Media | State News

State News - December 2019

Training crisis harms job futures of young Queenslanders

24th December 2019

Queensland has recorded a dramatic drop in the number of young people completing apprenticeships and traineeships as Labor’s skills crisis worsens.

Data released by the National Centre for Vocational and Educational Training (NCVER) shows since Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected, completions have fallen by 20.7 per cent and there are 11 per cent fewer students in training.

“Queensland’s training industry is in crisis after five years of Labor,” Ms Simpson said.

“There are fewer young people starting training, fewer completing courses, and a significant number of people cannot find a job once they get their qualification.

“Every training indicator is now heading in the wrong direction under Labor.

“Plunging apprenticeship and traineeship numbers ultimately leads to less productivity and higher youth unemployment.

“Queensland’s youth unemployment rate is shamefully high at 14 per cent while there are 7165 fewer students in training compared to 2015.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is crushing the careers of young people before they have even begun.

“Labor Employment Minister Shannon Fentiman is completely out of touch – she’s more interested in free luxury ski slope holidays with Jackie Trad when she should be focused on fixing the skills shortage.”

The NCVER data showed more than 15 per cent of Queenslanders couldn’t find a job after they had completed their training – the highest rate in the country. Commencements slumped by 4 per cent while cancellations and withdrawals increased 1.8 per cent.

Ms Simpson said the LNP had a plan to get Queensland working again and create jobs.

“The LNP will create a Queensland Industry Skills Council with more employers at the table with trainers to ensure young people across the state are getting the training they need for the roles that are needed,” she said.

“We will also launch a Young Entrepreneurs Program to deliver 8,000 students living in high youth unemployment regions the opportunity to receive life-changing training.

“The LNP will help young Queenslanders get a job and get ahead.”


Labor must apologise for calling landlords ‘slumlords’

23rd December 2019

LNP Shadow Minister for Housing Michael Hart has today called on Annastacia Palaszczuk to force her incompetent housing Minister Mike De Brenni to apologise for labelling mum and dad housing investors ‘slumlords.’*

“This is completely out of touch and inappropriate by Labor,” Mr Hart said.

“To call mum’s and dad’s worried about their investment properties ‘slumlords’ shows that Mick De Brenni isn’t up to the job and isn’t fair dinkum about real consultation.

“Queenslanders have grave concerns for the future of Queensland’s rental market if these reforms are rushed through.

“Labor’s bumbling Minister said it won’t drive up rents but Industry has said that the cost of these changes could drive annual rental costs up by as much as $5000 a year or $100 a week.

“Labor also needs to come clean and say whether it will apply to public housing as well.

“Most Queenslanders would be horrified at that extra cost alone, particularly pensioners and those on fixed incomes who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“Labor’s proposed changes will also scare-off mum and dad property investors who are trying to save for their retirement.

“No one disputes that safety is important, but Labor’s proposed changes go way too far.

“With a third of Queenslanders living in rental properties, these changes deserve proper scrutiny and analysis.

“The consultation period must be extended by at least a month and if it isn’t then the whole process is a complete sham.”

Background: Consultation closes on 28 December 2019:

LNP backs Queensland seafood for Christmas feast

23rd December 2019

Queensland produces magnificent catches of seafood, but consumers are often in the dark about whether they’re putting local produce on the table over the summer holidays.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said an LNP Government would implement a labelling policy to inform consumers if seafood was caught in Queensland waters or imported from overseas.

“Seafood is a popular choice for families over Christmas and the New Year period and I want families to celebrate with Queensland produce,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Whether it’s scallops from Hervey Bay, Mooloolaba king prawns or Moreton Bay bugs, Queensland is renowned for top-quality seafood.

“Buying Queensland seafood this Christmas in a win-win for consumers and backing local jobs.

“Our labelling policy will make it crystal clear where seafood originated, from ship to store.

“Demand for seafood is huge at this time of year and I want Queensland produce to come first.”

An enormous 30 million kilograms of seafood was imported into Queensland in 2017-18 and businesses currently don’t have to label where it came from.

If elected in 2020, the LNP would change Food Act 2006 legislation in Queensland so any business selling seafood for immediate consumption must identify where the product originated.

Ms Frecklington said the fishing industry was vitally important to communities up and down Queensland’s coastline.

“The entire seafood supply chain will benefit from our policy because it supports commercial fishers and local businesses, and helps consumers make informed decisions to support local produce,” she said.

