Media | State News

State News - May 2020

No Budget means no new money for roads

27th May 2020

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s decision to cancel its 2020 Budget will delay road infrastructure projects and destroy jobs, the LNP said today.

Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said Labor’s refusal to present a State Budget will throw the Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) into chaos.

“Labor has cancelled the Budget because it wants to dodge scrutiny before the next state election,” Mr Minnikin said.

“Labor’s refusal to present a Budget is bad for democracy and it will be dire for Queensland’s roads program too.

“The Queensland Transport and Roads Investment Program (QTRIP) cannot continue indefinitely without a Budget.

“Contractors will not consider projects which are unfunded and the Commonwealth will not provide co-funding without State Budget approval.

“We have Budgets for a reason. Governments cannot function without them.

“Labor’s arrogant and unjustified decision to cancel the Budget will cause chaos for contractors, lead to road projects being delayed and will worsen congestion.

“Most damagingly of all, cancelling the Budget will also cost jobs.

“Labor has no plan and no Budget for Queensland, right in the middle of a jobs crisis.”

As well as delaying road upgrades, Mr Minnikin said the disruption to QTRIP would cause the state’s huge road maintenance backlog to increase further. More than $5.4 billion of road maintenance work is now overdue in Queensland, including:

  • Far North Qld - $308 million
  • North Qld - $ 831 million
  • South East Qld - $2,445 million
  • South West Qld - $894 million
  • Central Queensland - $940 million

The Palaszczuk Labor Government is the only state or territory government in Australia to cancel its State Budget in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Federal Government is also committed to presenting a Budget this year.

“Labor has made major cuts to road investment and now that limited investment is at risk too,” Mr Minnikin said.

“Congestion is getting worse because Labor has refused to invest in our roads.

“Queensland needs a four-year plan to invest in new roads and upgrades across the state.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government must hold a Budget and come clean with Queenslanders about our state’s financial situation.

“It is damaging for Labor to have No Budget and no plan and Queensland.

“Unlike Labor, the LNP has a plan to build a stronger economy.

“We will build new roads and dams across Queensland – including the visionary New Bradfield Scheme.

“Only the LNP has an economic plan to get Queensland working again.”

Every day Labor wastes is destroying jobs

26th May 2020

Every day that the Palaszczuk Labor Government delays the north Queensland travel ‘bubble’ is closing businesses and costing jobs, the LNP said today.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the Premier must immediately focus her attention on rescuing the region’s devastated tourism industry.

“Every day that Annastacia Palaszczuk delays a decision on a North Queensland travel bubble is closing businesses and costing jobs,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop dithering and start listening to regional Queensland.

“The Premier’s refusal to ease restrictions in the ‘bubble’ has turned this health crisis into a jobs crisis.

“Tourism operators are approaching the point of no return and they need action immediately.

“The reports of the scale of job losses in Cairns and other tourist centres are alarming.

“Thousands of workers and small business owners have already lost their livelihoods and many more will follow them if Annastacia Palaszczuk fails to act.

“The plan put forward by tourism bodies is sensible, safe and it will save jobs.

“My message to the Premier is simple.

“Stop wasting time and start saving jobs.”

Racing community delivers vote of no confidence in Labor and QRIC

25th May 2020

Frustrations have boiled over among racing participants, with the LNP slamming the Palaszczuk Labor Government and Queensland Racing Integrity Commission for failing to deliver integrity and confidence in the industry.

LNP Shadow Minister for Racing John-Paul Langbroek said the growing group of racing participants who have indicated that they have no confidence in Labor’s Queensland Racing Integrity Commission is a tell-tale sign that the QRIC experiment is failing in its core responsibility.

“Justice must be done and it must be seen to be done,” Mr Langbroek said.

“The racing community is at the end of their tether with Labor and QRIC’s lack of action when it comes to integrity concerns, especially with regard to doping.

“The Commissioner’s comments in a Racenet article shows a dismissive attitude towards the complaints made by trainers.

