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Regional kids set to be cool under LNP plan

20th June 2018

Our kids and teachers have been suffering in hot classrooms for too long.

Kids are being sent home with heat exhaustion and are often unable to learn because it is simply too hot.

In Parliament recently, I talked about schools like Yarraman State School, which only has 60% of its classrooms air conditioned. I know many of our P&C’s have worked hard to fundraise for air-conditioning, but in many cases, there are just too many classrooms to get the full job done. And this means many kids miss out.

During summer, temperatures in classrooms across schools the Nanango Electorate often rise above 35 degrees and last year Queensland had its hottest year on record.

How can children possibly learn and teachers teach in these conditions.

The simple answer is they can’t.

The LNP has a plan to keep kids and teachers cool by air-conditioning every state school classroom in Queensland.

We know our children learn better in cooler classrooms and this is all part of our plan to make our kids the smartest in the nation.

Our plan to air condition classrooms will lead to better student results and a more comfortable working environment for our teachers, teacher aides and Principals.

We want our kids to be the smartest in the nation, as well as the coolest.

LNP to deliver competition to regional power market

14th June 2018

The Liberal National Party plans to bring down electricity bills by $300 by introducing competition to regional Queensland’s electricity market.

In response to Labor’s Budget of taxes, debt and unemployment, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today announced her plan to level the playing field for electricity retailers in regional Queensland.

"Households in regional Queensland deserve affordable energy but the government-owned Ergon Energy has a stranglehold on the market," Ms Frecklington said.

"The LNP believes more competition in the marketplace is the best way to drive down prices and should not be restricted to the Southeast corner.

"Southeast Queenslanders are spoilt for choice when it comes to their energy retailers while regional communities are chained to Ergon.

"It’s not good enough that Queenslanders north of Gympie and west of Toowoomba are treated like second-class citizens."

Ms Frecklington said the LNP would introduce reforms to allow other energy retailers to compete against Ergon.

"The LNP’s plan would end Labor’s electricity divide between the Southeast and the rest of Queensland and deliver real choice for regional communities," she said.

"Competition drives efficiencies and cuts bills and that’s why an elected LNP Government would make extending retail competition to the whole of Queensland a priority.

"The LNP’s plan would make the market more attractive for retail operators to compete against Ergon’s retail business and ensure all Queenslanders can look for better deals.

"Labor’s only plan is to use electricity as a secret tax and set state-based renewable energy targets that push up everyone’s bills."

Ms Frecklington said giving regional Queenslanders the chance to shop around would save households around $300 a year (based on the experience of households in the Southeast where competition is strong and consumers are saving $350 to $400).

LNP Shadow Minister for Energy Michael Hart said Labor’s great electricity rip-off was a kick in the guts for regional Queensland from a Brisbane-centric Labor Government.

"Labor set up the Electricity Pricing Inquiry and has failed to act on key recommendations that should provide cheaper electricity," Mr Hart said.

"The last LNP Government introduced competition into the retail electricity market in Southeast Queensland and if Deb Frecklington were Premier she would apply the policy statewide.

"We’re now seeing competition deliver real savings in Southeast Queensland.

"According to the Queensland Productivity Commission, this reform would deliver around $303 million in benefits to regional customers over the initial five-year period due to price discounting and competition.

"The LNP’s plan would also maintain the Uniform Tariff Policy, which supports economic development by levelling the playing field for businesses operating in the regions."

The LNP’s plan to introduce competition in regional energy markets complemented two polices announced earlier this month to boost competition and support green energy by:

  • restructuring government-owned power generators from two to three entities which will drive down prices through more competition, and;
  • mandating investment by our government-owned energy companies in renewable energy generation.

