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Full Independent Inquiry needed into Fraser Island fire

2nd December 2020

LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Dale Last is urgently pushing for a full independent inquiry into the devastating fires on Fraser Island.

Mr Last said there are serious answers the Labor Government needs to answer.

“The Premier’s announcement today that the Inspector General will conduct a review into the fires falls well short of the mark,” Mr Last said.

“There must be a transparent process outside the influence of government.

“This has been very poorly managed from the start and multiple government departments must be held to account.

“Business operators, residents and tourists are rightfully angry with the government’s slow response and they deserve answers not excuses.

“Tourism has copped a hammering in 2020 and these devastating fires have caused more financial pain just weeks out from the busy Christmas holiday period.

“Fraser Island is a Queensland icon that has been badly let down by a Labor government who’ve failed to plan for fire scenarios like the one currently unfolding.

“I want to thank the fire crews who are working tirelessly to salvage as much of Fraser Island as they can.”

Parameters of Full Independent Inquiry:

  • Delay by NPWS in engaging QFES. (Fire started on 14 Oct and QFES were not called in until 27 Nov)
  • Currency and appropriateness of Fire Management plan for Fraser Island including controlled burns
  • Construction and maintenance of firebreaks and fire trails
  • Reporting structures and activation process between Dept of Environment (NPWS) and QFES
  • Use of Large aerial water tanker
  • Communication and operation of Op’s centre

Chaos the only winner in council elections fiasco

19th November 2020

Labor must urgently clear up the chaos its botched local government changes are causing in Rockhampton and Townsville, the LNP said today.

Rockhampton’s mayoral election runner-up Chris ‘Pineapple’ Hooper is set to be installed as Mayor for a matter of weeks before being ousted by new emergency legislation, while a candidate who secured only 18 per cent of votes in the 2020 Townsville local government elections is set to be offered the vacant Division 10 council seat.

Shadow Local Government Minister Ann Leahy said Labor’s electoral laws should never have been introduced and were delivering farcical outcomes for Queensland.

“It would be a complete debacle and embarrassment if Chris ‘Pineapple’ Hooper was able to be the Mayor for a week or two and had to be sacked because of Labor’s laws,” Ms Leahy said.

“I have nothing against Chris, but as an ‘accidental’ mayor he is the victim of Labor’s manipulation of the system – as are the people of Rockhampton who deserve certainty about their region’s leadership.

“Labor’s election reforms could have seen a mayor elected with just one vote – all they needed to do was come second in a two-horse race.

“The LNP has been warning about this situation for months.

“The new Local Government Minister Steven Miles needs to come out immediately and tell the people of Rockhampton and Townsville how Labor plans to fix its mess.

“Voters must be told what the process will be and when it will happen.

“Labor is solely responsible for this mess.

“They need to be up front about how they will clean it up.”

Labor must throw out anti-democratic local gov laws

10th November 2020

The resignation of Rockhampton’s mayor Margaret Strelow shows why the first job of Labor’s new Local Government Minister must be to overturn their anti-democratic ‘runner-up laws’.

LNP Shadow Minister for Local Government Ann Leahy said Labor’s changes to legislation were a farce and the people of Rockhampton deserved better.

“Voters should decide on who will represent them as mayor in an election – it should not be who comes second or third,” Ms Leahy said.

“This mess is entirely Labor’s fault and the new Local Government Minister needs to act fast to fix it.

“The laws were rushed through the parliament this year without any scrutiny by a committee.

“Rockhampton now faces having a mayor they did not choose and that is anti-democratic.

“The residents of Rockhampton are also unable to nominate to stand for the Mayoral vacancy.”

Labor legislative changes mean mayors would be replaced by the candidate with the next highest polling if they were to resign in the first 12 months of their term.

The runner up in the Rockhampton council election received only 31.15% of the vote in a two-horse race.

Ms Leahy also thanked Margaret Strelow for her service to Rockhampton.

“Margaret has been a strong advocate for her region for many years and the community rewarded her with re-election eight months ago,” she said.

