The Palaszczuk Labor Government has voted against an open and transparent inquiry into the safety of Paradise Dam in Parliament today.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington moved a Private Members Motion to investigate the Paradise Dam’s design, construction and operation.
“Labor is literally draining Paradise Dam to 42 percent while two thirds of Queensland is drought declared,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It’s dam madness and shows the wrong priorities of the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“The Wide Bay Burnett community deserves to know if this dam was designed and constructed properly, they should know exactly why the dam had to be reduced, and they deserve to know what Labor’s plan is to fix this mess.
“A Parliamentary Inquiry would have delivered those answers but Labor voted against it because they are clearly afraid of what it might find out.
“Labor has not built a dam in regional Queensland since 2005 and it now appears that dam was a botched job.
“It is astounding that a modern dam cannot last more than 13 years.
“Communities are at breaking point and towns are running dry, yet Annastacia Palaszczuk gives the green light for 105,000 megalitres of water to flow into the Coral Sea.
“The LNP spent over $22 million on the Paradise Dam wall to fix issues caused by the 2013 floods.
“Queenslanders deserved answers, but all Annastacia Palaszczuk delivers is excuses.
“Labor are anti-regions, anti-dams and anti-jobs.
“Only the LNP has a plan to drought proof Queensland, by build new dams and delivering water security across our state.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has stooped to a disgraceful new low with their shocking smear on Queensland farmers battling the horrific drought.
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said Annastacia Palaszczuk was playing politics with the misery of farmers.
“Money is flowing to drought-affected areas from the Federal Government but this lousy Labor Government is refusing to open their wallet,” Mr Perrett said.
“This anti-regions, anti-jobs and anti-dams Premier has been in power for more than five years and has done nothing to help Queensland farmers.
“Mark Furner claims he’s a friend of the farmer, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
“This cowardly Labor government delivered a hammer blow to farmers by cutting crucial freight subsidies, they’ve moved to drastically cut the size of Rookwood Weir and shamefully released 105,000 megalitres of water from Paradise Dam.
“This comes as water is trucked into Stanthorpe because Annastacia Palaszczuk doesn’t have a plan for water security.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and her dodgy Treasurer Jackie Trad are in no position to lecture anyone on the drought.
“Instead of planning another trip to meet with a Hollywood movie director in Los Angeles, Annastacia Palaszczuk should come to my electorate and meet farmers face to face.
“Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government has a drought-proofing plan to support farmers, enhance water security, create new jobs and build and upgrade dams.
“The only thing Labor has dished up is a glossy brochure that does nothing to address the plight of farmers.
“Labor have budgeted a reprehensible $50 million cut to drought funding at a time when communities are at breaking point and towns are running dry.
“To think Labor can find $250 million to attempt to buy public service votes, but then go and slash drought funding, shows their priorities are all wrong.
“Queenslanders just want a decent Premier who will take action, but all they get from Annastacia Palaszczuk is a blame game, excuses and wrong priorities.
“It’s no wonder farmers are made to feel like second class citizens, because Furner fails farmers.”
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington has launched a brand new Nanango Electorate ‘Year 12 School Leavers’ Bursary to help support local students who are pursuing further study or qualifications after Year 12.
Mrs Frecklington said that for many school leavers, it is often necessary to travel, or move to major centres to access further education and the bursary is designed to help with those costs.
“It is always a major step for our Year 12 School Leavers who must travel away for university, TAFE or other training and I wanted to show my support through a special Year 12 School Leavers Bursary,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“The Bursary is worth $1000 and aims to provide financial assistance with the costs associated with moving to their place of learning, the purchase of books, IT, tools or other necessary requirements.
“This inaugural Bursary is now open to Year 12 students who live within the Nanango Electorate, with applications closing at the end of January 2020.
“Five applicants will be shortlisted and the successful recipient will be selected by through a panel interview in early February.
“This Bursary provides me with an opportunity to show my support for young people who are passionate about furthering their skills and education, and who may not otherwise be able to afford to live away from home,” Deb said.
If you would like to apply, please go to Deb’s website at www.debfrecklington.com.au and follow the links, or contact the Electorate office on 4190 7100 for Bursary guidelines.
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington is urging primary producers in the western Gympie region to apply for individual droughted property declarations as the dry spell continues to grip the region.
Mrs Frecklington said individual droughted property declarations (IDP’s) offered property owners the same level of support as other drought declared regions across Queensland.
“I would really encourage property owners in the Gympie region to apply for an IDP if they believe their land is drought affected,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“We have a situation in the western Gympie region where the North Burnett and South Burnett are both drought declared, yet we have people living between these two areas who are experiencing the same conditions, yet can’t access any drought assistance.
“As more IDP’s are lodged, it will help build the case for a partial shire drought declaration in the western Gympie region.
“I really urge property owners to fill out an IDP declaration application form so the Qld Department of Agriculture can assess their situation and hopefully provide access to drought assistance.
Guidelines and application forms can be accessed at the Qld Department of Agriculture website - https://www.daf.qld.gov.au/business-priorities/agriculture/disaster-recovery/drought/assistance-programs/guidelines-forms/individually-droughted-property
The LNP is demanding a public parliamentary inquiry is held into the design and construction of the Paradise Dam.
The dam opened in 2006 at a cost of $200m – but just 13 years later the Palaszczuk Labor Government has announced plans to reduce its capacity to 42 per cent.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland taxpayers and the Wide Bay community deserved to know if the dam had been properly designed and built and what can be done to remedy the situation.
“There are serious questions over Paradise Dam and Labor must provide the answers,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It is extraordinary that a modern dam cannot last more than 13 years.
“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.
“The community needs to know if this dam was designed and constructed properly and how Annastacia Palaszczuk plans to fix this expensive mess.”
LNP Member for Bundaberg David Batt said only a parliamentary inquiry would establish the truth.
“A parliamentary inquiry will give people the opportunity to have their say and share their stories with the full protection of parliamentary privilege,” Mr Batt said.
“Queenslanders paid good money for this dam but it seems all they will be left with is a puddle.”
LNP member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the questions for Labor were piling up.
“Labor is refusing to answer questions about whether insurance covers these construction and design issues,” Mr Bennett said.
“We need to make sure that the people of Wide Bay get the answers they deserve and that this never happens again.”
The LNP is asking affected community members to provide feedback on the its draft terms of reference for the inquiry (see next page).
Draft terms of reference:
That the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee investigate the Paradise Dam’s design, construction and operation; and the Palaszczuk Government’s decision to lower the dam wall by 5 metres. The Committee should consider:
2. In conducting the hearing, the Committee is asked to:
Anyone who wishes to comment on the draft terms of reference should contact the electorate offices of Stephen Bennett (4111 5100) or David Batt (4111 3100).
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington has congratulated three Goomeri and Kilkivan community groups who have been successful in the latest round of Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF) grants.
Mrs Frecklington said almost $100,000 will be shared amongst the groups for community projects, infrastructure upgrades and equipment.
“We have some excellent grant writers in our region and they have been really successful this round in achieving a great range of grants,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“I would like to congratulate these hard working clubs and the volunteers who put their time into securing these worthwhile projects that will greatly benefit our community.
The successful Goomeri and Kilkivan groups in Round 101 of the GCGF include:
“I encourage all local groups, however big or small, to consider applying for a Gambling Community Benefit Fund Grant to help achieve their goals,” Deb said.
There are now five rounds each financial year, with the next round closing 31 October 2019. For more information give my office or call on 4190 7100, or head to https://www.justice.qld.gov.au/initiatives/community-grants