#NDIS restart – The #QldWeekly blogazine: #qldpol @Qldaah

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NDIS restart - The Qld Weekly blogazine

Table of contents

NDIS restart.
(April 18, 2015) – Fire ants march on.
(April 17, 2015) – COAG day.
(April 16, 2015) – Queenslander.
(April 15, 2015) – Units to build.
(April 14, 2015) – GST wars.
(April 13, 2015) – NDIS back on the agenda.
(April 12, 2015) – Springborg’s drought tour dates.


NDIS restart

To date, Queensland remains the only state or territory inactive on the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Despite the pre-election promises in 2012, it became apparent early in the Newman Government’s term that there was very little interest in making substantive progress.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard had signed a NDIS agreement with former Premier Campbell Newman at a well publisised media event in May 2013. After posing for the media in a handshake presser with Gillard, Newman departed the event quickly. Almost as swiftly, the public debate in Queensland disappeared from the political agenda and with it the media spotlight.

This week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk restarted the discourse by demanding Canberra hand over the 0.5 percent Medicare increase the Federal Government has been collecting for the scheme since July 1, 2014.  With $201 million due to be paid to Queensland in funding, her government is claiming the full amount with the Medicare levy should be $553 million.

The opposition lashed out through Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek by condemning Palaszczuk’s credibility to engage in negotiations at the Council Of Australian Government’s meeting on Friday. His message was somewhat confused; somewhere between condemning Palaszczuk’s personal credibility and his own failure to understand the Medicare levy collection.

Despite the criticism, the Queensland Government pressed on with Disability Minister Coralee O’Rourke making the first official contact with the National Disability Insurance Agency in Geelong, Victoria on April 14, 2015.


(April 18, 2015) – Fire ants march on

More nests found in Lockyer Valley food bowl

Related – @NoFibs special report, “Fire ants. A tiny creature with a detrimental impact to Queensland’s South-East and potentially Northern New South Wales. Last week the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) confirmed nests had been found on the Gold Coast near Yatala.”: Newman Government obstinacy – Fire ants march on Gold Coast.

Crime and Corruption Commission hears of Newman Governement’s draconian G20 laws

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “A demonstration likely to have drawn up to 120,000 people at the G20 summit in Brisbane was reduced to as few as 1,000 because of draconian protest laws, Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) has been told. Caxton legal centre has told a CCC review of the G20 laws of their “chilling effect” and described them as a low point in the city’s recent history of social protest at a time when many in the community disapproved of climate change being struck from the summit agenda by the Abbott government.”: G20 laws cut protest numbers from likely 120,000 to 1,000, inquiry told.

Cairns inlet dredge plan abandoned

  • Brisbane times reported, “Plans to dredge a far north Queensland inlet for a potential cruise ship terminal have been abandoned by the state government on environmental and financial grounds. Treasurer Curtis Pitt has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposal, which could have involved dumping Cairns Port dredge spoil on waters near the Great Barrier Reef. He criticised the former Newman government for committing $40 million to the Trinity Inlet project in 2012, saying the money never would have made it viable. “The proposal … would cost more than $100 million and the land-based dumping options around $365 million,” he said. “It was never fully-funded and anyone who looks at the proposal and its environmental and economic impacts can see why the government is not proceeding with it.””: Queensland government dumps Cairns Trinity Inlet plan.
  • 9 News Brisbane reported, “The Queensland government has forfeited economic and tourism boosts for the state’s far north by dumping plans for a Cairns cruise ship terminal, the opposition says. The Trinity Inlet project would have widened and deepened the existing outer shipping channel through dredging and could have been operational by 2017.”: Ditched Cairns plan a ‘missed opportunity’.

