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LNP calls on Labor to appeal soft sentence of deadly Christmas Day crash

19th August 2019

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington and Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki are calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to appeal the soft sentence of Mark Veneris for the horrific Christmas Day crash which saw a mother and daughter killed.

Mr Veneris lost control of his BMW sedan at Manly West, reaching speeds of up to 100km/h in a 70km/h zone, smashing head-on with the Tritton family’s vehicle.

While on their way to a family Christmas Day lunch, Makayla,18, and her mother Karin, 56, tragically died while Tarmeka, 23, and her father Laurence, 55, received life-threatening injuries.

“This was not a random accident. This was 1.7km of reckless, drug-induced driving which led to the deaths of two people and a life sentence for two of their family members,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The fact that a reckless drug driver could be out as early as 2021 after serving only 3.5 years is an insult to the memory of Makayla and Karin.

“Harsher sentences need to be imposed so we can deter other road users from driving with drugs in their system.

“The Tritton family will never be able to celebrate Christmas as they once did. Mr Veneris took that away from them.”

Mr Janetzki said Mr Veneris’ long history of speeding fines and previous drunk-driving records indicated an accident waiting to happen.

“Any driver who gets behind the wheel with drugs in their system should face the full force of the law,” Mr Janetzki said.

“I have urgently written to the Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath to lodge an appeal against the horrific 2017 Christmas Day case.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government need to prove they’re serious about crime and appeal this soft and insulting sentence.”

Sentence:

  • Veneris was convicted on 26 July 2019 of dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm
  • He was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment to be served concurrently with 6 months for drug and alcohol related offences
  • He will be eligible for parole in June 2021 (after serving a minimum 3.5 years in prison)
  • His licence was suspended indefinitely
  • The offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years imprisonment.
  • Appeal period runs out 26 August 2019

Transcript of Court Proceedings: https://archive.sclqld.org.au/qjudgment/sentencing/2019/veneris26072019.pdf

 

Rorts and rip-offs exposed in Labor's 'jobs' scheme

15th August 2019

Nearly $1.4m dollars has been ripped off in fraudulent payments under Labor's flagship employment program and another $20m spent on jobs that only lasted 4 weeks.

LNP Shadow Minister for Employment and Small Business Fiona Simpson labelled Labor's administration of the Back To Work Program as shoddy and a rip-off for job-seekers and taxpayers.

“The scheme is riddled with rorts and rip-offs which is unfair to the unemployed and legitimate small businesses whose taxes are subsidising the abuse of others," Ms Simpson said.

The program pays grants of up to $20,000 to employers who take on unemployed workers.

The Back to Work frauds were detailed in the answer to an LNP question on notice (see link below).

“Labor's Back to Work scheme is creating lots of work opportunities – for fraudsters," Ms Simpson said.

“The cost of these scams is alarming and it's likely many other cases have gone undetected.”

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has also admitted that in 2018-19, 6,703 Back to Work jobs ended after the first four-week incentive subsidy was paid.

"Labor has paid out $20million of taxpayers' cash for jobs that basically went nowhere," Ms Simpson said.

"I'm concerned that many of the 'jobs' created through Back to Work disappear as soon as Labor sends out the cheque.

"Labor must urgently fix the flaws in its Back to Work program.

"This is more proof that Labor isn't working, which is why Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in mainland Australia."

Background
Fraud QoN: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2019/1055-2019.pdf
Estimates Transcript (see page 96): https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2019/2019_08_01_EstimatesEEC.pdf

Palaszczuk’s unAustralian beer tax will cost jobs

13th August 2019

Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson has again called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to dump the huge hike for craft breweries in their emergency services management levy, which came into effect from July 1.

During a trip to Cairns today, Ms Simpson said the levy hike for small breweries was a cruel blow for the popular industry, causing operators unfair financial pressure.

“The high-taxing Palaszczuk Labor Government can’t keep its hands out of people’s pockets and now they’re even going after their beer,” Ms Simpson said.

“It’s unAustralian and true to form there was no consultation with businesses owners from Labor.

“They’re trying to blame councils, but it is the State Government that sets the rate and it is the State Government that has gazetted a new regulation to change the group under which craft breweries are charged the levy.

“They just didn’t bother to come clean and tell anyone before they slugged them and now, they’re trying to blame shift instead of fix the problem.

“Craft brewers in urban areas will see their State Government emergency management levy rise from $527.80 a year to $5224.20 this year.*

“However, brewers in all areas will see a massive increase in their previous emergency management levy.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk has slugged Queenslanders with ten new or high taxes and our we have the worst unemployment rate in Mainland Australia and her beer tax will cost local jobs.

“Only the LNP will support businesses owners, create new jobs, reduce power bills and make Queensland the economic powerhouse it once was.

