A future LNP government will introduce some of the toughest youth justice reforms in the nation.
Liberal National Party Leader Tim Nicholls said Labor had failed Queensland with its soft-on-crime attitude and policies surrounding youth crime and justice.
He said Labor’s failed policies had resulted in a revolving door of justice where young criminals were running riot on the streets without any fear of repercussions.
“The LNP will make no apologies for being tough on youth crime,” Mr Nicholls said.
“The LNP will introduce breach of bail as an offence for young offenders after we listened to our frustrated police.
“Our hardworking police are sick to death of arresting some young thug in the morning only to re-arrest them in the afternoon after they have been given a free pass.
“The LNP will also remove the principle of detention as a last resort for repeat young offenders after their second offence and give courts the ability to name and shame an offender after their third offence.”
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the LNP would also introduce two new aspects to its youth crime strategy specifically targeting young criminals.
“The LNP will introduce a community payback scheme for young offenders convicted of unlawful entry, car theft or hooning offences,” Mr Walker said.
“These offenders will be required to undertake a community service order to show their remorse and reparation for their crime.
“This will be mandatory after their first offence – no ifs, no buts and no more excuses.
“The LNP will also provide courts with the ability to restrict a young person’s eligibility for a drivers licence if they have been convicted of certain car theft and hooning offences.”
Mr Walker said Annastacia Palaszczuk had sold out Queenslanders by putting the interests of young thugs ahead of families to secure votes with the inner-city bleeding heart brigade.
“Communities are sick to death of young offenders running riot on their streets with impunity,” Mr Walker said.
“The blame for this falls firmly at the feet of Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Labor scrapped the LNP’s tough youth justice reforms and every single Queenslander in some way or another has paid the price for that decision.
“The LNP will not let Queenslanders forget that Annastacia Palaszczuk put the interests of young thugs and her own job ahead of them.”
Labor’s Fisheries Minister Bill Byrne needs to urgently revamp the Palaszczuk government’s Sustainable Fisheries Advisory Panel with the chair of the panel currently before the court on fraud charges.
LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Dale Last said with Professor Suzanne Miller facing charges, it was time for Minister Byrne to revamp the advisory panel.
“Even before the fraud charges were brought against the Chief Scientist, the panel was regarded as a joke and a slap in the face to the state’s commercial and recreational fishing sectors,” Mr Last said.
“The Government needs to include at least one representative from the commercial fishing sector and one from the recreational fishing sector, on the advisory panel.
“The panel is full of academics and includes a social scientist with expertise in well-being – but no-one with any hands-on, investment experience in an industry.”
Mr Last said Minister Byrne needed to quickly appoint a new chair to the panel – someone with experience and above all, integrity.
“If the sustainable fishing expert advisory panel is to work, it needs to have a decent chair and genuine representation from the commercial and recreational sectors,” Mr Last said.
Mr Last said the government’s pick for a panel chair was now before the courts and it was about time Minister Byrne removed reference to Professor Miller from his Department’s website.*
*Professor Miller is still on the DAF website as Chair of the Panel
A future Tim Nicholls-led Liberal National Party Government will launch a formal bid to get a State of Origin fixture to North Queensland in 2020 or 2021.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls said rugby league-mad North Queensland not only deserved an Origin encounter but the economic benefits a game in the North would bring.
“My pledge today is to throw the resources of Government behind a North Queensland State of Origin bid,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We want to bring this game to the North in 2020 or 2021 at the new Townsville Stadium aka the Johnathan Thurston Arena.
“Within the first 100 days of a Nicholls LNP Government, we will instruct Tourism and Events Queensland to begin negotiations on North Queensland’s behalf.
“We know without Government backing and support, bringing an Origin to North Queensland would be a tall order as we compete with Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.”
Mr Nicholls said it would not just be the game a future LNP Government would try to bring to the North but also a week-long festival celebrating a rich and proud rugby league nursery - North Queensland.
“As part of the bid process, we will request both the Blues and the Maroons be based in other Northern rugby league strongholds such as Mackay and Cairns in the lead-up to the game,” he said.
“We will also look to undertake a rugby league-themed festival to run in North Queensland throughout the week so tourists won’t just travel for the game and leave but stay for longer and spend more.
