Queensland Deputy Leader of the Opposition and Shadow Treasurer - Tim Mander MP for Everton, Brisbane, Australia

QUEENSLAND DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION AND SHADOW TREASURER

An unprecedented abuse of power by Labor

Fri 20 Mar 2020

 

Using the cover of the coronavirus crisis to close State Parliament for up to six months would be the biggest abuse of political power in Queensland’s history, the LNP said tonight.

Labor tonight voted to hand the Speaker of Parliament ­– appointed by Labor – the sole power to close down Parliament and prevent democratic scrutiny of the Palaszczuk Government.

No other state or territory government has adopted such a measure and nor has the Federal Government.

The move could prevent regular questioning of the Palaszczuk Labor Government and allow Treasurer Jackie Trad to avoid presenting a Budget before the October 31 state election.

“Labor is paving the way for the suspension of democratic government in Queensland,” Ms Frecklington said.

“No one disputes the seriousness of the coronavirus crisis, but Labor’s plan is an extreme and anti-democratic over-reaction.

“In a crisis like this, it is more important than ever that governments remain transparent and accountable.

“Both sides of politics should co-operate to ensure that a slimmed-down Parliament continues to sit ­­– as happened this week.

“Instead, Labor is using this crisis to shutdown Parliament for its own advantage.

“This is a desperate act from a Premier who is desperate to avoid scrutiny.

“This isn’t calm leadership, this is unbridled panic.

“Closing Parliament would help Labor close down discussion of its dire record - including the nation’s worst unemployment, soaring crime, falling education results and longer waiting times for patients – until just weeks before the next election.

 

“The Parliament must continue to work to ensure the economic response is suitable to keep Queenslanders in work.

 

“Schools and workplaces are open. Parliament must stay open too,” Ms Frecklington said. 

Domestic violence tragedies deserve immediate response

 

LNP Leader Deb Frecklington has today announced a range of important new measures to strengthen Queensland’s domestic violence strategy.

Ms Frecklington said she was determined to keep Queenslanders safe and secure by preventing violence, supporting survivors and holding offenders to account.

A future LNP Government will introduce the toughest strangulation laws in the country, immediately review the current criminal justice framework to implement new laws such as coercive control, roll-out personal safety devices to people at high-risk and provide grants up to $2000 for emergency accommodation assistance.  

“I share in the community’s grief over the tragic death of Hannah Clarke and her three young children Aaliyah, Laianah, and Trey,” Ms Frecklington said.

“We owe it to Hannah, her three children, and the countless other victims and survivors of domestic violence to do whatever it takes to make Queensland safer.

“It’s time for Queenslanders to come together to deal with this issue because everyone deserves to live safely and free from violence.

“One of the reasons I became an MP was I saw the system fail domestic violence victims when I worked as a lawyer in Kingaroy.

“Ihelped families escape violence as a lawyer and I’m determined to keep helping them as a politician.

“I believe the government can do more to both prevent domestic violence and to help survivors, and it’s an issue that should be above politics.

“Queensland’s laws are clearly failing to protect victims and every aspect must be looked at to fix the system.

“Under the LNP’s plan, frontline Police will be given tougher laws and new powers to issue domestic violence orders on the spot. The LNP will provide high risk domestic violence victims with personal safety devices so they will know if someone issued with a DVO is getting closer to them.”

Ms Frecklington said the new measures built on the landmark Not Now, Not Ever report commissioned by the previous LNP Government and had four key pillars:

1. Better laws and stronger penalties – fixing the strangulation offence

Immediately fix the definition and double the current maximum penalty for strangulation from 7 years to 14 years. This will re-classify the offence as a Serious Violent Offence and align the penalties with grievous bodily harm, ensuring Queensland has the toughest strangulation laws in the nation.

2. New laws 

Immediately review the entire domestic violence criminal justice legal framework to implement new laws such as coercive control and a specific domestic violence summary offence. Laws will also empower police to issue domestic violence orders on the spot, providing a more immediate response to help families, while taking pressure off our overburdened police and courts.

