The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s refusal to even consider waiving fees for hundreds of commercial fishers is a disgrace, LNP Shadow Fisheries Minister Tony Perrett said today.
Mr Perrett said hundreds of Queensland fishing businesses were still paying thousands of dollars to the State Government for boat fees, fishing licence fees and safe-food accreditation, despite demand and revenue in the industry collapsing as a result of covid-19.
“We have seen other industries granted sensible fee waivers by the State Government, but there has been no relief for our hard-working commercial fishers,” Mr Perrett said.
“The Fisheries Minister is acting like commercial fishing doesn’t exist – and if he doesn’t act it soon won’t.
“Demand for Queensland seafood has taken a huge hit internationally and domestically.
“Given the state of the market, many commercial fishers have decided it makes more sense not to go out – leaving hundreds of workers without jobs and an income.
“The contrast between Queensland’s Labor Government and the rest of the nation says a lot.
“The New South Wales State Government has rolled out a total fee waiver for all commercial fishers, but Annastacia Palaszczuk has done nothing to help Queensland fishers.
“The LNP has called for tax relief and fee waivers to support our commercial fishers.
“Our seafood industry employs 3000 people in regional Queensland and we cannot afford to lose those jobs.
“The LNP is also calling on Labor to adopt its Queensland seafood labelling policy.
“I know Queenslanders want to buy Queensland seafood and our labelling plan will allow them to do just that.
“Only the LNP has a plan to back our seafood industry and get Queensland working again.”
The LNP is calling on Queenslanders to back a campaign to help small businesses that have been denied coronavirus support by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson said Queensland was the only state not distributing relief grants directly to struggling small businesses.
Ms Simpson urged Queenslanders to sign a new petition demanding Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad introduce similar grants to save our small businesses.
“Small businesses are the backbone of Queensland’s economy but they have been overlooked by Labor in this crisis,” Ms Simpson said.
“It is disappointing – to say the least ¬– that Queensland is the only state refusing to give grants to small businesses that have been hit hard.
“It’s further proof that the Palaszczuk Labor Government has no budget and no plan to support Queensland’s small businesses.
“It’s not good enough. The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to step up and give our businesses the same level of support that businesses are getting everywhere else.”
Around 97% of small businesses have not received a dollar of coronavirus payroll tax relief as their annual wage bills do not meet the $1.3m payroll tax threshold.
New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia have all introduced grants of between $10,000 - $17,500 for small businesses.
Ms Simpson urged Queenslanders to help small business by signing the LNP’s parliamentary petition and continuing to buy local.
“Labor has let small businesses down, so it’s up to Queenslanders to stand up for them,” Ms Simpson said.
“Only the LNP will back small business and get Queensland working again.”
LNP Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander has welcomed the release of a coronavirus economic recovery plan by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ).
Mr Mander said both business leaders and the LNP had now laid out plans to get Queensland working again – but the Palaszczuk Labor Government had failed to do the same.
“The Queensland economy was struggling long before coronavirus,” Mr Mander said.
“Thanks to Labor, Queensland is already on the backfoot as we try to stop a health crisis becoming a jobs crisis.
“It is going to take a far-sighted and detailed economic plan to get our state working again, but Jackie Trad has got no idea how to revive our economy.
“Jackie Trad is the only Treasurer in Australia to cancel their budget this year.
“It’s incredible and concerning Labor has no plan and no budget for our economy.”
Mr Mander said the LNP had led the way in calling for payroll tax relief, relief loans for business and the fast-tracking of infrastructure spending to create jobs.
The LNP is also calling for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to follow the lead of other states and introduce assistance grants for small businesses.
“The CCIQ and the LNP want the same thing – to get Queensland working again,” Mr Mander said.
“There’s much to welcome in their plan and I will continue to work closely with CCIQ on how best to get the recovery started.
“The LNP believes that the first step to re-starting the economy and protecting jobs is to re-open our schools. It is safe to do so and businesses need their staff back at work.”
The LNP’s economic plan for Queensland will create jobs and build a stronger economy by investing in new roads and dams, cutting electricity bills and guaranteeing no new taxes.
The LNP’s plan will also deliver the New Bradfield Scheme, a bold and ambitious project which will help Queensland get its economic X-factor back.
