On the eve of one of Australia and New South Wales’ biggest race meetings, Queensland Racing has been thrown into a crisis involving integrity, taxation, and a lack of action from Queensland Labor.
The Labor Government is on notice after Aquis Farm, Queensland racing’s biggest single investor in racing, announced that they will be bowing out of racing in the state due to ongoing integrity issues.
LNP Shadow Minister for Racing John-Paul Langbroek said Aquis’ decision is a tell-tale sign that the industry has well and truly lost confidence in the Labor Government.
“Labor has continued to sweep integrity issues under the rug, and as a result, we’re seeing a major breeder and sponsor walk away from an industry that is crippled by mismanagement,” he said.
“This is unprecedented in Australian racing.
“The racing industry, which contributes $1.2 billion to our economy, is on its knees.
“I have spoken time and time again in Parliament about issues with the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC), but all we have heard from Annastacia Palaszczuk and Stirling
Hinchliffe is radio silence.”
Mr. Langbroek called on the Labor Government to get its head out of the sand and fix the issue.
“All we’ve seen from this Labor Government is a see-no, hear-no, do-no approach, and it’s driving racing participants like Aquis out of Queensland,” he said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has to step in to stop Queensland Racing from being the pariah of Australian racing.
“We’ve seen Reg Kay, a greyhound trainer who banned for life, have his disqualification overturned; we’ve seen a judging farce at Toowoomba last weekend; and we’ve seen a two-year-old and her father suffer significant injuries after they were hit by a boom arm of a pace car at Redcliffe Harness Racing Club.
“Racing in Queensland is struggling to compete with states likes Victoria and New South Wales which have a significantly lower Point of Consumption Tax, better deals when it comes to prizemoney, and a system which takes integrity seriously.
“The LNP will continue to fight to bring confidence back into the racing in industry in Queensland – you bet we will!”
Queensland families are set to weather further falls in home values as Labor’s property crisis worsens.
A new property industry report released today has revealed Queensland is entering its worst confidence decline on record.
LNP Shadow Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Andrew Powell has warned any further falls in confidence will cost jobs and increase housing costs.
“This is a record Queensland doesn’t want,” Mr Powell said.
“With one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation and $2.2 billion of new Labor taxes, Queensland families are already struggling to pay household bills.
“If these property prices get any worse, it may lead to breaking point for many Queenslanders.
“Industry has described Annastacia Palaszczuk’s tax hikes and economic mismanagement as a ‘double whammy’ on confidence.”
In a telling sign, the ANZ Property Council report revealed the Palaszczuk Labor Government was ranked the worst in the nation*.
“Not only is Labor’s crippling taxes and economic failures ruining the value of existing family homes, it’s also stopping new ones being built,” Mr Powell said.
“The value of residential building work has dropped every single quarter since September 2016**.
“Labor have lost Queensland nearly half a billion dollars’ worth of residential building work.
“The reality is that’s thousands of pay checks and countless jobs Queenslanders will now never get.”
Documents released under Right to Information reveal the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s patient dump and run policy used for the Commonwealth Games is now a disgraceful permanent practice.
Patients are transferred to hospital stretchers following a directive to ensure ambulances were not ramped at hospitals during the Commonwealth Games in April last year.
Days away from the 12-month anniversary of the Closing Ceremony and RTI documents show the rapid offload policy has remained firmly in place.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk’s dump and run hospital policy is an absolute disgrace and needs to stop immediately,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said.
“Labor’s priorities are all wrong – they’d rather change hospital names and fudge figures than fix the ambulance ramping crisis.
“Our hospitals are at breaking point, which is impacting on patient care.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk promised better local health services at the last election, but things have gone backwards.”
The practice introduced under Labor goes against Queensland Ambulance Service’s own policy and also contradicts clinical advice. No training has been provided to nurses on the policy.
LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said what was supposed to be a stopgap measure to get through the Commonwealth Games was now a permanent plan to fudge ambulance ramping figures.
