This week it was revealed that the Palaszczuk Labor Government plan to entirely abandon the Family Responsibilities Commission ('FRC') - a bipartisan welfare reform initiative that has improved Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander lives in Cape York for a decade.
Labor's Deputy Premier Jackie Trad announced to a shocked crowd including local FRC Commissioners that the FRC would be cut and replaced with an entirely unknown model known as 'Thriving Communities'.
LNP Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships Dr Christian Rowan has called on the Deputy Premier and the Palaszczuk Labor Government to reverse this cruel cut to the FRC.
"The Family Responsibilities Commission has been operating for a decade to improve the lives of people in Aurukun, Coen, Hope Vale, Mossman Gorge and also recently in Doomadgee - all of this progress is in jeopardy, Dr Rowan said.
"While visiting Cape York this week many people expressed their anger to me about the Palaszczuk Labor Government's decision to cut the FRC.
"The FRC has always enjoyed bipartisan support since it began, and it is disgraceful to see the Deputy Premier trying to play the blame game with Canberra for her callous decision to abandon the FRC.
"And now the Labor Deputy Premier has been caught out being deceptive after claiming that there was no federal funding for the FRC beyond December this year.
"The Labor Deputy Premier Jackie Trad needs to stop playing politics, get down to work and focus on achieving real outcomes for Queensland's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
"I completely understand the frustrations of Indigenous leader Noel Pearson who feels 'sick in the stomach' about this.
"Labor Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should show some leadership, stop the blame game and concentrate on closing the gap."
Today’s QCA SEQ retail electricity market monitoring report has once again highlighted the benefits of LNP reforms to lower electricity prices.
Shadow Minister for Energy Michael Hart said Labor needed to learn the lessons of the report’s findings and implement the LNP’s plan to provide retail competition to regional Queensland.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is using electricity as a secret tax, ripping $1.2 billion a year out of the pockets of Queenslanders through sky-high electricity bills,” Mr Hart said.
“This is at a time when Labor delayed LNP reforms to de-regulate the retail market in south-east Queensland, allowing people to shop around and save money on their bills.
“The LNP has backed the benefits of competition since day one, because it’s good policy and common sense.
“It’s staggering that these reforms were delayed for a year and are being denied to regional Queenslanders.
“There are now 22 retailers operating in the SEQ market with offers for residential or small business customers or both.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is continuing to deny these benefits to regional Queenslanders because Labor are addicted to the profits that prop up their budget bottom line.
“The LNP under Deb Frecklington has already committed to these reforms, which would allow regional Queenslanders to shop around and save $300 a year off their bills.
“These were recommended by Labor’s own Queensland Productivity Commission report.
“We don’t think regional Queenslanders should be treated like second-class citizens.
“It’s time for Labor to adopt the LNP plan to allow regional Queenslanders to shop around and save.”
Shocking new figures have shown hard-working Queenslanders are still copping a raw deal from the Palaszczuk Labor government and there are no signs it will improve.
Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics today showed Queensland has slumped to 6th place for the median weekly earnings of $1050 – which is below the Australian average of $1066.
The Sunshine State also has the lowest hourly earnings in Australia, alongside Tasmania and South Australia.
While the news gets even worse for Queensland’s part time workers, who are earning 3 per cent less than they were in 2017 – the only part-time workers in Australia to actually be earning less in 2018 than 2017.
Queensland’s part-time workers are tied with those in the Northern Territory as the lowest paid in the country, with a median wage of $500 per week - $30 below the national average.
Deputy LNP Leader Tim Mander said he’s appalled by the new statistics at time when Queenslanders are struggling to cope with the rising costs of living, thanks to Labor’s five new taxes.
“Under Labor, electricity bills have skyrocketed, water bills are increasing, we have the highest car rego in the nation and fuel prices are a major concern.
“It’s no wonder cost of living is a major issue, particularly for Queensland pensioners on fixed incomes.
“Under Labor, business confidence has flatlined, business investment has plummeted, we have the highest unemployment rate in the nation and an infrastructure crisis according to Jackie Trad.
“You could hardly say that Labor was the party for the worker.
“Only the LNP has an economic plan that will restore business confidence, grow the economy and increase wages for Queensland workers.”
Source: 6333.0 - Characteristics of Employment, Australia, August 2018 (released today)
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has today welcomed the announcement that work will begin on the Carmichael mine before Christmas.
“Queensland has Australia’s highest unemployment rates so these jobs are desperately needed,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The Carmichael Mine has been subject to rigorous approvals processes and now it is time for the Palaszczuk Government to approve the final management plans so Queenslanders can get these jobs.
“The LNP has been the only political party that has consistently supported opening up the Galilee Basin.”
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the royalties from the mine should be used to provide vital services for Queenslanders.
“These royalties should be used to air con every state school classroom and help build dams and local roads in North Queensland,” Mr Mander said.
LNP Shadow Minister for Mines and North Queensland Dale Last said this project will be a great opportunity for the whole North Queensland region.
