The LNP is calling on the State Government to prioritise water security amid fears South East Queensland dams will struggle to supply drinking water to the rapidly growing population.
It’s been revealed an industry report given to the Water Minister’s office in December shows current water sources are insufficient.
The State Government’s inaction means SEQ residents will face more water restrictions more often.
Shadow Minister for Water and the Construction of Dams Deb Frecklington says the State Government is failing to plan for the future and that is now costing Queenslanders.
“The State Government’s failure to plan for population growth is now costing Queenslanders.
“People expect the State Government to have a plan for water security but their only plan is to sit on their hands and pray for rain.
“It’s hugely concerning for South East Queensland residents who will face water restrictions more often when the SEQ Water grid drops below 50%.”
“Queenslanders expect better.”
The LNP is calling on the State Government to release a business support plan for future lockdowns.
Support payments announced for the last lockdown must also be deposited into the bank accounts of small and family businesses as a matter of urgency.
As it stands, money won’t hit bank accounts for at least another week due to a slow application and assessment process – that’s four weeks since the start of the last lockdown.
The State Government is going slow while small and family businesses are going broke.
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Business Brent Mickelberg says many businesses aren’t going to last much longer.
“The State Government is clearly making this up as they go and small and family businesses are paying the price,” Mr Mickelberg said.
“A detailed plan should have been budgeted for more than 6 months ago before hundreds of businesses shut up shop and laid off staff.
“If the State Government is planning on enforcing rolling lockdowns then they need to have a rolling support package.
“Outlining a genuine safety net would instil confidence in businesses to invest, trade and grow.
“There is currently no plan, no clear messaging and no certainty for business owners and their staff.
“I have spoken to many small and family businesses owners who say if the financial blows from lockdowns don’t kill them, the uncertainty will.
“It was heartbreaking to hear from one large family-run business that had to lay off 150 employees during the last lockdown.
“Sadly, they’re not alone. We are hearing similar heartbreaking stories every day from across Queensland. They need the State Government show them a light at the end of the tunnel.”
The LNP has for months repeatedly called for a COVID-19 Business Support Package to include support measures such as:
The LNP is demanding breach of bail be restored as an offence in the Youth Justice Act.
Parliamentary Estimates revealed 92 young criminals committed 30 offences or more while on bail in the past 12 months, a 35% increase on the previous reporting year.
Earlier this year, the State Government rolled out its 6-point plan to deal with Queensland’s youth crime crisis.
So far, not one young offender has been fitted with a court-ordered GPS tracker.
Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said restoring breach of bail as an offence would empower police to intercept young offenders earlier, before they fall into an out-of-control life of crime.
It would also ensure greater protection for Queensland’s communities with harder consequences for repeat, violent young criminals.
“The State Government is losing control of youth crime in Queensland,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“Restoring breach of bail as an offence means young criminals will be pulled back into line by police and back into the justice system before they get the chance to offend again.
“I’m becoming increasingly uncomfortable with the fact many Queenslanders no longer feel safe in their neighbourhoods and homes.
“Queenslanders have a right to feel safe in their own homes, to walk their dog at night and to be able to drive through their own neighbourhoods without the risk of being run off the road by a stolen car driven by an out-of-control kid.
“It’s time Labor conceded their approach is not working and re-introduce breach of bail as an offence.”
Estimates also revealed after the State Government introduced its so-called ‘tough on crime’ policy, a teenage thug has been charged with committing a whopping 202 offences while out on bail.
Shadow Attorney-General Tim Nicholls said the youth crime crisis boils down to a simple question for Queenslanders… one car or two?
“As it stands, a young offender can be released on bail after stealing a car and won’t be punished until they steal a second car,” he said.
“By re-introducing breach of bail as an offence police can be empowered to intercept young criminals if they start to stray from a path designed to keep them from a life of crime.
“Police would be able to bring these kids back into the justice system before they steal that second car, cutting off their spiralling trajectory into a life of crime earlier.
“Wayward children need to be put back on the straight and narrow but that won’t happen unless they have consequences for their actions.
“I’m calling on the State Government to restore breach of bail as an offence immediately and start protecting our communities.”
