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Overcrowding turns prison officers into punching bags

20th June 2018

LNP Shadow Minister for Corrective Services Trevor Watts said an alarming number of assaults on prison officers was a failure of Palaszczuk Labor Government’s ability to manage prison overcrowding.

"Since 2015 our hardworking prison officers have been the victim of more than 848 prisoner-on-staff assaults," Mr Watts said.*

"Even worse, 14 serious assaults required medical treatment involving overnight hospitalisation, ongoing medical treatment or sexual assault have occurred since March 2015.

"During the same period, there were 199 assaults on staff which resulted in short-term medical treatment for the officers involved.

"Queensland prisons are bursting at the seams and our prison officers are being treated as punching bags, yet the Palaszczuk Government just keeps turning a blind eye.

"Our prison system is grossly overcrowded with over 8,800 prisoners crammed into a system with a capacity of just over 7,500."

Mr Watts said the LNP had been raising the issue of prison overcrowding since 2015.

"Tensions have reached boiling point because of systematic overcrowding, and the Palaszczuk Labor Government have done absolutely nothing about it," he said.

"In 2014, the LNP allocated $61 million in the budget for a 650-bed expansion across Queensland correctional facilities.

"The Palaszczuk Labor Government claim they have ‘zero tolerance’ for violence in Queensland’s correctional facilities but their inaction clearly shows they don’t care.

"Prison guards have a hard enough job as it is without Labor throwing them into a cage fight each day.

"They deserve better protection from a Labor government that claims to be ‘for the worker’.

"The incompetence of this Labor Government is putting the safety of our prison officers at risk."

*LNP Question on Notice https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/questionsAnswers/2018/664-2018.pdf

Labor’s bail houses put Queenslanders in danger

19th June 2018

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said reports that a teenage girl escaped from one of Labor’s bail houses in Townsville was more proof that Labor cannot keep communities safe.

"Labor’s band aid solution of moving violent young offenders into bail houses has been a complete debacle since the get go," Ms Frecklington said.

"Sadly I am not surprised by these kind of reports. We knew having young offenders on bail living in the community was a risky idea.

"This is why we have been calling on Labor since 2017 to scrap this idea because we feared community safety would be put at risk.

"Labor’s soft on crime approach is not working. Youth crime is on the rise and we have a revolving door youth justice system.

"It is clear that Labor favours the rights of offenders ahead of the safety of Queenslanders."

LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said Labor is losing the fight against youth crime.

"These kids should be held in secure facilities and not allowed to run around in the community," Mr Janetzki said.

"We believe more early intervention to stop the revolving door of youth crime and help get young offenders back on track before it’s too late is the way to go.

"The LNP will fight for more police resources, community crime prevention, tougher laws and innovative skill building and rehabilitation initiatives to address these problems.

"Youth justice is a sensitive and complex policy area and its’ been three years of complete chaos under Annastacia Palaszczuk."

Labor rams through wagering tax

18th June 2018

Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington has slammed the Labor Government for ramming its Betting Tax Bill through Parliament.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk has abused her numbers once again and guillotined debate on an important bill," Ms Frecklington said.

"Labor snuck the wagering tax out two days before the last election and now they have rushed it through Parliament as part of the Budget.

"The Betting Tax Bill won’t start until October and Labor hasn’t even said how much, if any, of the revenue will go back into the racing industry.

"There’s no reason why the tax should have been snuck into the Budget bills.

"Every member of the house has the right to speak on these bills but they are being denied the opportunity by this undemocratic Labor Government."

"This is the third debate Labor has guillotined in the last three sitting weeks and smacks of arrogance and disrespect."

Ms Frecklington said Labor’s election costings planned for the new tax to raise $30 million a year, but in a broken election promise the 15 per cent Point of Consumption Tax would now raise more than $100 million a year.

"Given the Palaszczuk Labor Government is directing $390 million from the Waste Tax into its own coffers, there is little hope that all the funding from this new tax will find its way back to the racing industry," she said.

"The Responsible Wagering Council has said the tax put more than 300 Queensland jobs directly in danger and jeopardises a further 42,000 indirect jobs in the racing industry."

LNP launches plan for water and jobs

15th June 2018

The Liberal National Party has today launched an Economic Plan for Queensland which promises to deliver water security for regional areas, boost business and create jobs.

Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and North Queensland Dale Last said the Economic Plan committed the LNP to building water infrastructure and ensuring water remains affordable.

"The LNP understands that dams can completely transform regions by boosting the economy and creating jobs for decades to come," Mr Last said.

"The LNP’s investment in water is an investment in jobs."