The New Bradfield Scheme will deliver more water for farmers, a new food-bowl in the outback bigger than Tasmania, enough hydro-electric power for 800,000 homes and tens of thousands of new jobs.
“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again,” Mr Mander said.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington is calling for new rules to be trialled in Queensland to prevent a repeat of the road tragedy which claimed the lives of four Victorian police officers.
Ms Frecklington said the rules would protect emergency service workers from dangerous drivers when they attend roadside incidents.
The laws would apply whenever emergency service vehicles are parked with their flashing lights turned on.
“The terrible crash in Melbourne was another reminder of the risks that our police and other emergency service personnel face every day,” Ms Frecklington said.
“We need to protect the police, firies and ambos who protect us.
“I want to trial rules that will compel motorists to drive responsibly when they see first responders by the roadside.
“I know Queenslanders were shocked by what happened in Melbourne and want to see our emergency service workers kept safe.”
The LNP is calling for a local trial of two new sets of road rules:
“I hope Labor will back a two-year trial of these rules, but if they don’t I promise that the LNP will if we win the next state election,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Most other jurisdictions have these road rules, Queensland is one of the last states to act.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s decision not to deliver a budget this year will compound the economic impact of coronavirus on Queensland jobs and businesses.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Jackie Trad’s refusal to release a budget today and failure to set another date to deliver it demonstrated Labor was flying blind through the most severe economic crisis in a generation.
“Labor has no budget and no plan,” Mr Mander said.
“Queensland will be the only state in the nation not to deliver a budget this year.
“Today was the scheduled day for Jackie Trad to deliver the budget.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad are desperate to avoid scrutiny of the state’s finances before the election.
“Failing to deliver a budget before the election shows the only jobs Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad care about are their own.
“Ripping up financial conventions to advantage themselves at the election is an arrogant abuse of power by Jackie Trad and Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“No budget means there will be no estimates committee hearings in Parliament – another sign that the failing Palaszczuk Labor Government is hiding from scrutiny.
“Labor are turning this health crisis into an economic crisis.”
Mr Mander said Jackie Trad was the last Treasurer in the nation to announce a substantial coronavirus assistance package, yet she was the first Treasurer in Australia to cancel their budget.
“Every other jurisdiction is being transparent about their economic response to coronavirus and treating taxpayers with respect – except Labor,” Mr Mander said.
“Five years of Labor’s fiscal mismanagement left the Queensland budget dangerously exposed to external shocks like coronavirus.
“Before the coronavirus outbreak, Queensland consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates, the most bankruptcies in the nation and business confidence was at rock bottom.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s nine new or increased taxes and cuts to infrastructure have weakened our economy and now they’re trying to hide their incompetence by cancelling this year’s Budget.
“An LNP Government will build a stronger economy by building the New Bradfield Scheme, building new roads and dams, delivering cheaper electricity and ruling out any new taxes.
“It’s time to get Queensland working again and only an LNP Government can do it.”
Queensland’s wildlife exhibitors and zoos are facing an economic and animal welfare disaster as a result of the COVID-19 lockdowns.
Wildlife operators and zoos have been financially struggling to keep their animals fed and cared for due to the lack of income from forced closures.
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to step up their responsibility for regulating and maintaining animal welfare in Queensland.
“Some of these businesses have up to two thousand animals that need to be fed and cared for while the gates remain shut,” said Mr Perrett.
“The situation is becoming more desperate by the hour and Annastacia Palaszczuk and her hapless Minister Mark Furner are doing nothing.
“The LNP has been inundated with calls from operators and members of the Wildlife Exhibitors Network demanding help.
“The Palaszczuk Government is responsible for animal welfare, something it is clearly failing to do.
“Urgent assistance and support is needed to avoid this preventable disaster.
“Mark Furner pretends to be the Tiger King of Queensland politics, but he is completely toothless.
“Labor needs to end its policy paralysis, so these animals don’t starve to death. “
LNP Member for Condamine Pat Weir said that businesses like the Darling Downs Zoo in his electorate were really struggling to keep up without customers coming through the door.
“The situation at the Darling Downs Zoo is dire and desperate,” Mr Weir said.
“I know the owners and they are passionate about their animals and the position the closures are putting them in is devastating.