“Patient care should always be the priority, not stopping bad media headlines,” Ms Bates said.
“As a nurse, it makes me angry to see sick and injured Queenslanders lined up on stretchers in hospital corridors.
“It’s obvious our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics need more help on the frontline.”
The statewide ambulance ramping rate for February 2019 was 27 per cent under the Palaszczuk Labor Government, compared to 15 per cent in February 2015 under the LNP.
After almost two and a half years of delays, the inquiry into invasive weeds will be reinstated and delivered following pressure from LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett.
Confirmation of the Committee's intention to finalise and release the Parliamentary report into the impact of invasive weeds (Invasive Weed Inquiry) came in the form of a letter from Committee Chair Chris Whiting*.
Tony Perrett said the sudden change of heart by the Parliamentary Committee to revisit and finalise the inquiry came after significant public campaign** including a letter he wrote to the Committee Chair***.
"Labor's Mark Furner was more than happy for the report to just sit on the shelf gathering dust never to be released," Mr Perrett said.
"Without the LNP holding the Government to account, Queenslanders would have been denied access to this important audit on the state's response to the on-going war on weeds.
"The extensive inquiry focused heavily on the effectiveness of Labor's weed control programs and how different agencies were working together using giant rat's tail grass, prickly acacia, and fireweed as case studies.
"This report was clearly left sitting on the shelf because Labor didn't like what it had to say about the Government's record on weed management.
"We cannot allow this culture of secrecy and arrogance to continue from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mark Furner.
"When it comes to issues affecting rural and regional Queensland, Labor continues to govern from Brisbane for Brisbane.
"While Queensland loses the battle against weeds in this state, Mark Furner continues to play politics with rural and regional Queensland from his inner-city Brisbane seat."
** Post-flood prickly acacia spread revives weed inquiry call https://www.queenslandcountrylife.com.au/story/5964151/weed-work-gathering-dust/
LNP Shadow Minister for Disability Services Dr Christian Rowan today slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government's cruel decision to cut the Taxi Subsidy Scheme which will hinder many Queenslanders living with disabilities.
"Once again, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has bungled Queensland's transition to the NDIS," said Dr Rowan.
"From June 30, 2019, stakeholders are concerned that Queensland will be the only state or territory that will be cutting disability transport support.
"Queenslanders living with a disability face enough challenges in their day-to-day life without having their transport cut.
"This cruel cut highlights just how out of touch the Palaszczuk Labor Government is."
Dr Rowan said Labor had a long history of ignoring the needs of thousands of vulnerable Queenslanders living with disabilities.
"Labor's priorities are all wrong and they continue to let many Queenslanders living with a disability suffer needlessly," Dr Rowan said.
"It's shameful that the Palaszczuk Labor Government only gave residents of the Halwyn Centre more time to find suitable accommodation after incessant media shaming.
"The LNP is calling for Labor to extend the Taxi Subsidy Scheme to ensure no Queenslander living with a disability is left worse off as they transition to the NDIS.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government need to put politics aside and work with the Federal Government to deliver better outcomes for people living with disabilities."
LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli is urging farmers to have their say on Labor’s botched reef laws at a public hearing in Cairns today.
Mr Crisafulli said Labor’s changes would hand huge powers over farms and agri-businesses to Brisbane-based bureaucrats, without guaranteeing significant benefits to the Great Barrier Reef.¬¬¬¬
The Palaszczuk Labor Government only agreed to hold public consultation meetings in affected communities at 5pm on Friday – giving Far North Queensland residents a single working day’s notice.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk wants to minimise scrutiny because these laws are nothing more than a power-grab by her government,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“Labor is proposing sweeping new laws for the collection of data from producers and agri-businesses without any idea of how they’ll be used.*
“Bureaucrats in Brisbane will be handed powers to decide how, when and where a farmer in Far North Queensland can work.
“The laws don’t even require decisions to be based on science or industry feedback.
“Department of Environment officials have admitted these measures won’t meet water quality targets even if they are fully enforced.**
“Labor is demanding police-state powers for its half-baked plan and I urge the Cairns community to make its voice heard today.
‘There’s no reason to rush these changes and punish regional communities for poorly-designed laws. We’ve got to get the changes right to ensure the best environmental protection for the Great Barrier Reef.
“The LNP wants to ensure a plan that protects the Great Barrier Reef, while protecting the rights of land owners.”
New data released by the Queensland Police Service* has once again highlighted the hurt and impact of domestic and family violence across Queensland.
In the last 12 months alone there have been over 28,000 breaches in Queensland – an increase of 8.6 per cent.
LNP Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Stephen Bennett said it was clear more needed to be done to increase awareness and protect victims.
“Queensland has once again broken its own disgraceful record for the number of domestic violence protection order breaches in a year,” Mr Bennett said.
“Domestic and family violence continues to plague Queenslanders every day under this out of touch Labor Government.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to do more to prevent the horrifying rise of domestic and family violence.
“Labor’s hopeless approach clearly isn’t working.
“We need real and immediate action before any more Queenslanders are put in harm’s way.
“I welcome the Federal Government’s commitment to take action on domestic and family violence prevention and I urge the Palaszczuk Labor Government to do the same.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk must finally give the Carmichael coal project a fair go after it received its final approval from the Federal Government, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said today.
“It’s decision time for Annastacia Palaszczuk,” Ms Frecklington said.
“My position has always been clear. This project should get a fair go from the State Government because North Queensland is crying out for jobs.
“In Townsville alone there are 9,300 people desperately looking for work.
“Labor has previously stated it will not review the groundwater management plan once approved by the Federal Government. Labor must honour this commitment.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk cannot change the goalposts on this project again.
“That would be a devastating blow to the economies of Central and North Queensland.”
LNP Shadow Resources Minister Dale Last said it was time to take the politics out of the project.
“This project has been eight years in the making and it’s time to take the shackles off,” Mr Last said.
“Labor MPs in Brisbane and Canberra don’t give a damn about regional Queensland and they shouldn’t be allowed to destroy the jobs this project will bring.
“Labor must now approve the Black-Throated Finch Management Plan and unlock these jobs.
“The only person standing in the way of more jobs for Queenslanders is Annastacia Palaszczuk.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington today said any action against animal extremists was welcome but the belated announcement by the Palaszczuk Government doesn’t go nearly far enough.
“Since January we have been asking Labor to put in a taskforce and beef up our trespass laws and I am glad we have finally seen some movement, but a taskforce with no teeth just won’t cut it,” Ms Frecklington said.
“These extremists who invade properties need to face jail time and serious fines.
“There has been a well organised, well-funded campaign by animal extremists that has been terrorising Queensland family businesses in regional Queensland for months.
“While people have the right to protest, no one is above the law.
“These family businesses put food on our table and create thousands of local jobs.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said it had taken far too long for Annastacia Palaszczuk to act and today’s announcement simply doesn’t cut it.
“We want to see much stronger penalties and in some cases, the threat of jail time,” Mr Perrett said.
“This has all gone too far. Queensland farmers should not be held to ransom by animal extremist groups.”
LNP Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander has detailed several examples in a damming A to Z indictment of Labor wasting Queensland taxpayer money.
The LNP moved a motion in Parliament today condemning the Palaszczuk Labor Government for their waste and wrong priorities.
“A twisted combination of government incompetence, stupid decisions and wrong priorities are hallmarks of Labor’s two terms in charge of Queensland,” Mr Mander said.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk can’t run this state, Labor’s blow-outs will continue, and more taxpayer money will be poured down the drain.
“The list of Labor’s waste adds up to more than $1 billion.
“That money could provide hundreds of additional hospital beds, air-condition thousands of state school classrooms, or build much-needed infrastructure like the Second M1, Sunshine Coast Rail Duplication and Mackay Ring Road stage 2.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government is failing to deliver fundamental public services and is out of touch with Queenslanders.”
Mr Mander said Labor was simply bad with money.
“Everyday Queenslanders are bankrolling Labor’s reckless and wasteful spending,” Mr Mander said.
“Treasurer Jackie Trad cries poor to the Federal Government, but she was more than happy to rubber-stamp $100,000 on an app for fat dogs.
“Jackie Trad should have enrolled in a TAFE course on how to run a budget rather than blow more than $102,000 on brand research for the training provider.
“Jackie Trad is not up to the job and her excuses for wasting taxpayer’s money are nauseating.
“While Labor wastes money and rams new taxes down the throats of Queenslanders, our hospitals are in crisis, our police are at breaking point and our roads are choked with congestion.
“The LNP would respect every taxpayer dollar to grow a strong economy, lower unemployment and build vital infrastructure.”
a. eHealth project blowout: $256,800,000;
b. ICT dashboard project blowout: $211,897,547;
c. Uncollectable SPER debt write-off: $191,000,000;
d. Fixing Labor’s Rail Fail: $170,660,000;
e. Closing privately-operated prisons for the unions: $111,000,000;
f. Ministers’ personal staff cost blowouts: $1,860,184;
g. TAFE IT blowout: $1,400,000;
h. Taxies for Train Drivers: $493,033;
i. Functions and hospitality costs: $289,000;
j. Ministers’ overseas travel: $267,821;
k. QR CCTV screen duplications: $50,000,000;
l. Government advertising in breach of election commitment: $3,480,840;
m. GOLDOC golden handshakes: $650,000;
n. Lady Cilento name change: $302,082;
o. Study into Whitsunday Shark Attacks to see if three shark attacks are a problem: $250,000;
p. Commonwealth Games Labor’s giveaway tickets: $230,000;
q. Labor’s Charter Flights for young crims: $180,000;
r. Consultant to recommend name change from DIQ to DJQ: $136,000;
s. Brand research about TAFE Queensland: $102,300;
t. Phone app to help Fat Dogs lose weight: $100,000;
u. Workcover Qld executives’ overseas junket: $47,600;
v. Palaszczuk’s captain’s call on Terry Mackenroth stadium: $13,600;
w. Jobs Queensland logo: $37,086.50;
x. Extra Ministers in breach of Election Promise: $10,600,000;
y. Premier’s personal office budget blowout: $290,585;
z. ASF Spit project compensation: $13,000,000; and
aa. Accommodation bill for Premier and entourage at the Commonwealth Games: $81,313.69.
The LNP is calling on Annastacia Palaszczuk to guarantee that changes to Blue Card laws are debated and passed in the Queensland Parliament today.
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said that Labor were more concerned about saving face, instead of protecting Queensland kids.
“Last night we saw Annastacia Palaszczuk delay critical laws to close blue card loopholes,” Mr. Janetzki said.
“We have offered carefully prepared amendments to fix Labor’s laws and protect kids.
“If needed, the Parliament should sit today for as long as it takes to get the blue card laws right.
“MPs shouldn’t be going home until these laws are passed today.
“The LNP flagged sensible amendments weeks ago and Labor have been briefed on our proposals.
“Labor should work with the LNP to get the Blue Card laws right.
“Instead, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath is more concerned about saving face.
“Labor should back the LNP amendments, fix the Blue Card laws and put Queensland children first.”
Background – the blue card changes were first recommended in a review that was handed down in July 2017. (https://www.qfcc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/final_report_BC_review.pdf)
The LNP will move four key amendments to Labor’s bill to:
1. Strengthen the blue card system by expanding the range of disqualifying offences;
The offences that are currently not disqualifying offences that the LNP will make disqualifying offences include:
2. Prevent all disqualified persons from being eligible to apply for and hold a blue card;
The LNP’s amendments will remove the eligibility declaration to ensure that a disqualified person will never have the opportunity to work with children.
3. Establish a new framework that applies to blue card applicants and holders charged or convicted of a serious offence;
The LNP will ensure that a person who holds a blue card will have their blue card suspended if charged with a serious offence. A person’s application will also not be considered while a charge for a serious offence is pending against the person or if the person has been convicted of a serious offence.
4. Broaden the scope of criminal history disclosure and criminal history checks.
The LNP will ensure blue card services consider applicants’ international criminal histories prior to obtaining a blue card.
The LNP has used Parliament this morning to stop the name change of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates moved notice of a disallowance motion to stop the regulation making the name change in legislation.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made a heartless decision that devastated the Cilento family.
“Queenslanders were rightly appalled by the hospital name change debacle last year,” Ms. Frecklington said.
“It showed that when it comes to health, Labor’s priorities are all wrong.
“So far, taxpayers have footed the bill of more than $300,000 to rip the Lady Cilento name off the hospital.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should be focused on improving patient care for our sickest kids.
“It just goes to show how out of touch Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor Government is.
“Queenslanders deserves a world-class health system but instead we have a health system in crisis, with major hospitals at breaking point and cuts to regional maternity services.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates said Annastacia Palaszczuk’s priorities are all wrong.
“Last week we had a code yellow crisis and the Premier did nothing but finger point, pass the buck and shift the blame,” Ms. Bates said.
“This week we have seen broken promises about promised hospital upgrades that are years away.
“As a nurse, I feel for our hard-working nurses, doctors, midwives and paramedics who are on the frontline of Labor’s health crisis.
“If Health Minister Steven Miles had any shred of dignity or respect for Queenslanders, he would stand down – or the Premier should sack him.”
The crisis in Queensland’s public health system has taken another sick twist with Annastacia Palaszczuk being caught out about promised upgrades to major hospitals.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Labor had promised upgrades to Logan, Caboolture and Ipswich hospitals prior to the 2017 election but now they could be years away, with completion dates ‘to be determined’.
"This is a massive broken promise from Annastacia Palaszczuk,” Ms Frecklington said.
"Last week we saw an unprecedented crisis across major South East Queensland hospitals, with sick Queenslanders being warned against going to hospital.
"Now we've learned Labor have lied to Queenslanders about promised hospital upgrades that are years away.
"You cannot trust a word Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor say about health. This is the last thing patients and frontline health staff needed from a service suffering critical neglect under Labor."
LNP Shadow Minister for Health Ros Bates said scandal-prone Steven Miles should tender his resignation immediately.
"Labor can waste taxpayers’ money and change the name of a hospital in record time, while patient care clearly isn't a priority,” Ms Bates said.
"It's a cruel hoax and heads should roll over Labor's hospital trickery and deceit."
Labor Treasurer Jackie Trad’s financial incompetence has been exposed again by a $1 billion blunder over stamp duty.
The Treasurer has today admitted that Queensland’s projected stamp duty revenue will be a massive $1.32 billion less than she forecast last year.
The shortfall has been caused a by a worrying slowdown in the Queensland property market.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had smashed the construction industry with mores taxes and was now paying the price.
“Just four months after her mid-year economic statement, the Treasurer has owned up to a billion-dollar blunder,” Mr Mander said.
“This stamp duty slump is not a bolt from the blue.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has hit the property sector with four tax hikes over the past four years – ripping $600 million out of the sector.
“The LNP knows that you can’t tax your way to prosperity, but Labor doesn’t get it.
“Jackie Trad is not up to the job.
“Queensland needs a Treasurer who will help the economy grow, instead of strangling it with tax after tax.”
The release of the Central Queensland Bushfires Recovery Plan 2018-21 is yet another shiny brochure which ignores the hard facts on bushfire management in the state.
LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services Lachlan Millar pointed to the document as further proof that this Brisbane-centric Labor Government was out of touch with rural and regional Queenslanders when it came to preparing and recovering from bushfires.