The LNP’s plan for water security includes:

  • Progressing the Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam and raising the Burdekin Falls Dam.
  • Delivering the Rookwood Weir.
  • Developing a long-term water strategy to safeguard supply and support jobs growth.

"Only a future Deb Frecklington LNP Government will invest in dams as a priority and ensure water remains accessible and affordable," Mr Last said.

"Water is the lifeblood of agriculture. Our food and fibre exports are now worth $10 billion a year.

"The demand for food from China, India and other Asian economies is only going to increase.

"Labor is hurting agriculture just when the opportunities for this industry have never been greater.

"The LNP wants to seize those opportunities and our plan for water security is the first step.

"Water also needs to remain affordable for all Queenslanders to ensure that the prosperity that flows from this essential natural resource is spread throughout the state."

If elected, an LNP Government will also develop of a 30-year water security plan for Queensland in consultation with Seqwater, Sunwater and local governments, as well establishing a mechanism for reviewing the current price targets.

You can see the LNP’s full Economic Plan at: www.deb2020.com.au/our-plan

Labor cuts $44.6 million from Queensland Police Service

15th June 2018

Labor’s 2018 State Budget has neglected the Queensland Police Service and put the safety of Queenslanders at risk.

LNP Shadow Minister for Police Trevor Watts said Labor had cut $44.6 million from the Queensland Police Service budget for 2018-19.

"We know Labor is soft on crime and their ruthless cuts to policing proves it," Mr Watts said.

"Labor’s cuts to frontline services and public safety shows they have no clue when it comes to keeping our communities safe.

"While crimes rates increase across the state – robberies are up by 26%, assaults are up 11%, home invasions are up 12% and car thefts are up 19% – Labor have carelessly slashed $44.6 million out of the Queensland Police Service.

"It’s clear the Minster isn’t committed to protecting the Queensland Police Service.

"It’s unconscionable to send our police officers to the frontline without the resources they need to protect themselves and the community.

"Labor’s careless police budget cuts prove the Minister will not stand up for our frontline police."

Labor’s Budget cut $8.3 million from road safety and $36.3 million from crime and public order.

"Labor say they’re committed to frontline services, but they are putting Queenslanders at risk by slashing funding and weakening laws," Mr Watts said.

"At the 2017 election, Labor committed to providing 535 additional police officers, but all we’ve seen so far is Labor fudging the figures on the real number of frontline officers.

"Every Queenslander has the right to feel safe in their home, their community and on the roads.

"The Budget shows Labor is soft on crime and can’t be trusted to keep Queenslanders safe.

"Labor needs to honour their commitments and ensure our police have their resources they need to do their job and protect our community."

LNP forces Palaszczuk Government to review toll roads

14th June 2018

Tonight in Queensland Parliament the Palaszczuk Government was forced into an embarrassing backflip by the LNP and has now reluctantly agreed to review the State’s toll roads.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said until tonight, and despite thousands of complaints, Labor had thumbed its nose at long-suffering Queensland drivers by refusing to support a toll review.

"Tonight, the LNP notched up a win on behalf of Queensland motorists," Ms Frecklington said.

"Following a motion moved by the LNP, Labor was forced into establishing a review of the state’s toll system.*

"Every day Queenslanders are battling bottlenecks travelling to and from school, work or the shops but, under Labor, our toll roads have been severely under-utilised.

"The LNP believes SEQ’s crippling congestion issues could be alleviated by making better use of all our roads, tunnels and bridges but Labor has its head in the sand.

"In great news for drivers, and thanks to the LNP, a Parliamentary Review will now look at how to make toll roads more affordable by investigating discounts, bundling and other incentives.

"The LNP will keep fighting for a fairer deal for drivers on our toll ways and a faster drive home to our families and friends.

"Whether it’s fuel prices, tolls or my $1.4 billion plan for congestion-busting roads, I’m fighting for a fairer deal for drivers."

 

*"That the Transport and Public Works Committee inquire into and report to the Legislative Assembly by 13 September 2018 on the operations of Toll Roads in Queensland.

 In undertaking this inquiry, the committee should consider—

  • The operation of existing toll roads in South-East Queensland
  • Toll pricing and incentive options to deliver better outcomes for Queenslanders
  • The operation of the existing complaint process and current statistics 
  • Possible measures to continue to improve customer service standards 
  • The existing relationship between the Tolling Customer Ombudsman and the Queensland Ombudsman.

And that the Transport and Public Works Committee requests the attendance of Transurban, the Tolling Customer Ombudsman, the Department of Main Roads and the Brisbane City Council.