“Darling Downs Zoo has a $110,000 monthly bill just to keep the animals fed and cared for”
“The zoo has even resorted to a GoFundMe page because they aren’t hearing a word from the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
“I’ve taken the step of writing to Labor’s Mark Furner calling on him to urgently do something for the benefit of these animals and this important small businesses in our local community.
“Time for the state to step up and help our exhibitors and zoos, otherwise there will be an animal welfare disaster in Queensland.”
A new survey has found that Queensland had the second-worst performing economy in the nation before the coronavirus began hurting business and jobs.
The latest CommSec State of the States report reveals that Queensland’s economy was overtaken by South Australia in the first quarter of the year and is now only one place ahead of WA.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the dire result was further evidence of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic failure.
“The CommSec report compares how states are doing now with how they have performed over the previous decade,” Mr Mander said.
“This report shows Queensland’s economic performance has gone off a cliff under Labor – and well before the present coronavirus crisis.
“Queensland used to be an economic powerhouse, but thanks to Labor we’re flatlining.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s nine new taxes and cuts to infrastructure have weakened our economy, leaving us badly exposed to the economic hit of coronavirus.”
According to the April 2020 CommSec report:
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government cannot run the economy and now they’re trying to hide their incompetence by cancelling this year’s Budget,” Mr Mander said.
“Queensland is the only state with a Treasurer too scared to have a Budget.
“Labor have no Budget and no plan.
“The LNP will create jobs by building the New Bradfield Scheme, new roads and dams, delivering cheaper electricity, cutting red-tape and guaranteeing no new taxes.
“It’s time get Queensland working again and only an LNP Government can do it.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works Michael Hart is warning uncertainty and Labor’s ongoing delays to regulating commercial lease arrangements could cost jobs and lead to businesses closing their doors and never being able to open again.
Mr Hart said it had been weeks since the National Cabinet released a Mandatory Code of Conduct to apply to commercial tenancies, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government was yet to introduce a framework.
“Now more than ever, businesses need clarity and certainty,” Mr Hart said.
“We can’t let this health crisis become a jobs crisis.
“Labor’s inaction on commercial tenancies is leaving both tenants and property owners financially vulnerable.
“It should have been a straight forward exercise for the Labor Government to apply the Mandatory Code of Conduct, but there is still no sight of the regulations.
“The LNP is calling on the government to strike an appropriate balance between the interests of small business tenants and property owners to save jobs.”
Mr Hart said the legislative framework relating to commercial tenancies passed in Parliament on Wednesday, which gave the government power to make further specific regulations to give effect to the National Cabinet Code of Conduct on commercial leasing.
“Businesses shouldn’t be forced to wait any longer for these regulations,” he said.
“They’re needed immediately to provide certainty to all parties during this coronavirus pandemic.
“The LNP has also questioned whether the Government has planned for sufficient resources for both the RTA and QCAT to ensure new mediations are resolved in an appropriate timeframe.
“We are hearing there’s presently a six week wait for new mediation case in the RTA.”
Queensland’s resources exploration industry needs State Government support if it is to survive and discover the state’s next wave of job-creating resource projects.
LNP Shadow Minister for Mines Dale Last today joined the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) for a virtual boardroom meeting and heard its fears for the future of resource jobs in Queensland.
“Small exploration companies have been finding it increasingly hard to work in Queensland, but the covid-19 crisis has turned a difficult time into a crisis,” said Mr Last.
“The coming six months may be the toughest time ever for the industry, with little to no opportunity for capital raising.
“I’ve heard first-hand from companies who are reducing staff and struggling to stay afloat.
“The mining exploration industry is essential to the development of the future mining projects that Queensland desperately needs.
“Without explorers we won’t have the mines that create thousands of jobs and pay the royalties that build new schools, hospitals, roads and fund extra police. It’s that simple.
“It’s the key industry propping our economy up right now but that doesn’t mean the explorers finding the Queensland next generation of mining projects should be neglected.
“While the LNP promised a 10-year royalty freeze to provide investment certainty, Labor are clearly considering more royalty hikes that will cost jobs.”
Mr Last called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to deliver temporary freezes on exploration tenements rentals and work program commitments.
“It’s completely unreasonable to expect companies to pay rent on something they can’t access,” Mr Last said.
“Any reduction or relief of these fees will give some certainty to exploration companies.