“This doesn’t inspire confidence in QRIC’s willingness to improve standards in this important industry.

“A failure of QRIC is a failure of the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”

Mr Langbroek said Labor’s approach to racing is destroying confidence in, and the reputation of, the racing industry in Queensland.

“Labor’s hands-off approach to racing has resulted in serious issues being handballed to QRIC,” he said.

“Under Labor, QRIC has even been tasked with overseeing the inquiry into their own failure to address animal welfare issues within the industry. It’s another case of Caesar judging Caesar.

“Labor’s unique model costs in excess of $30 million per year doesn’t have the support of licencees, many of whom are fearful of retribution.

“Now is the time for action to improve integrity in an industry that contributes $1.2 billion to our economy.

“The only sure bet is that the LNP is the only party with the drive to improve integrity in the racing industry.”

Labor leaves our marine rescue volunteers high and dry

20th May 2020

Nearly two years after the Blue Water Review into Queensland marine rescue operations our volunteers remain completely in the dark as to their future.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Emergency Services and Volunteers Lachlan Millar demanded that the Palaszczuk Labor Government come clean on its intentions on the future of marine rescue groups in Queensland.

“Marine rescue groups and organisations engaged with the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s Blue Water Review in good faith, but unfortunately this has all gone sour,” Mr Millar said.

“LNP members right up and down the coast have been inundated with marine rescue volunteers frustrated with the lack of direction and action on the much-needed reform.

"Queensland's volunteer marine rescuers are doing their best to protect the communities they serve, and they deserve to know what their future looks like.

“Marine rescue volunteers deserve rock solid assurances and answers on the essential service they provide, as do Queensland boaties and recreational fishers throughout the state.

“If Labor is serious about re-opening the state, then it will need a functioning and viable marine rescue service that can continue to keep Queenslanders safe.”

LNP Bill to strengthen strangulation laws

20th May 2020

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has today tabled a Bill which will strengthen Queensland’s strangulation laws and double the maximum sentence for offenders.

Non-lethal strangulation was criminalised in Queensland in 2016, but the terms ‘choke’, ‘suffocate’ and ‘strangle’ were not defined in the criminal code.

Ms Frecklington’s Bill will provide a broader definition of strangulation that protects vulnerable Queenslanders and allows the prosecution of violent and abusive offenders.

The Bill will also double the maximum penalty for non-lethal strangulation from seven to 14 years, as well as reclassifying non-lethal strangulation as a Serious Violent Offence.
“Strangulation is a terrifying and brutal crime that is one step away from murder,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queensland’s strangulation laws must be strengthened to protect domestic violence from this sickening crime.”

Research by Prof. Heather Douglas of the University of Queensland established that women subjected to attempted strangulation by their partners are eight times more likely to be murdered than other women.

As well as psychological trauma, the consequences of non-lethal strangulation can include memory loss, miscarriage, and permanent damage to vision, hearing and vocal chords.

Reclassifying non-lethal strangulation as a Serious Violent Offence would allow courts to order that strangulation offenders sentenced to five or more years’ imprisonment – but less than 10 – serve at least 80 per cent of their sentence.

Those sentenced to 10 or more years would automatically serve 80 per cent of their sentence.

Ms Frecklington’s Bill is part of a package of measures to crack down on domestic violence that were announced following the murder of Brisbane mother Hannah Clarke and her three children in February. The measures include:

  • The introduction of a new coercive control offence
  • Laws to empower police to issue domestic violence orders on the spot.
  • The roll-out of 200 GPS-linked personal safety alarms to warn victims when a violent former partner is approaching their location.
  • $2m of extra funding for frontline not-for-profit agencies, including $1m for the Women’s Legal Service.
  • Emergency assistance grants of up to $2000 to help victims and their families flee from dangerous homes.

Ms Frecklington said it was time for politicians on all sides to respond to Queensland’s domestic violence crisis.

