Media | Local News

Local News - October 2019

Labor must support trespass laws to protect drought affected farmers

31st October 2019

Queensland’s drought ravaged farming communities deserve certainty and confidence they won’t be threatened by unlawful animal extremists who seek to intimidate and financially cripple our agricultural industries.

LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett is calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor Government to support the LNP’s common sense Criminal Trespass Laws, ahead of the Parliamentary Committee report tomorrow.

"The LNP are serious when it comes to protecting our hard-working farming families from radical animal extremists whose only goal is to terrorise those people in our community they disagree with," Mr Perrett said.

"Labor's 'soft on crime' approach to protecting our lawful businesses from these animal extremists has failed to address the rising tide of criminal activity.

"It is simply unacceptable that animal extremists have been able to threaten our hard-working farmers with nothing but a slap-on-the-wrist for their troubles.

"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.

"The LNP 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.

"People have the right to protest, but no one has the right to break the law.

“The LNP laws will protect farming families and law-abiding Queensland businesses.

"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 support our tough new trespass laws and protect our farming families.”

LNP's trespass laws:

  • Aggravated trespass with a maximum penalty of $13,055 fine or 3 years imprisonment;
  • Serious Criminal Trespass with a maximum penalty $391,650 or 10 years imprisonment; and
  • Organised Trespass which has a maximum penalty of $391,650 or 10 years imprisonment.

Labor’s Blue Card fail threatens rural fire brigade

23rd October 2019

Queensland faces a mass exodus of 18,000 Rural Fire Brigade volunteers over the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s mishandling of mandatory Blue Cards for service members.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Volunteers Lachlan Millar said Labor’s bungling would devastate the Brigade’s capabilities with 86 per cent of personnel on the chopping block*.

“If 18,000 rural firefighters hand their badges in over this then the lives of Queenslanders will be put at risk,” said Mr Millar.

“Community safety must always come first, especially when it comes to children, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s mismanagement of accreditation threatens the state’s rural firefighting force.

“Clearly the Palaszczuk Labor Government and Minister Crawford have failed to properly engage and communicate with rural firies over this process.

“Labor needs to acknowledge the introduction has been a bungled and put in place a better process to ensure the Blue Card requirement is appropriately rolled out.

“Its’s time for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister Craig Crawford to fix this mess before it’s too late.”

*RFBAQ media release: Premier Palaszczuk – please stop the Government sacking over 18,000 Rural Fire Brigade volunteers.

Labor’s slap in the face for New Acland workers

23rd October 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has shown breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy after 150 workers were made redundant by New Hope, as Labor drags out the approval process for stage 3A at the New Acland mine.

In a letter (attached) sent to Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise from the Premier’s Office, Labor pointed the finger at the company for the job losses.

LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dale Last said Labor has shown no sympathy for the workers who’ve lost their jobs, just months out from Christmas.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is anti-resources, anti-regions and anti-jobs,” Mr Last said.

“Labor’s approval process for stage 3A is a complete joke and jobs are being lost because of it.

“For Labor to blame the company when they’re the ones playing politics with this project is a new low.

“We should be creating jobs, not destroying them.

“I will not stop fighting for every mining job in this state and only the LNP has a plan to open up the Galilee Basin, supercharge the North West minerals province and back our resources industry.

“Unlike Labor, only the LNP has a job-creating infrastructure plan.

“New data released this week revealed it’s taking people in some parts of Queensland more than 12 months to find a job under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“You can’t trust Labor to create jobs.”

LNP Member for Condamine Pat Weir said Annastacia Palaszczuk is inflicting an economic disaster on Oakey.

“Hundreds of jobs will be lost on the Darling Downs because of Labor’s anti-resources agenda and the impact will be felt right across Queensland.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is lying when she says her Government supports the mining industry.

“This letter from the Premier’s office is a slap in the face for those workers who’ve been let go and clearly shows they have no compassion for the workers and no interest in seeing this mine stay open.”