Background explanation and references:

The emergency management levy is broken into different Groups A-E (classifying the type and size of business) and Classes (different geographical areas, determined by proximity to fire station and a services).

See map in link below to determine which geographic class businesses fall into, determined by proximity to fire stations and services:

https://publicsafetyqld.maps.arcgis.com/apps/PanelsLegend/index.html?appid=c50813e4c4f9421d99ebfedf3c447123

The new regulation shifts microbreweries into a new Levy Group, thus the hike in charges.

Links to the new regulations:

* * 2019 - Fee change (annual update) - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/asmade/sl-2019-0110
* 2019 - Levy Group change from Category 3 to Category 7 for micro-breweries (NEW) https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/asmade/sl-2019-0130
* 2018 - previous regulation - which shows previous charges - https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/html/asmade/sl-2018-0079

The numbers don’t lie but the Minister does

13th August 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government is letting down some of Queensland’s most vulnerable citizens, as the amount of public housing applications continues to skyrocket.

LNP Shadow Housing Minister Michael Hart said Annastacia Palaszczuk and her embattled Minister Mick De Brenni should be ashamed of their appalling record.

“Minister Mick De Brenni must be sacked for his incompetence,” Mr Hart said.

“When the LNP left government the total figure had fallen by 7004 to 16,546.*

“As of the end of March 2019, that figure is closing-in on 20,000.

“The numbers don’t lie.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is failing Queensland’s homeless and they don’t have a plan to reverse the trend.

“8,625 applications have been made in the ‘very high’ segment of need, which is more than double, since the LNP left office in 2015.

“In March alone, 1037 families applied for housing assistance, which is a staggering increase of 14%.

“These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, these are desperate Queenslanders who looking for a roof over their head.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s priorities are all wrong, while Mick De Brenni clearly can’t handle his portfolio and needs to go.

“Queenslanders are doing it tough thanks to ten new or higher taxes, since the last election.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk can’t be trusted to create jobs.

“Queensland has the worst unemployment rate in mainland Australia and the Palaszczuk Labor Government has no plan to fix it.

“Only Deb Frecklington and the LNP has an economic plan to help everyone get ahead.”

* https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2019/621-2019.pdf

 

Business confidence goes from Trad to worse

13th August 2019

Businesses have passed a damning vote of no confidence in the Palaszczuk Labor Government after its latest Budget delivered higher taxes, more debt, less jobs and less infrastructure.

The latest Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Pulse survey (released today) shows business confidence in Queensland stood at 43.5 points in the June quarter – 4.2 points lower than June 2018.

The first post-Budget survey also showed 80 per cent of businesses are expecting the state’s dire economic conditions to stagnate or worsen.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Labor was smashing business with almost $3.5 billion of new taxes, slashing infrastructure investment and destroying jobs.

“The overwhelming majority of Queensland businesses fear for the future with Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad in charge,” Mr Mander said.

“Sadly, businesses and workers are right to be worried.

“Labor has hit Queensland with 10 tax hikes, sent our debt surging to $90 billion and delivered the highest unemployment rate in mainland Australia.

“Jackie Trad may be making a mint from her private property portfolio, but she has been a disaster as Treasurer of this state.

“Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government will restore Queensland’s confidence by building job-creating infrastructure, ending Labor’s waste and guaranteeing no new taxes.”

Palaszczuk must stop elder abuse cover-up

7th August 2019

Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington has condemned the Palaszczuk Labor Government for covering up the shocking physical and sexual abuse of residents in state-run aged care homes.

The catalogue of 16 disturbing incidents was only uncovered by a right-to-information request and Labor is refusing to release details of which facilities were involved.

“It is sickening that vulnerable old people have been physically and sexually abused in state-run facilities that are meant to care for them,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop the cover-up and tell Queenslanders what has happened, where it happened and what she is doing about it.

“Once again, Labor is more interested in covering up scandals than in tackling them.

“Elder abuse is a despicable and cowardly crime.

“Every family has a right to know if their loved one is at risk of abuse.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates accused Annastacia Palaszczuk of blatant hypocrisy after the Premier last month promised to ‘name and shame’ private care homes with low staffing ratios.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk threatened to name private care facilities over staffing levels, but she won’t identify state-run homes where old people have suffered disgusting abuse,” Ms Bates said.

“There’s one rule for the Palaszczuk Labor Government and another rule for everyone else.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk must drop her double standards and guarantee the safety of residents in state-run aged care.”

In 2018 it was revealed that two state-run care facilities – Cooinda House, Redcliffe, and the Dr EAF McDonald Nursing Home in Oakey – failed inspections, with inspectors reporting that residents were exposed to ‘serious risk’.

“The warning signs have been there for a long time, but Labor chose to ignore them,” Ms Bates said.