“We must do more to protect victims like Hannah Clarke and her children from horror of domestic violence,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We must take decisive action against the perpetrators of domestic violence.

“The LNP believes that no-one should have to live their life in fear.”

Labor has no Budget, no plan for Queensland

20th May 2020

In a devastating blow to Queensland’s economic future, the Palaszczuk Labor Government today confirmed it will be the only government in the country not to deliver a full Budget this year.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the failure to deliver a full Budget was a damning indictment of Labor at a time when effective and transparent economic management was paramount.

“The economic fallout of coronavirus has made many Queenslanders fearful for their jobs and their future,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Queenslanders deserve certainty, but Labor has shown that it has no plan, no Budget and no integrity either.

“No Budget means Labor has no plan to build a strong Queensland economy and create more jobs.

“Queenslanders deserve to know how their taxes are spent and anything less is another Labor cover-up.

“In the middle of this chaos, Labor has been consumed by an integrity scandal that goes right to the heart of this government.

“The LNP called for a stimulus package more than two months ago and thousands of jobs have been destroyed while Labor sat on their hands and did nothing.”

The LNP called for:

  • A $500 million fast tracked roads package
  • Direct small business grants
  • Payroll tax cuts for all businesses with an annual wage bill of $6.5 million – until the end of the year
  • Freezing rego, water and power bills
  • Direct isolation payments for people subject to directions from Queensland Health.
  • Fully backling the LGAQ’s $608 million Battleplan for Queensland
  • State government paying their small business suppliers much faster to provide cash flow and ensure the supply chains are viable.

LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said the absence of a full budget meant Labor was flying blind through the most severe economic crisis in a generation.

“No Budget is symptomatic of a bad government run by a weak Premier,” Mr Mander said.

“No Budget means there will be no Estimates process in Parliament and Annastacia Palaszczuk can hide from scrutiny.

“With the next election looming, Labor is choosing to avoid crucial financial checks and balances that hold the government to account.

“Good government would be able to deliver a full budget this year and respond to the coronavirus emergency. They are not mutually exclusive.

“This arrogant Labor government is fixated on themselves when they should be focussed on the economic future of Queenslanders.”

Border chaos will cost Queensland jobs

19th May 2020

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s total confusion on when Queensland’s borders will open will destroy jobs in the state’s struggling tourism sector, the LNP said today.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the Premier’s statement that interstate borders may not open until September had sent a shockwave through the economy.

Ms Frecklington said interstate borders should be open in July, in line with the state’s previously released roadmap.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government caused chaos when it closed our borders via Twitter in March,” Ms Frecklington.

“Now Labor is causing even more pain for border communities and our economy.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government cannot even agree among themselves when the border will re-open.

“The Chief Medical Officer says July and the Premier says September.

“The Tourism Minister was reportedly shocked to learn of the Premier’s September timetable ¬¬- and she wasn’t the only one.

“Queensland’s tourism sector has been stunned by Labor’s border shambles.

“There is a slim booking window open right now and the Premier is slamming it shut.

“Tourists won’t plan a holiday in Queensland if they don’t even know the border will be open.

“Queensland could lose millions of tourists and tens of thousands of jobs because of the chaos caused by the Premier’s mixed messages.

“The State Government’s roadmap told Queenslanders that interstate borders will open in July and that’s what should happen.

“Re-opening the border is a key step towards restarting the economy and protecting jobs.”

 

Another vote of no confidence by business in Labor

19th May 2020

A second report in two days has laid bare the views of Queensland small and medium businesses on Labor’s economic mismanagement in Queensland.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the latest Sensis Business Index report was another symptom of Labor’s failed economic record.

The report showed that 24% of Queensland small and medium businesses thought the Palaszczuk Labor Government was working against them – the highest of any state in the country.

It also showed that Queensland was the second most pessimistic state about their future.

“Business confidence is at rock bottom levels under Annastacia Palaszczuk and it’s been that way for quite some time,” Mr Mander said.