Statement from Leader of the Opposition - David Crisafulli
If rolling lockdowns are the new normal so too must be rolling support packages.
I said I would acknowledge positive actions when I see them.
This is positive news for small and family businesses and their staff.
I hope both levels of government can now accept how important it is that support frameworks are set up before lockdowns hit.
This assistance needed to be timely and targeted before the last lockdown.
That delay cost some Queenslanders their livelihoods.
My team and I have been fighting for an assistance package like this one.
We won’t stop going in to bat for small and family businesses.
They are the lifeblood of our economy and our great Queensland communities.
Now, let’s get this money out the door and into the bank accounts of the businesses who so badly need it.
Queensland’s social housing crisis is at breaking point with tens of thousands of families on the State Labor Government’s waitlist with nowhere to go.
During today’s Estimates Hearings, the Government admitted 80 per cent of more than 25,000 families were desperate for a home in the very high or high need category.
The Government also admitted there has only been a 3 per cent increase in social housing since Labor was elected in 2015.
“This is scandalous,” Shadow Housing Minister Tim Mander said.
“The State Government is losing control of housing in Queensland.
“They have failed to deliver for vulnerable families and instead have abandoned them in their hour of need.
“It’s outrageous. These families deserve better from this government.”
The LNP is calling on the Government to urgently work with the community housing sector on more affordable housing.
“No Queenslander should be left out on the street,” Mr Mander said.
The State Government has today finally conceded the multi-billion dollar Cross River Rail project will be over budget and not delivered on time.
The State Government has repeatedly told Queenslanders the project will cost taxpayers $5.4 billion and will be ready by 2024.
In Estimates Hearings at Parliament today, Government officials confirmed that the first passengers will not travel on Cross River Rail until at least 2025, a year later than promised.
And the true cost of the project will be more than $7 billion, almost $2 billion higher than promised.
During the hearings, Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the Premier was just missing “a decimal point” when she told delegates at the Tokyo Olympics that the project would cost $5 billion and be delivered in 2024.
That missing decimal point overlooks more than $2 billion in hidden cost blowouts and ignores the ballooning delivery delay.
“The Labor State Government is losing control of its flagship infrastructure project,” Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said.
“It couldn’t get much worse. They’ve watered down the number of train services they promised, and now we know that the cost of the project has blown out and won’t be delivered on time.
“It all points to a big black hole that is the Cross River Rail project.
“It’s no surprise that Infrastructure Australia ruled the business case for Cross River Rail doesn’t stack up.”
Government officials also confirmed other projects totalling $560 million, and outside the Budget for Cross River Rail, will now form part of the project.
“They’re squirreling away money in other pots, like Clapham Yard stabling, which are still being delivered by the Cross River Rail Authority,” Mr Minnikin said.
“Ultimately all of this will have to be paid back by taxpayers.
“It’s time the Government started being honest with Queenslanders about the true cost of Cross River Rail.”
The LNP is calling on the State Government to fast-track its business support package or risk small and family businesses closing because the money didn’t arrive in time.
The Government’s announcement of a business assistance package comes after months of campaigning by businesses and the Opposition.
The LNP has for months repeatedly called for a COVID-19 Business Support Package to include support measures such as:
The State Government has agreed to a six-month deferral of payroll taxes for eligible tourism and hospitality businesses, fee waivers for those operating in national parks, liquor licensing fee waivers and a $20 million COVID-19 cleaning rebate.
“The State Government was dragged kicking and screaming to get to this point,” Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki said.
“But the Government is still failing small and family businesses who are desperately trying to keep their doors open as not a single cent has hit their bank accounts.
“Thousands of businesses have been shut for 12 out of the last 30 days, watching bills pile up, with no way to make an income.
Mr Janetzki said businesses also desperately needed more payroll tax relief to stay afloat.
“The financial assistance on the table in Queensland is less than a quarter of what is being offered in other states,” he said.
“We can’t afford for the Treasurer to being going slow while businesses are going broke.”
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Business Brent Mickelberg said the only way many businesses would survive is if they have money in the bank before the end of the week.