“The exposure gained across North Queensland would do wonders for tourism and business.
“All the build-up of Origin would give North Queensland unmatched exposure, another reason why getting the teams based in Mackay and Cairns in the lead-up is so vital.”
Mr Nicholls said around 10 million Australian viewers watched the State of Origin series, making it the largest sporting event in the country.
“The eyes of Australia would be on the North for this game and more than 100 countries around the world will be tuning in,” he said.
“North Queenslanders deserve this game as their loyalty to rugby league is unquestioned – sending matches to Melbourne or Perth is a kick in the guts for all Queenslanders. I believe it is essential to take the game to where the most loyal fans and stakeholders are.
"North Queensland is a really important area for rugby league. It has produced the likes of Gorden Tallis, Matt Bowen and Billy Slater and an Origin match in Townsville would be wonderful.”
The Palaszczuk Government has been caught out lying about making a five-year, $80 million funding commitment to the core Queensland Natural Resource Management Investment (QNRMI) program.
Today’s media releases from Labor’s Natural Resources Minister Dr Anthony Lynham and the departmental website claim Labor has committed $80 million over five years to the QNRMI program.
LNP Shadow Natural Resources Minister Andrew Cripps said the website* claimed QNRMI program funding from the 2013-14 and 2014-15 budgets – budgets handed down by the former LNP Government.
Mr Cripps said in June, he had pointed out dramatic cuts to core Department of Natural Resources and Mines programs in Labor’s 2017-18 budget and today’s regional QNRMI program announcements reflected those cuts.
“After two years of trading on the strong, long-term commitment by the former LNP Government in the 2013-14 budget, the Palaszczuk Government has failed to strongly reinvest,” Mr Cripps said.
“This is a bitterly disappointing result for the core QNRMI program, which is the backbone of Queensland’s grass-roots, natural resource management effort across the state.
“For the first time in the 2013-14 budget, the former LNP Government invested a record $80 million over five years into the QNRMI program.”
“Since then it has achieved very strong natural resource management outcomes, but now when it comes to renewing that investment, we see Labor’s commitment slashed to just $42.3 million over only four years.”
Mr Cripps said it meant natural resource management funding had effectively been slashed by one-third.
“What makes this cut all the more extraordinary is the all rhetoric we hear from the Palaszczuk Government about how concerned it is about the environment – clearly that rhetoric is hollow,” Mr Cripps said.
“Labor’s budget trick of claiming QNRMI program funding previously committed by the LNP was not new, but the outcome was bad for the environment and regional Queensland.”
Queenslanders have much to fear from Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor when it comes to taxes on families and small business.
LNP Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson said today’s revelations that Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten planned to hit Australians with $150 billion in new taxes should frighten all Queensland families.
“The LNP understands how hard it is for Queensland families to make ends meet and for businesses to stay afloat,” Mr Emerson said.
“Bill Shorten and Annastacia Palaszczuk are one and the same when it comes to slugging households with higher taxes to pay for their waste and inexperience.
“One thing is assured – with both Shorten and Palaszczuk supporting a 50 per cent renewable energy target, your electricity bill is going to continue to sky-rocket and it’s all Labor’s fault.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk was elected promising there would be no new or increased taxes. What have we seen since then?
“Labor has been jacking up government fees such as car registration at double the rate of inflation.
“In the last two state budgets, the Labor Government has introduced two new taxes on the property industry which will drive away investment and cost jobs.
“Taxes have increased by more than $50 per person or almost $200 per family on Annastacia Palaszczuk’s watch.
“Labor’s first budget scrapped the LNP’s payroll tax cuts, which would have lowered taxes for thousands of small businesses and created more jobs.
“Now Bill Shorten has made it clear he’ll slug Australian families and businesses with higher taxes if he gets into power and clearly Annastacia Palaszczuk has the same idea.
“Treasurer Curtis Pitt has already signalled he wants to have a ‘conversation’ with Queenslanders about higher taxes and the Premier has refused to rule out tax hikes in the future.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has to come clean with Queenslanders about which of Bill Shorten’s new taxes she supports, otherwise it’s obvious she supports all of them.
“The LNP is the only party with a plan to cut cost of living for Queenslanders and reduce taxes on small business.”