“My community has struggled over recent years and these jobs will be most welcomed,” Mr Last said.
“I look forward the Carmichael Mine utilising a local workforce and buying supplies from small businesses in my community wherever possible.”
LNP Shadow Environment Minister David Crisafulli has slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government for using seven-year-old community consultation as an excuse to slug Queenslanders with its new waste tax.
“We knew this tax was a con job from the start and now we’ve learned Labor is using community consultation from 2011 to justify it,” Mr Crisafulli said.
“For Labor Environment Minister Leeanne Enoch to say a great deal of consultation had been done in 2011 shows how out of touch this government is.
“It was a different levy in 2011, at a different rate, in a different time in the economic cycle and developed by a different Minister.
“The only thing that is the same is that it is another tax from a Labor Government, with Annastacia Palaszczuk around the Cabinet table.
“The waste levy in 2011 had a start price of $35 per tonne, but Labor’s new tax will slug Queenslanders $75 per tonne.
“Using consultations completed in 2011 is offensive to the local governments, businesses and residents that will be hit hard by Labor’s new waste tax.
“We saw with the rigged survey to rename the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital that Labor has no respect for proper community consolation and no respect for Queenslanders. You just can’t trust Labor.
“This is not a waste solution based on good consultation – it’s simply a blatant $1.3 billion tax grab from Labor.
“An LNP Government led by Deb Frecklington will not introduce any new taxes.”
The collapse of engineering company RCR Tomlinson will severely impact solar energy projects and contractors but Labor is missing in action, LNP Shadow Energy Minister Michael Hart warned today.
“The chances of hard-working subcontractors receiving payments for the work they have done on RCR projects are very slim, despite the appointment of an administrator,” Mr Hart said.
“The failure of RCR will also have severe consequences for the renewable industry and may stall the current rush to build solar farms.
“Communities in regional Queensland can’t afford these setbacks at a time when they are already suffering an unemployment crisis.
“The collapse also has the potential to increase electricity bills as the industry comes to terms with the fall-out and solar project delays.
“Despite the serious consequences of the RCR failure, the Palaszczuk Labor Government has been missing in action.
“Labor Energy Minister Anthony Lynham needs to come out an answer serious questions about the impacts on the industry and local communities.”
Mr Hart said voluntary administrator McGrathNicol was expected to hold a creditors’ meeting in Brisbane on December 3 and an information pack sent to subcontractors affected by RCR’s collapse.
He said the LNP had urged administrators to ensure regional contractors who were owed money could access the creditors’ meeting either in person or via webcast.
“RCR had been working on a number of major projects in Queensland, including the $200 million Haughton solar farm and the Darling Downs Solar Farm,” Mr Hart said.
“It’s unacceptable that the Palaszcuk Labor Government turns its back on this issue because RCR is a private enterprise.
“Livelihoods are on the line here and an industry has suffered a major setback.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to guarantee to the people of Queensland that its rush toward a 50 per cent renewable target hasn’t contributed to this company’s collapse.
“The LNP has a responsible plan to mandate our government-owned corporations to invest in renewables only when it makes economic sense to do so.”
A Nine News Galaxy Poll has revealed that an overwhelming number of Queenslanders don’t want the name of the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital changed.
“This is the only scientifically conducted reliable poll on this issue to date and it proves Labor's claims about genuine consultation are all lies," Ms Frecklington said.
"This is the final nail in the coffin for Annastacia Palaszczuk's credibility. It is in Labor's DNA to lie and Queenslanders haven't been fooled by it.
"The Palaszczuk Government's survey to justify the name change was clearly a rort, rigged and corrupted. You cannot believe a word this government says.
"Queenslanders have now spoken loud and clear and this arrogant Labor Government must listen and stop the name change immediately.
"Health Minister Steven Miles should be packing his office tonight, he is unfit to be a Minister of the Crown.
"Taxpayers would rather their hard earned money be spent on fixing Labor's health crisis then changing Hospital names."
Nine News Galaxy Poll results:
Q. The Queensland Health Minister, Steven Miles, recently announced that the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital is to be renamed the Queensland Children’s Hospital. Which one of these options for the naming of this hospital would you prefer?
Keep the Lady Cilento name 52%.
Change the name but retain Lady Cilento in the title 13%.
Rename it Queensland Children's Hospital 27%.
Q. Do you believe the Queensland government has lied about the level of community support for this name change?
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has again been savaged in a new survey by Queensland small to medium businesses.
Excessive bureaucracy, lack of incentives, too much notice taken of unions and not understanding small business were the leading criticisms of the Labor Government by small to medium sized businesses, according to the latest Sensis Business Index survey released today.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer, Tim Mander, said the results were sadly par for the course when looking at the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic and business record.
“For the three straight quarters Queensland’s small business community has told us loud and clear that the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s policies of more taxes, more regulation, and more debt are bad for businesses,” Mr Mander said.
“Because of excessive red tape and union influence, the Palaszczuk Labor Government is once again the least popular government in Australia among small and medium sized businesses.
“Queensland’s small and medium sized businesses are now the most pessimistic in Australia about where the economy will be in one year’s time.
“With the highest unemployment rate in the nation and a ranking of sixth on the economic ladder by the CommSec State of the States, there’s little reason to wonder why Queensland’s business community has so little to be positive about.
“Labor just doesn’t get small business.
“While the out-of-touch Labor Government is working against small business interests, the LNP has a plan to make doing business in Queensland easier by cutting red tape by 20 per cent, paying businesses working with the government faster, and busting congestion by building the infrastructure that Queensland needs.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has said she is disturbed by reports that bikie gangs will use Labor’s proposed Human Rights Bill to challenge laws targeting criminal motorcycle gangs.
“Once again, we see more perverse consequences from Labor’s new Human Rights Bill, with grave consequences for community safety,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Labor have already softened the laws regarding organised crime gangs, which is why we’ve seen more gangs established, more members recruited and more drugs being peddled to kids.
“But news today about the potential conflict with Labor’s proposed Human Rights Bill could open the floodgates.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to guarantee that her new Human Rights Bill won’t give the green light to bikies to terrorise our communities once again.
“We already know that Labor are soft on bikies and organised crime, but this is simply outrageous.
“The LNP introduced Australia’s toughest laws dealing with organised crime gangs that saw gangs flee the state and a dramatic reduction in crime rates .
“Community safety will always be our priority.
“This just once again shows that the bikies are back under Labor.”
Letting juvenile offenders get away with breaking the law is not the answer to a youth justice system in crisis, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington warned today.
“Queensland has overcrowded detention centres, young criminals being kept in watch houses, continual riots, lockdowns and staff assaults and a failed bail house experiment,” Ms Frecklington said.
“What we’ve seen under Annastacia Palaszczuk is a youth justice system in crisis and youth crime out of control.
“Labor has weakened laws and bungled the transfer of 17-year-olds from adult prisons.
“On top of that we have seen the police budget slashed.
“Allowing young criminals to avoid the justice system by raising the age of criminal responsibility is a complete cop out.
“Letting juvenile offenders get away with breaking the law is not the answer. Labor is completely out of touch.”
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said any investigation into the age of criminal responsibility at Federal level was a waste of time and money as well.
“Young people should know the difference between right and wrong at age 10, let alone 14 or 15,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Young offenders must be held accountable for their crimes and anything else is an insult to victims who have had their cars stolen or homes broken into.
“If you are old enough to commit a serious crime, you are old enough to understand the consequences.
“Youth offenders being accountable for their actions and early intervention and rehabilitation must be the way forward.
“We need to make sure young offenders are rehabilitated and skilled up properly so they have a fair crack at turning their lives around.
“The LNP will always put community safety first.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said after a week of lies, scandals and claims of serious vote rigging that it was time the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) undertook a full investigation of the Palaszczuk Government’s Lady Cilento scandal.
Ms Frecklington has written to the CCC saying the LNP opposition has done all in its powers to bring these serious fraud allegations to light but it was now time for the state’s peak crime fighting body to step in and undertake a full investigation.
It follows a Nine News RTI showing that 74 IP addresses were responsible for almost 18,000 ‘yes’ votes in a clearly rigged consultation survey as well as admissions by the Health Minister to The Australian newspaper that his own Ministerial office voted multiple times. There have also been further revelations tonight following a Seven News RTI that the Hospital Foundation had words put in its mouth by Labor who falsely claim the Foundation had advocated for the Cilento name change.
“The Palaszczuk government’s credibility has been shot to pieces this week. To put it frankly, you can’t believe a word this government says,” Ms Frecklington said.
“This whole scandal is more than about the name change now, it goes to the heart of our democracy and good government.
“It is alleged that the Palaszczuk government rigged the vote and manipulated the entire consultation process.
“We believe there is a case and it is now time for the CCC to step in and launch a full investigation.”
Ms Frecklington said she has asked the CCC to investigate whether the Palaszczuk Government has broken Section 430 of the Criminal code about fraudulent falsification of records, whether corrupt conduct under section 15 of the Crime and Corruption act has taken place and whether the alleged the vote rigging was done by Ministerial staffers or Health bureaucrats potentially breaking the Public Sector Ethics Act 1994.
“This whole scandal undermines public confidence into public administration in Queensland,” she said.
“Queenslanders don’t like being lied to and they don’t like their money being wasted.”
The maximum penalty for the fraudulent falsification of records is 10 years prison, corrupt conduct maximum penalty is 14 years prison and the breaking of the Public Sector Ethics Act is up to one year in prison.
The grandparents of murdered Townsville toddler Mason Parker have backed the LNP’s plan to introduce Australia’s toughest punishments for child killers.
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki has pledged that a future LNP Government will increase the minimum non-parole period for the murder of a child under 18 from 20 to 25 years.
The LNP will also introduce a new offence of child manslaughter with a mandatory 15-year jail penalty.
John and Sue Sandeman, whose 16-month-old grandson Mason was murdered by their daughter’s partner in 2011, said they backed the LNP’s proposals.
“Mason would have had his ninth birthday next month,” Mr Sandeman said.
“The mongrel who killed him will have a life when he gets out of prison but Mason’s gone forever.
“The penalty for murdering a child has to be tougher and we have to stop other child killers getting soft sentences by pleading guilty to manslaughter. These deaths are not accidents.”
Mason’s murderer, Troy Reed, will be eligible to apply for parole after just 15 years.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington vowed to bring penalties into line with community expectations after the killer of Caboolture toddler Mason Jett Lee was jailed for nine years – with a non-parole period of just six years.
“Our current laws for child killers are too weak,” Mr Janetzki said.
“There is nothing more evil than killing a child and the LNP is determined to protect our kids.”
Mr Janetzki said the average sentence for child manslaughter in Queensland was just 6.8 years, compared to 8.5 years for adult manslaughter.
"The law as it stands has failed to deliver justice for too many children,” Mr Janetzki said.
“Labor’s plan for reform announced yesterday fails to increase overall sentences or deal with the challenge of securing a murder conviction instead of manslaughter.
“A Deb Frecklington LNP Government will make Queensland the safest place to raise a family.”
Today’s Auditor-General report confirmed Annastacia Palaszczuk has been using electricity as a secret tax and Queenslanders are paying the price through higher electricity bills.
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said the rising cost of electricity was one of the biggest issues raised with the LNP and was putting household budgets under pressure.
“Today’s report confirms what the LNP has been saying all along, that Labor is using electricity bills as a secret tax,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Total returns to the State Government amounted to $2.3 billion in 2017/18, and yet Labor only gave back $1.1 billion to consumers.
“That’s a profit increase of more than 15 per cent in the last two years, with electricity generation returns to government more than doubling to almost $1 billion.
“It’s a money merry-go-round that has seen record profits for government and increased prices for Queenslanders.
“The LNP has a plan to reduce skyrocketing electricity prices through long-term reform that promotes greater competition by restructuring the generators and sharing the benefits of shopping around to regional Queenslanders.”
Shadow Minister for Energy Michael Hart said the LNP’s plan is backed by the ACCC and Labor’s own Productivity Commission.
“We have listened to the concerns about rising electricity prices and the pressure they are putting on household budgets,” Mr Hart said.
“While Labor are focused on lining government coffers, the LNP has a plan to bring down electricity bills for consumers.
“This adds to the five other taxes already announced by Annastacia Palaszczuk and Labor, without ruling out any more as well.
“Pensioners are being ripped off and families are struggling enough as it is with rising water costs, skyrocketing petrol prices and the highest car registration in the country.
“Only the LNP has a plan to reduce electricity bills that puts the interests of Queenslanders first.”
The LNP’s new laws are needed now more than ever after the Palaszczuk Labor Government proved incapable of being tough on child killers.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said minimum mandatory sentences were not part of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s proposed new laws.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government had an opportunity here to make significant changes in our justice system to protect Queensland kids, but their response was weak,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The changes Labor have put forward merely tinker at the edges and they are not tough enough.
“They fall well short of what’s required to deliver punishments to child killers that meet community expectations.
“I am determined to protect our kids and we’ll punish the monsters that harm them.
“Judges are passing too many soft sentences for child killers – so I’m calling for minimum mandatory sentences instead.
“The LNP’s Mason Jett Lee Laws would introduce a minimum non-parole period of 25 years for the murder of a child and we would introduce a new offence of child manslaughter with a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.
“Enough is enough. There must be no more soft sentences.
“We will introduce our laws in Parliament and if Labor votes them down, I’ll take it to the people of Queensland at the 2020 election.”
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the LNP was determined to bring penalties into line with community expectations after the killer of toddler Mason Jett Lee was jailed for nine years - with a non-parole period of just six years.
“There is no worse crime than killing a child,” Mr Janetzki said.
“The LNP’s Mason Jett Lee Laws will more than double the current penalties being handed out.
“We need to send a message that people who murder a child will be severely punished. It is what the community expects.
“We’ve seen time and time again that when it comes to community safety issues, you just can’t trust Labor.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s sham survey to rip Lady Cilento’s name from the children’s hospital has been exposed.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been caught red-handed fudging statistics,” LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said.
“A Right to Information request has shown multiple votes had been recorded from the same IP address.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should immediately apologise to the family, restore Lady Cilento’s name to the hospital, and start concentrating on the healthcare of our sick kids.
“Queensland children should have money spent on their healthcare, but Labor is spending millions on dodgy surveys and ripping the Cilento name down from the hospital.
"The Premier is out of touch and power has gone to her head.
“The hospital was named after Phyllis Dorothy Cilento, who was a fierce advocate for the health of mothers and children, and her name belongs on that hospital.
“The Premier needs to stop the name change so this voting rort can be independently investigated.
“Labor hide behind this survey but now it is clear it was a scam.
“Labor’s Steven Miles should not only be sacked but he should offer a public apology to the Cilento family.
“An LNP Government I lead by would focus on delivering the world-class public health system Queenslanders deserve."
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has tonight called for the immediate sacking of Labor’s Health Minister after he was caught in a shocking lie in regards to the renaming of Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
“The story tonight on Nine News simply means Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Health Minister’s job is completely untenable,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Labor’s Steven Miles has been caught red handed lying to Queenslanders and is tonight damned by his own words and actions.
“What’s worse is that Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to stand by this fraud of a Minister.”
Ms Frecklington said during tonight’s story, Minister Miles said there was a no orchestrated smear campaign against the Cilento family but behind closed doors admitted there was.
“The question that needs to be asked is the real reason the Premier won’t act against Miles because she is up to her neck in this scandal as well?” she said.
“What did the Premier know and did she endorse Labor’s deceit?
“The survey was corrupted, a rort and rigged and Labor knew it.
“Just like with the disgraced Mark Bailey who used his private email to do dodgy deals with the unions, the Premier refuses to act in the best interests of Queenslanders.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government for slugging Queenslanders even more through the waste tax.
“This tax was a con job from the start and in true Labor style, it’s only getting worse,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Labor is jacking up the cost of a tax they did not even take to the election, but dumped on Queenslanders in this year’s Labor Budget.
“Queenslanders will now fork out $75 per tonne, instead of the $70 per tonne slug put forward when the bad tax was first announced by Labor.
“The tax should not have been forced on Queenslanders in the first place, and now Labor have bungled its introduction.
“Delaying the start date exposes the waste tax for the scam it really is.
“Labor told Queenslanders the waste tax was needed urgently to fix a dumping crisis in Ipswich, but months and months have gone by and now the tax has been delayed.
“This is not an urgent waste solution – it’s simply a blatant $1.3 billion tax grab.
“It doesn’t matter what the problem is, Labor’s solution is always tax, tax and more tax.
“Labor should scrap this tax immediately.
“Labor’s waste tax will cost councils, slug families and smash small businesses in every corner of this state.
“An LNP Government I lead will not introduce any new taxes.”
The Palaszczuk Labor Government is putting community safety at risk by refusing to investigate the Queensland Shark Control Program following three tragic attacks in Cid Harbour.
The Liberal National Party today called for a Parliamentary inquiry to investigate the effectiveness of the program and whether it should be expanded to key tourism areas like the Whitsundays.
“Three attacks in six weeks, including the tragic death of a Victorian tourist, clearly demands a full investigation of Queensland’s shark program,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Rather than putting people before sharks and taking a proper look at expanding the shark control program to the Whitsundays, Labor’s only response was a talkfest and a flaky five-point plan that wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.
“Queenslanders deserve a full investigation of the shark program because we need to know urgently if mistakes have been made.
“Labor abused their numbers in Parliament to block the investigation because they are desperate to avoid scrutiny about the shark program on their watch.
“The Whitsundays community is suffering but Annastacia Palaszczuk has her head in the sand and is refusing to examine the program designed to protect Queenslanders in the water.
“Slugging Queenslanders with a $250,000 bill to figure out if Cid Harbour has a shark problem is yet another example of the Palaszczuk Labor Government being completely out of touch.
“There is clearly a shark problem in Cid Harbour. There have been three attacks in less than three months including a tragic fatality.”
Ms Frecklington said a network of drum lines and nets had protected Queenslanders from shark attacks for more than 50 years.
“Labor needs to explain why one of the only areas of Queensland that does not have drum lines or netting is the Whitsundays,” she said.
“Queensland has 350 drum lines up and down the coast but not a single one in the Whitsundays.
“Drums lines should be installed immediately in Cid Harbour, to protect swimmers and our tourism industry.
“Sharks are astounding creatures that play an important part in the ocean ecosystem, but the safety of Queenslanders must come first. The LNP’s position is clear – people before sharks.”
Labor’s Agriculture Minister Mark Furner is overseeing a department of budget and timeframes blowouts that is failing to support farmers and the agriculture industry.
The departments IT program, designed to help national fire ant eradication, and engage with stakeholders is now more than three months overdue due to ‘resourcing issues’*.
The initial budget for the fire ant project was $694,000, although this has now blown out to $1 million with not set end date in sight.
Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said that it is clear all is not right in the Department of Agriculture.
“We have seen project blowouts, year-long delays as well as 123% surge in customer complaints in the department since 2015**,” Mr Perrett said.
“Fire ant eradication is a serious issue for our landholders and communities, one which should be properly funded and resourced.
“Unfortunately, Labor’s Minister is too weak and ineffective to secure the staff and resources it requires to fulfil its obligations to Queenslanders.
