Pitt forced to act on “Un-Productivity” Commission

Treasurer Curtis Pitt has been forced to act after questions from the LNP over Labor’s reluctance to refer matters to the ‘unproductive’ Productivity Commission. Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson said Mr Pitt had referred two more inquiries only after the Commission was scrutinised for chewing up taxpayers’ money with nothing to do. “This move from Treasurer Curtis Pitt shows this do–nothing Palaszczuk Labor Government only acts when its hand is forced,” Mr Emerson said. “In true Labor form, Curtis Putt is simply scrambling to make it look like he’s doing something.

“Curtis Pitt should be working to ensure the $15 million the Commission receives from the public purse is spent productively, as its name would suggest.

“How long will Queenslanders have to wait before this government acts proactively to deliver for them, rather than when it’s caught sitting on its hands?”

Mr Emerson said more than 100 reviews had been commissioned under the Palaszczuk Labor Government, but only two had been referred to the Queensland Productivity Commission before Curtis Pitt acted today.

LNP backs community call for Labor to end Adani delays

The LNP Opposition has repeated its calls for Annastacia Palaszczuk to guarantee the people of North and Central Queensland that Labor’s new environmental legislation won’t delay Adani’s Carmichael mine, following the release of an open letter from regional community leaders and businesses. Shadow Mines Minister Andrew Cripps said the open letter – signed by business and community leaders from Rockhampton, Townsville, Whitsunday, Charters Towers, Mackay and the Central Highlands – was a clear message that Labor must guarantee an end to further roadblocks and delays.

“When community leaders right across North and Central Queensland publicly plead with the government not to allow its new environmental legislation to kill this project, surely Annastacia Palaszczuk and her local Labor MPs must listen and act,” Mr Cripps said.

“These industry and civic leaders are on the ground in these regions and will be left to pick up the pieces in their local communities if these projects are jeopardised by further lengthy court appeals.

“These 17 recognised leaders from business, industry and local government all agree that Adani’s project will deliver thousands of much-needed jobs and investment to their region.

“Labor must put an end to the uncertainty and guarantee their latest green tape scheme won’t delay this project, which has already been subjected to lengthy and stringent environmental assessment.

“If Ms Palaszczuk doesn’t give that guarantee, she is straight out ignoring the Central and North Queensland community leaders who have put their name to paper today and she is putting local jobs at risk.”

Mr Cripps said other vital projects were also being held to ransom by green activists who have replaced resource sector unions as the primary drivers of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s mining policies, threatening the security of the jobs of their members.

“The last thing we need is major projects like New Hope’s Stage 3 at Acland, which has overwhelming support from the local community, facing further delays because of the Palaszczuk Labor Government’s proposed groundwater laws,” he said.

“With Labor’s State Conference this weekend, it will be interesting to see if the CFMEU puts up a fight for the jobs of its members at Acland, or if the union is silenced to preserve Labor’s preference deal with the Greens.”

Labor’s reckless rush to renewables will pump up power prices

The Palaszczuk Labor Government has again failed to guarantee Queenslanders that their power bills won’t sky-rocket as a result of her unrealistic push to have 50 per cent of Queensland powered by green energy by 2030. Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said Labor’s “Credible Pathways to a 50 per cent Renewable Energy Target for Queensland – Draft Report” tried to deceive Queenslanders about the true costs of its energy policies. “The Renewable Energy Taskforce report seeks to justify Labor’s ideological obsession with green energy rather than tell the truth that it will add billions of dollars to Queenslanders power bills,” Mr Nicholls said.

“This flawed report seeks to downplay the true cost to Queenslanders of an over the top renewable energy target that will put Queensland’s energy security at risk and hike up household power costs.

“This report estimates taxpayers will have to pay $900 million in subsidies to bring in green energy, but the Queensland Productivity Commission says the real cost will be a massive $10.8 billion.

“So when Labor says the cost will be “somewhat neutral”, Queenslanders can bet their bottom dollar they will be paying more.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to guarantee Queenslanders their power bills won’t rise as a result of her policies – a promise she won’t make because she knows she can’t keep it.”

Shadow Energy Minister, Michael Hart, said Labor’s green energy targets put thousands of Queensland jobs at risk and jeopardised energy security.

“This report forecasts Queensland’s coal-fired power generators will face a bleak future beyond 2030,” Mr Hart said.

“Labor’s policy will slash billions from the value of Queensland’s government-owned power plants, putting the jobs of their 1165 Queenslanders at risk.

“It also places Queensland’s energy supply at risk from the sort of blanket blackouts experienced in South Australia recently.

“Labor cannot be trusted to keep the lights on or keep power bills down.”

Labor still slugging Queenslanders for car rego

The recent release of official inflation figures has again confirmed Queensland families are being slugged by the Palaszczuk Labor Government every time they go to pay for car registration. Shadow Transport Minister Andrew Powell said “For the second year running this Labor government has increased family car rego costs by 3.5% – more than twice the inflation rate.” “Where’s Annastacia Palaszczuk’s commitment to the battlers now? Queensland families are struggling to cope with spiraling household costs but she doesn’t care. “Don’t forget under the Bligh Labor Government we saw car rego costs soar by 30 per cent in their last four years and at the same time public transport fares increased by more than 50 per cent.

“Fast forward a few years and it’s just the same bad old Labor.”

Mr Powell said under the Palaszczuk Government, car registration costs for a four-cylinder vehicle had increased by $20 per year, and for a six-cylinder car by almost $32.

“The LNP froze car registration costs for the three years we were in government and we’ve committed that any future rises are kept in line with CPI – not double the inflation rate like we’ve seen under Labor,” he said.

“Under Annastacia Palaszczuk, state taxes have increased by $59 per Queenslander.

“This desperate Labor Government will look for any opportunity to raise revenue, with car rego now costing more than $300 per year for a four-cylinder car.

“Only an LNP Government has the experience and competence to power up the economy, generate jobs and manage the state’s debt.”

Bittersweet Adani announcement two years too late

I wholeheartedly welcome the $21 billion Carmichael mine and the many jobs that will flow for thousands of Queenslanders. But why has it taken Annastacia Palaszczuk two years to come to the party. It took two years for Labor to get their act into gear, there could have been thousands of jobs created and hundreds of millions of dollars of royalties coming into Queensland. As recently as three weeks ago the Palaszczuk Labor Government was still putting roadblocks in the way of this vital project, all to secure inner-city Green votes. Just a few weeks ago, the LNP led the charge in State Parliament to ensure this project wouldn’t be held up by further red tape from Labor.  When we came into Government in 2012, this project had been languishing for years under the Bligh Government.

We moved immediately to progress a Galilee Basin Development Strategy and the Coordinator-General’s Environmental Impact Statement process to get this project off the ground as quickly as possible.

Labor has been dragged kicking and screaming to support this project and any attempt to claim credit for it is an absolute sham.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk says these jobs won’t go to 457 Visa holders but admits there’s no written guarantee from Adani to ensure jobs go to local workers.

I would have thought a written commitment would be wise to guarantee we can deliver these jobs to those who need them most.

Queenslanders deserve a guarantee from Annastacia Palaszczuk on these jobs– anything less and she has failed them again. “

The LNP has been unwavering in its support for this project – it’s a shame Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Government have taken so long to see the big picture.

Palaszczuk pretends to bring forward stalled Building our Regions program

The Palaszczuk Government is pretending to bring forward funding through a program that stalled in its first year, leaving a huge gap in the pipeline of infrastructure projects delivered in rural and regional communities across the Wide Bay-Burnett region. The announcement that $70 million would be made available for Round 3 of Labor’s disastrous Building our Regions program can be met with skepticism by local councils. Despite claiming they ‘topped up’ the Building our Regions program in last year’s state budget, it still falls a huge $120 million dollars short of the former LNP Government’s landmark $495 million Royalties for Regions program.

The Palaszczuk Government’s program is an insignificant and cheap replacement for the LNP’s hugely successful Royalties for Regions program and it has failed dismally to deliver much needed infrastructure projects and jobs in the bush.

Labor’s smaller, shorter and narrower program stalled in its first year, with the Palaszczuk Government’s own 2016-17 budget papers revealing the Building our Regions program had a 99 per cent underspend in its first year – it was a flop.

Annastacia Palaszczuk can’t turn around now and say she is bringing forward Round 3 when Round 1 never really happened and no-one knows where Round 2 is up to – Labor is tripping over the paperwork, but can’t deliver any projects.

Labor’s Building our Regions program has been a disaster for local communities and councils.

The LNP has committed to reinstating its effective Royalties for Regions program if it is returned to office at the next state election.   

 Projects delivered to the Callide Electorate through the LNP’s Royalties for Regions program:

  • Splinter Creek Bridge Replacement – $1.5 million
  • Gayndah, Monto and Mundubbera Aerodrome upgrades – $13.2 million
  • Monto-Mount Perry Road project – $15.8 million
  • Theodore Sewage Treatment Plant – $2 million
  • Eidsvold Theodore Road upgrade – $12 million
  • Baralaba Water Treatment Plant – $4.5 million
  • Banana Reservoir and Town Pump – $1.7 million
  • Kingaroy Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade – $10 million
  • Bears Lagoon Road Moura – $275,260
  • Clark & Swendson Road Intersection, Kingaroy – $1.5 million
  • South Burnett Rail Trail – $2 million
  • Injune Taroom Road upgrade – $7 million