Background:

The Queensland Productivity Commission Electricity Pricing Inquiry states:

  • A network CSO paid to Ergon Energy’s distribution business and made available to all retailers is the only efficient way to facilitate broad retail competition for regional Queenslanders while retaining the UTP. However, moving to a network CSO is estimated to have a net cost to the State budget of approximately $768 million in the initial five-year period, with a total NPV cost over a 20-year period forecast to be in the order of $3.7 billion, depending on the rate at which Ergon Energy (Retail) customers switch to market contracts.
  • A network CSO would promote competition, and would likely deliver approximately $303 million in benefits to market customers in the initial five-year period due to price discounting.
  • https://qpc.blob.core.windows.net/wordpress/2017/06/EPI-Final-Report.pdf

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

Deb demands home for Yarraman Mens Shed

13th June 2018

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, said today’s State Budget announcement that a new Fire Station will be built in Yarraman means that the State Government must now do the right thing and make the DAF Forestry Shed available to the Yarraman Men’s Shed.

Mrs Frecklington said while the Yarraman community will welcome investment in a new Fire Station, they must help fast track the process to help the Men’s Shed to finally find a home.

"The State’s Public Safety Business Agency (PSBA) has confirmed that they have concluded their investigations into where the new station should located and their results have confirmed they will choose an alternative site to the DAF Forestry Shed which they had originally considered," Mrs Frecklington said.

"After lobbying the State Government on behalf of the Yarraman Men’s Shed, it is good news that they have confirmed they will relinquish any further interest in the Mill Street property.

"However, now that the State Government has confirmed the Fire Station will be purpose built, the process to hand over the building to the Yarraman Men’s Shed should not be held up any further.

"It makes good, common sense to get the Yarraman Men’s Shed into the DAF Forestry Building as soon as possible.

"Other communities within the Nanango Electorate to also receive funding to commence new Fire Stations are Esk, Kilkivan and Wooroolin.

"This is a good start, and I will be monitoring this spending to ensure the projects are completed and on time," Deb said.

Photo – Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington with members of the Yarraman Men’s Shed.

State Budget 2018/19 - Smoke and mirrors for South Burnett

13th June 2018

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says the State Budget is just smoke and mirrors, with no major new announcements for the South Burnett.

Mrs Frecklington said it is extremely disappointing that once again the South Burnett has been overlooked.

"Most of the projects are re-announcements. There are no new major projects for the South Burnett in this State Budget," Mrs Frecklington said.

"Most of these projects have already started, like the Kingaroy SHS Multi-purpose Hall and the Kingaroy Hospital.

"Another $20million has been budgeted for to continue the work on the Kingaroy Hospital, but this only brings the money’s allocated so far to $28million. This is a $62 million project and it’s extremely concerning that we might see the project held up with not enough funding allocated this year.

"It is also very disappointing to learn that the Kingaroy Hospital is not on the list to be included in the Digital Hospital’s rollout," Deb said.

"Common sense would indicate that including digital technologies at the same time as the Hospital’s refurbishment would be the way to go, however, once again Kingaroy will miss out.

"I have requested a briefing with the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service to better understand the services to be included in the new Hospital and funding arrangements. The digital hospital rollout will certainly be on my long list of questions," Deb said.

"In regards to road funding, we are finally seeing a recognition that funding needs to be spent on the Bunya-Mountains Maidenwell Road, but it is not until 2020/21. This is just too long to wait.

"There is a small budget for widening and sealing an 800m section of the Byee Road and $6.5 million for the D’Aguilar Highway.

"But, the Burnett Highway has again missed out, with just $200,000 to widen and seal a 700m section somewhere between Goomeri and Gayndah. It’s unacceptable that this is all that has been set aside for the Burnett, especially in light of the recent fatalities," she said.

QTRIP 2018/19 - https://publications.qld.gov.au/dataset/queensland-transport-and-roads-investment-program-qtrip-2018-19-to-2021-22/resource/1a7f209f-86c0-494f-89fd-d54e59a319b8

State Budget – Only 1.9% of State Network roads budget for the Somerset

13th June 2018

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says just 1.9 per cent of the North Coast region State Network roads budget has been allocated to the Somerset region.*

Mrs Frecklington said this is an unacceptable amount, given the continued deterioration of the major connecting roads throughout the Somerset.

