LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today pledged $15 million over three years to put smart drum lines in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to match the commitment immediately to protect the community.
“Labor have sold out community safety by pulling shark drum lines out of Queensland waters without any plan B,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Public safety must come first. Our position couldn’t be more clear – people before sharks.
“I won’t just roll over and say it is all too hard like the Palaszczuk government has done.
“There is nothing in the decision* that compelled Annastacia Palaszczuk to pull drum lines out of the water.
“The permit requires the Government to use drum lines in a “non-lethal” way, which will protect the Great Barrier Reef while prioritising the safety of swimmers.
“The court didn’t tell Labor to take out the drumlines – Labor chose to do it.
“The drum lines are legal if they are regularly monitored and sharks are removed quickly. Smart drum lines can do just that.
“When it comes to life and death, nothing should be put in the too hard basket.
“People don’t want to see political blame-shifting, they want real action that respects the law but protects community safety.
“That’s why if elected, the LNP will pledge $15 million over three years for smart drum lines to protect Queenslanders and tourists swimming in these waters. I hope Labor do the right thing and match our pledge so Queenslanders don’t have to wait 14 months for this sensible action to happen.
“For four years, New South Wales** has safely trialed a catch and release program with the use of smart drum lines. This should be the minimum response by the Palaszczuk Government.
“To simply pull the drum lines out without a backup plan shows Labor is more interested in playing politics than protecting the community, protecting the environment and protecting Queensland’s $25 billion tourism industry.
“Queensland’s tourism industry needs to be safeguarded and smart drumlines are a way to protect humans and protect local tourism jobs.”
*Administrative Appeals Tribunal decision: https://www.judgments.fedcourt.gov.au/judgments/Judgments/fca/full/2019/2019fcafc0163
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has completely lost control of the health system following more disturbing reports of the fallout from yet another Labor IT Health fail, involving a $135 million medical supplies ordering system that broke down on the first day.
LNP Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates said Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to show some leadership and sack the embattled Health Minister Steven Miles.
“Queenslanders deserve a world class health system that focuses on better patient care, but they’re not getting it from Labor,” Ms Bates said.
“Nurses having to put band aids on the corporate bankcard is a complete joke.
“This latest IT stuff-up is further evidence Labor and IT don’t mix.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has wasted millions of dollars on failed IT systems and Queenslanders are sick and tired of the dog ate my homework excuses.
“That money should have been spent on reducing hospital waiting lists and improving patient care.
“Under Labor, waiting lists have blown out, emergency departments are at breaking point, ambulance ramping has skyrocketed and regional maternity services closed down.
“As a nurse, I know how stressful these types of failures can have on patient care and staff morale.
“Health Minister Steven Miles doesn’t deserve another chance, but Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t act because she is the weakest Premier in Queensland’s history.”
The LNP has tried to use the power of Parliament to pressure Annastacia Palaszczuk to do what she should have done two months ago – sack Jackie Trad.
LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander moved a motion for the Queensland Parliament to express no confidence in the Labor Treasurer following a series of integrity failures over her Woolloongabba investment house purchase.
“Jackie Trad clearly broke the Cabinet Handbook and the Ministerial Handbook and is not fit to be the Treasurer of this state,” Mr Mander said.
“These rules exist to prevent corruption – but they’re optional according to Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should have sacked Jackie Trad long ago, but she is the weakest Premier in living memory.
“It’s now unrealistic to expect even the bare minimum from Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Jackie Trad holds the purse strings to Queensland’s treasury and her decisions are unbecoming for someone in such high public office.
“Queensland cannot trust Jackie Trad, who has shown she doesn’t know right from wrong.
“The LNP’s motion called on Annastacia Palaszczuk to immediately sack Jackie Trad from Cabinet.
“Every Labor Member of Parliament and the Greens MP voted to keep dodgy Jackie in the job, which shows integrity means nothing to Annastacia Palaszczuk’s government.”
LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander’s Private Member’s Motion:
The LNP has moved to block new regulations that will destroy the livelihoods of commercial fishers and increase the cost of seafood for Queensland consumers.
Shadow Fisheries Minister Tony Perrett is calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to work with recreational and commercial fishers to get the balance right.
“Labor’s consultation was a sham and I’m calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to intervene,” Mr Perrett said today.
“No one disputes that we need a sustainable fishing industry but these new regulations will cost jobs and increase the cost of seafood for consumers.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to work with industry, not sell them out chasing Greens preferences.
“Recreational fishers have also been hit and will face a reduction in the total take of mud crabs, new limits for blue swimmer crabs and a decrease in the possession limit for pippis.
“Labor’s Fisheries Minister needs to release the science he is using to justify these draconian changes.”
The LNP’s disallowance motion calling on Labor to strike down the changes must be debated by State Parliament by the end of October.
The LNP has also moved to disallow the fast-tracking of the Vessel Monitoring Systems (VMS) rollout to 1 January 2020.
“Only a few weeks ago the State Coroner slammed the Agriculture Minister’s department over the VMS rollout,” Mr Perrett said.
“The coroner said that the policy of not sharing data with police was unacceptable following the deaths of eight fishermen on the trawlers Dianne and Cassandra.”
More transparency is needed to ensure elderly Queenslanders are looked after in world-class aged care facilities, LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said today.
Ms Bates said the appalling events at the Earle Haven retirement home should be fully investigated – along with the allegations of serious abuse in homes run by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“The events at Earle Haven were a tragedy that should never happen again,” Ms Bates said.
“The LNP supports the Federal Aged Care Royal Commission and we support the Carnell Inquiry into Earle Haven.
“There have been disturbing failures in the system that will only be fixed by more transparency and less political grand-standing.
“We need to take the politics out of this issue and focus on better care and improving the system.
“I would hope that all levels of government can work together in the interest elderly Queenslanders, without the blame game that we have seen from the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”
Ms Bates said Health Minister Steven Miles had jumped on the Earle Haven disaster to score cheap political points, despite a raft of complaints about abuse and neglect at state-run facilities.
Only last month, the ABC reported that police had been called to a state-run care home to investigate a complaint of excessive force being used against an elderly resident with a cognitive impairment.
Another resident made a complaint about allegations of sexual assault.
“The details of these issues were obtained by the media under RTI, showing 16 serious complaints raised with Queensland Health in 2018,” Ms Bates said.
“Yet despite that, Steven Miles has refused to say where these complaints were made.
“No one knows if it was one complaint at 16 state-run care homes or 16 complaints at one home.
“I wrote to the Health Committee almost a month ago asking that state-run aged care facilities be included in the Earle Haven inquiry and the silence in response has been deafening.
“We agree with the Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union that there needs to be greater transparency, but that should also include state-run aged care facilities, otherwise it’s just another Labor cover-up.
“I’ve also written to Health Minister Steven Miles asking for permission to visit 14 of the 16 state-run aged care facilities that I haven’t managed to visit yet and there has been no response to that either.
“We want a world-class aged care system, but my concern is this Health Minister is more interested in political games than patient care.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk showed appalling judgement by flying to Europe in the middle of a bushfire emergency, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said today.
“Her decision to fly to Switzerland and Paris shows her priorities were all wrong,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should never have left Queensland in the middle of the bushfire crisis.
“The Premier’s first priority should always be keeping Queenslanders safe – she could easily have sent another Minister.
“Homes have been lost, lives threatened and our firies and police have been working round-the-clock in dangerous conditions.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is chair of Queensland’s disaster management committee and she should have been here throughout this emergency.
“Queensland needs a Premier who will act and lead in a crisis – not head overseas.
“She should never have trusted Jackie Trad to manage the crisis.
“Flying back proves Annastacia Palaszczuk made the wrong decision in leaving Queensland.”