“Rockhampton is a better place for her service and I thank her for everything she has done to move the region forward.”

LNP resources plan will get Queensland working again

28th October 2020

A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will deliver a comprehensive plan to supercharge state’s resources sector to deliver a decade of secure jobs for Queenslanders.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP would provide secure jobs and royalty security as part of a plan to get Queensland working again.

“Queenslanders have a clear choice between an anti-resources Labor government that stalls mining projects and shuts projects down like New Acland Stage 3, or the LNP which will fast track approvals and open up the Galilee Basin,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queensland has the worst unemployment rate in the nation with more than 209,000 people out of work, so it is essential that we lock in our existing jobs and have a vision to grow our resources sector – something our 10-year royalties guarantee provides.

“The LNP is the only party with a comprehensive plan for rural and regional Queensland’s resources industry and to secure the thousands of jobs the sector will deliver.”

The LNP’s plan to support the gas and resources industry includes:

  • Open up the Galilee Basin to develop $50 billion worth of projects that will support 15,000 jobs
  • A new Queensland Infrastructure Fund to collect and invest royalties from the Galilee Basin in new infrastructure across the state
  • A 10-year royalties guarantee to provide investment certainty for the resources industry
  • A commitment of $8 million for minerals exploration
  • Cutting the crippling electricity costs faced by the mineral sector
  • A dedicated Deputy Coordinator-General to manage the coordinated development of the all-important North-West Minerals Provence, based in Townsville
  • An energy audit to look at how we can bring down bills for industry and encourage more investment that creates jobs
  • A commitment to fully implement the CopperString 2.0 in partnership with the Federal Government
  • A new Queensland Resources Industry Commissioner to promote the state to international investors (a position terminated by the Palaszczuk Labor Government)
  • A faster approvals process, with key performance indicators tracked and published to restore industry confidence in the Queensland Government.

LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and North Queensland Dale Last said the LNP’s plan for Queensland also includes a no-new-tax guarantee and cheaper electricity prices for regional areas, delivered through the introduction of retail price competition.

“The LNP’s plan will support businesses throughout the resources supply chain by saving manufactures around 20% on their electricity costs under the new $493 million scheme,” Mr Last said.

“The LNP is committed to providing the regulatory and investment framework for long term growth to benefit thousands of workers throughout Queensland.

“Those jobs ensure the survival of many regional communities – including many throughout my electorate.

“The LNP is also the only party that has a plan to properly develop the $680 billion North-West Minerals Province as well as thousands of jobs that will flow across North Queensland.

“As we travel across North Queensland people tell us that Labor has no clear strategy for developing the North West Minerals Province.

“That’s not good enough and that is why the LNP is acting.

“Only the LNP has a plan to ensure the safety of hard working miners by undertaking a parliamentary inquiry into mine safety after Labor’s atrocious track record.

“Only the LNP will restore confidence and secure the new investment that the regions are crying out for – and we’ll start by approving the New Acland expansion.

“Only the LNP has a plan to create a stronger economy and to get Queensland working again.”

LNP funding boost to kick and shoot goals for grassroots sports

27th October 2020

LNP funding boost to kick and shoot goals for grassroots sports

The LNP’s 68.4 million infrastructure investment fund, includes

  • $21.4 million for grass roots community clubs
  • $15 million upgrade to Ballymore Park
  • $2.5 million for Townsville District Rugby Union’s high performance facility
  • $10 million to upgrade Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay
  • $20 million to upgrade Sunshine Coast Stadium

A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will kick and shoot goals for grassroots sporting clubs with a $68.4 million infrastructure investment, creating 212 jobs for tradies across Queensland.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the funding boost would enable grassroots sporting clubs run by mum and dad volunteers to upgrade local facilities.

“We have a plan to provide some of the best local sporting facilities in Australia whether you’re a junior having a run around on a Saturday morning, enjoying a game with your mates or aspiring to reach the elite level,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We’ll also be putting steps in place to fix Labor’s sports rorts fiasco to ensure integrity is returned to the grants process and that funding is reaching those that need it most.