“Other mining states like South Australia and Western Australia have already stepped up to waive or defer charges, but unfortunately there has been nothing here in Queensland.
“Queensland explorers are just asking for a fair go so they can survive and develop jobs and mines for Queensland’s future.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson said small businesses had been left stranded by the Labor Government after they were told applications for the QRIDA concessional loan program had closed.
“Many Queensland businesses were relying on these loans to endure tough economic times and keep their doors open,” Ms Simpson said.
“There was no advance warning from the State Government that they would prematurely close applications for these crucial concessional loans and many business owners today have been left stranded.
“The Queensland State Government has one of the poorest relief packages for small businesses in the nation.
“Queensland is the only state that doesn’t offer direct grants to help the mum and dad small business operators.
“Labor can find money for Virgin Airlines but they’ve already forgotten many worthy businesses who have asked for this help.
“Queensland small businesses are being left behind other states and the Palaszczuk Labor Government has to step up and provide more rapid emergency relief and real help.
“More than 10,000 businesses have gone bust since Jackie Trad became Treasurer.
“It’s disappointing the Labor Government was more interested in bailing out Virgin, a largely foreign-owned company, rather than keeping Queensland businesses open.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk is letting Queensland small businesses fend for themselves, as interstate governments lead the way by providing crucial financial support during the coronavirus pandemic.
LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson said Queensland is the only state that doesn’t provide direct grants to small businesses.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to immediately introduce rapid emergency relief,” Ms Simpson said.
“In this state of origin, Queensland has lost to New South Wales, but the real losers are our small businesses who are the backbone of the Queensland economy.
“It’s yet another example of the unfairness for those on the Gold Coast, in particular the NSW/QLD border, as the New South Wales Government offers grants to these businesses dealing with coronavirus, but Queensland doesn’t.
“Queensland small businesses are being left behind other states and the Palaszczuk Labor Government must do more to help.
“The assistance programs Labor have rolled out are confusing and difficult to access.
“Payroll tax changes don’t help these businesses because they are under the threshold and don’t pay any payroll tax to begin with.
“The majority of Queensland businesses don’t pay any payroll tax.
“We must all work together to ensure no more Queenslanders are added on the jobless queue or another business is forced to close its doors.”
The re-announcement that Arrow Energy will develop its Surat Basin Gas Project is merely an attempt by Labor to distract from their botched handling of schools and tenancy rules during the coronavirus crisis.
LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Dale Last said the project was originally approved in 2013 by the previous LNP Government but had been held up by Labor for many years.
“The timing of this announcement has all the hallmarks of a desperate government trying to distract people from their botched handling of schools and tenancy rules,” Mr Last said.
“The LNP welcomes the project, which will create local jobs and increase Queensland’s all-important gas supplies.
“The LNP also understands the sensitivities of such projects in regard to landholders and local communities.
“The Surat Basin region is a vitally important region for agricultural production and any gas development must be done with the greatest respect and not at the expense of landholders.
“The LNP will be keeping a watchful eye on the project to ensure our communities are respected as well as making sure all the necessary environmental processes and laws are followed.
“Big projects like this mean big changes for communities and regions and the LNP will always stand up for and protect landholders through these times.”
* Original statement announcing project on 28 February 2019: http://statements.qld.gov.au/Statement/2019/2/28/more-gas-and-jobs-to-flow-as-10-billion-arrow-project-gets-the-green-light
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been ranked the worst in the nation for the fourth consecutive quarter when it comes to managing and planning for growth, according to a damning ANZ / Property Council of Australia survey released today.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Labor’s high-taxing and anti-jobs agenda had brought Queensland’s property industry to its knees.
“Queensland was more exposed to the economic fallout of the coronavirus than any other state because of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic mismanagement,” Mr Mander said.
“This damning survey is a vote of no confidence in the Palaszczuk Labor Government to plan and manage the economy.
“Queensland consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation before the coronavirus outbreak.
“Jackie Trad has introduced no less than six new or increased property taxes in the last two budgets alone.
“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again through a no-new-tax guarantee and vital investment in new roads and dams.”
The LNP is calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to rapidly increase police resources on the Gold Coast as officers become stretched to breaking point.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said enforcing border closures and monitoring people in isolation had massively increased the workload of the local police service.
