Media | State News

State News - July 2022

Ambulance bypass is back and ramping targets don’t exist

29th July 2022

The Queensland Health crisis has escalated with Estimates revealing today Hospital Bypass is back in Queensland.

The practice hasn’t been seen in Queensland for a decade but has now returned under the Palaszczuk Government.

Estimates has also revealed the Palaszczuk Government has no target for ambulance ramping nor any timeframe to reduce it.

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said the State Government can’t accept or admit that Queensland patients are being transported from hospital to hospital because of ramping.

“During the first session of Estimates this morning, the Health Minister admitted they don’t have a target to improve ambulance ramping.

That is extraordinary,” Ms Bates said.

“Queensland’s ramping rate is 42% which is the worst in the country.

“Under the former LNP Government it was 15%.

“The State Government doesn’t have a plan to fix ambulance ramping.

“The State Government doesn’t have a target to reduce ambulance ramping.

“The State Government can’t be trusted to fix the Queensland Health Crisis.

“The victims of the Queensland Health Crisis are patients.

“They have to endure ambulance ramping, hospital bypass, over-crowded emergency departments and surgery delays.

“The LNP was able to put a stop to ambulance bypass and now under the Palaszczuk Government it is back.

“As a nurse and former hospital administrator, I know how stressful it is for our frontline staff.

“Paramedics don’t sign up to this profession to sit in the back of a ramped ambulance for hours.

“Our doctors, nurses, paramedics and allied health professionals are doing a remarkable job and deserve more respect and resources.

"The LNP has put solutions on the table including more resources, improved triaging, real time data monitoring and allowing front line clinicians the power to effectively run their hospitals, using local expertise and decision making.

“This third term Labor Government has given up on listening.”

Labor’s humiliating teacher fail

29th July 2022

The State Government’s election promise to hire more than 6000 teachers has failed spectacularly.

It was revealed in Estimates today the State Government have only grown teacher numbers by an extra 388 teachers.

Shadow Education Minister Dr Christian Rowan said it’s an epic fail from Labor.

“The State Government says one thing before the election, but can never deliver what they promised,” Dr Rowan said.

“This is why Queenslanders are growing more frustrated with this third term State Government.

“This was supposed to fix ballooning classroom sizes and put simply the Education Minister has failed to deliver.

“Labor’s failure to deliver a teacher workforce strategy that meets a growing demand is of significant concern.

“There has also been an increase in workplace assaults on teachers and Workcover claims, and a growing number of drugs and weapon related incidents in our schools.

“All kids deserve a world class education.

“Under Labor, literacy, and numeracy targets for years 3, 5, 7, and 9 across all student categories aren’t being met.

“With serious ongoing employee conduct matters, significant teacher workforce shortages, increasing violence in our schools, millions of dollars in budget blowouts, and senior Departmental Executives still only in acting roles, it’s clear that the Palaszczuk Government is losing control of education in Queensland.”

Time to fess up on Wellcamp fiasco

28th July 2022

The Premier and Deputy Premier must explain to Queenslanders who signed off on the deal to waste nearly a quarter of a billion of taxpayer dollars on the dud quarantine facility at Wellcamp.

Now that Deputy Premier Steven Miles has finally revealed ‘wastecamp’ cost taxpayers a staggering $237 million, Queenslanders must know who will take responsibility for this exorbitant waste.

It is extraordinary the Palaszczuk Government allowed this deal to go ahead and worse still that they covered it up for so long.

Just 730 people have stayed at Wellcamp at a cost of $325,000 per person.

This exorbitant waste could have paid for approximately:

  • 870 social housing homes
  • 2500 nurses
  • 2300 teachers
  • 2300 police officers
  • 130 intensive care beds
  • 950 ambulances

The Auditor-General’s investigation should give us the answers we’ve long been asking for.

Why was the deal commercial-in-confidence and why did the Premier and Deputy Premier hide the truth from Queenslanders for so long?

Openness and transparency matters.

It just doesn’t matter to the Palaszczuk Government.

$2 million for 2 tradies

28th July 2022

 

The Palaszczuk Government’s attempts to lure tradies to Queensland to help rebuild the economy has spectacularly failed.

The Palaszczuk Government spent almost $2 million on the ‘Tradies in Paradise’ scheme for only two qualified tradespeople to take up the offer.

Those two tradies were paid just $1,750 each to move to Queensland.

The rest of the $1,965,569 was spent on State Government advertising.

Shadow Minister for Employment and Training Brent Mickelberg says the Palaszczuk Government must explain to taxpayers why this program has failed so badly.

