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7th December 2023

Confirms Queenslanders are paying the highest wholesale power prices in the country

A damning new report has laid bare serious failures by the Palaszczuk Labor Government that have resulted in Queensland’s wholesale electricity prices remaining the highest in the country.

The Auditor-General’s Report into Energy has raised serious questions about Labor’s ability to operate Queensland’s energy system after nearly a decade in office.

The report's findings include:

  • Queensland’s wholesale electricity prices are the highest in the country
  • A major IT project has blown out by more than $700 million
  • The IT project incurred a $43 million write off because a component was “no longer expected to deliver benefits”
  • The Auditor-General has directly linked project blowouts to reduced cost savings and financial returns to Queensland
  • A termination payment was made not in accordance with policy
    Confidential data was not being properly secured

Shadow Energy Minister Pat Weir said these failures are driving up Queenslanders’ electricity bills in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

“Families are paying more for power because of Labor’s chaos and crisis,” Mr Weir said.

“The Palaszczuk Government has failed to properly manage Queensland’s electricity network and now families are paying the highest electricity prices in the nation.

"The report raises so many serious questions that Labor must answer.

“In a stunning revelation, a Government IT project has blown out by more than $700 million since its initial $238 million budget in 2016.

“The blowout also includes a $43 million write off for ‘components of the project that were no longer expected to deliver benefits’.

“The Auditor-General has outlined scathing failures that make a mockery of good governance in this State, including a termination benefit paid not in accordance with Government policy.

 “Labor’s Mick de Brenni needs to be open and transparent with Queenslanders and explain how much and to who the termination payment was given to.

“Mick de Brenni also needs to tell Queenslanders who was given access to confidential internal systems and whether Ministerial offices were given inappropriate access.

“Most of all, the Premier and Mick de Brenni needs to take urgent action to lower power prices for Queenslanders who are doing it tough in a cost-of-living crisis.”

Direct Quotes from the Report:

Electricity prices

“Although Queensland’s average annual wholesale price decreased, Queensland and New South Wales had the highest electricity price in Australia in 2022–23” Page 13

IT Upgrade

“Energy Queensland has been implementing its digital transformation program since 2016. The complexity of integrating multiple systems has caused delays in implementing the asset management and payroll system components. The program was originally scoped with a budget of $238 million and due for completion in June 2020. The approved budget was revised to $717 million in 2022. The program is now expected to be completed in June 2026 with the revised scope and at an estimated cost of $952 million.” Page 1

The program has included “writing off $43 million for components of the project that were no longer expected to deliver benefits” Page 7

​Link between project blowouts and reduced cost savings and financial returns to Queensland

“The delays and cost increases will affect the cost savings and the financial returns to the Queensland Government (the shareholder).” Page 8

Termination payment

Report identifies 2 significant deficiencies including

“A termination payment made to senior management was not in accordance with the Queensland government owned corporations policy on Chief and Senior Executive Employment Arrangements issued by Queensland Treasury. We also identified similar weaknesses in other public sector entities and we will report these in our upcoming state entities 2023 report to parliament.” Page 5

Data issues

“Energy sector entities need to strengthen the security over their systems and processes (internal controls).” Page 1

“Figure 3A highlights that internal control weaknesses over information systems represented the majority of the deficiencies we reported to management in 2022–23. The most common weaknesses we identified related to how users access systems (access management), and how automated controls or security settings are implemented (security configuration), including:

  • not restricting access provided to staff and third-party contractors in line with their job roles
  • not adequately monitoring the activities of users who can access sensitive data, and at the same time make changes within the system
  • implementing new security controls but inadvertently creating security gaps needing to be addressed
  • not updating security settings in line with the entities’ security policies and better practices” Page 5

Fewer police, no strategy, and 86,000 calls for service unattended

1st December 2023

Damning Auditor-General report exposes Palaszczuk Labor Government failures

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s failure to properly resource and run the Queensland Police Service has been exposed in a new damning report released by the Auditor-General.  

Shockingly, despite big promises from Labor, police numbers are falling in Queensland.

Amid those falling police numbers under Labor, the state’s thinning blue line is also failing to respond to the critical calls for assistance, more officers are being pulled from frontline policing onto admin duties and Labor has no plan to deliver the police needed for community safety.

Queensland’s Auditor-General has found, under Labor, the “QPS does not have a strategic approach to workforce planning”, is “not meeting current demands for service”, has missed critical targets for Code 1 and Code 2 requests for help, and failed to attend 86,000 calls for service in a year.

Shocking findings made by the Auditor-General include:

  • Failure to respond to 86,594 calls requiring a police response in 2021/22.
  • Reduced Code 1 and Code 2 response targets to 80%, after failing to meet them.
  • Government does not know how many police they’ll need to meet community demand, now or in the future.
  • In the middle of a crime crisis, police are being pulled from frontline policing to do admin due to police shortages.
  • Labor won’t meet their election promise of 1450 additional police by 2025.
  • In fact, police numbers have fallen by 202 officers in one year.
  • $25.9 million was spent on a Service Delivery Program before it was dumped, with no alternative plan in place. 

