The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s integrity crisis has deepened again after it was revealed the author of a report backing the closure of Queensland agricultural colleges is a Labor Party donor.
In last night’s estimates hearing, the LNP disclosed that Professor Peter Coaldrake donated $1760 to Labor in June 2018 – just two weeks before the release of his report recommending the closure of the Emerald and Longreach colleges.*
The agriculture estimates hearing was also told that Professor Coaldrake was paid $61,600 by the Palaszczuk Labor Government for his work on the report.
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett asked Labor Agriculture Minister Mark Furner to refer the matter to the Integrity Commissioner – but Furner failed to provide a clear response.
“The closure of these colleges was an absolute disgrace and Queenslanders must be told how this shameful decision came about,” Mr Perrett said.
“This doesn’t pass the pub test. It’s another blow to the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s integrity.”
Mr Perrett said the Labor Minister’s answers were confused and contradictory.
“Minister Furner claimed that he was not aware of the donation, but then said the issue had been raised previously,” Mr Perrett said.
“He said he had spoken to the Integrity Commissioner, but didn’t say what about.
“Minister Furner doesn’t make sense most of the time, but he surpassed himself in estimates.
“It’s clear that this matter must be immediately referred to the Integrity Commissioner.
“The LNP won’t stand idly while the anti-farmer and anti-regions Palaszczuk Labor Government guts important training for the next generation of graziers and farmers.
“It’s time the Palaszczuk Labor Government came clean and admitted that this whole review and closure of the ag colleges in Longreach and Emerald stinks.
“We need an independent and full investigation into the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s dodgy decision.”
Submissions for the Liberal National Party's tough new laws designed to deter and punish extremists from illegally trespassing and terrorising hard-working Queenslanders operating farms, butchers, factories and transport infrastructure such as trains close midday this Monday 15 July 2019.
Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dale Last called on all businesses owners to make sure they took the opportunity to support tougher trespass laws in Queensland.
"The LNP are serious when it comes to protecting hard-working farming families from radical animal extremists," said Mr Last.
"Labor's 'soft on crime' approach to protecting our farming families and other lawful businesses from these extremists has failed to address the rising tide of criminal activity.
"It is simply unacceptable that extremists are invading farms where families live and work without any real consequence.
"That's why the LNP introduced three tough new trespass laws into Parliament to ensure Queensland has the most comprehensive trespass laws in the country.
"Just like industry and the community has asked, these laws are designed to protect all Queenslanders and their businesses, not just farmers.
"Our laws not only deal with those that do the terrorising, they go after the organisations and ringleaders - an important component to stamping this activity out that has failed to be addressed.
"The LNP want to make it very clear - it's ok to protest and have different opinions, but if you choose to trespass and terrorise our hard-working farmers or choose to block a coal rail line then you can expect to be whacked with the consequences - it's that simple.
"Only the LNP is serious about protecting Queenslanders from unlawful extremists who do not represent the values of our great state.
"It's time for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to get on-board and support our tough new trespass laws.”
LNP's trespass laws:
Submissions can be sent to: email@example.com
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, has shared her secret peanut slice recipe in celebration of the Peanut Van’s 50th anniversary.
Mrs Frecklington said it was an honour to be a part of the celebrations for the iconic Kingaroy business.
“I feel very privileged to be a part of the Peanut Van’s 50th anniversary and to provide my secret peanut slice recipe for their birthday cookbook,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Since being elected, I have been so proud to promote the South Burnett’s peanut industry to my colleagues at State Parliament and in my travels around Queensland.
“Over the years I have taken Kingaroy peanuts with me wherever I go. During a visit to drought affected primary producers near Longreach in 2015, I took a bundle of Peanut Van products.
“Fresh, delicious peanuts from the South Burnett were the obvious choice and it was lovely to give these small gifts and help create a connection between primary producers from two distinct regions.
“I would like to congratulate owners Rob and Christine Patch and of course Peanut Van Manager, Rowena Dionysius on this important milestone.
“The Peanut Van is such an icon in our region, and I look forward to seeing the business grow even further over the next 50 years!” Deb said.