“This government is more interested in delivering flashy pamphlets, ads and websites than actually delivering what Queenslanders need,” Mr Mickelberg said.

“They only care about how they look, yet this campaign looks like a complete failure.

“The ‘Tradies in Paradise’ scheme was a desperate, unplanned attempt to fill holes in the skilled worker shortage of their making.

“The State Government said they would bring 1000 tradies to Queensland, they got two.

“$1,750 was never going to be enough to entice tradespeople to pack up their whole life and move to Queensland. It would barely pay for their petrol.

“A significant amount of taxpayer money was washed down the drain at a time when many flood-affected Queenslanders could have used a hand up.

“The $2 million wasted on this campaign could have been used to help several small businesses through flood recovery, or even re-build a few damaged homes.

“Imagine what a Queenslander could do with $2 million. They’d certainly produce a lot more than two tradies.

“The Government has no plan, and their inability to deliver is costing Queenslanders.

“Queenslanders deserve a government that genuinely cares about delivering for Queenslanders.”

Statement on Bundaberg MP Tom Smith

25th July 2022

Tom Smith must front up to the people of Bundaberg and explain why he refused to listen to them for so long.

The Queensland Health crisis is real.

The State Government’s recent announcement about an investigation into Bundaberg Hospital highlights the importance of whistleblowers.

Since the investigation was announced 12 days ago, Labor MP for Bundaberg Tom Smith has gone to ground.

For months he criticised the Opposition for raising these concerns.

Patient safety must always be the top priority.

Tom Smith did not believe patients, their families and patient advocates.

The LNP will continue to hold Queensland Health Crisis Town Halls across the state.

These forums give locals a chance to voice their concerns about local healthcare.

My message to locals is clear.

Do not hesitate to speak up because we will listen even if Labor won’t.

Our 20th Queensland Health Crisis Town Hall will be held in my electorate of Nanango next month.

All Queenslanders deserve a world class health system no matter where they live.

Locals shouldn’t be bullied into silence by their local MP.

Foot and Mouth Disease Threat

21st July 2022

The detection of viral Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) fragments shows how vulnerable Queensland’s agricultural industry is to the threat.

FMD poses serious risks and its consequences will be severe.

An outbreak will devastate Queensland’s agricultural industries.

It will drive up the cost of meat.

It will hit the hip pockets of consumers.

It will close down rural and regional Queensland.

I am genuinely concerned about the State’s ability to handle an outbreak.

The State Government has been habitually slow to act on biosecurity issues.

Biosecurity in Queensland has been underfunded and understaffed for some time now.

The numbers back that.

The Premier and her Agriculture Minister have been silent. We need to hear from them.

Social media posts are not good enough.

They must ensure Queensland’s biosecurity department has the systems in place to stop this disease at our borders.

They also must ensure they can respond in the event of an outbreak.

Systems and management plans must be in place and they must be in place now.

We can’t get this wrong.

Labor’s COVID self-promotion cash splash

20th July 2022

The Auditor-General has revealed the state government’s brazen mismanagement of taxpayer money during the COVID pandemic.

Shadow Treasurer David Janetzki said today’s Managing Queensland’s COVID-19 economic response and recovery Report 3: 2022-23 shows the state government spent over $10 million promoting their Economic Recovery Plan but only $2.5 million on vaccination promotion.

“When governments are focused on themselves, they aren’t focused on providing for Queenslanders,” Mr Janetzki said.

“It tells you everything you need to know about this third term government.

“They spent four times more on self-promotion than vaccine promotion.

“This was at the same time when small and family businesses were forced to close and the tourism sector was at breaking point.

The report also recommends actions to “enhance inter-agency collaboration” and “consult with relevant stakeholders.”

“For a third-term government to have to be told by the Auditor-General to collaborate and consult on major funding programs is appalling.

Shadow Minister for Open Data Brent Mickelberg says the Improving Grants Management Report 2: 2022-23 shows the state government’s lack of interest in being open and transparent.

“The Open Data Portal is years out of date. Each Government department is required to publish its own open data strategy and some, like the Agriculture and Fisheries department, have not been updated since 2020, he said."

“The State Government’s Open Data Policy Statement has not even been updated for six years.

“What is uploaded to the portal is in no way user friendly to Queenslanders wanting to access data. It’s like this Government want to make it as difficult as possible as a way to hide information.

“This third-term government has clearly given up on transparency and accountability.”

