Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington has today revealed that Queensland Rail Drivers and Guards have been paid a whopping $41,591,647.06 million in overtime payments since Labor’s Rail Fail began in October 2016.
"It is staggering that almost a million dollars in taxpayer’s money is being spent every fortnight in overtime," Ms Frecklington said.
"Queenslanders are paying an obscene amount for overtime but services aren’t improving. 470 less services per week and we have gone from the best rail system in the country when the LNP was in Government to now the worst.
"Taxpayers money is being wasted hand over fist with Labor’s Rail Fail including $22,959,957.11 for taxis and buses replacing trains and show up to work payments for the Commonwealth Games of $1,483,750."
The startling overtime revelation comes as embattled Transport Minister Mark Bailey has been caught out over the amount of net new drivers being employed by Queensland Rail.
"Mark Bailey’s position is untenable," she said.
"If you thought the net increase of 36 of the 200 new drivers needed was bad enough, we have now learned that those 36 new drivers aren’t even driving trains.
"We have now learned that some of those 36 that Mark Bailey claimed to be fulltime drivers are actually tutor and train operation inspectors.
"Whether it is dodgy deals with the Unions via his private email or his constant fudging of the figures, Mark Bailey has proved time and time again he is not fit to be a Minister.
"I will keep saying it until I am blue in the face, Annastacia Palaszczuk must sack this Minister."
Please see the following Questions on Notice:
"The problems with our Blue Card system would send shockwaves to every parent around Queensland.
"It’s clear that Labor have lost control of our Blue Card system and child safety isn’t a priority for Annastacia Palaszczuk.
"Nine months after a major review, which produced 81 recommendations to improve the system, and Labor have done nothing.
"Six months after the No Card, No Start policy was announced as an urgent priority in the State Election and yet nothing has happened.
"Annastacia Palaszczuk says one thing before the election and then does nothing after.
"The LNP wants Queensland to be the safest place to raise a child.
"Sadly, it’s not a priority for Labor.
"We want to see money in the upcoming budget, we want to see urgent law changes bought to the parliament.
"Queenslanders deserve to have confidence in our blue card system."
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s new waste tax will slug families and smash small businesses, Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington warned today.
"Labor can try to downplay the impact of this tax all they like, but let me be clear – Labor’s waste tax will hit every Queenslander," Ms Frecklington said.
"If Queenslanders have to pay more to take rubbish to the dump, pay more for fish and chips, or pay more to build a new home - I’m sorry Jackie Trad but that’s obviously a tax on every Queenslander.
"Queensland taxpayers’ money will also be used to bankroll rebates for councils to cover the cost of the levy.
"This tax will hit every industry from construction to manufacturing, tourism and hospitality because it will cost more for businesses to dispose of their waste.
"Those businesses will have no choice but to pass the cost onto their customers or be out of pocket themselves, and that’s not fair."
Ms Frecklington said problems with recycling and interstate waste dumping at Ipswich had festered under Labor and their only idea was a statewide tax of an extra $70 per tonne of waste.
"It doesn’t matter what the problem is – Labor’s solution is always tax, tax and more tax," she said.
"Interstate dumping increased under Labor because they dropped the ball on compliance.**
"Families and businesses from Cairns to Currumbin will be slugged more because Annastacia Palaszczuk can’t manage a waste issue in Ipswich.
"This tax is almost double the Bligh tax that was scrapped and will go up year after year."
Ms Frecklington said the waste tax was on top of four new taxes to be dropped on Queenslanders in Labor’s upcoming Budget.
"I have fought this waste tax since Labor announced it and warned you can’t tax your way to growth, but Labor hasn’t learned," she said.
"Queenslanders are now up for nearly half a billion dollars in new taxes in Labor’s Budget.
"At a time when we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation and flat-lining business confidence, it’s pretty obvious that more taxes aren’t the answer.
"I will fight Labor and their new taxes all the way to the next election to protect jobs and families.
"My economic plan for the future is about job security and delivering reform to make Queensland an economic powerhouse again."
LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli said regional Queensland shouldn’t be hit with the tax to fix a problem at Ipswich.
"If Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to stop New South Wales’ waste coming across the border then she should police the current laws, not impose a statewide tax," Mr Crisafulli said.
"The only thing Labor recycles is excuses. The only vision Labor has for Queensland is more taxes.
"This isn’t a waste strategy – it’s a revenue strategy."
LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson said the waste tax would hit every business in the state, from construction to manufacturing, tourism and hospitality
"Small businesses are Queensland’s lifeblood and should be given the tools to be successful and grow, not taxed into the ground," Ms Simpson said.
"This is Labor’s fifth tax since November and will just add to the pressure small businesses are already struggling to cope with.
"It is clear that Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor have no economic plan for Queensland."
**Page 11 of the government’s own report Investigation into the transport of waste into Queensland: