After failing to debate controversial reef laws when Parliament sat in North Queensland, Labor has used its majority to guillotine debate and ram through flawed legislation in Brisbane today.
Labor prevented several speakers from having their say and LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli was prevented from putting forward three sensible amendments, which would have provided certainty for the environment and farming communities.
The LNP’s amendments to the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 were to:
“A good government would support jobs and preserve the reef – it doesn’t have to be one or the other,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“The Palaszczuk Government has handed over decision-making power to set farming standards to a bureaucrat in Brisbane and are now asking communities to trust them after shutting them out of debate less than two weeks ago in Townsville.
“The LNP shares the concerns of many that Labor’s laws create uncertainty.
“The LNP is proud of Queensland farmers and the incredible work they are doing to preserve the environment and believe the best way to continue to improve is for the government to work with them, instead of against them.
“Famers embracing positive, industry-led practices and funding projects that contribute to the protection of the environment is a better solution than handing over power to someone hundreds of kilometres away.
“The LNP believe the role of government should be to work alongside farmers and communities toward environmental outcomes instead of ramming unworkable laws down their throats.
“Labor’s laws also grant powers to the government to demand farmers’ data.
“Labor’s five-year reef law concession is a complete con with details of the new farm regulations still under lock and key.
“Promising no further changes to regulations Queenslanders still haven’t seen is an appalling way to treat the public and a kick in the guts to farmers.
“The LNP will continue to fight tooth and nail for sensible laws that back jobs and protect the environment.”
*Link to AgForce media release: Farmers hit by drought, flood and fire – and an uncaring State Govt
*Link to Canegrowers media release: Blaming farmers is wrong tactic for reef
The Liberal National Party joins the community in honouring the memory of Queenslanders who have lost their life working in mines.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Miners’ Memorial Day was an opportunity to reflect on the past to help develop a safer mining future.
“I feel for the families who have lost loved ones and for the miners who have lost their mates,” Ms Frecklington said.
“A single death is one too many and communities are torn apart.
“Queensland was built on the back of the resources industry thanks to the men and women who work in our mines.
“Ensuring every miner who goes to work comes home safely must be the common goal for all connected with the mining industry.”
LNP Shadow Mines Minister Dale Last said many Queenslanders would gather at Moura today for Miners’ Memorial Day.
“Moura is just one of the many communities across regional Queensland that rely on the resources industry,” Mr Last said.
“Those communities deserve to know that the health and safety of mineworkers should always come first.
“The LNP is committed to listening to mining communities and working with the resources industry to ensure workers have safe and secure jobs.”
The LNP has today introduced a Bill to restore optional preferential voting in Queensland – 30 years after it was recommended in the wake of the Fitzgerald Report.
The Palaszczuk Labor Government disgracefully scrapped optional preferential voting (OPV) in April 2016 without any community consultation and after giving Parliament just 18 minutes' notice.
"No Queenslander should have to vote for a candidate they do not support, but that is exactly what Labor forces them to do," LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said.
"Compulsory preferential voting takes power away from the people and gives it to politicians – which is why it was scrapped at every state election from 1992 to 2015.
"Labor trampled over the rights of Queensland voters and the reforms which followed the Fitzgerald Report when it brought back compulsory preferential voting.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk rigged the system because she knew she could never win a majority if voters had a real choice at the ballot box.
"It's time to restore our democracy and let voters decide who gets their vote – and who doesn't."
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said his Voter's Choice Bill would restore the post-1992 voting system, which saw more than 60 per cent of voters regularly 'Vote 1' at state elections.
Mr Janetzki said the re-introduction of the CPV system saw the rate of informal voting more than double from 2.11% to 4.34% at the 2017 state election.
"Optional preferential voting was clearly the preferred choice of Queenslanders before Labor axed it for their own political advantage," Mr Janetzki said.
"The return of CPV has seen a massive increase in informal voting, with an extra 66,241 ballot papers discarded at the last election.
"Queenslanders deserve a fairer voting system when they go to the polls next year."
The LNP’s push to save Queensland drivers from another inflation-busting car rego increase has been voted down by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
LNP Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said Labor was hitting drivers with a 2.25% hike in car rego – despite the State Government’s own Budget papers stating CPI was just 1.75%.