Palaszczuk Government's broken promise leaves hundreds of Queensland families homeless

13th July 2022

More than 1 in 5 homes the Palaszczuk Government promised to deliver haven’t been built and Queensland’s social housing waiting list is the fastest growing in the country.

That’s the fallout from a damning assessment contained in the Auditor-General’s scathing report which shows the government broke its promise leaving more than 600 Queensland families without a roof over their head.

This is despite the government promising to meet current demand and build 2972 homes in its social housing strategy released in 2017.

Instead, the Auditor-General found only 2314 have been built since 2017 – a shortfall of 658.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said the scathing report showed a culture of a government that’s refused to act, refused to listen and failed to house the most vulnerable.

“What’s particularly troubling is the government has failed to acknowledge just how serious this problem is,” he said.

“At a time when Queenslanders are genuinely concerned about putting a roof over their head, at a time when the social housing waiting list continues to blow out, the government is failing to listen and failing to act.

“We have working Queenslanders living in tents and cars and the Premier is living in a social media bubble.

“We have solutions on the table which include more adequate land supply, working with the community sector to deliver social and affordable housing and building government projects on time and on budget.

“We are determined to drive change to make housing affordable for those who want to rent and for those most vulnerable who need a roof over their head.”

Shadow Housing Minister Tim Mander said the Premier’s post on her Twitter account showed she lived in a parallel universe.

“This just showed that the Premier is tone-deaf to the thousands of Queenslanders who are on the social housing waiting list looking for somewhere to live,” he said.

“It is an insult to the tens of thousands of Queenslanders on the waiting list for the Premier to brag about her government’s record on social housing despite the Auditor-General’s damning report.

“The facts speak for themselves.

“This government cannot be trusted to deliver for Queenslanders.

“Queensland deserves so much better than this.”

Fix the Queensland Housing Crisis

12th July 2022

Statement by Tim Mander, Shadow Minister for Housing

Today the Auditor-General’s report into the State Government’s record on social housing is set to be released.

The LNP is urging the State Government to genuinely consider its findings and take real action on the housing crisis across Queensland.

Shadow Housing Minister Tim Mander said despite having more than seven years to address the serious problem, the issue has only worsened under this State Government.

“There are more than 50,000 Queenslanders on the waiting list for social housing,” Mr Mander said.

“That number has exploded by nearly 80% in the last four years.

“At a time when working families on dual incomes are forced to live in cars or tents, every suggestion to improve the situation must be taken on board.

“We haven’t built enough homes in Queensland to keep pace with our surging population.

“A report by the Commonwealth Productivity Commission revealed that in 2020/21, Queensland spent less on social housing per person than any other state or territory.

“In five years the state government has added barely 1,000 social housing bedrooms across the state, but the waiting list grew by more than 20,000 people. That is nothing to be proud of.

"The State Government has to start listening.

"Seven years of failure has pushed many Queenslanders to the margins.”

Mr Mander said that there were immediate steps the State Government could take to address the housing crisis in Queensland.

“Releasing land for freehold, affordable and social housing must be a priority for the State Government.

“The LNP also believe that government must partner with, and unlock the Community Housing sector.

“These organisations are ready made to help house the vulnerable. If we empower them, and allow them to leverage housing stock, they can help put a roof over the head of vulnerable Queenslanders.”

Victims billed for rape tests as Labor’s broken system fails women

8th July 2022

The LNP is calling on the Palaszczuk Government to immediately make rape kits free and available for all women across Queensland.

The Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s final report heard horrifying instances of women struggling to obtain rape kits or in some cases being charged for forensic medical examinations.

In one case, a woman travelled 1300km for an examination only to be turned back because of a miscommunication.

Others have had rape kits accidentally destroyed, or are being left to wait for treatment in emergency departments for hours at a time with no food, water or clean clothing.

The report also found that victims who were not eligible for Medicare, were in some cases forced to pay for medical treatment.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said no victim should be subject to any costs for a forensic medical examination.

“The findings in this report are disturbing,” he said.

“If a male tourist had his wallet stolen we would not charge him to investigate the crime. Why on earth would we charge a female victim of rape to investigate the crime committed against her.

“This is not a health issue, these women are victims of crime.”

Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence Amanda Camm said while the report called on Queensland Health to immediately stop charging victims for any treatment or tests, the Minister needed to go further and remove the practice from Queensland Health.

“A forensic medical examination is a harrowing experience for any victim of sexual assault,” she said.

“The fact that some of these women have been asked to pay for such examinations is outrageous.

“This is evidence gathering for a victim of crime who is seeking justice.