“It is also very clear that Queensland farmers are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the quality of service they are receiving from the Department of Agriculture.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk has cut 40 frontline staff from the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries since it came to government – including cuts to Biosecurity Queensland staff in the last budget.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s anti-farmer agenda is hurting regional Queensland.
“Whether it be Labor’s unfair vegetation laws, anti-dam agenda or underfunding and mismanagement of our all-important DAF and Biosecurity departments, no area is safe.
“Only a Deb Frecklington LNP Government will support our farmers and bridge the divide between South East Queensland and the regions.”
Today's jobs data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals Queensland stands alone with the worst unemployment rate in the nation under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Labor’s economic mismanagement and five new taxes were directly responsible for Queensland having the worst unemployment rate in both trend and seasonally adjusted measures.
“Queensland is now the only state or territory to have ‘6’ in front of its unemployment rate, despite the Premier’s broken promise to deliver an unemployment rate with a ‘5’ in front of it,” Mr Mander said.
“Recently, Queensland has shared the cellar-dweller status with Western Australia, but now we are outright last and going further backwards.
“Queensland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate jumped to 6.3 per cent, despite Australia’s unemployment rate staying at a six-year low of 5.0 per cent.
“Queensland jobs growth also went backwards in the last month on both trend and seasonally adjusted terms.
“With business confidence down, the highest unemployment rate in the nation, and an economy that has practically flatlined, it’s clear Labor has no plan for Queensland’s economy.
“The Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic mismanagement has led to nothing but five new taxes, the worst unemployment in the nation, and debt soaring to $83 billion.
“Only the LNP, with our commitment of no new taxes, cheaper electricity, and backing small business, can bring Queensland back to the top of the economic ladder.
“The LNP has an economic plan to create jobs, while Labor supports increased taxes.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Employment and Small Business Fiona Simpson said there were now 165,291 unemployed Queenslanders on trend terms – an increase of 1,227 in just one month.
“Labor can’t keep defending the shocking unemployment rate when everyday jobseekers are hurting because they can’t get a job,” Ms Simpson said.
“While Australia enjoys a jobs boom, Labor has bucked the trend and made getting a job in Queensland that much harder.
“We need action to grow job numbers, but all we are getting from Labor are excuses.
"Only the LNP's economic plan can bring back the confidence businesses need to invest and employ in Queensland."
The Palaszczuk Labor Government should reverse its cuts to preventative health spending if it is serious about combatting obesity, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said today.
The 2018 Health of Queenslanders report has revealed that almost 60 per cent of Queenslanders are classified as overweight or obese.
But information provided in response to an Opposition question-on-notice (see below) has revealed that Labor will cut spending on preventative health by almost $300,000 this year.
“Labor should be increasing spending on preventative health instead of sneaking through budget cuts,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Doctors across Queensland are demanding action on obesity but they have been ignored by Health Minister Steven Miles.
“A competent Health Minister would invest in preventative health, but Steven Miles would rather blow the budget on renaming hospitals. Labor’s priorities are all wrong.”
Shadow Health Minister and nurse Ros Bates said Annastacia Palaszczuk needed a new Health Minister.
“Labor’s own report shows that obesity increases the risk of chronic disease, particularly diabetes and reduces life expectancy,” Ms Bates said.
“Rather than playing politics, Minister Miles should focus on measures to reduce chronic disease and obesity, which will actually save the health budget in the long-run.
“This is a Minister who is out of his depth, not across the details of the biggest portfolio in government and this is yet another reason why he should be sacked.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the protection of vulnerable kids should be the priority for every government.
“It’s disappointing that it’s taken over a year for Annastacia Palaszczuk to amend blue card laws following the review handed down in September 2017,” Ms Frecklington said.
“That review was instigated following the tragic death of Tiahleigh Palmer.
“We’ve seen scandal after scandal and confirmation that thousands of Queenslanders have been working with children without a Blue Card.
“Blue cards should be a privilege not a right.”
LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said Labor’s new laws would still allow convicted murderers and rapists to apply and be considered for a blue card in Queensland.
“Labor have failed to close that loophole, as recommended in their own review. That’s clearly not good enough,” Mr Janetzki said.
“The new disqualifying framework also doesn’t include serious violent offences including manslaughter and choking, suffocation and strangulation in a domestic setting.
“It’s clear that Labor’s new blue card laws don’t go far enough.”
The appalling outlook of Queensland’s economy under Annastacia Palaszczuk is dealing a massive blow to business confidence, LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander warned today.
“The latest CCIQ Pulse Survey demonstrates that not only has Queensland’s economic outlook taken a nosedive, it shows business conditions and profitability are rapidly weakening,” Mr Mander said.
“Between the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s five new taxes and Queensland having the highest unemployment rate in the nation, it’s easy to see why business confidence is in freefall.
“This is just the latest damning report to confirm the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s economic mismanagement and is hot on the heels of the CommSec State of State, which put the Queensland economy in an embarrassing sixth position.
