Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington said the huge turnout (see photo above) for the Reef Regulations consultation in Kingaroy on Tuesday 9th February in Kingaroy demonstrated the level of concern in the community.
Mrs Frecklington understands it was the biggest turnout so far for any of the consultations about the looming Reef Regulations which have been held in reef catchments across Queensland.
“It was heartening to see so many primary producers attend the meeting in Kingaroy to voice their concerns about these onerous regulations and how they will affect their business,” Deb said.
“These reef regulations for cropping and horticulture will start coming into effect from 1 June this year and ultimately they will affect every landholder in a reef catchment area,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“For our region, this means every primary producer in the South Burnett and western Gympie regions,”
“Above everything else, the main question asked was why our region is even included in this legislation.
“When these laws were moved through the Parliament in September 2019, the LNP proposed amendments to introduce at least a ten-year grace period for the Burnett-Mary catchment area, but this was rejected by Labor.
“There were some excellent questions about how these regulations will be implemented and what level of compliance will be undertaken.
“People also highlighted that the rules are different for producers, depending on whether you are growing a commercial crop, or a fodder crop. Not to mention there will be a fee of up to $870 to apply.
“The role of the government should be to work alongside farmers and communities towards environmental outcomes, instead of ramming unworkable laws down their throats.
“I urge producers to make a submission letting the Government know how this will impact their business,” Deb said. Submissions can be made by 17th February at https://www.qld.gov.au/environment/agriculture/sustainable-farming/reef/reef-regulations/producers/cropping
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington said it is shocking that two banks in just two weeks have announced they will close branches in the South Burnett.
Mrs Frecklington said the closure of the two branches, NAB in Murgon and BOQ in Kingaroy leaves a sour taste for the community.
“When essential services like banks close their doors, the community has every right to be angry,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“People in regional towns, like Kingaroy and Murgon, really value their local banking services, but once again we’re seeing large companies relinquish their commitment to serve country people.
“Unfortunately, this is now a common theme for banks, who believe they can service their customers just as well online.
“However, for community groups, and businesses, it will always be necessary for them to have access to physical banking services. And we all know that many people in regional areas have poor internet connection, or no computer access at all, so internet banking isn’t always the answer.
“The banks give all the reasons under the sun for having to close, but in the end, it comes down to them abandoning regional areas and it’s just not good enough,” Deb said.
Member for Nanango, and Shadow Minister for Water, Deb Frecklington, and Member for Lockyer, Jim McDonald have congratulated members of the Lockyer Valley & Somerset Water Collaborative on the release of a positive Detailed Business Case for the Lockyer Valley and Somerset.
Mrs Frecklington said this was a culmination of more than five years of hard work and the result is good news for the region.
“I have been pleased to support the members of the Collaborative since they began this process and thank them for the presentation in Gatton last night of the data,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Their unwavering determination to get this water project to this point means there is hope for irrigators in the Somerset and Lockyer that they will finally have access to a more reliable water source.
“I will continue to support the progress of the Business Case and will help advocate for the funding required so we can get the pipes in the ground and water to our primary producers.
“We’ve all known that access to secure water will be an enormous benefit to growers, but this business case is the vehicle that demonstrates just how much a water project will benefit the entire region with the projection that it could create 2,600 long term jobs,” Deb said.
Member for Lockyer, Jim McDonald said ‘This $200 million project should be considered the number one water security project in Queensland. It has been industry driven, is affordable and the return on investment is positive,’ said Mr McDonald.
‘We have been working on water security for over 20 years. This is our best opportunity ever and I will continue to fight until it is delivered.’
Photo: Talking with Collaborative members Mr Greg Banff (r) and Mr Gordon Van der Est
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, has congratulated twenty local community groups who were successful in securing grants through the latest round (106) of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund.
Mrs Frecklington said the groups will share in more than $500,000 to bring some fantastic projects to reality.
“The Gambling Community Benefit Grants are such a good way for groups to upgrade facilities and buy new equipment,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I congratulate the groups who have been successful in this latest round. 2020 was a difficult year for community groups with limited fundraising opportunities, so these grants will be a big help in ensuring they can continue with their planned projects,” she said.
The successful groups are:
“I encourage all local groups, however big or small, to consider applying for a Gambling Community Benefit Fund Grant to help achieve their goals.”
For more information please call the Nanango Electorate Office on 4190 7100, or head to: https://www.justice.qld.gov.au/initiatives/community-grants/guidelines
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, is encouraging young people from the Nanango Electorate to apply to become the Youth Member for Nanango at the upcoming 2021 YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament.
Deb said nominations are now open for this year’s youth parliament which kicks off with a forum from 9-11 April in Brisbane, including a formal launch at Parliament House.
“More than 90 young people aged 15 to 25 will be selected to discuss the issues facing our youth and develop legislation that they will debate later in the year,” Deb said.
“These young parliamentarians are selected to represent the 93 Queensland electorates based on their enthusiasm, ability to represent their communities and interest and passion for issues affecting Queensland. Four Indigenous members will also be selected to participate.
“These types of opportunities are so important for our young people so we can encourage them to get involved and learn more about how they can initiate change to tackle issues and help improve our communities.
“All Youth Members are involved in committee meetings, mentoring, training and research to help produce the Bills to be debated at Parliament House during the residential week in Brisbane from 26 Sept – 2nd October.”
“Applications for the 2021 program close on 14th February, so I would encourage anyone interested to get in quick,” she said.
“Youth Parliament teaches young people about the government decision-making process, while providing an excellent leadership opportunity for those who may one day become our future decision makers,” she said.
For more information about the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament and to access the application form, go to https://www.ymcabrisbane.org/queensland-youth-parliament-home
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says the South Burnett community deserves answers after a loss of services at the new Kingaroy Hospital following serious water damage during a rain event in January.
Mrs Frecklington said information shared with her was concerning and had potential serious ramifications for access to important health services.
“This is a brand new Hospital, only opened just before Christmas and we are now hearing reports that so much water leaked through the roof that the maternity ward will be closed for some time,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“We have heard that new mums and bubs were forced to evacuate on the day of the flooding and that the ward has not reopened due to water damage.
“I am also concerned about information suggesting the brand new CT Scanner, which is on the ground floor, was also damaged and is out of action.
“It is unacceptable to think that a brand new building could be damaged to this extent, leaving our community with questions about how this could have happened and when services will return to normal.
“Given that this project started as a $62million redevelopment, and has now blown out to $92.5million, surely this amount of money would ensure a waterproof building? We also need to know how much this will cost to repair and who is footing the bill.
“The Health Minister has not communicated with the community, instead keeping silent on the issue.
“Minister D’Ath needs to explain what has occurred and why, how many hospital beds are closed and how long the community will wait until repairs are complete,” Mrs Frecklington said.
Photo: The new Kingaroy Hospital CT Scanner which is understood to be damaged following flooding in the Hospital this month.