"It seems unbelievable that there is no funding for the D’Aguilar Highway within the Somerset Regional Council area, and no funding for new overtaking lanes or turning lanes for the Brisbane Valley Highway," Mrs Frecklington said.

"The Somerset road network has been completely overlooked and once again our regional communities will have to put up with a third class road system.

"The Esk community will appreciate funding which has been earmarked to commence the replacement of the Esk Fire Station. I’ll be watching this project to see that it is completed and on time.

"The Budget papers also list $1million to commence the restoration of the Jimna Fire Tower. It doesn’t go into detail about when this will begin, but it will be another project to watch closely and ensure it isn’t just a false promise from Labor which is never undertaken," Deb said.

Palaszczuk to rip $366 million from Queensland’s racing industry

13th June 2018

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said this week’s State Budget revealed Labor will rip $366 million out of Queensland’s wagering and racing industry over the next four years.

"Labor’s budget of taxes, debt and unemployment confirmed that the Palaszczuk Government has failed to listen to Queensland’s racing industry," Ms Frecklington said.

"Labor’s wagering tax was meant to raise $30 million a year, at a rate that industry said would cost 300 jobs – it’s now set to raise a whopping $100 million a year.

"The industry told Labor that a 15% tax was too high but instead of listening and working with the industry they decided to tax them even more.

"This is a broken election promise and a total breach of faith.

"Jackie Trad has shown how arrogant and out of touch she is with a massive tax grab on the wagering and racing industry.

"Hundreds of direct jobs are at risk and thousands of indirect jobs.

"Labor always thinks it can tax its way to growth but Queenslanders are always the losers."

State Budget - Kilkivan Fire Station funding is old news

13th June 2018

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says the announcement in this week’s State Budget that Kilkivan will get a new Fire Station is old news.

Mrs Frecklington said it is extremely disappointing that the majority of projects in the 2018/19 State Budget are just re-announcements.

"The Kilkivan Fire Station was announced in last year’s State Budget. The Labor Government is simply pulling out the smoke and mirrors on the Kilkivan community," Mrs Frecklington said.

"It’s very worrying though that over this full year, no works have actually started on the Kilkivan Fire Station, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on this promise to make sure it is delivered.

"And when it comes to the road network in the western part of the Gympie region, we are seeing no funding for the Kilkivan-Tansey Road or the Running Creek Bridget near Woolooga.

"Sadly, the Burnett Highway has again missed out, with just $200,000 to widen and seal a 700m section somewhere between Goomeri and Gayndah. It’s unacceptable that this is all that has been set aside for the Burnett, especially in light of the recent fatalities," she said.

 

Deb welcomes promise to improve Kilkivan's Health Services

11th June 2018

Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, says she is cautiously optimistic following the announcement by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service (SCHHS) that they will deliver services to the Kilkivan and Goomeri communities.

Mrs Frecklington said the announcement comes after the community approached her to highlight the need for the services of a Community Health Nurse, and a petition was started to demonstrate the need to the Minister for Health.

"This week in State Parliament I will be tabling the petition, calling on the State Government to provide a Community Health Nurse for Kilkivan and Goomeri. There are 354 signatures, which is a significant achievement," Mrs Frecklington said.

However, Mrs Frecklington said that while the announcement by the SCHHS is welcome, it is still yet to be seen if the services will be delivered on the ground.

"The announcement by the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service District that they will listen and consult with the community on the issue is welcome, especially in light of the Minister for Health’s initial rejection of my request," Deb said.

"I would encourage the community to attend the Forum on the 21st June and directly voice their feedback for the services needed in the district. This is a good start and I will keep the pressure up to ensure a Community Health Nurse returns to the district.

"I applaud the Kilkivan and Goomeri communities for their determination and assistance in pushing for better community health services in their townships," Mrs Frecklington said.