3. Protecting domestic violence survivors - Smart Technology

The LNP will commit $500,000 to rollout 200 personal safety devices to people vulnerable to domestic violence. This will include greater integration with GPS trackers and protect vulnerable survivors and their families when they need it most.

4. Extra support for domestic violence survivors and their families ($2.4 million)

An LNP Government will provide $1 million in extra funding to Women’s Legal Service and an additional $1 million in contestable funding to other frontline legal and support providers of domestic violence or sexual violence support. The LNP will also establish one-off emergency assistance grants of up to $2000, to help families flee, in recognition of the shortage of crisis accommodation.

LNP Shadow Attorney-General David Janetzki said the proposed changes to the laws aimed to give police a stronger framework to curb domestic violence on the frontline.

“Community safety should always come first,” Mr Janetzki said.

"The LNP will immediately review the entire domestic criminal justice legal framework to fix any failures in the system.

“We will also implement new laws aimed at helping our police do their jobs and improve community safety.

“Our police and courts are overwhelmed under the current system, which isn’t working to protect families or hold perpetrators accountable.”

LNP Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Stephen Bennett said while Not Now, Not Ever was an important reform, the government had a responsibility to be proactive in responding to the changing nature of domestic violence.

“An LNP Government would be relentless in ensuring domestic violence policies are up to date and working as they should be,” Mr Bennett said.

“Underlying causes of domestic violence are complex, but that doesn’t mean stopping it is without hope.

“Domestic violence must be prevented because the harm it causes reaches every corner of our societyacross Queensland. 

“We want Queensland to be the safest place to live, work and raise a family.

“Domestic violence is above politics and I’m happy to work with Annastacia Palaszczuk to implement an immediate response to community concerns.”

Trad effect hits Queensland building industry

The latest ABS data released today has shown that home-building is slumping in Queensland – but increasing across the rest of nation.

While the overall number of Australian dwelling units approved increased by 2.1% in December, Queensland’s approvals fell by 1.3%.

Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said that since Annastacia Palaszczuk became Premier, Queensland building approvals have fallen by a huge 40 per cent.

“This is more evidence that Annastacia Palaszczuk and Jackie Trad have broken Queensland’s economy,” Mr Mander said.

“After five years of Labor, home construction has slumped, business confidence is at rock-bottom and we have the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation.

“Only the LNP will deliver the strong economy that Queensland needs to deliver better schools, improve health services and create well-paid local jobs.

“The LNP will create a strong economy jobs by building the New Bradfield Scheme, building new roads and dams, cutting electricity prices and guaranteeing no new taxes.”

Source – TABLE 03. Number of Dwelling Units Approved, by Sector, all series – Queensland. https://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/8731.0Dec%202019?OpenDocument

Labor locks in more debt and higher unemployment

 

The soaring debt, lower growth and higher unemployment forecast in today’s Budget update shows Labor has broken the Queensland economy, LNP Deputy Leader Tim Mander said.

“Every economic indicator is now heading in the wrong direction under Labor,” Mr Mander said.

“Jackie Trad’s plan will do nothing to help the 177,000 Queenslanders who will be out of work this Christmas or the thousands of businesses in danger of going broke.

“Labor’s raid on public servants’ superannuation is not a debt plan, it’s a sham.

“According to Jackie Trad’s own figures, it will take the ‘Future Fund’ 230 years to clear Labor’s massive debt.

“Labor’s own savings measure on consultant spending has also come up well short of the $1.7 billion they promised only six months ago.

“Labor’s not working.”

The Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review today showed:

·         Debt– Debt has blown out by over $1 billion to $91.8 billion in 2022-23.

·         Forecasted unemployment– Forecasted unemployment has increased by an average of 0.25% for an average of 6.25% this financial year.

·         Economic growth – Forecasted economic growth has been revised down by 0.5% to 2.5% this financial year

·         Royalties – Jackie Trad has made a $1.13 billion royalty blunder.