“I’m calling on the Minister to ensure Queensland Health practices and processes and frontline services support victims.”

Foot and Mouth Disease Threat

7th July 2022

Statement from Tony Perrett, Shadow Minister for Agriculture

The threat of Foot and Mouth Disease is on our doorstep.

This is a genuinely serious risk which threatens Queensland’s valuable livestock industries.

It needs action now.

The outbreak in Bali has heightened the biosecurity risk to Australia.

Biosecurity screening, including feet dips and other measures for people returning from Indonesia, including the tourist hotspot of Bali, must start now.

I support the call from the Federal Shadow Agriculture Minister David Littleproud, to immediately commence feet dips with disinfectant for people arriving on flights from Indonesia.

Last month’s state budget was a missed opportunity for the State Labor Government to deal with and prepare for our biosecurity risks.

When public service numbers are soaring in other departments DAF’s biosecurity staff has not changed.

Animal Biosecurity & Welfare (ABW) staff numbers have significantly dropped under this government.

ABW operations staff have dropped from 56.5 in 2015 to 44.8 in May, and field vet staff have gone from 7.6 to 6.3 Full Time Equivalents (FTEs). *

Biosecurity is going backwards as our threats increase

Toowoomba’s $41 million health cut hit

5th July 2022

Shocking new figures reveal just how much money has been stripped out of the Queensland Health system since Annastacia Palaszczuk became Premier.

The figures from a parliamentary Question on Notice show efficiency and productivity dividends slapped on Queensland hospitals have resulted in more than a billion dollars being cut from the health system.

While on the Darling Downs, the local HHS has seen more than $42 million wiped.

It comes as Queensland records the worst ambulance ramping in the country, emergency departments are overwhelmed and elective surgery waitlists surge.

Leader of the Opposition David Crisafulli said the cuts were the equivalent of a brand new Queensland hospital.

“Patients and paramedics have a right to feel betrayed," Mr Crisafulli said.

"The State Government has been asking doctors, nurses and allied health staff to do more with less.

“Let’s be clear, these aren’t dividends. These are cuts.

“When you strip $1.3 billion, is it any wonder Queensland has the worst ambulance ramping in the country, dire elective surgery waitlists and emergency departments bursting at the seams.

“The State Government needs to accept there is a health crisis of their own making.”

Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said for seven years the State Government had destroyed the health system and now they wanted another seven years to fix it.

"While our exhausted frontline staff are working double shifts, the State Government is swindling money out of the health system," Ms Bates said.

“These cutbacks are savage.

“If the Government has been asking our hospitals to make these savings, where has the money gone?

“Why hasn’t the government been investing this money in our broken mental health system, or expanding hospital capacity?

"As a registered nurse of 40 years and a former hospital administrator, I know that patient care must be the top priority rather than cutting funding from a system under immense strain.”

Women are not safe under failed system

4th July 2022

Statement by Amanda Camm, Shadow Minister for Child Protection, and the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence

The findings in the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s final report are horrifying and expose serious failings by the Palaszczuk Government.

Seven years into this government, women are being turned away from police stations, struggle to get into sexual assault support services, and are being let down by a broken justice system.

The report also found women are travelling up to 1300km for a rape kit.

They’ve had rape kits accidentally destroyed and are being left to wait for treatment in emergency departments for hours at a time with no food, water or clean clothing.

The seriousness of these failings cannot be overstated.

We cannot wait another day for this government to act.

As each day passes, another woman risks not being safe.

Accessibility and safety for women must be fixed immediately.

Women must have confidence to come forward and report their sexual assault.

The trauma of sexual assault is just the start, women are being re-traumatised again and again through a system failing to keep them safe.

I will be taking the time to read the report in detail and will be engaging with stakeholders.

I thank the taskforce for highlighting such important system failings.

The women of Queensland deserve better from this government.

Single-use plastics ban

1st July 2022

Statement from Sam O'Connor, Shadow Minister for the Environment

For weeks the LNP has been calling for clarity on the next stage of the single-use plastics ban.

The Palaszczuk Government’s “roadmap” released today still raises questions as it’s full of a lot of “possible” options rather than a clear plan to phase out unnecessary plastics.

I want to see the government work with businesses and give certainty.

We don’t need “possibly”, we need clear plans so Queenslanders can be prepared.

Today’s roadmap doesn’t give us much new information.

The items listed for “possible” bans had already been flagged for future bans.

Today is just another announcement from this government with very little to back it up.

The government likes to talk big on the environment but only delivers recycled announcements.