“If the police need more boots on the ground to do the job being asked of them, then they should get them,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The resources Gold Coast police have at their disposal must reflect the enormous challenges they face responding to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Police from other areas could be called in to reinforce local officers and ease the burden, like what occurred during the Commonwealth Games.
“This crisis isn’t going away anytime soon and it’s crucial police have the resources required to protect the community now and in the coming months.”
LNP MP for Mermaid Beach Ray Stevens said local police desperately needed more support from the State Government.
“I am hearing from frontline police officers they are frustrated with a severe lack of resources and they are stretched to breaking point,” Mr Stevens said.
“The resources Gold Coast police have at the moment are unsustainable.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to listen to police and do whatever it takes to ensure they have the resources they need.”
Laura Gerber, the LNP’s representative for Currumbin, said surging crime on the Gold Coast before the coronavirus pandemic meant police were already under pressure.
“Cutting crime across Currumbin was one of the core issues I fought my campaign on,” Ms Geber said.
“The danger now with not enough police resources is crime will increase even more, which puts community safety at risk.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to grasp how serious this issue is and immediately allocate more police to the Gold Coast.”
Queenslanders forced to stay home during the coronavirus restrictions should be able to unlock their own skills with free online training courses, the LNP said today.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to work with private training providers and TAFE to offer a range of short online training courses approved by industry.
“Coronavirus has created huge economic challenges for Queensland, but it has created opportunities too,” Ms Frecklington.
“Workers who are stuck at home right now should be given the chance to upskill through short online courses that have industry recognition and offer pathways to jobs or accreditation.
“When the lockdown ends we will need to raise productivity and a sure-fire way of doing that is through improving the skills of our workforce.
“The right free training courses will also help people who have lost their jobs in this crisis apply for new roles when the time comes.
“New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced 21 free online short courses for residents in her state and I don’t want Queenslanders to fall behind.
“I want Queenslanders to come out of this crisis stronger and ready to face the future.”
LNP Shadow Training Minister Fiona Simpson said: “There are thousands of workers who may need to shift to new industries where there is still growth and that means they need access to industry-recognised skills and training.
“The health and aged care sectors as well as mining have jobs, but they need skilled workers.
‘The State Government needs to work with both private training providers, TAFE and industry to deliver these pathway courses.
“There is a danger that the private training sector will collapse in many areas unless these partnerships are formed now and viable funding pipelines are created to support local training and on-line delivery during travel restrictions.
“We need all hands on deck with training options if workers and businesses are to be supported.
“It needs to be a state-wide program to ensure no worker, jobseeker or training organisation is left behind.
“We’re calling on the Queensland Government to invest in Queenslanders.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s ongoing inaction on land tax relief is threatening the survival of thousands of Queensland family investors and businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
After receiving no response from Jackie Trad to a letter sent last week, LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander is now publicly calling upon the Queensland Government to immediately deliver a support package for property owners.
“Landlords can’t be left shouldering the pandemic fallout alone,” Mr Mander said.
“Now more than ever, Queensland businesses and investors are looking to the State Government for certainty and leadership.
“Even before the coronavirus hit, Jackie Trad had gouged property owners with no six new and increased taxes in the last two budgets.
‘Without immediate property tax relief even more avoidable job-losses will occur in Queensland thanks to Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Other states have already announced measures to reduce the burden of land tax.
“Queensland can’t afford to yet again be the last jurisdiction to provide relief.
“I am calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to protect Queensland jobs and businesses before it’s too late.”
The LNP is calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to help struggling community and services clubs endure the coronavirus pandemic by waiving all gaming tax until they can reopen.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has backed calls from Clubs Queensland to refund all March gaming tax and waive taxes while they are unable to operate.
“Queensland can’t afford for our community clubs to be wiped out because of the coronavirus,” Ms Frecklington said.
“They employ thousands of workers, many of them casual, and support worthy local sporting and community activities right around Queensland.
“They are a meeting place for people, including seniors and other community groups.
“The LNP backs our community club sector and we are asking Annastacia Palaszczuk to do the same.
“The support these clubs provide to the community will also play an important role when this pandemic eventually passes.
“I am calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to raise the bar and help the community club sector rebound from the coronavirus-enforced shutdown.”
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said yesterday’s deferral announcement by Labor was a cruel hoax.
