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Bundy farmers take dam fight to Brisbane

Bundy farmers take dam fight to Brisbane

6th December 2021

Bundaberg farmers have gone to new heights in an attempt to be heard by the State Government about the future of Paradise Dam.

A giant billboard organised by Bundaberg Fruit and Vegetable Growers has gone up in the Deputy Premier’s electorate, on the Bruce Highway North of Brisbane.

It comes as Shadow Water Minister Deb Frecklington reignites calls for the State Government to release their detailed business case into the future of Paradise Dam.

Ms Frecklington said the best Christmas present the State Government can give Wide Bay locals is confidence the full wall height will be restored.

“Labor has played politics with Paradise Dam from the onset,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The region’s growers and water users continue to be caught in the middle of this debacle.

“Engineering experts have said the wall can be restored.

“The State Government needs to be upfront with the people of Bundaberg.

“Will the State Government take the engineering advice, or find another excuse to tear the wall down?

“I again call on Labor’s Water Minister and Labor’s Member for Bundaberg to stand up for the people they claim to represent.

“We’ve already seen precious water from the recent rain washed out to sea, in a cruel blow for locals at a time when water has never been this vital.”

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett is concerned the year is almost over and Wide Bay locals are still in the dark over the Future Options Paper for Paradise Dam.

“We need the report released to the public today,” Mr Bennett said.

“That doesn’t mean handing it over to a government pen-pusher and putting it in the desk for another 12 months.

“That means giving it to our farmers, to the people who need to make decisions about putting crops in the ground.

“It’s high time the Palaszczuk Government shows regional producers how much they value the food on their plates.”

Statement - Specialist Outpatient Services

6th December 2021

Today the Auditor-General’s report into improving access to specialist outpatient services will be released.

The LNP is urging the State Government to genuinely consider its findings and take real action to fix the crisis, rather than shirk the blame.

Latest data shows targeted funding and cultural change is needed in Queensland Health.

Opposition Leader David Crisafulli said despite having seven years to fix the problem, the issue has only worsened under this State Government.

“The waitlist to see a specialist has grown to a staggering 245,000 Queenslanders,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“These Queenslanders are waiting at the back of the queue. They haven’t even seen the doctor yet.

“This can’t be another Auditor-General’s report that gets swept aside.

“At a time when Queensland Heath is in crisis, every suggestion to improve it must be taken on board.”

The specialist outpatient waiting list has grown by more than 15,000 in the last quarter.

“The growth in the waiting list for the waiting list shows the government is losing control of its hospital system even before Covid starts spreading through our community.

“Most concerning is a rise of 7 per cent in the last quarter.

“Queenslanders waiting desperately to see a specialist deserve better from this State Government.

"These are your loved ones in pain, waiting desperately just for an appointment, let alone their surgery.

"As a nurse and former hospital administrator, I know our frontline staff are also crying out for help."

The LNP has put solutions on the table including:

  1. Data Transparency: Real-time data so patients and health professionals can help make decisions around resourcing and performance.
  2. Triaging Improvements: Better resourcing for triaging in emergency departments to ensure the service is fit for purpose.
  3. Targeted funding: Investing in more beds instead of fudging the figures by counting chairs in the hospital bed tally.
  4. Empowering Frontline Staff: Allowing doctors, nurses and paramedics the power to determine resources in their hospitals, using local expertise.

The LNP will continue to put our positive solutions on the table until all Queenslandes have a health system they can depend on.

Inquiry launched into Mental Health Services

30th November 2021

The Health Minister has finally acknowledged that Queensland’s Mental Health Services are at breaking point.

Queenslanders must be able to rely on the public health system.

However, on this Government’s watch, our mental health services are crumbling despite the dedication of overworked frontline staff.

This hidden pandemic has been fuelled by serious government inaction.

The Parliamentary Inquiry must be genuine and thorough and deliver solutions that will start fixing this crisis.

For months the industry, specialist health workers, experts, Queenslanders, our media and the LNP have been demanding the State Government take action to stop more people from falling through the cracks.

Only yesterday the Opposition called for a review of Queensland’s failing mental health services.

Once again though, this Government only acts after matters are raised in the media.

This Government only cares about how things look, not how things are.

This Government is failing Queenslanders.

Queenslanders deserve better.

Hundreds of millions ripped from hospitals

30th November 2021

The State Government has ripped more than $400 million out of the health system as a crisis engulfs hospitals and ambulance services across Queensland.

The LNP can reveal hospitals and health services across the state have had tens of millions cut from their funding every year for the past three years.

This year, Metro South has been worst hit with nearly $17 million cut, followed by the Gold Coast with almost $15 million and the Sunshine Coast with $14 million.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said the cuts were another blow to frontline health workers and would leave Queenslanders vulnerable.

“Our health system is in crisis and with one hand the State Government is pointing and blaming everyone else, and with the other it’s taking a knife to the Queensland Health frontline,” he said.

“Our frontline staff are scrambling to hold our hospitals together and are being badly let down by a State Government that is incapable of fixing the culture of Queensland Health.”

The LNP has put solutions on the table including:

  1. Data Transparency: Real time data so patients and health professionals can help make decisions around resourcing and performance.
  2. Triaging Improvements: Better resourcing for triaging in emergency departments to ensure the service is fit for purpose.
  3. Targeted funding: Investing in more beds instead of fudging the figures by counting chairs in the hospital bed tally.
  4. Empowering Frontline Staff: Allowing doctors, nurses and paramedics the power to determine resources in their hospitals, using local expertise.

Mr Crisafulli said the State Government must stop the blame game and focus on fixing the Queensland Health Crisis.

“The State Government's only plan right now is to blame everyone else while pulling funding from the frontline to prop up a brittle budget,” he said.