“It says a lot that Labor was the first to scrap a state budget, but the last to offer any economic assistance package.

“No budget means no plan to kickstart the Queensland economy and create more jobs.

“This is another vote of no confidence from Queensland small and medium businesses in the economic management of Annastacia Palaszczuk.”

Mr Mander said that Labor had been distracted by integrity scandals with the ongoing corruption investigation into the former Treasurer, while having no economic plan for Queensland.

“We’ve seen three treasurers in two days, but the same bad government and weak economic leadership under Labor,” Mr Mander said.

“Queensland might have a new Treasurer, but we still have the same high-taxing anti-business Labor government.

“Only the LNP has a plan to back small businesses by building a stronger economy that will get Queensland working again.

“We will grow the economy with our guarantee of no new taxes showing that Queensland will once again be open for business.”

 

Business is on the brink, but Labor has no plan

18th May 2020

The latest Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse Survey has revealed that business conditions and economic confidence in Queensland are now in freefall – just as the Palaszczuk Labor Government is focused on its internal integrity crisis.

The business conditions indicator was already at a record low in the previous quarterly Pulse Survey – but has now slumped by a further 11.4 points.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said that the March quarter survey should be a wake-up call for the crisis-hit Palaszczuk Labor Government.

“Businesses need a plan and a pathway to economic recovery,” Mr Mander said.

“Unfortunately, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is too distracted by its integrity scandals to provide the economic leadership we need.

“Labor gave Queensland three Treasurers in two days, but they did not give us a plan.

“Incredibly, this is the only government in Australia that has cancelled its 2020 Budget.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has no plan, no Budget and no integrity.

“Labor are more focused on saving their own jobs than protecting the jobs of ordinary Queenslanders.”

The Pulse Survey general business conditions fell by 11.4 points over the March quarter to 27.6, which is 17.9 points lower than the 10-year average of 45.5 and below the historic low recorded in the previous December 2019 quarter.

The ‘economic outlook’ indicator fell by 25.1points to 13.3, which is 32.7 points lower than the 10-year average of 45.9 and 14.8 points below the previous low in December 2008.

“The latest Pulse numbers are sobering, but Queensland’s economy was struggling long before coronavirus,” Mr Mander said.

“Under Jackie Trad Queensland had the worst average unemployment rate in the nation and the highest number of bankruptcies.

“Her successor Cameron Dick has proven to be as economically incompetent as Jackie Trad with his foolhardy foray into airline ownership over Virgin.

“Labor flatlined our economy before coronavirus and have no plan to get this state working again.

“The LNP has already released its Roadmap for Recovery and we have developed a long-term plan to build a stronger economy and create higher-paid jobs.

“The LNP will build the New Bradfield Scheme, invest in new roads and dams, provide cheaper electricity and give Queenslanders a no-new-tax guarantee.

“Only the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again.”

Labor must ensure safety of residents at all state run aged care centres

18th May 2020

The LNP has called on the Palaszczuk Labor Government to ensure procedures are in place to guarantee the safety of residents and staff at all 16 state government run aged care homes across Queensland in the wake of the North Rockhampton breach.

LNP Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates also said the investigation into what went wrong at the state-government centre in North Rockhampton must be made public.

“As a nurse myself, either the proper procedures weren’t in place or they weren’t followed in Rockhampton,” Ms Bates said.

“It’s a copout to blame the nurse who tested positive to coronavirus, this is a state government run home and the Health Minister needs to take full responsibility.

“Our elderly Queenslanders are the most vulnerable to coronavirus and residents across all 16 state-run homes must be the priority.

“These 16 state-government run facilities are home to around 1000 elderly Queenslanders and their health and wellbeing must be a priority.*

“Less than a month ago the Premier threatened to name and shame aged care operators breaching the rules, but has been caught out by a bungle in her own backyard.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk clearly has no idea what is happening in aged care facilities operated by her own government.

