Media | Local News

Local News - May 2022

Forensic Services Lab Inquiry

31st May 2022

Our state’s Forensic Services Lab is failing and the State Government is failing to understand the gravity of what this means for Queenslanders.

Victims of serious crimes are being denied justice due to these failings.

Following detailed consultation, it is the firm view of the Opposition that the operations and outcomes of the Lab should be examined by the new Commission of Inquiry being conducted into the Queensland Police Service.

This view is shared by victims and forensic experts.

The Lab sits at the very heart of the Queensland justice system and its success is far too important to only be examined in another review.

The Lab has been the subject of multiple reviews over the last two decades that have repeatedly failed to deliver the outcomes to reform the Lab.

The State Government only announced another review following pressure by the media and the Opposition.

The State Government must listen on this and include the Lab in the Police Inquiry.

This is too important for the State Government to again play protectionist politics by conducting reviews that don’t drive genuine change.

This is about protecting Queenslanders not the image of the State Government.

This is about saving lives and delivering a justice system that every Queenslander deserves.

Patient Travel Subsidy wait times blow out again

31st May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says South Burnett patients are once again enduring unacceptable wait times for their Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme (PTTS) claims.

Mrs Frecklington said that over recent months, she had been asked to advocate on behalf of local residents who had been waiting more than three months to receive their subisdies.

“Wait times have now blown out to 12 weeks (60 working days) which is double the processing time Qld Health states in its own guidelines,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“This really is unacceptable. Especially when the lengthy wait times affect the most vulnerable members of our community, many of whom are pensioners and are undergoing treatment for cancer and other serious conditions.

“People from the South Burnett rely on the Patient Travel Subsidy Scheme to allow them to afford treatment and many must travel at least two hours to see a specialist or to undergo surgery as most specialist services are not available locally.

“Sadly, this is just a repeat of a similar situation which occurred throughout 2017 and 2018 when wait times were also out of control.

“I have written to the Health Minister to ask why this is occurring again and what actions are being taken to clear the backlog.

“It is obvious there is a staffing issue delaying the processing of these applications and it needs to be fixed,” Mrs Frecklington said.

Labor's Callide no-show

27th May 2022

Statement from Jarrod Bleijie, Deputy Leader of the Opposition

The State Government has given up on the bush.

Labor has walked away from Central Queensland.

This is a third term State Government that has become so out of touch, locals are telling us the Premier isn't even bothering to run a candidate in the Callide by-election.

This by-election is a test for the Premier and if she fails to run she is running from her record.

The Queensland Health Crisis has become catastrophic, it’s clear the State Government doesn’t want to front up to the people of Callide.

LNP Candidate Bryson Head was endorsed last December.

He is an outstanding candidate who will fight for Callide, compared to the State Government that has turned its back on the region.

What an absolute disgrace from Labor.

The only way voters can send a message to the State Government is by voting for the LNP's Bryson Head on June 18.

Deb advocates for urgent assistance for Scrub Creek residents

Deb advocates for urgent assistance for Scrub Creek residents

27th May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington has urgently written to the State Government seeking an immediate solution to the loss of the causeway over the Brisbane River at Scrub Creek (near Toogoolawah).

Mrs Frecklington said the causeway was washed away on 25th May, leaving residents of Scrub Creek completely isolated.

“There is no alternative evacuation route for the residents. They have already experienced long periods of isolation during the Feb-March floods and more recently, have been isolated for two weeks following the rain of early May,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Now that the causeway has given way, the outlook is even worse for these residents.

“The Somerset Regional Council are assisting, but remedies for fixing the issues at the causeway have been drawn out due to the need for State Government approvals to undertake works in the Brisbane River.

“I have written to the Deputy Premier, Minister for Water and Minister for Main Roads seeking an urgent intervention and solution,” Mrs Frecklington said.

Photo courtesy Julie Watson.


Local Doctors left in the dark over State Government’s free flu jab announcement

25th May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says the decision by the State Labor Government to not inform GP’s and Pharmacists before making its free flu vaccine announcement has created chaos for doctors and patients across the region.

Mrs Frecklington said the announcement caught health professionals who deliver flu vaccines completely off guard and scrambling for information.

“Our local GP’s and Pharmacists were not warned about this announcement and only found out about the change via the media after patients started contacting them,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“They are rightly upset they received no notice as it caused a great deal of confusion, anxiety and upset for their staff and their patients.

“This is a just another example of the Labor Government’s inability to plan, and also their lack of respect for our hardworking health professionals.

“It comes hot on the heels of the Deputy Premier’s disgraceful slur against GP’s after he blamed them for his own Government’s health crisis.

“The Labor Government needs to start showing some respect for our health professionals,” Mrs Frecklington said.

Local groups secure funding for  major lighting projects

Local groups secure funding for major lighting projects

18th May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, has congratulated two local South Burnett groups who have secured funding to undertake major lighting projects at their grounds.

Mrs Frecklington said the Wondai Proston Wolves Rugby League Club, and the Nanango Show Society were successful in securing funds totalling almost $210,000 through the Active Gameday Projects Fund.

“These are important projects for the South Burnett which certainly deserved support,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“Lighting of our grounds grows participation in local sport by providing the option for clubs to train and compete in the evenings when more people are available outside of work hours, and when it is cooler during the summer months.

“The Wondai Wolves are undertaking an infrastructure improvement plan at their grounds and this grant will help upgrade their existing lighting,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“The Nanango Show Society will use the grant to install new lighting at their main arena. This provides opportunities for the sport and recreation clubs based at the Nanango Showgrounds to attract large state and national events from their affiliated groups such as Equestrian Qld, Dogs Qld and the Qld Rodeo Association,” Deb said.