“The LNP’s policy is about supporting a strong local seafood industry where businesses can create more jobs and consumers can enjoy Queensland seafood.”

Unemployment rate remains worst in nation

19th December 2019

More than 170,000 Queenslanders will be out of work this Christmas with ABS figures revealing the state’s unemployment rate remained the highest in the nation under Labor.

The jobs data released today showed Queensland’s unemployment rate rose 0.3 per cent to 6.4 per cent (trend) in the last year and there were 173,600 Queenslanders on the unemployment queue.

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said Queensland had suffered five years of failure under Annastacia Palaszczuk and people were paying the price with their jobs.

“No other state in Australia has a jobs crisis as bad as Queensland under Annastacia Palaszczuk,” Mr Mander said.

“More than 173,000 Queenslanders out of work doesn’t happen by accident – it’s a direct result of five years of economic failure by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“The economy has been bogged down by Labor’s nine new and increased taxes, debt soaring toward $92 billion, and an unwillingness to build infrastructure.

“Labor’s not working for Queensland and the only jobs Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor care about are their own.”

ABS figures showed the unemployment queue grew by 12,019 in the last 12 months and was up 18,225 since the last state election.

“Queensland can’t afford another four years of failure,” Mr Mander said.

“The LNP has a plan to create jobs by building better roads and new dams, delivering cheaper electricity prices and guaranteeing no new taxes.”

Jackie Trad hands out more jobs for Labor mates

16th December 2019

In the aftermath of a Crime and Corruption Commission probe and amid allegations of interfering in the appointment of a local principal, Jackie Trad has dished out a number of key government positions to Labor mates.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government for stacking Queensland Government boards with Labor cronies.

“Jackie Trad has proved once again she doesn’t know right from wrong,” Mr Mander said.

“Appointing Labor mates to taxpayer-funded gigs doesn’t pass the pub test.

“This is brazen political cronyism.

“Queenslanders can’t have confidence in the government when Labor Ministers are more interested in taxpayer-funded jobs for their mates.

“Labor is not working for Queensland.”

Mr Mander said the LNP had announced a policy to make board appointments to government-owned energy companies solely on merit.

Among the new appointments Jackie Trad and Mark Bailey announced today were:

  • Wayne Swan. He has been appointed to a $44,000 position with Stanwell.
  • Laurene Hull. Former Labor Candidate for Solomon (NT). Since been appointed by the ALP to NT Worksafe exec
  • Paul Venus. Managing Partner of Labor’s Holding Redlich (Justice Services Pty Ltd) – Labor aligned firm (also employs CRRDA Chair Paul Lucas) and major Labor donor
  • Beth Mohle. Long-time Queensland Nurses and Midwives Union General Secretary

Reappointments include:

  • Mark Algie. Reappointed as director for Energy Queensland, a $93,000 position. The initial appointment was heavily criticised by CCC as outside Cabinet Handbook process.
  • Mike Reynolds. Former ALP MP. He was initially appointed to Port of Townsville board after emailing Mark Bailey’s Mangocube account. It was his preselection win that kicked off the events that led to the Shepherdson Inquiry

Labor gives $35,000 grant to animal extremists

13th December 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been caught red handed giving money to its anti-farming animal extremist mates in the form of a $35,000 Gambling Community Benefit Fund grant*.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said it was disgraceful that Annastacia Palaszczuk would help fund groups like ‘Farm Animal Rescue’ that directly invaded and terrorised farming families.

“The manager of Farm Animal Rescue Group Brad King was one of the organisers of the Carney Bros invasion in Yangan in April, where he took 3 sheep from the abattoir to his property**,” Mr Perrett said.

“For hard-earned tax payers’ money to be finding its way into this extremist groups pocket is disgraceful and must be immediately overturned.

“It’s time for Labor to fess up on why it is happy to fund extremist groups while it cuts drought freight and fodder subsidy funding.

“The LNP is seeking urgent assurances from the Attorney General that this grant money will be cancelled, given the revelations about Farm Animal Rescue and its manager Brad King.

“Not only does the Palaszczuk Labor Government let extremists get away with terrorising our farmers scot-free, it is now directly funding them to do so.

“Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government will stand with farmers against animal extremists and protect our hard working rural and regional communities.