‘It’s great that there has been no other positive cases stemming from the Rockhampton breach, but that seems to be down to good luck rather than good management,” Ms Bates said.

* Question on Notice from late 2018 on resident numbers in 16 state-run facilities - https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2018/1642-2018.pdf

Queensland tourism needs $200m war chest

14th May 2020

The LNP has called on Labor to scrap its attempted Virgin takeover and instead establish a $200m tourism marketing fighting fund to save Queensland jobs.

With 18 bidders now circling the collapsed airline, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said it was clear the company will be saved by private investors.

“The LNP supports a second airline to keep prices low and protect Queensland jobs,” Ms Frecklington said.

“But it’s not the role of the government to bailout a bankrupt business and put taxpayers’ money at risk.

“The best way to save Virgin jobs is to get more tourists into Queensland as restrictions lift.

“The private sector will invest in Virgin – but the private sector will not invest in the unprecedented marketing blitz that Queensland needs.

“What we urgently need from the State Government is an all-out marketing war to get Australian tourists to take their next holiday in Queensland.”

Queensland’s suffered the second-lowest growth in both domestic visitor numbers and visitor spend in 2018-19, and also lost market share in total visitors, visitor expenditure and visitor nights*.

“Our tourism industry was already doing it tough before coronavirus,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We need to back Brand Queensland, as well as destination marketing, to maximise our tourism muscle and bring visitors to the Sunshine State again.

“Queensland cannot afford to waste another day while our tourism sector is struggling.

“People are planning their first post-coronavirus holidays now and we need them to come to Queensland.

“Our tourism industry is facing the ultimate state-of-origin battle and we need to start fighting for Queensland jobs right now.”

Ms Frecklington said the campaign should also target New Zealand to ensure Kiwis flock to the Sunshine State when borders re-open.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s approach to Virgin and the tourism industry was fundamentally flawed.

“If you don’t have a thriving tourism sector, airlines will not survive,” Mr Mander said.

“It’s not a case of ‘build it and they will come’. This government should get their heads out of the clouds and focus on selling Queensland to tourists.

“The new Treasurer’s credibility has been shot to pieces by the collapse of Virgin.

“He offered Virgin $200m of taxpayers’ money just 48 hours before the company went into administration.

“If the Treasurer had got his way, Queenslanders would have lost all of that money

“I’m sure that private investors will save Virgin.

“And I’m certain that a basketcase government bailing out a bankrupt airline won’t end well.

“Queensland’s tourism industry has never faced a challenge like this, but we will get through it if we have a plan that is focused on tourists.”

Minister must open dialogue to Close the Gap

14th May 2020

The new Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships must ditch Jackie Trad’s arrogant and high-handed approach to the portfolio and start working with Indigenous communities and the Commonwealth Government.

LNP Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Dr Christian Rowan said Craig Crawford – Labor’s fourth minister for Indigenous affairs in three years – needed to recognise the State Government’s failures and work to reverse them.

“Like her Labor predecessors, Jackie Trad failed to improve the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people living in Queensland,” Dr Rowan said.

“Labor is good at empathising with disadvantaged communities, but has done nothing to practically help them.

“It’s shameful that the Palaszczuk Labor Government is on track to reach just one of the seven national Closing the Gap targets.

“Labor needs to stop playing pass the parcel with this portfolio and concentrate on what really matters – and that’s improving the lives of Indigenous Queenslanders.”

Dr Rowan said recent disturbances in Aurukun and the scandal of Indigenous children being detained in police custody cells showed just how much work needs to be done.

Dr Rowan called on the new Labor Minister to work constructively with the Family Responsibilities Commission and the Federal Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon. Ken Wyatt MP.

“Instead of fighting for Indigenous Queenslanders, Jackie Trad preferred to fight with the Commonwealth and the Family Responsibilities Commission,” Dr Rowan said.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed Indigenous people for the last five years.

