The unprecedented action to trigger state-wide strikes is a last ditch effort by the Queensland racing industry strangled by Labor’s $367million racing tax.
“Once again the Queensland racing industry has been let down by the Annastacia Palaszczuk and her government,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said.
“This is a $1.2 billion industry that employs thousands of Queenslanders and provides enjoyment to many others.
“Stirling Hinchliffe failed as Transport Minister in the last term and he has now failed the Queensland racing industry.
“Labor need to be supporting the racing industry, but instead they’re taxing it out of existence.”
LNP Shadow Racing Minister John-Paul Langbroek said racing in Queensland directly employed some 10,000 people.
“Those people have a bleak future thanks to this greedy, short-sighted government,” Mr Langbroek said.
“We have been the only party to oppose the tax since day one because when it comes to Labor and taxes, you just can’t trust them.
“Racing stakeholders have been begging Labor to provide guaranteed income to the industry from the Point of Consumption Tax.
“It’s disgraceful that racing is only getting a one-off payment from a permanent tax on the industry.
“What needs to happen is that Labor needs to sit down and work out a better deal.
“This could all be averted tomorrow, if Jackie Trad and Stirling Hinchliffe had consulted and actually listened in the first place.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s decision to cut the School to Industry Partnership Program (SIPP) undermines the future of agriculture in Queensland, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington warned today.
When pressed by the LNP in Parliament today, Agriculture Minister Mark Furner confirmed the program would no longer be funded by Labor.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s decision to cut funding to ag education shows just how out of touch her government is,” Ms Frecklington said.
“This is a hands-on education program that showcases where food comes from and highlights agricultural job opportunities to school students.
“We need to be encouraging our kids to explore careers in agriculture to ensure the industry has a strong future.
“We also need to be encouraging people to buy our produce and education is a key stepping stone.
“This successful program has been running for 14 years and is vital for farmers and Queensland kids.
“More than 10,000 Queensland school students a year benefit from the program.”
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Tony Perrett said the SIPP cut continued Labor’s anti-farmer agenda and followed the introduction of the devastating vegetation management laws, cuts to biosecurity staff and the failure to deliver a proper cattle tick line review.
“Agriculture in Queensland won’t survive if it keeps getting kicked in the guts by Labor,” Mr Perrett said.
“Why do we keep seeing these attacks on agriculture and farmers?
“I call on Annastacia Palaszczuk to restore the funding to the agriculture education program.
“It’s clear that only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government in 2020 will deliver the jobs and support agriculture in Queensland needs.”
‘We’re used to extreme weather in my patch, but this was something else.
‘The supercell hit the community in many different ways – crops have been written off, properties damaged and animals injured.
‘My first thoughts are for the safety of everyone in the community and I am sure we are all relieved no lives were lost.
‘People are picking themselves up and dusting themselves off, but the recovery will test us.
‘The coming days and weeks are going to be tough for a lot of people as a massive clean-up continues and farmers try to recover crops.
‘I urge everyone to look out for each other and we’ll get through this.’
A Palaszczuk Labor Government proposal to lower the Paradise Dam by over 17 metres instead of repairing the damaged walls is the latest move in Labor’s anti-farming agenda.
Paradise Dam was completed in 2005 and was specifically designed to provide water for irrigation for the agriculture sector in the Wide Bay/Burnett region but sustained damage in 2013 from flooding which compromised its safety and viability.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington slammed the move by Labor, describing the decision to lower the dam walls instead of repairing them as an abandonment of the people of the Wide Bay/Burnett region.
“Instead of making an investment into the region’s future and economic prosperity, Annastacia Palaszczuk has caved to inner-city green groups, once again putting the needs of those in regional Queensland second to those in the Southeast,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Worse still, Labor neglected the safety of Queenslanders by not resolving the dam safety issues putting Queenslander’s lives at risk.
“It is an absolute disgrace that Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor are ignoring the communities this decision actually affects.”
LNP Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the decision to lower the dam walls would have direct implications on farmers and irrigators in his region.
“By drastically reducing the amount of water available for irrigation, high value tree crops are put at risk,” Mr Bennett said.
“Crops including macadamias and avocadoes that require a constant and reliable water supply are just some of the growth crops in our region that will be put at risk.
“These industries are high value and create thousands of local jobs. It is simply inexcusable to put these industries and their jobs on the line.
“The LNP acted by completing emergency repairs to the spillway dissipater and reinforced the primary spillway apron in June 2013 to stabilise the damage.”
LNP Member for Callide Colin Boyce said that when it came to agriculture more water meant more production resulting in jobs and prosperity for rural and regional communities.
“The fact that Labor has been sitting on its hands for the last three years since the initial damage to the dam walls putting downstream communities are risk is simply outrageous,” Mr Boyce said.
“Shockingly, we’ve found out that the State Government has completely rejected Federal assistance to repair the dam wall, instead they’ve just going to pull it down and hurt the entire community.
Ms Frecklington said that in contrast to the Palaszczuk Labor Government the LNP had a plan for developing the state’s water assets and infrastructure, creating jobs for our rural and regional communities.
“If elected, an LNP Government will raise the Burdekin Falls Dam wall, get the Urannah and Nullinga Dam projects shovel ready and finally deliver Rockwood Weir for Central Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.
“We will also develop of a 30-year water security plan for Queensland in consultation with Seqwater, Sunwater and local governments and establish a mechanism for reviewing the current price targets.
“The LNP has a plan for water in Queensland unlike Labor who clearly has no plan.”
“The storms that swept through my electorate this afternoon have hit and hit hard.
“There has been significant damage and we’ve heard reports of at least three people injured.
“People are shaken up - it was a huge storm system and there may be more storms tonight and over the weekend.
“The coming days are going to be tough for a lot of people in my community as they clean up. We are a resilient bunch but this will test us.
“A lot of farmers were getting ready to pick their crops at this time of year and this will be a massive setback.
“I urge everyone to stay safe and stay indoors tonight and listen to the authorities.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed to fully action the Auditor-General’s 2015 report and recommendations to keep Queenslanders safe from bushfires.
LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar slammed Labor Minister Craig Crawford for failing Queenslanders by not taking the necessary basic precautions when it comes to protecting them from bushfires.
“Bushfires are terrifying and devastating events but most importantly we know that their impact can be mitigated and managed through responsible and proactive planning,” Mr Millar said.
“Unfortunately, what we have seen in the Auditor-General’s report into the Labor Government’s bushfire prevention and preparedness has been shameful and simply fails Queenslanders.
“I don’t understand why the Palaszczuk Labor Government has not taken the basic and necessary safety precautions to ensure the safety of Queenslanders.
“In 2014 the former LNP Government committed to implementing the agreed recommendations from the Auditor-General’s original report by 2015, but here we are in 2018 and we are yet to see any of the recommendations fully implemented*.
“The report quite clearly states that more work is needed to be done to ensure Queensland communities are not exposed to higher levels of risk than they need to be*.
“Of the seven sensible recommendations, which were fully accepted by the government, not one has been fully implemented and all seven remain partially implemented.
“Probably the most damning outcome of the report was the Palaszczuk Government’s oversight of the state’s bushfire risks.**
“I think a lot of Queenslanders will be quite rightly outraged at the Palaszczuk Labor Government for dropping the ball when it comes to ensuring their safety from bushfires.”
*’Follow-up of Bushfire prevention and preparedness (Report 5: 2018–19)’ Page 8: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2018/5618T1579.pdf
**’Follow-up of Bushfire prevention and preparedness (Report 5: 2018–19)’ Page 4: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2018/5618T1579.pdf