Deb launches LNP Economic Plan for Queensland

14th June 2018

The Liberal National Party has today launched an Economic Plan for Queensland that will create jobs, cut the cost of living and improve our schools and hospitals.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington unveiled the plan in her Budget reply speech in Parliament today.

"All Annastacia Palaszczuk has delivered after three-and-a-half years as Premier is more tax, debt and unemployment," Ms Frecklington said.

"Her Budget will rip $2.2 billion out of our economy in new taxes and see debt soar to $83 billion.

"Queenslanders are being squeezed because Labor has no plan for this state.

"Unlike Labor, I have a plan for Queensland. My plan is designed to make it easier for Queenslanders to get a job and get ahead.

"I want Queenslanders to know I have the ideas and the energy that this state needs.

"I will keep calling out this failing Government, but I won’t just say where Labor have gone wrong – I’ll say what I would do."

The LNP’s Economic Plan will:

  • Bust congestion
  • Provide cheaper electricity
  • Ensure better health and education services
  • Deliver water security
  • Guarantee no new taxes

"The LNP’s plan will help businesses grow and create more jobs in every corner of the state," Ms Frecklington said

"It will get our economy back on track, but I want to do much more for Queenslanders.

"I want to improve education for our kids and healthcare for our sick.

"I want to build communities that are secure and strong.

"I want every Queenslander to be confident we are heading in the right direction once again."

The LNP’s plan to bust congestion includes:

  • Beginning work on a ‘Second M1’ linking the Gold Coast, Logan and Brisbane.
  • Duplicating the Sunshine Coast rail line, including fully matching the Federal Government’s $390 million funding commitment, as well as backing Brisbane Metro.
  • A comprehensive roads strategy, including M1 upgrades, developing alternative road routes, busting local bottlenecks and investing in the Bruce Highway.
  • Fixing Labor’s rail fail by recruiting more train drivers and training them faster.

The LNP’s plan for cheaper electricity includes:

  • Boosting competition by restructuring government-owned power generators from two to three entities.
  • Introducing regional electricity retail competition into regional Queensland.
  • Mandating investment in affordable green energy by government-owned electricity companies.

The LNP’s plan for better health and education services includes:

  • Introducing incentive-based funding for health and hospital boards to improve patient care.
  • Partnering with the private sector to reduce surgery waiting times.
  • Tackling the ICE epidemic by building four new rehab centres and targeting drug gangs.
  • Rolling out the Independent Public Schools initiative to empower principals and school communities.
  • A back to basics plan to declutter the curriculum and ease the pressure on teachers.
  • Making English a mandatory component of the new ATAR tertiary education entrance system.
  • A commitment to air-condition every public school classroom in Queensland.

The LNP’s plan for water security includes:

  • Progressing the Nullinga Dam, Urannah Dam and raising the Burdekin Falls Dam.
  • Delivering the Rookwood Weir.
  • Developing a long-term water strategy to safeguard supply and support jobs growth.

The LNP’s plan for lower taxes includes:

  • A guarantee of no new taxes to be introduced by a future LNP Government.
  • Ensuring government assistance prioritises Queensland-based businesses.
  • Fighting for a fairer GST by pushing for royalties to be excluded from the distribution model.

Our Economic Plan will be uploaded at 2.00pm today. Find the Economic plan at: www.deb2020.com.au/our-plan

Budget exposes Labor’s secret tax on electricity continues

13th June 2018

The Palaszczuk Government’s budget of taxes, debt and unemployment has confirmed that Labor continued to use electricity prices as a secret tax on Queenslanders.

LNP Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart said government-owned power generators were raking in massive profits on the back of higher electricity prices being paid by consumers.

"Last year Labor’s budgeted generator income was $482 million for 2016/17," Mr Hart said.

"Today, it was revealed they really made $1.241 billion.

"Labor charged $759m more than they said they would.

"If that’s not a hidden tax I don’t know what is.

"Labor’s record profits forecast last year are set to increase again with a further $492 million in dividends to be added over the next 4 years.

"The LNP has a plan to restructure these government-owned generators from two to three, increasing competition and lowering electricity prices.

"This would save Queensland families $50 a year.

"Meanwhile the Palaszczuk Government will continue to rip $1.7 billion in super-profits from these government-owned generators over the next four years, hurting all Queenslanders in the process."

Labor rips off small businesses with new tax

13th June 2018

Queensland small businesses have been hit with a new waste tax in today’s State Labor Budget which will cost them and their customers $1.3 billion over the next four years.

"It’s a cruel and crass tax that takes more than Labor is giving in any cash incentives to business," Ms Simpson said.

"The Budget papers reveal the waste tax is a cash grab with the Labor Government’s grubby hands keeping one third for themselves.