Labor excludes Somerset - again

23rd October 2019

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington says Labor have forgotten the Somerset again, with the area not recognised by Labor Government as a regional or rural area.

Mrs Frecklington said her recent Question on Notice* asking the Premier why the Somerset was excluded from the list of regional areas eligible to participate in Regional Community Forums has been completely ignored.

“After complaints from community members who wanted to represent the Somerset I asked the Premier to explain why the Somerset was not included in Queensland’s list of rural and regional areas,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“The Premier showed an obvious disregard for the region by completely ignoring my question and providing no reasonable explanation for the Somerset being excluded.

“This is extraordinary, especially when both the Lockyer and Ipswich regions are considered to be regional and rural by the Labor Government.

“It is completely unacceptable this Labor Government doesn’t consider the Somerset to be a regional area.

“I would like to point out to the Premier that the Somerset region is a largely rural area and has been drought declared for some time, with many primary producers feeding livestock. People from the Somerset also face many barriers including access to transport, access to health services, road networks in need of upgrade, poor access to telecommunications services and much, much more.

“The Premier is promoting these forums as a way for regional Queenslander’s to have their say. I question the Premier’s sincerity when she doesn’t even understand the Somerset is a regional area which obviously needs to be better understood by this city-centric Government.

“Unfortunately, this isn’t the only time the Somerset has been excluded by this Labor Government. The Somerset Regional Council area is also not eligible for Labor’s ‘Works for Queensland’ funding, which is available to almost all other Queensland Councils.

“I call on the Premier to explain to the people of the Somerset why the region it not recognised as being rural or regional,” Deb said.

Labor slashes $13 million from rural firies

22nd October 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been caught making a massive cut to Rural Fire Service funding in Queensland.

LNP Shadow Minister for Emergency Services Lachlan Millar said Labor’s response to an Opposition Question on Notice revealed the service’s funding was being cut by $13million this financial year – a 25 per cent reduction of its 2018/19 budget*.

“Labor must explain to rural and regional Queensland communities that have been fighting bushfires why they have slashed funding for Rural Fire Services,” Mr Millar said.

“Given the unprecedented recent fires, you would think it would be time to increase investment in our Rural Fire Services – not slash it by a quarter.

“Labor’s Emergency Services Minister claims to support rural firies when he’s in the regions, but when he gets back to Brisbane he takes an axe to their budget.

“This dangerous cut in Rural Fire Service funding shows that Labor doesn’t care about the regions.

“Labor cut the number of hazard reduction burns and then blamed the bushfires on our farmers.

“Blaming farmers for confusion over backburning while ignoring Labor’s mismanagement of state-controlled land and national parks was a new low.

“Only the LNP will deal with the bushfire threat and ensure our rural firies get the funding they need.”

* See Question on Notice No. 1488:

Labor rejects Parliamentary Inquiry into dam debacle

17th October 2019

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.”

Palaszczuk sinks to new low with petty drought blame game

16th October 2019

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.”


Deb Launches Bursary for Nanango Electorate Year 12 School Leavers

9th October 2019

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 and follow the links, or contact the Electorate office on 4190 7100 for Bursary guidelines.

Deb urges Gympie properties to apply for individual drought declarations

3rd October 2019

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 -


LNP backs parliamentary inquiry into Paradise Dam

1st October 2019

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:

  1. The design of the dam and whether it was appropriate;
  2. How the dam was constructed including under a competitive alliance contract, the impact of Walter Construction Group going into receivership halfway through and the use of roller compacted concrete;
  3. How the dam has been operated and the impact of a permanent reduction in the capacity of the dam on the regional economy and water security;
  4. Why the Palaszczuk Government has decided to lower the dam by 5 metres, releasing 100,000 ML of water in just 10 weeks; and
  5. Whether a claim could be made against those who built the dam or under Sunwater’s insurance arrangements.

2. In conducting the hearing, the Committee is asked to:

  1. Conduct hearings in the Wide Bay region; and
  2. Order those involved in the design and construction of the dam to appear at the Inquiry.

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).