“Queenslanders have never needed a quality healthcare system more than they will in 2022.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said frontline staff were bearing the brunt of the funding cuts.

“It is utterly heartless at a time when frontline workers and patients are crying out for help,” she said.

“As a registered nurse and former hospital administrator, I know how stressful it is for our exhausted frontline staff who aren’t getting the support they need.

“Our dedicated doctors, nurses and paramedics are heroes holding our hospital together during the Queensland Health Crisis.

“Their dedication and professionalism is first-class, but unfortunately they are being badly let down by a State Government that is losing control of the health system.”

Will Labor rule-out a wheelie bin tax?

29th November 2021

Queenslanders still have no idea if they’ll be hit with a wheelie bin tax and the State Opposition is calling for an end to the uncertainty.

Heading into the final parliamentary sitting week of 2021, Shadow Environment Minister Sam O’Connor said the State Government must be honest with Queenslanders.

“The State Government must be transparent about this. If this State Government is genuine about being open and honest then it would make the announcement this week,” Mr O’Connor said.

“The silence has been deafening.

“Labor has a history of dropping bad news late on a Friday afternoon or during the holidays and hoping nobody will notice.

“This was meant to be about protecting our environment and improving our waste industry but Labor has failed to deliver with only a fraction of the funds going towards this.

“Even after three years of the levy, Queensland lags behind almost every other state in our resources and recycling recovery rates.

“Queenslanders shouldn’t have to pay for this Government’s inability to manage our waste.

“Taxing households can’t be Labor’s only plan to reform our waste system.

“The State Government needs to end the guessing game and tell Queenslanders if they will or won’t be taxed on their wheelie bins.”

Mental health support must be a priority

29th November 2021

The State Government must urgently review mental health services as Queensland reaches breaking point.

Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates said too many Queenslanders were missing out on the vital support they needed and were falling through the cracks.

“Just as we’ve seen with the Queensland Health Crisis, mental health services in this state are at breaking point,” she said.

“This is the hidden pandemic and it’s spreading deeper into our state every day.

“The LNP understands the seriousness of this issue and that’s why we have a Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health.

“The State Government needs to stop blaming everyone else and focus on fixing this crisis.”

Shadow Assistant Minister for Mental Health Rob Molhoek said vulnerable Queenslanders desperate to access mental health support were waiting months for appointments and presentations to emergency departments were reaching unprecedented levels.

It’s hitting all corners of our community, young and old and too many vulnerable Queenslanders are not getting the support they need,” he said.

“This issue was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, but now it’s a full-blown crisis.”

Ms Bates said the State Government should look at what is being achieved by other states and territories to boost mental health support and availability here in Queensland.

“Other states are prioritising mental health funding because they know the impact it is having on their communities. Tragically, Queensland isn’t doing the same,” she said.

“The impact of the pandemic on the mental health of all Queenslanders presents a significant public health challenge that requires urgent intervention and additional financial support from the State Government now.”

State Government betrays Queenslanders on environment

26th November 2021

The State Government’s green credentials are in tatters after yet another damning report found it was failing to meet its own environmental targets and used dodgy figures to cover it up.

An Auditor-General report slammed the State Government for its significant lack of detail on how it will reach its 50% renewable energy target by 2030.

It also found the Government had failed to include 1,000 GWh of diesel generation and used questionable calculations to claim it was on track to meet its targets.

That means the Government is not even halfway towards meeting its 2030 targets on renewables or emissions reduction.

Shadow Minister for the Environment Sam O’Connor said the Government had betrayed Queenslanders.

“This is typical of this third-term government - it’s about how things look, not how things actually are,” he said.

“The Minister should hang his head in shame.”

Mr O’Connor said today’s revelations joined a litany of failures on the environment by the State Government.

  • Emissions are higher than when Labor came to power in 2015;
  • Labor’s protected areas increase of just 0.01% a year has led key conservation groups to say it will take 1,000 years to reach their own target;
  • The Queensland waste industry says Queensland is not on track to meet its own state waste targets, or the national targets;
  • Queensland was the last state to sign up to the national Recycling Modernisation Fund, with other states starting their projects before Labor even signed up.
  • The so-called flagship Land Restoration Fund announced in 2017 has invested less than $3 million of the total $500 million promised.
  • Only four farmers have been supported by a $10 million fund to help with reef regulations, totalling $4,000.
  • The major fund of $100 million to build resource recovery infrastructure received $811 million in applications, yet the Government has only spent just over a third;
  • While the Government continues to call on the Federal Government to match its funding on the reef, the Federal Government actually provides more than double the state’s funding, with $2 billion compared to just under $1 billion.

Mr O’Connor said the failures showed the Government was not serious about the environment.

“This Government loves talking a big game when it comes to the environment but when you actually look at the details this couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said.

“It’s not good enough to just set a target because it sounds good, you need to deliver it.

“The Energy Minister and the Environment Minister are failing to do their jobs and the precious natural assets of Queensland are paying the price.”

A sad day for mining in Queensland

25th November 2021

It’s been confirmed 75 Queensland workers will lose their jobs tomorrow at the New Acland Mine, near Toowoomba.

Around 350 jobs have been lost at the mine since the Palaszczuk Government took office.

Now the mine has run out of coal due to Government inaction.

Yesterday, the Premier told us she wants more new mining opportunities approved in Queensland but less than 24 hours later, she can’t even keep a mine we already have open.

This government’s inaction has killed this mine.

This is devastating for the workers, their families and the communities of the Darling Downs.

It is typical of this third-term government.

They only care about how things look, not how things actually are.

Announcements and speeches won’t keep our mining industry afloat, workers in jobs or their communities alive.

What are these workers going to do now?

They have been badly failed by the Palaszczuk Government.

Queenslanders deserve so much better than this.