“Unless the new Minister confronts this failure head-on and takes a radically different approach, he will become the latest in a long line of failed Labor Ministers.”

Labor’s Blue Card disgrace puts safety of kids at risk

12th May 2020

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington is warning Labor’s delays to fixing a loophole in their Blue Card system is putting the safety of children at risk.

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has covertly introduced a new regulation allowing them to push back the start of the ‘no card, no start’ policy until May 2021.

“I am deeply disturbed that Labor has delayed important Blue Card reforms for yet another year,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The delay to the ‘no card, no start policy’ seriously jeopardises the safety of Queensland children and makes a mockery of the Labor government’s priorities.

“It is a scary reality that children could be preyed on by dangerous sex offenders whose Blue Card applications are still pending.

“It’s a broken election commitment by the Palaszczuk Labor government but worse than that it puts vulnerable children at risk.

“This is not the first Blue Card bungle by Labor’s Attorney-General and the Premier should show some leadership and demand her resignation.”

LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said thousands of Queenslanders could be working with children pending a blue card application outcome that disqualified them.

“It alarmingly takes on average four months to process applications that involve criminal histories,” Mr Janetzki said.

“Protecting our kids should be the priority for every government, but it’s clear that’s not the case in Queensland.

“While Labor are distracted by integrity scandals that have put the government in turmoil, they are missing out on important government reforms.”

Schools should be open for all students

11th May 2020

Allowing only preppies and year 1,11 and 12 students to return to school today is annoying for parents, damaging for kids and a blow to the economic recovery, the LNP said today.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Annastacia Palaszczuk was playing politics with the education of Queensland students in the face of clear medical advice that schools are safe.

“Labor’s approach makes no sense to parents, students or the medical experts,” Ms Frecklington said.

“The evidence is clear that schools are safe and that students are suffering educationally and socially from the continued closure of schools.

“Keeping kids at home is putting a handbrake on our economy when tens of thousands of jobs are at risk.

“Once again, Queensland is suffering because we have a weak Premier who refuses to do the right thing for our state.

“I’m asking the Premier to think about our kids and fully re-open our schools.”

LNP Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie said Labor’s school policy had created a two-tier education system that was splitting families and dividing kids into haves and have-nots.

“Thousands of kids, especially in regional Queensland, don’t have access to the technology they need to keep up with their classmates,” Mr Bleijie said.

“Kids are falling behind and we need to get them back to school immediately.

“It’s another sign of a weak Premier who is told what to say and do by faction leaders and union bosses.

“The official advice from the country’s top medical experts is that schools are safe.

“If Annastacia Palaszczuk knows better, let’s see the advice she has been given.

“Parents have a right to see the advice that is damaging their kids’ education and stopping them from working.”

LNP pressure saves resource jobs

6th May 2020

The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s announcement today that it will support the state’s mine exploration companies during the COVID-19 downturn is a direct result from the sustained pressure levelled on behalf of industry by the LNP.

LNP Shadow Minister for Mines Dale Last thanked the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC) for working with the LNP in standing up for their members and important Queensland resource jobs.

“AMEC was very clear that small exploration companies were finding it increasingly hard to work in Queensland, especially given the impact covid-19 was having,” said Mr Last.

“The mining exploration industry is essential to the development of the future mining projects that Queensland desperately needs.

“The LNP understand that 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.

“That is why the decision by the Palaszczuk Labor Government to listen to the LNP and industry by delivering temporary freezes on exploration tenements rentals and work program commitments is good news for Queensland.

“The LNP will always stand up for rural and regional resource industry jobs, especially in these difficult times.

“Given that Labor is now taking policy advice from the LNP its time that the state government supported the LNP’s promised 10-year royalty freeze to provide investment certainty, instead of Labor’s obsession with royalty hikes that will cost jobs.”

LNP releases roadmap to recovery

6th May 2020

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has unveiled a four-stage plan for the re-opening of the Queensland economy to give businesses certainty.