“Only the LNP, with its commitment to supporting businesses, no new taxes, and putting downward pressure on electricity prices, can revive Queensland’s economy and business confidence.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington is calling on Sunshine Coast residents to back her plan to prosecute callous pet owners who leave their dogs to swelter in hot cars.
The Queensland RSPCA receives more than a thousand reports of animals trapped in hot vehicles every year and the LNP is proposing a new law to tackle the problem.
“Each summer the RSPCA and police are flooded with calls about poor dogs left trapped inside hot cars,” Ms Frecklington.
“Some of these poor animals are rescued in time – but tragically some aren’t.
“The owners usually escape punishment, but they should be held responsible.
“A future LNP Government will make it a specific offence to leave a dog trapped in a hot car, making it easier to take the culprits to court.
“Animals have rights too and the LNP will fight to protect them.”
The new offence, which has been proposed following consultation with Queensland RSPCA, would have a maximum penalty of a $250,000 fine or three years’ jail.
LNP Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has urged Sunshine Coast residents to sign the LNP’s petition supporting the new law (link below).
“We need to take a tougher stance on this animal welfare problem,” Mr McArdle said.
“A dog can die in just six minutes in a hot vehicle, but those responsible rarely face prosecution.”
Ms Frecklington has urged the Palaszczuk Labor Government to support the proposed law.
“We don’t have the numbers in Parliament but we would happily work with the Government to make this important change a reality,” Ms Frecklington said.
Petition link: https://bit.ly/2qvOboP
The LNP has welcomed the restoration of maternity services at Chinchilla Hospital.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said expecting mums in regional Queensland deserved the same level of health care as those in the cities.
“As someone who was born in a regional hospital, I understand how important these services are to rural and regional families,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It’s disappointing that it’s taken almost a year to restore these services since the hospital went on maternity bypass in December last year.
“Our hardworking nurses, midwives, doctors and paramedics in regional Queensland need more support to improve frontline health services in the bush.
“The LNP restored regional maternity services in government because we strongly believe Queenslanders deserve a world-class health system no matter where they live.
“We will continue the fight to see services return to Theodore now as well.”
Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said Annastacia Palaszczuk’s health priorities were all wrong.
“Labor’s priority seems to be wasting taxpayers’ money changing the names of hospitals rather than improving the services they provide,” Ms Bates said.
“It’s great to see services return to Chinchilla but they should never have been lost in the first place.
“Ambulance ramping continues to increase, our emergency departments are overcrowded and elective surgery wait times are blowing out.
“As a nurse, I know how important local maternity care is across regional Queensland.
“We need to help expecting mums have their babies as close to home as they can.”
LNP MP for Callide Colin Boyce said the restoration of maternity services was important for local communities.
“Restoring maternity services at Chinchilla is a step in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go given Labor’s track record of closing dozens of maternity services,” Mr Boyce said.
“The LNP Government stopped Labor’s wave of closures and actually re-opened services in Beaudesert and Cooktown.
“It’s clear that the only way to restore regional services in places like Theodore is by getting rid of the Palaszczuk Labor Government.”
Today’s AMA report card on major Brisbane hospitals is another damning indictment on the state of our public health system under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said Queensland’s public health system was lurching from crisis to crisis.
“While Labor focuses on wasting taxpayers’ money renaming hospitals, Queenslanders expect the government to be focused on providing better patient care,” Ms Frecklington said.
“This is yet another example that when it comes to health care, Labor’s priorities are all wrong.
“Bullying has no place in our society in any shape or form.
“Ambulance ramping is skyrocketing, our emergency departments are overcrowded and elective surgery wait times are blowing out.
“Our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics need more help on the frontline to improve patient care.”
LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates said the damning report card was effectively a vote of no confidence by our doctors in Labor Health Minister Steven Miles.
“This is just another reason why he should be sacked,” Ms Bates said.
“Queenslanders deserve a world-class public health system that the Palaszczuk Labor Government isn’t delivering.”
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has vowed to introduce Australia's toughest punishment for child killers if her party wins the next state election.
Ms Frecklington said she was determined to bring penalties into line with community expectations after the killer of toddler Mason Jett Lee was jailed for nine years - with a non-parole period of just six years.
A future LNP Government will introduce a new offence of child manslaughter that will ensure similar crimes are punished with a mandatory 15-year jail penalty.
The LNP will also increase the minimum non-parole period for the murder of a child under 18 from 20 to 25 years.
"Enough is enough, no more soft punishments. It is time to act,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The current laws for child killers are too weak in Queensland and I'm determined to strengthen them.
"It breaks my heart to think about what Mason suffered - and I'm appalled his killer could be free in four years.
“That’s why we will introduce the Mason Jett Lee laws – Australia’s toughest child killer laws.
"I want to make child killers pay for their crimes.”
Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the average sentence for child manslaughter in Queensland was just 6.8 years, compared to 8.5 years for adult manslaughter.
"The law as it stands has failed to deliver justice for Mason and we must act to toughen it", Mr Janetzki said.
"Our child manslaughter offence puts value on the life of a defenceless child".