Two years since starting a review of the child protection legislation the, do-nothing Labor Government has finally introduced changes to the Child Protection Act.
LNP Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates said Labor had been dragging the chain on critical updates to child protection legislation, putting kids at risk.
“Two years to review a piece of legislation says Labor are not serious about continuing important reforms laid out after the Carmody Inquiry,” Ms Bates said.
“A full review of the Child Protection Act 1999 was a key recommendation of the child protection inquiry and since Labor came to power they have been slow to act.
“Only on the eve of an election has the embattled Minister finally acted – implementing LNP reforms once again.
“The child safety system has descended into crisis in just two short years of Labor Government.
“With no major legislative changes since the LNP made the tranche of reforms in 2014, the system has been going nowhere.
“It was the LNP’s that introduced a petition to offer permanency and stability for abused children.
“Other states have already made major changes to the way child protection responds to permanency planning.
“On top of that, Carmody recommended changes to how child deaths were reported and an opening up of information released following a child death.
“This review was one of 200 now chalked up on Labor’s watch and one that has been kicked into the long grass.
“While Labor dithers, children suffer and our child safety system spirals further into crisis.
“Only the LNP will deliver stronger families and a better Queensland.
“The LNP has delivered another important reform from Opposition, with No Body, No Parole laws passing through the Parliament.
“We’ve felt strongly about this policy which rebalances the scales of justice in favour of families of Queensland homicide victims, announcing our proposal last November.
“In passing these important reforms, we want to pay tribute to Fiona Splitt who started the original petition and Gary and Leanne Pullen who fought long and hard to have these important changes become law.
“Both of these families have suffered tragedies and deserve the opportunity to say goodbye to their loved ones and give them the appropriate farewell they deserve.
“We hope that these reforms help them, and families like them, find justice and closure.”
A record number of abused children in foster care are missing out on key health supports due to a lack of planning by the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
LNP Shadow Minister for Child Safety Ros Bates said as a nurse, the latest child safety data raised further concerns about the health and wellbeing of abused kids in care.
“A record 568 children did not have a health passport in the last 12 months, highlighting how child safety officers are struggling,” Ms Bates said.
“Child health passports are a comprehensive record of the child’s medical history which will aid diagnosis, ensure the child receives appropriate health care and treatment throughout their time in out-of-home care and improve their health and wellbeing.*
“Foster carers are often left guessing about their child’s medical history because of the lack of important health assessments.
“Five hundred and sixty-eight abused children without a health passport is 568 times Labor’s failed Minister has allowed the law to be broken.”
Ms Bates said despite the Labor Government throwing money at the child safety system, nothing was improving.
“We can’t afford to let abused children languish in care with undiagnosed health needs because staff can’t get to them,” Ms Bates said.
“Only the LNP will build a better Queensland and deliver better child protection services.”
Today’s release of Queensland Treasury accounts has again highlighted a lack of business confidence and private investment in Queensland.
Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson said yet again Labor was claiming credit for the hard work of Queensland exporters to hide the Government’s economic incompetence.
“The latest State Accounts show business investment across Queensland has declined yet again, while construction activity is down across the board,” Mr Emerson said.
“Business investment has dropped by a massive $23 billion under the Palaszczuk Labor Government and public infrastructure investment has been cut by $2.5 billion since Labor was elected.
“At a time when we should be encouraging private investors into Queensland, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is shutting the door on them.
“This is a government that last week slashed 10,000-plus jobs on the Gold Coast to save their own political skin, and in doing so tarnished Queensland’s hard-earned reputation as a safe place to invest.
“A jump in exports doesn’t hide the fact that Queenslanders are falling further and further behind.
“Queensland’s unemployment rate is the second-worst in the country at 6.5 per cent.
“We are leading the nation when it comes to youth jobs losses.
“Power prices are at record highs because of the policies of this government.
“Queensland is leading the nation for business bankruptcies.
“Business confidence has been negative every single quarter since the Palaszczuk Government’s election in 2015.
“These are the real issues and sadly Labor continues to bury its head in the sand and tell Queenslanders they’ve never had it so good.
“A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will listen, plan and act to build a better Queensland. Only by Building a Better Queensland will we deliver the jobs needed and restart our economy.”