Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington says the official opening of the new $8.3million Kingaroy Police Station is an important boost for the region and a proud moment for the South Burnett.
Mrs Frecklington said that one of her first priorities when she was elected as the State Member was to secure funding for a new Police Station in Kingaroy.
“The old police station was built in the 1960’s and was no longer functional, appropriate or safe for the town,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“When I was working as a solicitor, I had first-hand experience of the problems faced on a daily basis by our local police officers. Local solicitors had to interview clients in the breezeway between the police station and the cells. The sub-standard facilities also included non-flushing toilets for male police officers.
“For years our region was overlooked, but in 2014, the LNP government announced $8.3 million to redevelop the Kingaroy Police Station and Watch House. The funding was a demonstration of our former LNP Government’s commitment to revitalising front-line services and showed our commitment to our hard-working South Burnett Police Officers who have been doing their best for so many years in a very cramped conditions.
“It’s my job to always push for services and infrastructure for our region and I will continue to do this, because at the moment, the Nanango Electorate is being overlooked by this Labor Government.
The Palaszczuk Government has failed to continue funding for a vital telephone hotline service providing advice for rural and regional women and their families trying to escape domestic violence.
LNP Deputy Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington said due to funding cuts imposed by the Palaszczuk Labor Government set to take effect from July 1, this vital service to rural and regional women would no longer be available.
“The hotline run by the Women's Legal Service provides invaluable legal support and advice to vulnerable women across Queensland, particularly women desperately seeking help in life-threatening situations,” Ms Frecklington said.
“As a critical access point for rural and regional women, this will mean their chances of getting through to someone who can help will significantly decrease.
“The Women's Legal Service estimates that, on current demand, 13,000 victims of violence in Queensland will no longer be able to access this phone service.
“This legal assistance is essential for the safety of thousands of vulnerable women who will not leave an abusive home unless they know about their legal rights to a protection order or how to protect their children through the family court system.”
LNP Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said in 2012 the LNP provided $750,000 over three years to keep this hotline going because it had helped so many women.
“In 2014, we extended that funding arrangement until 30 June 2017 - that funding is about to run out and has not been renewed by Labor,” Mr Walker said.
“Vulnerable women and their families in regional Queensland deserve better.
“We are urging rural and regional Queenslanders to contact Annastacia Palaszczuk today and tell her to reverse Labor's unfair funding cuts.”
The extent of Labor’s jobs crisis has been laid bare, with new figures showing more than 800 youth jobs slashed from the Wide Bay jobs market in the last year.
Liberal National Party Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson said Wide Bay’s youth unemployment rate now sat at 24 per cent after a 4.4 per cent rise over the last 12 months under the Palaszczuk Government.
“It’s scary when you think one in four young people in Wide Bay want a job but can’t get one,” Mr Emerson said.
“Queensland is leading the nation for all the wrong reasons under Labor, with youth jobs disappearing from 13 out of 19 regions in Queensland last year, while a total of 11,200 youth jobs disappeared from the state in the last 12 months.
“These facts irrefutably show Labor’s ‘jobs budget’ is nothing more than a con job and Queensland is being held back by a do-nothing government.”
Mr Emerson said the LNP’s Get Queensland Working program would reverse Labor’s youth jobs trend by reducing the cost of working for young apprentices and offering financial incentives for businesses which train and retain staff.
“Unlike Labor, with a jobs program that has produced only a fraction of the jobs needed in Wide Bay, the LNP has consulted with industry and developed a real plan that will create jobs today,” Mr Emerson said.
“The LNP’s $100 million Get Queensland Working will create up to 20,000 jobs for young Queenslanders through financial incentives for businesses which take on young apprentices and vouchers for young tradies to buy their tools whether they’re a hairdresser, a carpenter or a pastry chef.
“This is about reducing the cost of working for young apprentices and incentivising businesses to train and retain young staff.
“Only an LNP Government will create jobs across Queensland, deliver the vital infrastructure projects the Wide Bay region needs, and Build a Better Queensland.”
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, along with Member for Condamine, Pat Weir, have described the recent changes to the Crows Nest bus timetable as ‘unacceptable’.
Mrs Frecklington said that since the changes were implemented on 19th June, she has had numerous complaints to her office from worried parents and community members.
“It seems ridiculous that the bus now departs at either 6.20am or 9.57am in the mornings,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“Anyone could surely see that these times simply don’t work for the Crows Nest community. We have school students who need to use this bus and leaving at 6.20am means some are arriving at Highfields State Secondary College at 7am, which is one and a half hours before school even starts!
“Students are not even supposed to be on school grounds at this time.