“It doesn’t make sense for a business to defer a tax payment for a period when they were not even allowed to open,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Many of these community clubs are facing the prospect of not re-opening their doors.
“Refunding the March gaming tax will provide clubs with some cash flow and waiving taxes into the future will help the industry achieve a COVID-19 exit strategy.
“Everything possible must be done to keep these services going and give these workers an economic lifeline.
“Labor’s tax deferral won’t save jobs – that’s the bottom line.”
Community clubs and pubs employ tens of thousands of Queenslanders from Cooktown to Coolangatta and out to the border and are an important part of our domestic tourism industry.
The LNP has welcomed today’s announcement of extra support for domestic violence services, but called for more action to tackle the state’s worsening DV crisis.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said it was clear that coronavirus restrictions were increasing the danger faced by victims.
“This extra funding is welcome as Queensland is now experiencing an increase in domestic violence reports,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The lockdown is proving, yet again, that Queensland has a dire domestic violence problem.
“These new measures do not go far enough in protecting victims and targeting offenders.
“The LNP has put forward a plan to deal decisively with domestic violence and that plan should be put into action.
“The LNP’s plan will crack down hard on perpetrators while increasing the level of protection we give victims.
“But the only way to take strong action on domestic violence is through Parliament.
“I’m asking the Premier to bring Parliament back, in line with the Chief Medical Officer’s advice, so MPs can do their job and protect victims of domestic violence.”
The LNP’s package of measures to address domestic violence includes:
The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to stop avoiding Parliament and immediately announce new sitting dates as important issues affecting Queenslanders remain largely ignored.
LNP Manger of Opposition Business Jarrod Bleijie said there was plenty of work to do but Annastacia Palaszczuk didn’t want to face scrutiny on the floor of Parliament.
“Rental reforms, domestic violence legislation, youth crime and an emergency Appropriation Bill are just some of the crucial issues that must be urgently addressed,” Mr Bleijie said.
“There is absolutely no medical advice from experts that says Parliament should not go ahead.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is using the Coronavirus crisis to avoid being held to account and that is unhealthy for our democracy.
“Queensland Parliament shouldn’t be empty during a once-in-a-generation health and economic crisis.
“The LNP is ready and willing to return to Parliament at a moment’s notice.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should never have cancelled it in the first place.
“Last week I called on Labor to agree to establish a Select Committee to oversee the Palaszczuk Government’s response to the devastating impacts of coronavirus and be chaired by LNP Leader Deb Frecklington.
“Other jurisdictions, including New Zealand, have implemented this and Queensland should adopt it because there needs to be transparency and debate during these unprecedented times.
“It’s time for Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Ministers to front up.
“The Federal Government is heading back to Parliament House in Canberra to pass crucial coronavirus legislation and there’s no reason why the Queensland Government can’t do the same.
“Queenslanders expect high standards from their elected representatives and Annastacia Palaszczuk must work with the LNP to recall Parliament because we all must work together.”
The LNP is calling on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to waive all licence and registration renewal fees for real estate agents and businesses for six months following a crash in property sales.
Open homes and auctions are forbidden under coronavirus social distancing requirements and real estate agents have seen their earnings collapse.
Despite the sector-wide slump, real estate agents are still being made to apply for either one or three-year licence renewals, costing $740.30 and $2054.70 respectively.
Registration renewal fees are an additional $171.60 (one-year) or $416.90 (three-years). Business licences range from $419.70 (one-year) to $1092.70 (three-years).
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the case for suspending the fees was overwhelming.
“Most agents have no idea when their next sale will be and many operators are facing total ruin,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It is outrageous that professionals who cannot work because of coronavirus are still being hammered with State Government fees.
“This is a measure that the Palaszczuk Labor Government can implement to help prevent a health crisis becoming a major jobs crisis.
“I’m calling on the Premier to waive these fees immediately.”
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said real estate agents were the second-largest small business employer in Queensland, with 32,000 agents supporting around 50,000 jobs.
“When businesses are struggling to survive, these charges are unfair and unreasonable and they must be suspended for six months at least,” Mr Janetzki said.
“The LNP is calling for a review in six months’ time on whether the fee waiver should be extended.”
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland is supporting the LNP’s call for fees to be waived.