“The LNP’s package will include a $15 million redevelopment of Ballymore Park into a world-class sports precinct and community facility matching the Federal Government’s $15 million commitment to get this project underway.

“We’ll also commit $2.5 million towards a major redevelopment of Townsville District Rugby Union’s high performance facility, including new male and female change rooms, renovated fields and upgraded facilities.

“Regional infrastructure upgrades will also be rolled out in Mackay and on the Sunshine Coast.

“The LNP was the first to propose a major $20 million expansion of the Sunshine Coast Stadium in a major upgrade to local facilities.

“And we have committed $10 million to upgrade the Great Barrier Reef Arena in Mackay, in partnership with the Federal Government to secure more national and international sporting teams to the region.”

LNP Shadow Sports Minister John-Paul Langbroek said measures would be put in place to fix the grants process.

“It’s time to end Labor’s sports rorts scandal and the interference of trouble-prone Labor Minister Mick de Brenni,” Mr Langbroek said.

“Under an LNP Government, the Sports Minister won’t be allowed to intervene in the grant approvals process and ignore the advice of the Department.

“We will ensure the Department’s Director-General is required to sign-off on any approved grant applications for the Minister’s electorate, to restore integrity and confidence in the system.

“Better record keeping will also be put in place as a priority, a key recommendation from the Auditor-General.”

LNP fund to back business innovation

27th October 2020

A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will back in Queensland’s manufacturing ingenuity with an $8 million innovation fund to develop new products and capability.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the fund would target new product development such as the Mainetec’s Hulk Excavator Bucket Range, which the Mackay-based company has spent more than two years investing and developing.

“If Queensland businesses are prepared to back themselves through innovation, the LNP is prepared to back them, dollar for dollar,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We will also provide $25,000 matching competitive grants as part of a $5 million investment fund for manufacturers seeking to invest in new information communication technology hardware or software.

“An LNP Government will make sure that the digital technology that is driving advances in global manufacturing is available and accessible to Queensland manufacturers.”

LNP Candidate for Mackay Chris Bonanno said local businesses would welcome manufacturing being is front and centre of the LNP’s bold economic plan for Queensland.

“The final days of this campaign are crucial for the businesses and people of the Mackay region,” Mr Bonanno said.

“We’ve seen more than 4,300 jobs lost across this region under the anti-regions, anti-jobs Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Labor has damaged this region’s vital resources, agriculture and tourism sectors and squeezed struggling families with more taxes, higher rego and sky-high electricity prices.

“We’ve promised a no-new-tax guarantee, a $20m Built-in-Queensland initiative, less red-tape, 20% lower energy costs, $13 million for new product development and digital connectivity, direct investments to secure manufacturing jobs and commitment to transition to 100% government manufacturing procurement to Queensland companies.

“The LNP will also open up the Galilee Basin after years of Labor’s delaying tactics – paving the way for 15,000 secure resource industry jobs.

“We will spend $50 million upgrading the Peak Downs Highway, delivering certainty for freight and industry right across our region.”

LNP Candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm said this election would be a turning point for the region.

“Labor’s soft on crime policies have sent crime in Mackay through the roof – with robbery up 105% and car theft up 146%,” Ms Camm said.

“Labor works for Brisbane, not Mackay and Whitsundays, and that’s why you can’t trust them with the future of our resources industry, tourism and agriculture.

“The LNP’s economic plan will create new jobs, lower the cost of living and stop Labor’s crime wave.

“The LNP’s $300 rego rebate for every car owner would pump almost $43m into the region’s economy before Christmas – helping to create and protect local jobs.

“As well as putting $300 straight into the bank account of anyone who has a registered car or light commercial vehicle, the LNP’s plan will create 100,000 jobs by four-laning the Bruce Highway.

“Only an LNP Government will unlock this region’s potential, invest for growth and create a decade of secure jobs.”