.
Any new contract or existing government contract that needs to be renewed will fall under this new procurement mandate.
Over the next five years, an LNP government will transition all government contracts to 100% Queensland medical supplies, 100% manufacturing and 100% local food.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander Labor had been misleading the public about its support for local jobs.
“Queenslanders aren’t buying Labor’s talk of supporting local businesses because their contract decisions have cost jobs in communities across the state,” Mr Mander said.
“The LNP won’t shy away from putting the interests or economic security of Queenslanders first.
“We will Buy Local and go Queensland first because we want Queensland milk served in Queensland hospitals and Queensland’s emergency services vessels made by Queensland businesses.
“The LNP will ensure Queensland-made masks, gloves and face shields will protect Queensland nurses, doctors and paramedics.
“With the worst unemployment rate in the nation, there’s never been a more important time to go Queensland first.
“Only the LNP will protect local jobs and back our great small businesses.”
LNP Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington says the LNP will fund a turning lane on the Brisbane Valley Highway at the intersection with Wivenhoe Pocket Road if it wins the next state election.
Mrs Frecklington said the community had raised safety concerns with her about the intersection over many years.
“We all know the Brisbane Valley Highway between Fernvale and Harlin has been neglected for by the Palaszczuk Labor Government,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“In fact, the Roads Minister only considers this stretch of road to be a ‘popular scenic drive’, which shows just how out of touch he is with the Somerset region.
“The Brisbane Valley Highway is a major connecting route and our community uses this road every day to access health services, get their kids to school and travel to work.
“Southbound traffic is travelling at 100kmh at the Wivenhoe Pocket Road intersection, creating a dangerous situation with vehicles waiting to turn.
“An LNP Government will improve safety along this stretch of the Brisbane Valley Highway by building this turning lane,” Deb said.
“Labor has neglected and ignored regional Queensland for too long.
“Only an LNP Government has an economic plan to lead Queensland out of recession and create a decade of secure jobs,” Deb said.
Photo: Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington has committed to funding a turning lane on the Brisbane Valley Highway at the intersection with Wivenhoe Pocket Road.