“It’s as if the Labor Government learnt nothing from the latest bushfires that ripped through Central Queensland,” Mr. Millar said.
“The Government has once again completely ignored the fact that suitable fuel reduction and land management were not undertaken on state-controlled land in the lead up to last year’s disastrous fires.
“The Government’s own report points out that 140,000 hectares of national parks and state forests were burned out, including 82 per cent of Deepwater National Park.
“The report does nothing to acknowledge the need to improve our preparedness and prevention activities which will save native vegetation from being destroyed by bushfires and protect wildlife and livestock.
“There have been nearly 1000 less Hazard Reduction Burns conducted and attended by the Queensland Fire and Emergency Service in 2018 compared to 2015.
“We know the Labor Government has failed to implement a single recommendation from the Queensland Auditor-General’s 2015 Bushfire Prevention and Preparedness Report.
“The parliamentary inquiry the LNP called for would have investigated whether the state Labor Government deliberately, or through its own mismanagement, allowed Queensland to become susceptible to bushfires.
“Queenslanders deserve a government with a clear plan moving forward that properly addresses the elephant in the room around state-controlled land mismanagement.
“Only the LNP will undertake the appropriate fuel reduction burns and free landholders from bureaucratic red tape, so they can manage their land and limit the impact of bushfires in Queensland.”
LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander has once again warned Queensland’s building and construction industry is in freefall under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.
Since January last year, building approvals have plummeted by over 35 per cent.*
"Building approvals in Queensland have now fallen for 13 consecutive months,” Mr Mander said.
“There is also now over $382 million less being pumped into the Queensland economy from building approvals.
“Less building approvals means less jobs.
“There are over 151,000 Queenslanders currently in the unemployment queue and the situation is only going to get worse under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“With rock bottom business confidence, it’s no wonder Queensland continues to have one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation.
“The construction industry is suffering under Labor and that’s why the LNP will call a Commission of Inquiry into Queensland’s building industry, if elected in October 2020.”
Mr Mander said Annastacia Palaszczuk had no plan to support the 331,400 Queenslanders working in the property industry.
“More than 50 building companies have collapsed in Queensland since 2013 and this inquiry will get to the bottom of the issue,” Mr Mander said.
“Labor doesn’t have a plan for Queensland’s building and construction industry.
“Only the LNP can deliver the infrastructure and business certainty needed to bring Queensland back to a position of economic strength.”
The Labor Palaszczuk Government continues to waste taxpayers’ money at an extraordinary rate to fix their rail fail and there are no signs of it coming to a halt.
It follows new State Government figures which show more than $442,000 was spent on overtime payments for train drivers and rail staff each week, for the past five months.
More than $170.66 million has been wasted by Labor, since rail fail began two and half years ago.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said frustrated commuters still have 472 fewer services each week, the trains are jampacked and on-going cancellations are leaving many motorists frustrated.
“This isn’t an April fool’s joke and certainly no laughing matter,” Ms. Frecklington said.
“More than 170 million dollars has been wasted by the Labor Palaszczuk Government on rail fail.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is out of touch and has no plan to fix it.
“The buck stops with her – and unfortunately commuters aren’t getting bang for their buck.
“What we have here is yet another crisis from the Labor Palaszczuk Government.
“Queensland once enjoyed the most reliable train network in the country, but now under the weak leadership of Annastacia Palaszczuk and her embattled Transport Minister Mark Bailey, it’s gone to rack and ruin.”
Shadow Transport Minister Steve Minnikin said Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to stop the finger pointing and take responsibility.
“Labor’s rail fail is a never-ending story,” Mr. Minnikin said.
“They’re wasting money at an extraordinary rate and not achieving anything.
“Services have been cut, trains aren’t on time and drivers are skipping stations to meet targets.
“Only the LNP has a plan to invest in the network, restore services and clean up the mess left from Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“All Queenslanders want is a reliable service, so they can get to and from work and school on time.”