"This budget gets a fail for ripping off our State’s overtaxed and overworked small business sector who create the majority of jobs but who have been rewarded with a new tax."

Farmers and rural and regional communities’ losers in Budget

13th June 2018

The 2018 Queensland Budget is proof that Labor not only doesn’t understand, but doesn’t care about Queensland farmers and the rural and regional communities they support.

Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington slammed Labor’s Brisbane-centric budget of taxes, debt and unemployment.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Budget will hurt Queensland with increased debt and $2.2 billion in new taxes ripped from the pockets of Queenslanders and shoved in the Government’s coffers," Ms Frecklington said.

"Queensland’s debt bomb will increase to a massive $83 billion in the next four years as Treasurer Jackie Trad slaps more money on the taxpayer’s credit card.

"We have nothing to show for massive royalty hauls from the state’s resources sector because they are being tipped into the black hole of Labor’s debt."

Liberal National Party Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said Labor’s budget had nothing new for agriculture.

"They only noteworthy addition for Queensland farmers is funding to increase regulation and red and green tape to suffocate our agricultural sector," Mr Perrett said.

"This budget isn’t about supporting Queensland farmers. It’s about protecting Labor politicians in seats in Southeast Queensland by making it harder for farmers to farm.

"Meanwhile, Labor has showered money on its greenie mates like the Australian Conservation Council but provided no funds to compensate farmers left reeling from their unfair vegetation management laws.

"It’s extremely disappointing to see Labor walk back on previous investments and successes made in delivering pest management such as wild dog fencing by halving the ongoing funding.

"These projects are critically important to the agricultural industry’s viability and productivity and must be properly funded."

Liberal National Party Shadow Natural Resources Minister Dale Last said that there was a gaping hole in Labor’s Budget for water infrastructure and dams.

"Water is essential to the development of regional Queensland yet this Budget doesn’t allocate the required funding to upgrade and build the dams that will sustain and grow regional Queensland," Mr Last said.

"While Labor has finally committed to matching the Federal Government’s $176 million for Rookwood Weir – they had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the table.

"In fact, when you look at the fine print, we see that the Palaszczuk Government continues to play politics with the Rookwood Weir by bickering over the formalities and operational cost split with the Federal Government.

"Unlike Labor, the LNP has a plan for building dams in Queensland. We would allocate funding to get region building dams shovel ready like Nullinga Dam on the Atherton Tablelands, Urannah Dam north-west of Mackay as well as raising the Burdekin Falls Dam.

"These projects would ensure residential supplies, provide water for agriculture and industry as well as increasing existing water storage capacity."

Labor’s budget of taxes, debt and unemployment

12th June 2018

The Labor Government’s Budget will damage Queensland with record debt and hurt households with new taxes, Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington said today.

“This is a Budget of taxes, debt and unemployment,” Ms Frecklington said.

“Five new taxes, an $83 billion debt bomb and the worst unemployment rate in Australia is Labor’s plan for Queensland.

“Labor has played to its strengths in this Budget – taxing Queenslanders and drowning them in debt.

“Five new taxes will see $2.2 billion ripped from the pockets of Queenslanders and shoved in the Government’s coffers.

“On top of the five new taxes, Queenslanders are about to be slugged with four new fees and charges.

“These new fees and taxes will rip some $2.25 billion out of our economy and hurt businesses and households in every corner of this state.

“This is an obscene tax grab and a massive breach of trust by Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“Labor took to the election a plan for four new taxes to raise $491 million.

“We now learn it is five taxes and four new fees to raise a whopping $2.25 billion, including a monstrous tax grab of $1.3 billion for their new waste tax.

“The taxes are an admission from Labor that it has no plan for Queensland, just a plan for taxes, debt and high unemployment.

“Labor has run this state for almost a generation but they still can’t keep Queensland afloat without imposing new taxes.

“Managing the household budget is more and more challenging with record water prices, record power prices and record car registration fees under Labor.”

Ms Frecklington said Labor’s debt trajectory would burden Queensland for the next generation.

“Queensland’s debt bomb will increase to a record $83 billion in the next four years as Treasurer Jackie Trad slaps more money on the taxpayer’s credit card,” she said.

“We have nothing to show for massive royalty hauls from the state’s resources sector because they are being tipped into the black hole of Labor’s debt.

“The record debt means funds that could be going to our schools, hospitals or frontline services will instead be sucked into feeding Labor’s binge on debt.

“It’s not bad luck that has caused $83 billion of debt. It is bad government and Labor only has itself to blame.”

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Queensland’s interest bill was costing the state’s economy $3.7 billion a year.

“There is no quick fix for a debt of this size,” he said.