“The Government’s assistance application process must be fast-tracked to get cash in pockets by Friday,” Mr Mickelberg said.
“They can’t wait any longer.”
The LNP is calling on the Treasurer to swallow his pride and send urgent help to small and family businesses after an industry survey revealed the devastating loss of investment and confidence.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland survey released today revealed 41% of business owners have been forced to dip into their personal savings to keep their business afloat.
The average contribution was $111,113 and the median $40,000.
“A one-off payment of $5,000 which only a third of businesses can even apply for isn’t going to cut it,” Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki said.
“The State Government’s attempt at a lockdown package barely scratches the surface of anything resembling genuine, well-planned support.
“We have repeatedly put forward suggestions for a stronger lockdown support package including faster and easier access to payments and a sliding scale for different sized businesses.
“The short-sighted Treasurer failed to allocate funds in the budget for a lockdown and now small and family businesses are drowning in debt.
“Many Queensland businesses will not survive.”
“It’s a sad day when Queensland small and family businesses can’t see a future to invest in,” Shadow Minister for Small and Family Business Brent Mickelberg said.
“We’ve heard from heartbroken business owners who are banking on their tax return just to keep them from going under.
“Small and family businesses are going broke and need urgent support for the sake of their finances and general wellbeing.
“The Treasurer cannot ignore them any longer.
“They need certainty and clearer messaging from the State Government to trust that there is a way out of this pandemic.”
Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli is pushing for a three-pronged attack for Queensland to fight back against the growing COVID-19 outbreak.
Mr Crisafulli says the state government has overseen three planning failures for testing sites, vaccines and small business support.
“We need more testing stations today, more vaccines tomorrow and fast track small business support by the end of the week,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“This how you supercharge the fight against COVID-19.
“The state government is playing catch-up and must immediately work on solutions.
“We need to get our hands on as much Astra-Zeneca vaccines as we can.
“Had there been proper planning from the state government, we wouldn’t be in this situation.
“The Health Minister has ordered more vaccines, but when will they arrive?
“Why is it taking two weeks for small business owners to see money appear in their bank accounts?
“The Treasurer’s small business support package is a step in the right direction, but the feedback I’m receiving is, it’s too little too late.
“I urge the state government to identify more testing sites, order more vaccines and fast track financial help for small and family businesses.”
The announcement of one-off grants for small and family businesses could’ve been strengthened and ready to go today if the State Government hadn’t ignored calls from the Opposition to prepare for a lockdown.
On more than 100 occasions in Parliament, media conferences and on our small and family business roadshow, the LNP has called for a lockdown support package that included lockdown payments.
Today’s announcement that the $5000 grants (available for only 1 in 9 Queensland businesses) will take a fortnight to rollout and has no ability to be tailored to individual needs is disappointing.
Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli says sole traders who turn over less than $75,000 can’t access a cent and larger businesses that might need a little extra to help with cash flow don’t have the ability to state their case.
“Perhaps most concerning is there has been no work done in preparing the framework to get this money out the door with the Treasurer saying it’ll take two week just to open applications,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“It seems the only person surprised by the lockdown is the Treasurer who has resisted our calls to have a package ready to go for exactly this situation.
“We will continue to fight for Queenslanders and put positive suggestions forward to give certainty in uncertain times.
“There must be a sliding scale of financial support to suit different sized businesses.
“Rebates must be made available for deep cleaning cover for any business that has been listed as an exposure site.”
Shadow Minister for Small and Family Businesses Brent Mickelberg says a strong support package should have been prepared for when lockdown was announced on Saturday.
“While we welcome the one-off grants, a package should have been ready to go rather than being cobbled together during a lockdown.” Mr Mickelberg said.
“This is just policy on the run. My concern is that this will be a case of first come first serve. The businesses who need this most will miss out and this will be nothing more that the hunger games for small business.
“Small and family business owners should not have to live in fear of another lockdown.
“We know that the uncertainty of lockdowns is causing significant mental health issues for employers and their staff.
“Small and family businesses need clarity on what assistance will be offered to them to keep their doors open and staff employed as well as provide the support for mental wellness they need.”