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said the thin blue line was continuing to become thinner across Queensland, under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Families should not be left living in fear of becoming the next victim of crime, because the thin blue line is getting thinner under Labor,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“Queenslanders deserve to be confident in an emergency a police officer will be able to respond, it is unimaginable thousands of calls for help have simply gone unanswered.

“The Auditor-General’s report points to a disastrous lack of leadership under Labor, which has left our police under-resourced and under-staffed, year after year.

“We are in the grip of a crime crisis because of Labor and now we know they have no plan, no strategy and no accountability to deliver the police Queensland needs.

“The LNP’s priority is making our community safer, including increasing the number of police on the beat.”

Shadow Police Minister Dale Last said the report exposed Labor’s lies and failure to keep Queenslanders safe.

“Responsibility for this chaos and crisis sits at the feet of the Police Minister, whose incompetence has now been woefully exposed.

“Mark Ryan claimed police numbers weren’t falling, when the truth is we have 202 fewer police.

“Mark Ryan cannot be trusted.

“Mark Ryan spent $26 million on a Service Delivery Program, before dumping it, without another plan in place, leaving communities without enough police on the beat.

“Queensland Police have been left to pick up the pieces of Labor’s chaos and crisis, after the Palaszczuk Labor Government left them without the resources they need to keep Queenslanders safe.”

Labor’s tough anniversary for soft-on-crime milestone

1st December 2023

Eight years since Labor created the Queensland Youth Crime Crisis

Today marks eight years since the Palaszczuk Labor Government watered-down Queensland youth crime laws, giving birth to a Youth Crime Crisis that grips Queensland today.

In 2015, the Palaszczuk Government amended the Youth Justice Act, removing breach of bail, imposing detention as a last resort, abolishing boot camps and rendering child criminal histories inadmissible in court.

As a result, crime has soared across the State with the number of Serious Repeat Youth Offenders skyrocketing.

Eight years on and Labor’s decision has resulted in:

  • A 125% increase in stolen cars
  • A 64% increase in break-ins
  • A 225% increase in assaults

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said Queenslanders had paid a high price for Labor watering-down our youth crime laws.

“Queenslanders are now living in fear while youth criminals no longer fear the law,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“This decision created a generation of untouchables who flaunt their crime in the face of the law. 

“It’s not only break-ins, stolen cars and damaged businesses, it’s lives being torn apart in our communities across the State.

“It’s families worried about going to sleep at night only to wake to intruders.

“It’s businesses unable to reopen because of the cost of crime.

“It’s tradies who can’t work because their vehicle has been stolen, only to be written-off.

“Our priority is making our community safer, because it’s Queenslanders’ priority. 

“That starts with restoring consequence for action at the heart of the Youth Justice Act.”

Shadow Police Minister Dale Last said Labor’s weak on crime approach was having real impacts across Queensland.

“Labor’s ‘soft-on-crime’ laws are impacting Queenslanders every day,” Mr Last said.

“Fewer police and weak laws have led to the Queensland Youth Crime Crisis gripping our state today.

“Our hardworking police are under-resourced and under-staffed, unable to keep up with Labor’s growing crime crisis.”

Acting Shadow Attorney-General Deb Frecklington said Queenslanders were demanding genuine change to end the crime crisis.

“Queenslanders are frustrated Labor created this crisis and now they’re out of ideas to tackle it,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Labor was warned watering-down crime laws would have consequences for Queenslanders, but they refused to listen and today we are paying a high price.

“The LNP’s priority is making our community safer with more police, rewriting the Youth Justice Act, reforming early intervention, ensuring judges can impose sentences that reflect community expectations and fixing the Child Safety system to prevent vulnerable kids heading down a path of crime.”

0% - Treasurer silent on Queensland’s economy hitting rock-bottom

30th November 2023

Treasurer Dick has failed to explain to Queenslanders why he has driven Queensland’s economy to rock-bottom in the past year.

Despite Parliament returning this week for the first time since the Australian National Accounts were released, the Treasurer has remained silent on delivering a big zero for Queensland’s economy.

In the last year, Queensland’s growth per capita was 0%.

While Queensland small businesses are increasingly feeling pressure, weighed down by Cameron Dick’s array of broken tax promises and looking for answers, Cameron Dick is missing in action.

It’s more evidence Labor’s chaos and crisis is costing Queenslanders and Treasurer Dick has failed to deliver the strong economy he promised.

Despite spruiking “economic strength” during the Budget, Cameron Dick has failed to deliver for Queensland.

It’s clear the Treasurer has been more focused on the job he wants, rather than the job he has.

Under Labor, Queensland is at ground-zero, productivity has been decimated and cost-of-living is skyrocketing.

In contrast, only the LNP has the Right Priorities for Queensland’s Future, including saving you paying for Labor’s failures by attracting economic investment to Queensland.

The LNP will reduce Labor Government project overruns and wasteful spending and value every dollar we have.

An LNP Government will also restore the Productivity Commission and grow Queensland’s economy for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

Mark “blowout” Bailey must be given the boot

29th November 2023

The bar is very low in the Palaszczuk Labor Government for Ministerial accountability. 