* 2018-19 consolidated QGIP expenditure - download, open the Excel Spreadsheet and search for farm animal rescue:

** 'Farm rescue' group connected to abattoir invasion granted $35,000

Labor locks in more debt and higher unemployment

12th December 2019

The soaring debt, lower growth and higher unemployment forecast in today’s Budget update shows Labor has broken the Queensland economy, LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said.

“Every economic indicator is now heading in the wrong direction under Labor,” Mr Mander said.

“Jackie Trad’s plan will do nothing to help the 177,000 Queenslanders who will be out of work this Christmas or the thousands of businesses in danger of going broke.

“Labor’s raid on public servants’ superannuation is not a debt plan, it’s a sham.

“According to Jackie Trad’s own figures, it will take the ‘Future Fund’ 230 years to clear Labor’s massive debt.

“Labor’s own savings measure on consultant spending has also come up well short of the $1.7 billion they promised only six months ago.

“Labor’s not working.”

The Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review today showed:

  • Debt – Debt has blown out by over $1 billion to $91.8 billion in 2022-23.
  • Forecasted unemployment – Forecasted unemployment has increased by an average of 0.25% for an average of 6.25% this financial year.
  • Economic growth – Forecasted economic growth has been revised down by 0.5% to 2.5% this financial year
  • Royalties – Jackie Trad has made a $1.13 billion royalty blunder.
  • Interest payments – Queenslanders will be forced to pay almost $13 billion in interest on Labor’s ballooning debt over the next four years.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t sack Jackie Trad for her integrity scandals, but the Premier should sack her Treasurer for destroying Queensland’s economy,” Mr Mander said.

“Queenslanders cannot afford this reckless, financially incompetent government to run this state for another four years.

“The LNP will end Labor’s wasteful spending and manage the Budget to provide better services, like health, education and transport.”

Labor’s S-Trad-broke Island Fail

12th December 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic transition strategy for North Stradbroke Island has stalled.

LNP Member for Oodgeroo Mark Robinson said Labor has only delivered broken promises for Straddie residents and visitors.

“The North Stradbroke Island transition strategy has completely failed,” Mr Robinson said.

“Labor promised 400 eco-tourism jobs but they didn’t deliver.

“Hundreds of resource sector jobs have been lost due to Labor’s haste to end mining to appease inner city Greens.

“23 projects were earmarked for a post sand-mining economy, but only two have been completed to date.

“No wonder Annastacia Palaszczuk has delivered the worst unemployment rate in the nation.

“The end of sand mining is fast approaching and there’s no plan, strategy or direction for Straddie

“To make matters worse, Labor slugs a new tax for motorists on Flinders and Main beach.

“No jobs, no projects and more tax, that’s Labor’s legacy for Straddie.

“There needs to be a plan for all North Stradbroke Island people that includes infrastructure investment, like the redevelopment of the tourism gateway of Dunwich Harbour, not just a series of studies and small projects.

“The protests today aren’t a surprise because Labor’s strategy has caused division and angered indigenous elders, including Uncle Norm Enoch.

“There has been no consultation with the community.

“Labor can’t be trusted to create new jobs or boost tourism on Straddie.

“The Island is one of the most popular places in South East Queensland but Annastacia Palaszczuk has let it fend for itself.”

“Labor’s Trad transition for Straddie is hurting island resident so much that locals now refer to the island as Trad-broke Island.”

Queensland elective surgery wait list blowout

11th December 2019

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Queensland hospital waiting lists blowing out under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

LNP Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates said the report was more evidence of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s broken promises and wrong priorities on health.

“Queensland’s surgery wait time is one of the worst in Australia and higher than the national average under Labor,” Ms Bates said.

“Hospital admissions for surgery have increased by 12 per cent since 2014/15, surgery wait times have blown out by 92 per cent.

“Queensland was leading the nation five years ago under the LNP.

“While Annastacia Palaszczuk wastes money on failed IT systems and changing hospital names, patients are waiting longer for life-saving surgery.

“As a nurse I know that patients on wait lists can suffer more health issues and conditions can get worse.

“Queenslanders have had enough of Labor’s endless excuses and political blame games.

“When it comes to providing better health services, Queenslanders can’t trust Labor.

“The LNP has a plan to get waiting lists under control and our hospitals working.

“The LNP will re-focus our public health system on patient outcomes and better patient care.

“We will ensure our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics have the support they need on the front line.