“Queenslanders already pay the biggest rego bills in Australia and now Labor is scalping them with another unjustifiable rego hike,” Mr Minnikin said.
“Labor said it would peg rego increases to inflation, but once again they have broken their promise.
“It is scandalous that Labor is gouging drivers while doing nothing to deal with our congestion crisis.”
An LNP disallowance motion to strike down the latest increase in rego was voted down by Labor 48 to 41 in State Parliament tonight.
Annastacia Palaszczuk increased rego by an eye-watering 3.5% for four years in a row before mounting anger from motorists forced Labor to announce an inflation-linked index for rego.
By contrast, the last LNP Government froze rego for three years in a row.
“Queensland families are struggling to pay their bills, but Annastacia Palaszczuk couldn’t care less,” Mr Minnikin said.
“Labor has slugged Queenslanders with 10 new or increased taxes since the election.
“Queenslanders just can’t afford Labor.”
The LNP has moved to give environmental protection to the Great Barrier Reef through legislation while preserving farming jobs from being destroyed by the Palaszczuk Government’s flawed reef laws.
LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli introduced sensible amendments to Labor’s laws during debate in Parliament that struck a balance between protecting jobs and preserving the natural environment.
“Labor’s flawed laws will cost jobs in regional Queensland without giving any environmental certainty,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“Good government would preserve the environment and support local jobs, but Labor is smashing regional Queensland with unworkable regulations.
“Under the LNP’s amendments, Brisbane bureaucrats won’t be able to change standards on a whim – standards will be regulated and have Parliamentary oversight.
“The LNP’s changes will also remove powers allowing the Labor Government to demand farmers’ data.”
The LNP’s amendments to the Environmental Protection (Great Barrier Reef Protection Measures) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 are to:
The Palaszczuk Labor Government must review Queensland Fire and Emergency Services’ aircraft fleet resources to ensure firefighters can tackle devastating bushfires from the skies.
LNP MP for Ninderry Dan Purdie said the fires at Peregian showed support from above was more important than ever.
“The jetload of fire retardant dropped by a massive Boeing 737 from New South Wales on the Peregian blaze gave the firefighting effort a huge boost,” Mr Purdie said.
“But, New South Wales was suffering its own bushfire emergency and the 737 was recalled.
“Waterbombing helicopters also swarmed over the Sunshine Coast and were invaluable in battling the bushfires.
“The firefighting aircraft potentially made the difference in saving lives and homes.
“Firefighters in the Gold Coast Hinterland were also faced with very difficult terrain to fight fires on foot.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Fires and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar called on Annastacia Palaszczuk to stop playing politics and stop blaming the Federal Government.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government must review resources to investigate whether Queensland needs more heavy-duty aerial support based here,” Mr Millar said.
“New South Wales identified the need for a large air tanker for firefighting and purchased the aircraft.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government should stop at nothing to ensure firefighters have the appropriate resources to protect Queensland communities.”
A campaign by the LNP to crack down on callous owners leaving pets locked in hot cars has paid off with the Palaszczuk Labor Government finally listening to the community’s concerns.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP had been fighting for 18 months for Labor to do more to help vulnerable pets locked in cars.
“It was a long campaign but I am glad the Labor government has finally listened,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The LNP vowed to make it a specific offence to leave a dog trapped in a hot car, making it easier to take the culprits to court.
“I called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to join the LNP in toughening up our laws and I’m glad to see action.
“While Labor’s laws don’t go as far as we would have liked, it is a start.
“Under the LNP, we would have a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine or three years’ jail compared to Labor’s $40,000 fine or one years’ jail.
“The LNP is also backing tougher laws for dog baiting, with increased penalties that align with animal cruelty offences.
“There is an animal cruelty crisis in Queensland and it’s time to get tough on offenders.
“It’s high time people who are cruel to animals answer for their actions.”
Last week mother nature threw everything it could at our parched regions and we saw fire emergencies across our State.
Our patch saw fires being fought at Linville, Esk and in the northern rural areas of our Nanango Electorate. The smoke haze was a constant reminder of the serious conditions being experienced and the constant threat of bushfire on our doorstep.
I would like to sincerely thank our local crews who helped contain the Linville and Esk fires, along with all the volunteers who kept them going. I know crews also travelled to the North Burnett to assist with the Hawkwood fires.
I have also travelled to the communities affected in Stanthorpe, Peregian Beach, Bundaberg and the Gold Coast Hinterland. There is no doubt that this has been a really tough start to the fire season and the firefighters and emergency workers have worked incredibly hard to save properties and lives.
We have a long fire season ahead of us and I encourage landholders, whether you’re in town or on a property, to complete a bushfire survival plan. Remember, you don’t have to live in the bush to be threatened by a bushfire – you just have to be close enough to be affected by burning material, embers and smoke.
Please remain vigilant as the dry weather continues. And let’s all pray that rain is on our horizon.
Member for Nanango
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington has congratulated the South Burnett Under 4’s Network who have secured 1,800 signatures supporting the petition for a full-time Paediatrician in the South Burnett.
Mrs Frecklington says she was proud to officially table the petition in Parliament and support the call for this critical service.
“There is a desperate need for Paediatric Services in the South Burnett and I have been pleased to work with the South Burnett Under 4’s Network to highlight this need and support the petition,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I would like to congratulate Peta Clarkson who was the Principal Petitioner. The group worked hard to secure so many signatures and this will really help demonstrate the need in our region.
“As the petition says, South Burnett children are missing out on vital paediatric services due to lengthy wait times and the need to travel to Toowoomba or Brisbane for an appointment. It’s unacceptable and our kids deserve better.
“We need a full-time Paediatric Specialist based in the South Burnett.
“My previous requests to the Labor Health Minister have been rejected. He has an obvious disregard for regional communities such as ours and doesn’t understand the difficulties parents face trying to have their children seen by a specialist.
“We have children in our region waiting up to two years for an appointment. For a growing child, this can mean the difference between a good outcome or a lifetime of struggle.
“For example, children needing a diagnosis for autism can wait several years. This impacts their education as schools cannot implement plans or access extra resources until a specialist paediatric diagnosis is available.
Peta Clarkson of the South Burnett Under 4’s Network says the group started the petition because they are concerned about the many children within the South Burnett who are not being seen by a specialist paediatrician.
“For medical issues, behavioural concerns, medication and re-medication issues, children must have timely access to a paediatrician so they can have quality educational programs, early intervention programs and NDIS support,” Ms Clarkson said.
“Children in our region are being disadvantaged due to their rural location. Our aim is to ensure that equity of access, so families don’t have to travel long distances for specialist services,” she said.
Photo: Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, was pleased to accept the petition from Peta Clarkson (l) and Jacqui Grosskopf of the South Burnett Under 4’s Network.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has run out of excuses not to grant long-awaited project approvals and save 150 jobs at a Queensland mine, LNP Shadow Minister for Mines Dale Last said today.
The prospect of expansion at Oakey’s New Acland coal mine was given a boost yesterday when a Queensland court threw out an appeal opposing the Stage 3 development.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is the weakest Premier in Queensland’s history because she won’t stand up for jobs,” Mr Last said.
“There are no more excuses – it’s time for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to approve Stage 3 of the New Acland mine.
“There are 150 direct jobs on the line and the wider economic impact of the redundancies will cause hundreds more non-mining jobs to be lost across the local economy.
“The coal from New Acland supplies many local manufacturing businesses and their future is now in jeopardy because Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t stand up for jobs.”
New Acland Coal Mine’s application to expand the mine (Stage 3) was approved by the Co-ordinator General in 2014.
The Environmental Authority (EA) was approved in March this year, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government has yet to grant the final Mining Lease Applications (MLAs) and Associated Water Licence (AWL).
“Labor’s refusal to grant the final approvals shows again Labor is anti-resources, anti-regions and anti-jobs,” Mr Last said.
“The local community is on the brink of an economic disaster and Annastacia Palaszczuk must stop playing politics and keep this mine open.
“The redundancy process is already underway – Annastacia Palaszczuk must approve this mine immediately.”