"Congratulations must go to Mavis O’Neill, Jan Kirby and Joyce Koy who first raised this issue with me and then worked very hard to coordinate the petition in Kilkivan and Goomeri. It goes to show that perseverance and determination does pay off, and if you believe in something strongly enough, you can create change," Deb said.

Photo – Member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, with Kilkivan community members, Mavis O’Neill (right) and Jan Kirby.

 

Farewell Valmai Burnett

11th June 2018

I am extremely saddened to hear of the passing of Valmai Burnett of Avocavale, a woman with true passion and vision for the environment and sustainable land management.

Valmai first made contact with me not long after I took on the role as the Local Member in 2012. During our first meeting, it was obvious that this was a woman with a wealth of information on the Somerset region, in particular, the headwaters of the Brisbane River. She shared maps, articles and reports on as much as she could, and over the years, kept me updated with her work and environmental commitments.

The fax machine in my office was frequently busy receiving her lengthy, typewritten letters, and accompanying information, as she was very good at communicating the issues which impacted on the management of our natural resources, especially our water and soil.

I will greatly miss Valmai. She was an incredible woman who had travelled the world, but loved her unique property here in the Somerset. Our region is blessed to have been the beneficiary of the passion and vision of Valmai and her late husband Graham. May she rest in peace at Rathburnie.

Deb to deliver a back-to-basics education system

8th June 2018

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has announced an LNP Plan to give Queensland children the best start to their schooling.

"Our hardworking teachers and principals deserve to have the best resources to teach our children, improve standards and give our kids the best chance to get a job in an increasingly competitive market," Ms Frecklington said.

"Education is a major priority for me and my team because we know that an investment in education is an investment in the future of our children and grandchildren.

"Sadly at the moment, our children’s future is being put at risk by a Premier who likes to talk about education, but is all talk and no action.

"Which is why, if I were Premier I would overturn Labor’s decision to exclude English in results of senior assessments.

"Labor’s decision to scrap English as a mandatory subject for ATAR diminishes the importance of the subject.

"We want our kids to be the smartest in the nation and scrapping English sends the wrong message to our kids and teachers.

"The LNP won’t treat English as a third-rate subject and we will include English as a mandatory subject in senior assessments."

Ms Frecklington said a major focus of the LNP’s education plan was to boost NAPLAN standards across Queensland through decluttering the curriculum.

"The latest NAPLAN results show that Queensland is falling behind other states in the fundamental areas of reading, writing and numeracy," Ms Frecklington said.

"This is why the LNP has committed to decluttering the curriculum to ensure there is a greater focus on teaching language, literacy and numeracy.

"As a mother of three teenage girls, I know reading and writing are two of the basic skills our kids need to get a job and succeed in life.

"We know our teachers work extremely hard to teach our kids but having a crowded curriculum puts them under a lot of pressure and often unable to focus on the basics.

"We’ve heard from teachers that they are worried students are going to be left behind under the current curriculum which is why we want to work with teachers, parents and principals to develop a Queensland guideline that gets back to basics.

"The LNP understand we need to support our teachers, parents and principals to focus on the basics of reading, writing and numeracy and to give our kids the best chance to succeed."

LNP Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie said while Labor was focused on cutting Independent Public Schools (IPS), the LNP would support school communities and continue the roll-out of IPS.

"IPS give principals, teachers and parents a say in their children’s education, but are destined for the scrapheap under Labor," Mr Bleijie said.

"Under the former LNP Government, 250 IPS have commenced across Queensland, but the program has stalled under Labor.

"We recognise that a one-size fits all approach to education simply does not work and research shows that more autonomy improves school performance and student outcomes.

"Unlike Labor, the LNP will take the pressure off our kids and teachers by decluttering the curriculum and getting back to basics.

"We’ve heard that one of the key issues in schools is teachers are trying to get through too much content and kids don’t have enough time to understand key concepts before the teacher has to move on.

"This is all part of our plan to support local decision-making and provide Queensland mums and dads with more choice.

"Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have no idea when it comes to Queensland schools."