For further information on real estate agent registration fees and charges, go to:
The Queensland Parliament should establish a Select Committee to oversee the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s response to the devastating impacts of coronavirus.
LNP Manager of Opposition Business Jarrod Bleijie today called on Annastacia Palaszczuk to support the LNP’s call for a Select Committee similar to one that has been established in New Zealand.
“The Select Committee will oversee the response by the Palaszczuk Labor Government to this unfolding COVID-19 pandemic and be chaired by LNP Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington,” Mr Bleijie said.
“It’s absolutely crucial that the government is held to account during these unprecedented times.
“The LNP believes this plan is an important way to scrutinise Labor’s decision-making process.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to cancel Queensland Parliament means no scrutiny, no debate and no accountability.
“The Parliament has a key democratic function to hold the government to account.
“It is particularly important in Queensland because of the unicameral parliament.
“A healthy democracy relies on accountability and a Select Committee will present the opportunity to analyse, scrutinise and question the government’s priorities and plans for Queenslanders.
“The community expects all sides of the Parliament to come together and work constructively during this health and economic crisis.
“We must save lives, livelihoods and jobs.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has a chance to show leadership and immediately adopt the LNP’s proposal for a Select Committee.
“We all have a role to play during this crisis, because we’re all in this together.”
1. New Zealand
While the NZ Parliament is adjourned, a select committee represented by all parties and chaired by the Opposition Leader will operate remotely by Zoom.
The Committee has full powers to require people and documents to be presented. These powers are not normally granted to other NZ Parliamentary except their Privileges Committee (NZ’s version of Queensland’s Ethics Committee).
The terms of reference of the Committee are:
That the House establish an Epidemic Response Committee to consider and report to the House on any matter relating to the Government's management of the COVID-19 epidemic, and that—
(a)the committee have the power to send for persons, papers and records:
(b)the committee be chaired by the Leader of the Opposition:
(c)in addition to the chairperson, the committee consist of 10 members to be nominated in writing by parties to the Speaker as follows: New Zealand National four, New Zealand Labour three, New Zealand First one, Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand one, and ACT New Zealand one:
(d)a member nominated to represent a party may be permanently replaced by another member of that party, by that party's leader or whip notifying the Speaker in writing:
(e)the committee have the authority to meet at any time while the House is sitting, except during oral questions, during any evening on a day on which there has been a sitting of the House, on a Friday in a week in which there has been a sitting of the House, and outside the Wellington region during a sitting of the House, despite Standing Orders 191, 193, and 194(1) and (3).
It should also be noted that as the Committee is meeting remotely and via video link, that all its actions are live-streamed. Again, this fosters transparency in the process.
Hundreds of Queensland commercial fishing families are still having to pay Labor’s taxes and charges despite demand and revenue within the industry collapsing, as a result of Coronavirus.
LNP Shadow Minister for Fisheries Tony Perrett said that the Palaszczuk Labor Government was missing-in-action when it came to supporting our beleaguered commercial fishing industry.
“In New South Wales the State Government has rolled out a total fee waiver for all commercial fishers and for those who have already paid their management charges in the form of a credit on their accounts,” Mr Perrett said.
“The NSW State Government is also establishing a liaison officer for primary production to develop a better understanding of what is happening on the ground.
“The peak body for the state’s commercial fishers, the Queensland Seafood Industry Association has also been calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister Mark Furner to match the assistance being offered across the border, at the very least.
“The LNP have repeatedly called for tax relief and waivers to help supports Queensland commercial fishers, but Annastacia Palaszczuk isn’t listening.
“We know how important the Queensland seafood industry is, as it provides more than 3,000 people a livelihood, predominantly in the regions.
“The LNP have also been calling on Labor to adopt it’s Queensland seafood labelling policy as part of a promotional campaign to support the coronavirus-affected industry.
“The LNP’s seafood labelling policy will encourage more Queenslanders to buy seafood caught by Queensland’s fishing fleet.
“In March, the LNP also joined with the Queensland Seafood Industry Association, the Moreton Bay Seafood Industry Association, Gulf of Carpentaria Commercial Fisherman’s Association, Hervey Bay Seafood Inc and the Fisherman’s Portal in calling for the reforms to be taken off the table.
“It’s time for Labor to abandon its unfair and flawed fisheries reform and do more to support jobs and our seafood industry during these trying times”.