“Labor’s debt bomb is costing the Queensland economy $10 million a day, $420,000 an hour, and more than $7 thousand a minute.

“The problem we’re all in now is the result of many years of irresponsible financial management by Labor.

“When Jackie Trad says we face an infrastructure crisis it’s because Labor slashed $3 billion in infrastructure spending each and every year over the last term.

“Labor are simply playing catch-up after three years of chronically underspending on infrastructure.

“We’ve lost our AAA credit rating and Labor’s binge on debt will only put Queensland’s recovery further out of reach.”

Mr Mander said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had failed to deliver on her target to reduce unemployment below 6 per cent despite more than three years in the job.

“Stagnant wages growth, high unemployment, a youth jobs crisis in regional Queensland and flat-lining business confidence are all symptoms of Labor’s economic mismanagement,” he said.

"On Labor's preferred measure, unemployment in Queensland has risen from 6.1% to a whopping 6.5% - the equal worst in the nation.

“Youth unemployment in outback Queensland has now reached 54.2 per cent. “The potential of too many young Queenslanders is being wasted under this Labor Government.”

Ms Frecklington said her reply to the Budget on Thursday would outline the LNP’s plan to build a better future for 5 million Queenslanders.

Facts and figures

  • $2.25 billion in new taxes and fees
  • Five new taxes worth $2.2 billion – despite election costings predicting just $491 million of new Labor taxes
  1. Waste tax - $1.3 billion
  2. Wagering tax - $367 million
  3. Land tax - $311 million
  4. Property investors tax - $132 million
  5. Car stamp duty - $100 million
  • Four new fees including Vets and Labour Hire Companies.
  • Higher unemployment rate in budget year - 6.25%
  • Failed to deliver over $500 million of infrastructure promised last year (total capital purchases and grants $9.6 billion vs a budget of $10.1 billion)
  • The unemployment rate is expected to deteriorate more than previously predicted in 2018/19.

Deb delivers plan to reduce waiting lists at Queensland hospitals

11th June 2018

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has announced the LNP will slash waiting lists and elective surgery wait times in Queensland Hospitals by partnering with the private sector.

"Our emergency department wait times are blowing out, with almost one-third of all patients not being seen within clinically recommended time frames," Ms Frecklington said.

"Ambulance ramping is back in our hospital

s with a fifth of all patients, waiting in the back of an ambulance for more than 30 minutes.

"Queenslanders waiting for an elective surgery are now waiting for 50 days, compared to 28 days under the former LNP Government.

"These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet, these are people’s mothers, fathers, children and grandparents.

"This is why the LNP will partner with the private sector to slash waiting lists and ensure elective surgery is completed in recommended timeframes.

"We will also ensure dental wait list times are reduced by increasing options for available care.

"The LNP introduced the wait time guarantee when we were in Government and waiting lists were slashed, elective surgery was completed in recommended timeframes and Queenslanders had faith in their health system.

"The people of Queensland deserve a world-class health system and the LNP will continue to fight to deliver the services needed."

LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said the LNP would invest in Queenslanders Health.

"Lazy Labor have wasted the last three years and we have a health system in crisis," Ms Bates said.

"As a registered nurse I understand that our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics need more assistance to improve wait times and targeted resources to provide better health services for Queenslanders.

"Our plan to cut wait times is all part of our plan to improve frontline health services in Queensland."

LNP health statistics compared to Labor’s health statistics:

  • Ramping – 15% under LNP Government, 20% under Labor (an increase of 33.3%)
  • Elective surgery – 98% of surgeries done on time under LNP, currently 93.9% under Labor
  • Elective surgery – median wait time 28 days under LNP, 50 days under Labor.

Labor must not cut $20,000 First Home Owners Grant

7th June 2018

The Palaszczuk Government must commit to not cutting the First Home Owners Grant from this State Budget to ensure young Queenslanders continue to get the help they need to buy their first new home.

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said new home buyers faced having the rug pulled out from underneath them with the $20,000 grant set to phase out at the end of this month.

"Labor will slug Queenslanders with five new taxes in next week’s Budget including a land tax and waste tax that will hit our building sector hard and increase the cost of building a new home by around $3000," Ms Frecklington said.

"Whether you’re a new couple looking to build your first house or a young chippie working for a local builder, this grant has been critical to building a future for you and your family.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk must guarantee the $20,000 grant will still be available beyond its current phase out date of 30 June 2018.

"This Labor Government has piled tax after tax onto the state’s property and construction sector – costs that will be passed straight onto everyday Queenslanders.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk’s taxes destroy jobs, destroy confidence and destroy the Queensland way of life."