Yesterday, it dropped even lower with the revelation Mark Bailey had again deliberately covered-up a project cost blowout.

A $3.1 billion blowout. 

Budget blowouts are the only things Mark Bailey builds.

Mark Bailey intended to keep it a secret from Queenslanders.

When he was exposed, he lied again to cover-up his deception and failure.

After Mark Bailey’s litany of integrity scandals, accountability failures, botched-roll-outs and deliberate cover-ups, the Premier must take action.

The Premier must sack Minister Bailey from Cabinet.

​Anything short of sacking Minister Bailey will reveal the Premier is completely checked out and is simply keeping the seat warm.

Labor’s bar for Ministerial accountability cannot be allowed to remain this low.

Queensland deserves better than Labor’s chaos and crisis.

Labor’s wrong priorities can’t be allowed to continue costing Queenslanders.

LNP condemns Labor for silencing catch limit concerns

29th November 2023

Statement by Tony Perrett, Shadow Minister for Fisheries

The callous decision by the Palaszczuk Labor Government to deliberately cut short a critical debate on yet another important issue for Queenslanders proves Labor has given up on listening.

Tonight a debate in Parliament was considering legislation which seeks to disallow new Spanish Mackerel catch limits.

On behalf of Queenslanders the LNP was raising issues like data integrity and Labor’s lack of transparency around this issue.

Instead of listening to concerns of Queenslanders, the Labor Government chose to silence local voices representing regional communities.

Labor deliberately cut the debate short.

This was the opportunity for Members of Parliament to raise issues on behalf of their constituents and expose a stock assessment process that has been widely criticised.

Labor had no interest in listening to the concerns of Queenslanders.

It is a disgrace this debate was guillotined by Labor and once again proves Labor refuses to listen and does not act in the best interests of Queenslanders.

Queenslanders deserve better than the chaos and crisis of Labor.

Ant that a cop out! Premier had no idea fire ants were out of control

28th November 2023

I am appalled by reports today that Premier Palaszczuk says she was not aware fire ants had spread from Queensland into New South Wales.

How didn’t she know when it’s been on the agenda for days?

This disgraceful ignorance is further proof Labor has never taken the spread of fire ants seriously and Premier Palaszczuk and Labor clearly do not care about this issue.

The internal chaos and crisis of Labor means they have not prioritised containing fire ants and Queenslanders will now pay the price for it.

Labor’s inability to stop the spread of fire ants has been a total failure.

Labor didn’t listen when the LNP and Queenslanders warned them about this issue.

While Labor is infighting, fire ants are marching across Queensland unchecked.  

Fire ants are now being detected in tourism hot spots and this could have devastating consequences.

Queenslanders deserve a Government with the Right Priorities for Queensland’s Future.

Queenslanders deserve better than the chaos and crisis of Labor.

TIRED OF THE HEALTH CRISIS - Record-breaking overtime for Queensland paramedics 

27th November 2023

Nearly 1.3 million hours recorded last financial year
132% increase since Labor took office

Queensland paramedics have recorded nearly 1.3 million overtime hours, in another sign the Queensland Health Crisis has taken a major toll on ambulance officers across the state.

It was the most overtime hours on record for a financial year in Queensland.

The new health data was released by the State Government in a Question on Notice asked by the Opposition and it also revealed a staggering increase of 132% in overtime hours since the Palaszczuk Labor Government took office in 2015.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said our hardworking paramedics were physically, mentally and emotionally tired.

“We’ve listened to paramedics who’ve told us they’ve worked to the brink of exhaustion to keep the health system on the rails,” Mr Crisafulli said.

“The amount of overtime paramedics put in last financial year is a testament to their dedication, determination and work ethic.

“It also shows Queenslanders how demanding their job has become after eight years of poor planning from the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Queensland has the worst ambulance ramping in the country and that’s not the fault of our paramedics. They didn’t sign up to this vocation to spend an entire shift ramped while other calls from Queenslanders go unanswered.

“Only the LNP has the right priorities for Queensland's future and that includes easier access to health services. We've also put solutions on the table to heal the Queensland Health Crisis including better resources, better triaging, sharing data in real-time and putting doctors and nurses back in charge to improve patient care.

“Queenslanders have recently seen the heartbreaking and fatal consequences of ambulance ramping and until the Palaszczuk Labor Government accepts the Queensland Health Crisis is real, more families will fall victim of a system under immense pressure.”

Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates said there were 1.3 million reasons why our paramedics deserved more resources and respect.

“This is a staggering amount of overtime, but as a registered nurse and former Hospital administrator, I know these dedicated men and women are passionate about patients,” Ms Bates said.

“Paramedics are the first people we see when an ambulance arrives and we can’t have them stressed and exhausted during a potentially life threatening situation.

“Health Minister Shannon Fentiman has done more apologising than planning during the Queensland Health Crisis.

“After eight years and four Health Ministers, Queenslanders can no longer trust the Palaszczuk Labor Government to fix the health crisis they created.

“This State Labor Government is in chaos and crisis and paramedics and their patients are caught in the middle.

“My message to our hardworking paramedics, doctors, nurses and allied health professionals is simple.

“We thank you, we respect you and we value you what you do.”