Ms Frecklington said she wanted Queenslanders to have their say on the LNP’s roadmap to recovery.

“Queenslanders have made huge sacrifices to stop the spread of coronavirus. The LNP believes we need a roadmap to give businesses the hope and ambition and certainty for a restart,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We cannot be complacent about the virus, but we cannot be complacent about the future either.

“Business can’t be left in the dark, they need to know what the plan looks like to restart the economy, they need certainty.

“This is the work Annastacia Palaszczuk should be doing because thousands of Queensland businesses are hanging on by their fingertips and they need to know when and how our economic recovery will begin.

“Queenslanders need to know there is a plan to get our economy moving.

“That’s why the LNP team has been working to develop this recovery plan.”

Ms Frecklington said the LNP’s recovery roadmap is staged and measured and would depend on the continued control of coronavirus and social-distancing rules. The plan could be further adapted following wider consultation with Queensland business.

In phase one of the plan, cafes, restaurants and shops would be allowed to open for business by the last week of May. Border and intrastate travel restrictions would also be partially eased.

Other businesses and community facilities, such as public pools and libraries, would be re-opened in three further phases throughout June and July. All restrictions on intrastate travel would be lifted by mid-July.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the party had held in-depth discussions with Queensland businesses on how best to get the economy moving again.

“Businesses need to know what the future looks like so they can start planning now,” Mr Mander said.

“The LNP’s plan is staged and careful and each phase would only proceed if coronavirus is still contained.

“We have looked at the work of other jurisdictions such as the Northern Territory and we’ve listened to businesses.

“Queensland need a clear and responsible plan and that’s what the LNP has produced.”

LNP’s Roadmap to recovery
Please note: This plan is subject to the infection rate remaining at the current level with appropriate social distancing and COVID plans in place.

**For Consultation**

*Some regional areas may be fast-tracked.

Phase 1 by last week of May

Reopen:
• Cafes, restaurants and all retail shops.
• Border communities – allow cross border travel for residents within 100Km of the Queensland border in New South Wales, South Australia and Northern Territory.
• Allow travel within Queensland up to 250 km for non-essential business.
• Outdoor personal training for groups up to 5 people.
• Public playgrounds, skate parks, BMX tracks and outside gyms, including static exercise equipment in Council parks.

Phase 2 by mid-June

Reopen:
• Interstate domestic work travel.
• Registered and licensed clubs, licensed premises in hotels.
• Community and recreation facilities (such as community halls, clubs, RSLs, PCYCs).
• Auction houses.
• Outdoor and indoor markets.
• Beauty therapy, tanning, waxing, nail salons and tattoo parlours.
• Outdoor personal training for groups up to 10 people.
• Caravan parks and campgrounds.

Phase 3 by early-July

Reopen:
• Zoos and wildlife centres.
• Local government non-essential facilities and services (such as libraries and pools).
• Interstate travel for recreation.
• Open house inspections.

Phase 4 by mid-July

Reopen:
• Indoor sporting centres, including gyms, health clubs, fitness centres, yoga, barre and spin facilities, saunas, bathhouses and wellness centres.
• Galleries, museums, national and state institutions and historic sites.
• Theme parks and amusement arcades.
• Play centres (indoor and outdoor).

 

Auditor General report slams Labor’s infrastructure body

5th May 2020

A damning report by the state’s Auditor General has revealed a long list of failings in the infrastructure body set up by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

LNP Shadow Infrastructure Minister Andrew Powell said the Evaluating major infrastructure projects report published today highlighted the inability of Labor’s Building Queensland to manage major infrastructure projects.

“Queenslanders continue to be let down by a Labor state government that can’t manage taxpayer money or major projects,” Mr Powell said.

“Infrastructure projects will play a crucial role in protecting jobs and restarting the economy, but the Palaszczuk Labor Government has shown it can’t be trusted to deliver them.