Nanango Show Society President, Les Schloss, said the lighting project had been a goal of the Show Society for many years.

“Along with the grant, we could not have made the project happen without a substantial contribution of $30,000 from the Heritage Nanango Community Fund, and our own Show Society, which is also making a large investment.

“A project like this also has flow-on benefits for the whole community as it helps increase visitors to the region for major events and provides a broader economic and social boost for Nanango and the South Burnett,” Mr Schloss said.

Photo: Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington with Wondai Wolves President, Mick Astill.

Hospital data remains hidden from Queenslanders

16th May 2022

The Opposition is demanding the State Government release the latest hospital and health figures for Queensland, as the state’s health crisis deepens.

The State Government has repeatedly refused to release any data this year.

It comes after it was revealed health bosses were caught discussing ways to change the way the data was reported to make it look better than it actually is.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli says Queenslanders deserve to know why Queensland has the worst ambulance ramping figures on the country.

“Queenslanders are finding it increasingly harder to trust this government,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“The State Government is yet to find a way to fix the health crisis because it spends so much time trying to fudge the figures.

“Queensland has the worst ambulance ramping in the country and unfortunately you can’t fix what you don’t measure.

“The Government is losing control of health care and Queenslanders deserve to know the truth.

“I want to thank our hard working doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals who are working around the clock to help keep the health system on the rails.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said Labor is more interested in fudging the figures than fixing our hospitals.

“As a registered nurse and former hospital administrator, I know how frustrating it is for our frontline staff,” Ms Bates said.

“Ambulance ramping is just one of the many issues affecting our hospitals.

“The embattled Health Minister thought throwing $100 million at the problem would fix it.

“Hiding the true state of our hospitals from Queenslanders wreaks of a cover-up from a third term government more interested with how things look than how they are.”

Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce leads the way on mental health

Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce leads the way on mental health

9th May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, has congratulated the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce for leading the way when it comes to mental health support for small business.

Mrs Frecklington said the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce had been recognised for their “Smile4Biz” mental health support program, with funding awarded to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) to roll out the program to business Chambers across Queensland.

“The rolling out of the program across Queensland acknowledges that the Kingaroy Chamber’s Smile4Biz program is truly best practice when it comes to mental health support initiatives,” Mrs Frecklington said.

“We should all feel very proud of our local Kingaroy Chamber, and the implementation of this unique program that helps support small business with the mental health challenges faced by owners and their staff each and every day.

“Smile has helped save lives.

“’Smile’, stands for Supporting Mental Health through Information, Leadership and Education, and is a proactive education program and face-to-face counselling service run in conjunction with Bunyarra Counselling.

“I want to thank the Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce President, Mr Damien Martoo and his Committee for their hard work and foresight in offering this service to our local businesses, and congratulate them on having their program recognised for its success, and now extended to help business across Queensland,” Deb said.

Photo: Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington with the KCCI Committee at the launch of the Smile4Biz program last year.

Deb secures win for South Burnett horse trainers

5th May 2022

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, has secured a win for horse trainers based in the South Burnett after they were left off a list to receive support following the recent floods.

Mrs Frecklington asked a Question on Notice to the Minister for Racing, Grace Grace in late March asking why South Burnett trainers had been forgotten.

“The South Burnett has been defined as a disaster declared area, and trainers in all other disaster declared local government areas were included for this support, so it was important ask the Minister why they had been excluded.

“I have now been advised that trainers from the South Burnett have been made eligible to receive this funding, which is great news.

“The funding will help licenced horse trainers needing assistance with costs such as transport, food, forage and bedding for their animals as a result of the floods.

“The horse racing industry is a major economic contributor to our region and country racing is an important part of our social fabric, so this support is welcome news,” Deb said.

Question on Notice Response - attached and available here:

Ipswich residents pack Health Crisis Town Hall

4th May 2022

Harrowing stories from Ipswich locals will be taken to the floor of State Parliament, after the LNP hosted a Health Crisis Town Hall in the city.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli joined Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates to hear from locals and health professionals.

Ipswich Hospital has the worst ambulances ramping in the state, with 56 per cent of patients who arrive in ambulances waiting more than half an hour for treatment.

Mr Crisafulli said today’s forum will help drive the change needed to heal the Queensland Health Crisis.

“Today we heard stories from Queenslanders waiting hours for emergency treatment and from locals who have been on the surgery waiting list for years,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“We listened to health staff who bravely shared their experiences in a bid to force some action.  

 “Queensland has the worst ramping rates in Australia and at hospitals like Ipswich it’s soared to above 50 per cent.

 “Lives are on the line here.

“The State Government must start listening to Queenslanders and take some real action.”

The LNP has put solutions on the table for the State Government to immediately adopt including:

1) Data Transparency: Real time data on available beds needs to be accessible to patients and health professionals to help them make the best decision for their situation.

2) Triaging Improvements: Providing better resourcing for triaging in emergency departments to ensure the service is fit for purpose. 

3) Proper Resourcing: Investing in more beds instead of fudging the figures by counting chairs in the hospital bed tally.

4) Empowering Frontline Staff: Allowing front line clinicians the power to effectively run their hospitals, using local expertise and decision making.

Ms Bates thanked the locals from Ipswich who attended today’s Health Crisis Town Hall. 

“The LNP won’t stop fighting for better healthcare for all Queenslanders,” Ms Bates said.

 “Our hardworking health staff need more support.

“This third term State Government has stopped listening, but we won’t stop holding our Health Crisis Town Halls across the state.”