“And with the next service not leaving until nearly 10am, the late departure time means commuters aren’t arriving in Toowoomba until 11.20am, reducing the amount of time they have to attend appointments and carry out their errands. For the elderly and young families, this is extremely difficult and stressful.
Member for Condamine, Pat Weir, said complaints by the Crows Nest community were justified and the timetable must be changed.
“The timetable simply can’t remain like this. It’s unworkable and there doesn’t seem to be any reason for this change,” Mr Weir said.
“We’re calling on the Minister for Transport, Jackie Trad, and Translink to take a good hard look at this issue, because it will seriously affect the Crows Nest township.
“Further bus services are required between 7am and 8am for school students and those travelling to Toowoomba for work. Another service is also required between 8am and 9am to give people more time when they reach Toowoomba.
Photo: Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, and Member for Condamine, Pat Weir say the new Translink Bus Timetable inbound from Crows Nest is unacceptable.
The Women’s Legal Service provides invaluable legal support and advice to vulnerable women
across Queensland, particularly women and children suffering from domestic violence.
Sadly, due to funding cuts imposed by the Palaszczuk Labor Government and set to take effect from July 1, key services in regional areas like ours will no longer be available.
This includes a phone hotline for rural and regional women desperately seeking help in life-threatening situations.
As a critical access point for rural and regional women, this will mean their chances of getting
through will significantly decrease.
The Women’s Legal Service estimates that, on current demand, 13,000 victims of violence in
Queensland will not be able to access a service.
This legal assistance is essential for the safety of thousands of vulnerable women who will not leave an abusive home unless they know about their legal rights to a protection order or how to protect their children through the family court system.
In 2012, the LNP provided $750,000 over three years to keep this hotline going because we knew how important this service is. In 2014, we extended that funding arrangement until 30 June 2017.
That funding is about to run out.
Vulnerable women and their families in regional Queensland deserve better. Contact Annastacia Palaszczuk today and tell her to reverse Labor’s unfair funding cuts.
I congratulate the Somerset Regional Council for calling out the Palaszczcuk Labor Government for excluding the Somerset region from their ‘Works for Queensland’ Jobs program.
The Council should be rightly disappointed that the Somerset has been left off the list of Council’s eligible for this funding, which Labor claim is supposed to help regional councils tackle the unemployment crisis we have across this state.
For some reason, Labor have decided that the Somerset is not a regional area. This blows me away. How about they tell that to a landholder from Mount Kilcoy, Toogoolawah, Monsildale or Avoca Vale.
As Mayor Lehmann has stated, unemployment rates in the Somerset are just as high as areas receiving funding. There is no reason given for why the Somerset has been excluded, along with other regional areas like Toowoomba and Lockyer.
This is typical of the Palaszczuk Labor Government. They talk about supporting the regions, but that’s all it is – talk.
It is obvious someone sitting in George Street has made this decision. Perhaps they need to get out of their office and actually visit the Somerset to understand it is a regional area which deserves to be a part of this program.
Member for Nanango
Queensland is crying out for support and leadership, after a new report showed Queenslanders are worse off today than they were eight years ago.
LNP Leader Tim Nicholls said the Australian Local Government Association’s annual State of the Regions report showed Regional Queenslanders in particular were suffering under a do-nothing Labor Government.
“Today’s report highlighted that household wealth had fallen in Townsville and Mackay by almost a quarter and the underlying unemployment rate in Wide Bay had risen to the highest in the country,” Mr Nicholls said.
“The report also highlights the need for urgent infrastructure to be built in the regions and a real focus on unemployment.
“Queenslanders have been stranded for three years without leadership, without direction, without a clear plan.
“Labor’s legacy is one of devastation - 30,000 jobs lost last year alone, massive cost of living increases, raids on public servants’ superannuation, shovelling of debt onto Government-owned corporations and a soft-on-crime approach that has put fright into regional Queenslanders.”
Mr Nicholls said while this report was sobering, the LNP were well aware of the struggles Regional Queenslanders were facing after numerous listening tours.
“My team and I are out there from Bowen to Bundaberg, and Townsville to St George, we are out there listening to Regional Queenslanders and hearing their struggles first hand,” Mr Nicholls said.
“I have offered Queenslanders a clear alternative to this do-nothing Labor Government and that is a common-sense LNP Government which will listen, plan and act to build a better Queensland.”
Mr Nicholls said the LNP's “New Deal” to build a better Regional Queensland would create jobs and deliver much needed infrastructure.
“The New Deal has been put together as a result of numerous listening tours around Regional Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.
“It’s not us versus them, it’s not city vs the bush – it’s all about delivering the policy settings, infrastructure and plans to see Regional Queensland once again be a place of opportunity for all.