“It’s been five years since dodgy Jackie Trad set up Building Queensland and the Auditor General has found systemic failings in its transparency, assurance activities and capability.

“The report confirms what we have known all along – Labor is good at announcements, but terrible at delivering.

“The Trad-Palaszczuk Labor Government has cut more than $2 billion from the infrastructure spend every year since being elected.

“It’s alarming that Building Queensland has been found to have failed its legislative role while spending a massive $15.5 million on external consultants.

“Even the government’s own department of Transport and Main Roads questioned the value of Labor’s infrastructure body.”

Key Auditor General findings include:

  • In 2018–19, Building Queensland’s total operating costs were $22.2 million, of which it spent $15.5 million (70 per cent) on external consultants and contractors, primarily to deliver business cases
  • The Department of Transport and Main Roads has ongoing concerns with BQ’s role in terms of overall value for money, costs of assurance reviews, and duplication of effort in developing business cases
  • Building Queensland was found to have not necessarily fulfilled its legislative role to provide expert advice about infrastructure to government
  • Project teams did not implement all assurance activities as planned and did not adequately address some issues identified from the assurance activities

“When the state’s own infrastructure body isn’t working, it’s no wonder projects continue to have delays and budget blowouts,” Mr Powell said.

“Now more than ever Queensland needs an LNP Government that can deliver major infrastructure projects on time and on budget and get Queensland working again.

“Building a stronger economy means delivering the infrastructure a growing state needs.”

Report: https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2020/5620T649.pdf

Queensland Schools should be open now

5th May 2020

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said today’s school’s announcement by the Palaszczuk Labor Government was a devastating blow to the Queensland economy.

“Queensland schools should be open now and to keep them shut until near the end of May is a major setback to Queensland parents, kids and teachers,” Ms Frecklington said.

“This health crisis is fast becoming a jobs crisis under Labor. Holding kids back from going to school is hurting them and hurting the economy. Getting kids back into school is the first step on our road to recovery.

"Labor’s holding Queensland back. We need a plan for our social and economic recovery. Pushing the reopening of schools out another three weeks isn’t a plan for recovery – it’s a Labour Day present for the teachers union that will cost more Queensland jobs.

“The LNP believes that the first step to re-starting the economy and protecting jobs is to re-open our schools. For Labor to keep delaying the reopening is shattering to our state’s confidence.

“The LNP believes Labor’s staged approach will create haves and have nots, will split families and leave some kids falling behind.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is still refusing to release the health advice her decision to keep schools closed is based on.

"Parents should be able to send their kids to school if they want to.”

Labor’s inaction threatens nearly one in three jobs

1st May 2020

After almost a month of waiting, Queensland’s property industry is still without any COVID-19 commercial leasing regulations.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander is warning the uncertainty from Labor’s ongoing delays to regulating commercial lease arrangements could cost jobs and lead to businesses closing their doors for good.

According to the Property Council, around 695,000 Queenslanders rely on the state’s property industry for work.

“Every day that Labor delays the commercial leasing regulations puts Queensland jobs at risk,” Mr Mander said.

“Labor’s inaction on commercial tenancies is leaving both small business tenants and property owners financially vulnerable.

“Like we saw with the cancelled State Budget, it’s clear Labor doesn’t have an economic plan.

“Now more than ever, the property industry and commercial tenants need clarity and certainty.”

Shadow LNP Attorney General David Janetzki said it should have been a straightforward exercise for the Palaszczuk Labor Government to introduce commercial regulations, as other states have done.

“Other states have been able to implement the regulations, yet the Palaszczuk Labor Government is lagging behind,” Mr Janetzki said.

“Businesses shouldn’t be forced to wait any longer for these regulations, because they set the framework for negotiations between parties.

“These commercial leasing regulations are needed immediately to provide certainty to all parties during this coronavirus pandemic, to help stop a health crisis becoming an economic crisis.

“Labor’s inaction is holding Queensland back and putting our property industry at risk.”