Deb’s Peanut Slice Recipe
100 grams butter
½ cup plain flour
½ cup self-raising flour
1/3 cup desiccated coconut
¾ cup caster sugar
100g white chocolate
1 ½ cups Kingaroy Peanuts
1 Can condensed milk
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease and line a rectangular slice tin with baking paper. Place butter in a bowl and melt. Add the flour, coconut and caster sugar and mix. Place mixture into tin and press down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle over the nuts and finely chopped chocolate. Pour can of condensed milk over the top of the nuts & chocolate until covered.
Bake for a further 15-20 min until brown.
Cool and let set.
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says figures from the 2019/20 State Budget show the Kingaroy Hospital upgrade is running 53% under budget.
Mrs Frecklington said the Budget papers revealed that while Labor budgeted to have spent $28 million by 30 June 2019, they have only spent $10.538 million on the upgrade.
“These budget figures are concerning. I am calling on the Health Minister, Steven Miles to explain why we have such a huge underspend, and whether the project will be delivered on time.
“Since February 2018 I have asked three Questions on Notice to the Minister about the project and completion dates.
“The Minister has never provided an opening date, instead only providing a vague expected timing of sometime in 2021.
“We all know about Labor’s horrible record of budget blowouts on major projects, particularly health projects.
“Our community simply cannot be expected to endure any more time waiting for this new hospital.
“I have been fighting for this upgrade for six years and I am determined to keep this Labor Government to account on the redevelopment of the Kingaroy Hospital.
“We all expect to see works fully underway as soon as possible following this long period of inactivity,” Deb said.
* 2018/19 budget – https://s3.treasury.qld.gov.au/files/BP3-2018-19.pdf
* 2019/20 budget – https://budget.qld.gov.au/files/BP3.pdf
Residents on the Darling Downs are demanding the Palaszczuk Labor Government give the tick of approval to New Acland Stage 3 and save 150 local jobs.
More than 1500 people have supported a petition convened by the Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce, Oakey Chamber of Commerce and the Toowoomba Surat Basin Enterprise.
Liberal National Party Shadow Minster for Natural Resources Dale Last said it was time for this anti-resources, anti-regions and anti-jobs Labor Government to get out of the way and approve the project.
“There’s no need for job losses - 150 can be saved as long as this Labor Government signs off on Stage 3 in time,” Mr Last said.
“Queenslanders expect our resource projects to meet high environmental and social standards, but they also expect job-creating projects like New Acland stage 3 to get a fair-go.
“To make matters worse, the Palaszczuk Government funds the very group, the Environmental Defenders Office, that continues to derail this project through the legal system.”
The petition was presented to Condamine LNP MP Pat Weir, who said the Labor Government’s refusal to give certainty around the approval process was tearing the community apart.
“I wrote directly to Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk seeking assurances there would be a resolution before September 1, but there was no commitment or guarantee to save the 150 jobs on the chopping block,” Mr Weir said.
“I’ll again be writing to the Premier and Minister Anthony Lynham to alert them of the community’s petition and the frustration these bureaucratic delays are causing for the whole region.
“The time for talk and deliberations is over. Our community deserves certainty.
“The LNP will always stand up for jobs and regional communities.
“Jobs in regional Queensland is no priority for this out of touch Labor Government.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has delivered another cruel blow for regional Queenslanders, after finally releasing the long-awaited drought report.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said important water and transport subsidies that keep cattle alive and help crops survive are devastating cuts for our farmers.
“Queenslander farmers have received a kick in the guts while they’re on their knees,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Water is already too expensive – these cuts will force farmers off the land.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is out of touch and her priorities are all wrong.
“Our farmers are the lifeblood of Queensland, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government is failing them.
“They put food on our table and clothes on our back and are the heart and soul of regional Queensland.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said it’s no wonder Labor hid this report for so long.
“This report was completed in January and it took six months to be released – and now we know why,” Mr Perrett said.
“More cuts, more betrayal and more disappointment for our farmers.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is anti-farmers, anti-regions and anti-jobs.
“The LNP won’t stop fighting for our farmers.
“65 per cent of Queensland is already drought declared and if that number rises, even more farmers will become victims of Labor’s cuts.
“This is more bad news for famers who are already doing it tough.”