“The LNP will partner with the private sector to reduce waiting lists and ensure surgeries are completed on time.

“Patient care will be our number one priority.”

Source: (Elective surgery 2018/19, table S4.3)

• In 2018/19, Queensland surgery patients waited 282 days on average, up from 147 days in 2014/15.

• 1850 patients waited over a year an increase of 193% in the last four years.

Time for Labor to match LNP air-con plan

5th December 2019

With temperatures predicted to exceed 40 degrees in parts of southeast Queensland tomorrow, the LNP is calling on Labor to match its commitment to air-condition every state school classroom in its December economic update.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Labor’s upcoming Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review must plan to air-con every state school classrooms in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Ipswich, Gympie and Darling Downs regions.

“Students will be left to swelter as temperatures approach 41 degrees in Ipswich and 40 in Gympie – areas where Annastacia Palaszczuk has no plan to air-condition state school classrooms,” Mr Mander said.

“Kids in Brisbane and Toowoomba will sweat it out in mid-30 temperatures and that will make it hard really hard for them to stay concentrated on their school work.

“Queensland teachers deserve to work in modern conditions and the LNP knows that cool kids are smart kids.

“Labor needs to adopt the LNP’s plan to air-condition every state school classroom and they must commit to it in MYFER.

“Tens of thousands of students are going without cool learning environments while Labor plays favourites and picks which schools get air-con and which don’t.

“Unlike Labor, the LNP will manage the economy for everyday Queenslanders and invest in air-conditioning for every state school student.”

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Review, which takes place each December, gives the State Government an opportunity to update spending plans outlined in its annual Budget.

Mr Mander said de-cluttering the curriculum also formed the LNP’s plan for education, which would allow teachers to focus on the core skills of reading, writing and maths.

According to the 2018 OECD Program for International Student Assessment, Queensland students are about a year behind in key subjects, with scores in science, reading and match dropping to their lowest levels since the testing began.

Queensland economy flatlines under Labor

4th December 2019

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed Queensland’s domestic economy flatlined over the September quarter.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the statistics are more evidence Labor’s anti-jobs agenda is holding Queensland back.

“Queensland’s domestic economy barely grew, expanding just 0.1% over the September quarter,” Mr Mander said.

“Queensland’s declining levels of private investment was weighing heavily on growth.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s high-taxing, anti-jobs agenda is destroying jobs and grinding Queensland’s economy to a halt.

“Labor’s red tape and new taxes are making it harder and harder for anyone to invest in Queensland.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk has driven Queensland’s economy into the ground with nine new or increased taxes ripping $3.5 billion from the economy.

“You can’t tax your way to growth.

“Only the LNP has a plan to invest in job-creating infrastructure by building new roads and dams, cut red tape and slash regional power bills.

“With MYFER due any day, the Palaszczuk Government needs to adopt the LNP policy of no new taxes to get Queensland’s economy working again.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad’s economic mismanagement is holding Queensland back.

“Queensland can’t afford another four years of Labor.”  

Source: Australian National Accounts: National Income, Expenditure and Product, Sep 2019

Labor failing Queensland school kids

4th December 2019

The Palaszczuk Labor Government is failing our kids, following a damning report which showed literacy and numeracy results going backwards.

The 2018 OECD Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) found scores in reading, maths and science have declined.

LNP Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie said Annastacia Palaszczuk must adopt the LNP’s plan to improve education standards.

“The LNP will ensure our schools get back to basics,” Mr Bleijie said.

“We will take the pressure off teachers and let them teach the foundation skills our kids need to get a job and get ahead in life.


“To do this, the LNP will declutter the curriculum and put the focus back on English, maths and science.


“Our literacy and numeracy guarantee will improve student results and help our kids prepare for the jobs of the future.

“We want Queensland kids to be the smartest in the nation and to help achieve that we must also improve classroom conditions.

“The LNP will air-condition every state school classroom because our kids can’t achieve their best in a hot box.

“Our kids are falling behind which will put their future job prospects at risk.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government doesn’t have a plan to fix their broken education system.

“Education is a key part of the LNP’s economic plan to get Queensland working.”

Deb backs James Blevin in Noosa

4th December 2019

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has welcomed the endorsement of James Blevin as the LNP Candidate for Noosa at next year’s state election.

“James has the passion, skills and enthusiasm to be a great member for Noosa,” Ms Frecklington said.