Shadow Minister for Women (and Act for Mason patron) Ros Bates has supported the relatives of several child abuse victims in their fight for tougher penalties.
"There is nothing more evil than killing a child," Ms Bates said.
"Children cannot fight back - which is why it's up to us to protect them.
"It's time for Queensland to get tougher on animals who kill defenceless children."
LNP Shadow Minister for Prevention of Family and Domestic Violence Stephen Bennett said the Mason Jet Laws show that the LNP will do whatever it takes to keep Queensland kids safe.
“Community safety should always come first,” Mr Bennett said.
“An LNP Deb Frecklington government will care about protecting our kids and we want Queensland to be the safest place to raise a family.”
“Annastacia Palaszczuk is a part-time Premier who hides from bad news and now cancels Parliament.
“Labor’s decision to axe the December sitting is a blow to transparency and an insult to hard-working Queenslanders.
“This decision means Labor’s summer break will begin a full month before our schoolkids finish for the year.
“We have rising crime, cost of living expenses are going up, congestion is worsening, rising debt, taxes and unemployment and a health system in rapid decline – no wonder the Palaszczuk Labor Government wants to hide.
“Parliament doesn’t need a massive summer break. This is a direct result of Annastacia Palaszczuk not having a plan and the wrong priorities.
“This must be the laziest government that Queensland’s ever seen.”
Scorching temperatures across many parts of Queensland reinforces the need for the Liberal National Party’s plan to air-condition every state school classroom.
LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said with temperatures as high as 39 degrees expected over the next three days in areas where there is no compulsory school air-conditioning, classrooms without air-conditioning would be a nightmare for teaching and learning.
“Today is going to be a scorcher across many parts of Queensland as we head into summer,” Ms Frecklington said.
“At present, air-conditioning isn’t compulsory in state schools in southeast Queensland, including on the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast, in Brisbane, Ipswich, Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Gympie.
“Children and teachers will swelter in classrooms with no air-conditioning this week.
“We think that smart kids are cool kids.
“Queensland is a hot state and if it’s good enough that we air-condition other public buildings, it should be good enough for our kids and teachers as well.
“This is all part of our plan to make Queensland kids the smartest in the nation.”
LNP Shadow Education Minister Jarrod Bleijie said the LNP’s plan would not only keep kids cool but help them with their studies.
“Studies have shown that students perform better and produce better results in schools that have air-conditioned classrooms,” Mr Bleijie said.
“Our NAPLAN results, particularly for writing, are going backwards and it is no wonder kids are struggling to learn when some days their classrooms are over 35 degrees.
“The LNP’s plan to air-condition classrooms will lead to better student results and a more comfortable working environment for our teachers, teacher aides and principals.”
The LNP has called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to sack the Labor Health Minister following a series of disastrous policy failures.
LNP Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates condemned Health Minister Steven Miles’ shocking record in Parliament today and warned the health of Queenslanders was too important to risk.
“We have a public health system lurching from crisis to crisis and our Dr Doolittle Health Minister Steven Miles hasn’t even been in the job 12 months yet,” Ms Bates said.
“The annual report dump last week once again showed that our health system is in complete meltdown - elective surgery and emergency department times have blown out while other hospitals are struggling to stay afloat financially.
“As a nurse, I understand that our hard-working nurses, midwives, doctors and paramedics need more support on the frontline to improve patient care.
“The sick and injured who rely on the public health system just expect Steven Miles to do his job and improve patient care.
“Queenslanders deserve a world-class public health system that the Palaszczuk Labor Government isn’t delivering.
“Mr Miles’ twisted priorities are highlighted by the extraordinary decision to rename the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital – wasting millions of taxpayers’ dollars in the process.
“The health of Queenslanders is too important to risk, but Steven Miles is clearly out of his depth, not across his brief and not up to his job.
“It’s time the Premier showed some leadership on health and sacked this incompetent Minister.
“While Labor focuses on changing names of hospitals, an LNP Government led by Deb Frecklington would focus on delivering the world-class public health system Queenslanders deserve.”
Private Members’ Motion by Mudgeeraba MP and Shadow Health Minister Ros Bates:
This House condemns the Health Minister for his policy failures and wrong priorities, including:
LNP Shadow Minister for Natural Resources Dale Last has slammed the Palaszczuk Labor Government for guillotining debate on laws to protect Queensland’s mine workers.
“It’s clear the Labor Government is running from scrutiny and refusing to answer questions on their own legislation,” Mr Last said.
“We still had members wanting to debate the Bill on behalf of their electorates, but Labor abused their majority in the House to guillotine debate.
“This in an important Bill about the safety of our mine workers. Every member of the House had the right to speak on the Bill but were denied the opportunity by this undemocratic Labor Government.
“It’s the second time in 24 hours Labor have jumped early and cut debate on important legislation.
“By cutting the debate, Labor’s Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham was not required to answer any questions that were raised by MPs during the debate - effectively giving the Bill a free ride through Parliament.”