“We know there is a lot of frustration out there with the major parties and that’s why we’ve been listening but now it’s time to act.
“As I have been travelling across Regional Queensland, people are after solutions and we have them.”
LNP Deputy Leader Deb Frecklington said infrastructure and jobs would be front-and-centre of an LNP majority Government’s New Deal for Regional Queensland.
“We will ensure Regional Queenslanders gets their fair share,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Labor has no roots in regional Queensland and that’s demonstrated by their actions to strip $3 billion out of infrastructure spending, their decision to back a Singapore multinational over our canefarmers, their decision to abolish the successful Royalties for the Regions program and their attempts to wind back our pragmatic Vegetation Management Reforms.
“We need to build things again, we need the Bruce Highway to be fixed once and for all, we need dams for water security, agricultural industry expansion and better government services.
“We will restore Royalties for Regions and start spending on infrastructure again, including dams, roads, bridges, community services and ports.”
Ms Frecklington said the LNP were committed to reducing household costs, including freezing family car registration for three years.
“For the last two years Mackay and Townsville families have been slugged with higher car registration costs under the do-nothing Labor Government,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The families in Cairns, Wide Bay and Outback Queensland are struggling with drought, higher electricity and water bills and this freeze is one way the LNP is helping to support our families.”
Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says she is cautiously optimistic that the recently announced State Budget has included funds for a new Kilcoy Police Station.
Mrs Frecklington said while the announcement has been too long coming, the amount announced is only 5% of the total funding needed to complete the project.
“The Kilcoy Police Station is long overdue for a complete redevelopment and I thank the officers who have done their best for so long in ageing facilities,” Mrs Frecklington said.
“However, only $100,000 has been budgeted for in the 2017/18 State Budget. The total project is costed at $1.965 million, so I’ll be pushing to ensure the remainder of the funds are delivered.
Mrs Frecklington said while she is cautiously optimistic about the Kilcoy Police Station announcement, the Labor State Budget delivers nothing for the Somerset’s state road network.
“Across the Somerset region, there has been no funding announced for new road projects across the State Road Network,” Deb said.
“This is simply unacceptable. Our State road networks, like the Brisbane Valley Highway and the D’Aguilar, need funding injections.
“And then there‘s our major connection roads, like the Kilcoy-Murgon Road and Coominya Connection Road which just seem to have been forgotten.
“And while our roads aren’t getting fixed, Labor just keeps increasing our vehicle registration costs, with another 3.5% rise this year.
“Essentially, Labor are ripping money from regional Queensland to fund projects for inner-city Brisbane. This means regional Queensland isn’t getting the funding it deserves to build the roads bridges and dams we need.
“A clear example is the loss of funding for Labor’s Building our Regions program. While it was a poor replacement for our former LNP Government’s ‘Royalties for the Regions’ program, it’s purpose was to fund regional infrastructure projects, and now even this program has been cut.
If returned to Government, the LNP will reinstate a dedicated $500 million Royalties for the Regions Fund, exclusively for regional Queensland.
LNP Shadow Agriculture Minister Dale Last said today’s final decision on electricity prices was another kick in the guts for farmers after an “underwhelming” budget for agriculture.
“In a week when the State Budget delivered absolutely nothing for agriculture, farmers have now been hit with an unfair hike in electricity costs,” Mr Last said.
“Today’s final determination from the Queensland Competition Authority shows power prices will go up by between 4.5 per cent and 5.1 per cent for farmers and producers on transitional tariffs this coming financial year.
“These increases are being driven by a government that has ripped billions’ of dollars out of the electricity companies, loaded them up with debt and driven up the cost of power.
“Labor has made these mistakes in the past and they’re making them all over again, and it’s families, farmers and businesses who have to pick up the bill for their economic incompetence.
“Labor was elected on a promise to lower electricity prices, today they’ve broken that promise.”
Mr Last said the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s third budget had abandoned regional Queensland, and in particular the state’s agricultural producers.
“Every key farm stakeholder group was disappointed with Labor’s budget,” he said.
“They’ll now be doubly disappointed with the latest power price hike.
“Queensland Farmers’ Federation, AgForce, Queensland Dairyfarmers’ Organisation, Growcom and Canegrowers have all highlighted the impact of soaring electricity charges on farm businesses. It is without question one of the biggest issues facing our farmers.
“They’ve all been ignored by the Palaszczuk Government and Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne.
“Only the LNP will stand up for farmers and jobs in regional Queensland and fight against Labor’s policies to drive up power costs and treat Queenslanders like cash cows.”
Queensland Productivity Commission determination