·        Interest payments – Queenslanders will be forced to pay almost $13 billion in interest on Labor’s ballooning debt over the next four years.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk won’t sack Jackie Trad for her integrity scandals, but the Premier should sack her Treasurer for destroying Queensland’s economy,” Mr Mander said.

“Queenslanders cannot afford this reckless, financially incompetent government to run this state for another four years.

“The LNP will end Labor’s wasteful spending and manage the Budget to provide better services, like health, education and transport.”

Queensland elective surgery wait list blowout

 

A new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows Queensland hospital waiting lists blowing out under the Palaszczuk Labor Government.

LNP Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Ros Bates said the report was more evidence of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s broken promises and wrong priorities on health.

“Queensland’s surgery wait time is one of the worst in Australia and higher than the national average under Labor,” Ms Bates said.

“Hospital admissions for surgery have increased by 12 per cent since 2014/15, surgery wait times have blown out by 92 per cent.

“Queensland was leading the nation five years ago under the LNP.

“While Annastacia Palaszczuk wastes money on failed IT systems and changing hospital names, patients are waiting longer for life-saving surgery.

“As a nurse I know that patients on wait lists can suffer more health issues and conditions can get worse.

“Queenslanders have had enough of Labor’s endless excuses and political blame games.

“When it comes to providing better health services, Queenslanders can’t trust Labor.

“The LNP has a plan to get waiting lists under control and our hospitals working.

“The LNP will re-focus our public health system on patient outcomes and better patient care.

“We will ensure our hard-working nurses, doctors and paramedics have the support they need on the front line.

“The LNP will partner with the private sector to reduce waiting lists and ensure surgeries are completed on time.

“Patient care will be our number one priority.”


Source:

https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-data/myhospitals/sectors/elective-surgery (Elective surgery 2018/19, table S4.3)

  • In 2018/19, Queensland surgery patients waited 282 days on average, up from 147 days in 2014/15.
  • 1850 patients waited over a year an increase of 193% in the last four years.

 

 

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

Admissions

126,275

141,250

143,447

140,935

142,358

Days waited at 50th percentile

27

29

32

40

41

Days waited at 90th percentile

147

163

211

279

282

% waited over 365 days

0.5

0.4

0.4

1.3

1.3

Surgery wait time changes since 2014/15:

 

State

% change since 2014/15

New South Wales

0.0%

Victoria

-17.5%

Queensland

91.8%

Western Australia

48.6%

South Australia

31.9%

Tasmania

-19.1%

Australian Capital Territory

31.4%

Northern Territory

5.5%

Labor must speed up M1 funding

 

The Palaszczuk Labor Government needs to stop playing politics and put money on the table to build a second M1.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Annastacia Palaszczuk must allocate funding in the upcoming mid-year budget update to build this major infrastructure project.

“Queenslanders are sick of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s excuses,” Mr Mander said.

“Labor doesn’t have a plan to bust congestion.

“The LNP is the only party that will build a second M1.

“We’ve put $550 million on the table and we’ll work with the Federal Government to get this project done.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk has only announced a business case and delayed any decision until 2023.

“Building a second M1 is a key part of the LNP’s plan to bust congestion by building new and better roads.

“With the holidays approaching, the M1 will be a car park, frustrating local motorists and delaying tourists.

“The LNP will get Gold Coast residents home sooner and safer.

“Queenslanders can’t afford another four years of Annastacia Palaszczuk stone-walling job creating infrastructure projects this state desperately needs.

“The LNP built the first M1 and we will build the second M1 - you can bank on that.”
 

Media statement from LNP Leader Deb Frecklington: Flood class action

 

The court’s decision today shows Labor failed to properly manage dams in the lead up to the 2011 floods.

“Labor’s mismanagement put lives at risk and destroyed property. 

“Annastacia Palaszczuk should apologise on behalf of the Bligh Government and ensure this mismanagement never happens again.

“Taxpayers will now be slugged millions because of Labor’s incompetence. 

“This is further proof that Queensland can’t afford Labor.”

Labor votes against crucial bushfire inquiry

 

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has voted against an open and transparent Parliamentary Inquiry into the state’s bushfire prevention and preparedness strategies.

LNP Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers Lachlan Millar said countless communities across regional Queensland had been devastated by bushfires recently.

Vision of speeches in Parliament: https://bit.ly/2KZY6Oe 

"The LNP called for a Parliamentary Inquiry on behalf Queenslanders who have suffered the impacts of not one, but two, unusual and frightening fire seasons," Mr Millar said.

"Queenslanders deserve to know why this Labor Government has overseen an 83 per cent reduction in overall fire prevention activities*.

“This is on top of Labor slashing funding for the Rural Fire Service by $13 million**.”

The Inspector-General of Emergency Management was tasked with a review following the major bushfires in November and December 2018 that raged across more than a million hectares of land.

The review showed alarming falls in bushfire prevention measures by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services in 2018 compared to 2016:

  • 83% reduction in overall completed fire prevention activities
  • 75% reduction in completed hazard reduction burns
  • 82% reduction in completed fire breaks
  • 88% reduction in community education activities

"While the Labor Government should be doing more to prepare for bushfires, instead they are cutting back on proven bushfire prevention measures,” Mr Millar said.

"Our firies do an incredible job protecting the public and property, but they are being let down by a Labor government that is failing to ensure emergency services have the resources they need to do their job.

“To make things worse, a report by the Queensland Audit Office found QFES didn’t know if Queensland's fuel loads were being managed effectively***.”

LNP Leader and Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington moved a motion for an inquiry in Parliament yesterday. 

"The LNP's call for a Parliamentary Inquiry had the full support of the crossbench, but Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Labor Government voted against it,” Mr Millar said.

“Labor opted for a secret government review designed to hide the truth and cover up any failings of the government.

"The LNP will continue to hold the Labor Government to account because nothing is more important than community safety.”

Background:

* IGEM 2018 Queensland Bushfires Review p74 (graphic): https://www.igem.qld.gov.au/reports-and-publications/reports/Documents/IGEM%20Queensland%20Bushfire%20REVIEW%202019.pdf

Statement from LNP Leader Deb Frecklington 'Trad must go'

 

In an unprecedented move, Labor’s Speaker has been forced to refer Jackie Trad to the powerful ethics committee after a compliant by the independent Crime and Corruption Commission.

This has never happened before in Queensland politics and shows how deep the integrity crisis goes in the Palaszczuk government.

It is now another test of leadership for the Premier, she must finally act and sack dodgy Jackie Trad.

Jackie Trad’s position is untenable as a decision maker while this investigation is taking place.

Link to the ruling:

https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2019/5619T2017.pdf



 

Labor must play its part in helping fight drought

 

The announcement by the Federal Government of an extra $1 billion in aid to support farmers and communities fighting devastating drought is welcome, but Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Government is refusing to increase support.

Liberal National Party Shadow Minister for Agriculture Tony Perrett said the Palaszczuk Labor Government was failing to properly respond to the state’s worsening drought situation.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government was handed its drought review report in January this year but has no intention of implementing any new drought support measures until 2021, after the next state election,” Mr Perrett said.

“Despite the deteriorating drought situation in Queensland, all Labor can commit to is cutting freight subsidies for essential fodder and water from July 1 next year, saving them $50 million over the forward estimates*.

“While the Federal LNP is ramping up its assistance to farmers and their communities, Queensland Labor continues to politicise the drought and cut support.

“Cutting drought support during drought is a disgrace and quite rightly needs to be called out.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk is completely out of touch with farmers and regional Queensland.

“Producers deserve a Premier who could lead this state during times of severe drought but all they get from Annastacia Palaszczuk is cuts and fake fights with Canberra.


“Annastacia Palaszczuk is the weakest Premier in living memory and she’s betraying the Queenslanders who produce our food and fibre.

“The LNP will never turn our backs on farmers and the agriculture industry.”

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