“My vision is for a Queensland that reaches its full potential.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is not working for Queensland.

“James is a professional man with extensive experience as a company and charity founder, corporate advisor and chartered accountant.

“I can’t wait for the people of Noosa to get to meet James because he’s passionate about the LNP’s priorities of creating new jobs, cutting surgery wait times, busting congestion and water security.

“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again and that includes investing in job-creating infrastructure projects like fixing the Bruce Highway.”

Mr Blevin has lived on the Sunshine Coast for half of his life, got married to his high school sweetheart four years ago, is passionate about wildlife conservation and is looking forward to expanding his family over the coming years.

His career spans more than twelve years with KPMG and BDO, where he is currently a senior audit manager.

James also serves as a director and committee member at Matthew Flinders Anglican College and Diwa Zambezi.

“To be endorsed as the LNP Candidate for Noosa is a real honour,” Mr Blevin said.

“I love this community and I will work really hard over the next 11 months to ensure Noosa gets back in LNP hands at the October 2020 poll.

“Deb Frecklington and the team have a positive vision for Queensland and I can’t wait to hit the hustings and talk jobs, health, roads, schools and infrastructure.

“We can’t waste another four years under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”

LNP President David Hutchinson said James is another high-quality candidate who has the determination to fight hard for the Noosa electorate.

“Labor is stopping Queensland from reaching its full potential.

“Under Deb Frecklington’s leadership the LNP has never been more united and motivated to topple Annastacia Palaszczuk’s reign as the weakest Premier in Queensland’s history.”

Labor urged to back LNP's infrastructure fund

4th December 2019

The LNP is calling on Labor to use its December economic update to guarantee that new royalties from the Galilee Basin are ear-marked exclusively for infrastructure projects.

The LNP will use royalties from the basin to create a new Queensland Infrastructure Fund if it wins the next state election – and wants Labor to adopt its plan in the forthcoming Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Review. 

Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said a Deb Frecklington LNP Government would use the fund to fix the Bruce Highway, air-condition every state school in Queensland and build new dams – including the New Bradfield Scheme.

“Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in the nation thanks to Annastacia Palaszczuk’s nine new taxes and cuts to infrastructure,” Mr Mander said.

“The LNP will open the Galilee Basin and pave the way for the $50billion worth of new projects and 15,000 news jobs that have been stalled by Labor.

“The LNP will ensure that every cent of royalties from the basin is used to build the job-creating infrastructure that Queensland is crying out for.

“Unlike Labor, we will invest in new dams and roads to unleash this state’s potential and create new jobs for Queenslanders.”

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Review, which takes place each December, gives the State Government an opportunity to update spending plans outlined in its annual Budget.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad are holding Queensland back, but the LNP has a plan to create jobs and get this state back on track,” Mr Mander said.

Labor pushes Mackay fishers to the brink

3rd December 2019

Mackay’s commercial fishers have warned that Labor’s new fishing regulations will force the closure of businesses which have operated in the region for generations.

LNP Shadow Minister for Fisheries Tony Perrett and LNP candidate for Whitsunday Amanda Camm met concerned fishers at a meeting in Mackay today.

“Commercial fishers fear there is no future for their industry under Labor,” Mr Perrett said.

“The quotas pushed through by the Palaszczuk Labor Government are not economic for many commercial fishers in Mackay and the Whitsundays to make a living.

“It is a disgrace that families who have fished these waters for generations have been pushed to breaking point by Annastacia Palaszczuk.”

More than 3,000 people work in Queensland’s commercial fishing industry.

Ms Camm said jobs would be destroyed if Labor did not re-think its fishing regulations.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is anti-regions, anti-fishing and anti-jobs,” Ms Camm said.

“Labor’s changes have been condemned by fishers across the state, but the frustration in this region is especially intense.

“Families which have fished in this region for generations are being torn apart because Labor has cut quotas to unsustainable levels.

“It’s very simple. If fishers don’t have large enough quotas then they can’t make a living and they will be forced out of the industry.”

Ms Camm said no modelling had been done on the impact of quota changes on fishing cities like Mackay.

“The LNP will respect fishers and restore balance to the industry,” Ms Camm said.

“The LNP’s seafood labelling policy will also encourage more Queenslanders to buy seafood caught by Queensland’s fishing fleet.

“We will back fishing in Mackay and the Whitsundays from the catch to the plate.”