 8000 tonnes of mustard gas and other chemical weapons  dumped at sea after World War II

  • Tony Moore reported, “Queensland’s Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles has contacted Fairfax Media late Saturday morning and says he will seek further advice from both his department, and the Federal Department of Defence on this matter. “The Department of Environment and Heritage Protection has advised me it is not aware of canisters being found outside the dumping zone, and that any instances of unexploded ordnance being found outside the dumping zone would be managed by the Department of Defence, as the expert agency,” he said.”: Queensland’s Environment Minister Dr Steven Miles dodges questions over testing chemical weapons site.
  • Tony Moore reported, “More than 8000 tonnes of chemical weapons, mostly mustard gas, dumped off Moreton Island in 1945 after World War II pose little danger to the general public, according to the Department of Defence. However the department says there has been no testing on the mustard gas shells, bombs, grenades and tear gas grenades that were dumped in deep water in two, five kilometre-wide dump zones on the ocean side of Cape Moreton. And it remains unclear if any biological tests have ever been conducted in the nearby Cape Moreton Marine Park 70 years later.”: WWII mustard gas dumped off Cape Moreton.


(April 17, 2015) – COAG day

Premier’s statement

  • Annastacia Palaszczuk stated, “I’m very pleased that myself and other first ministers have convinced the Federal Government to stand by the independent Commonwealth Grants Commission and endorse the proposed GST distribution at today’s COAG meeting. This means that Queensland stands to gain an extra $556 million in much-needed revenue. Queensland has also secured an agreement from the Commonwealth to consider ‘flexibility’ when it comes to access to NDIS funding. Queenslanders are paying for this funding through the Medicare levy and this funding should not be withheld by the Commonwealth. This is a major breakthrough that could lead to far more Queenslanders accessing the NDIS scheme sooner. The Commonwealth has also agreed to discuss an NDIS trial site in Queensland, something the former Government did not want. It is crucial that Queensland gains a trial site ahead of the scheme’s establishment in 2016. I look forward to discussing this further with the Prime Minister as soon as possible.”: Statement regarding COAG.


Qld NDIS trial site a step closer

  • News.com.au reported, “Queenslanders could get a trial of the national disability insurance scheme while the Northern Territory could get a second trial site. The federal government has agreed to discuss the possibility of the pilots following a Council of Australia Governments meeting in Canberra on Friday. “We need to look after our most vulnerable – that is the people with a disability,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said after the meeting as she welcomed the development.”: Qld, NT may get NDIS trial sites.

National domestic violence orders on way

  • 9 News Brisbane reported, “A national domestic violence order scheme will be agreed to by the end of the year. The scheme will make orders automatically recognised and enforceable in any state and territory and comes following a Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra on Friday. Courts and police officers across states will share information on active domestic violence orders and NSW, Queensland and Tasmania will trial the system. Leaders also agreed to tackle the problem of online oppression of women and children. “We do want to have a national campaign to bring home to all of us just how wrong, just how evil this is,” Prime Minister Tony Abbott said following the meeting.”: National domestic violence orders on way.

States and Territories resist WA request for share of their GST

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Just a few short words was all it took for the east to turn against the west in the battle for GST. WA Premier Colin Barnett, who has raged against his state’s GST allocation given the downturn in the iron ore price has devastated the west’s economy, continued his war of words while speaking to Fairfax Radio Perth 6PR, linking WA’s assistance during times of natural disaster to the east’s reluctance to support it in its bid for more GST revenue.…”When Victoria had those tragic fires a few years back, Western Australia was the first state and the most generous state to provide financial assistance, so perhaps the new treasurer’s got a short memory or perhaps he’s not aware of that,” Mr Barnett told 6PR.”Same when Queensland was in trouble. Western Australia was the first state to provide assistance in the Queensland floods.”: Colin Barnett sparks East Coast v West Coast GST war.
  • Daniel Hurst reported, “The West Australian premier, Colin Barnett, has accused all the other states and territories of “ganging up” on his government after they wrote a combined letter opposing changes to the GST carve-up. State premiers and chief ministers began the Council of Australian Governments (Coag) meeting with the prime minister in Canberra on Friday morning. Tony Abbott said he wanted the focus of the meeting to be measures to address domestic violence, national security and illicit drugs.”: Colin Barnett accuses other states of ‘ganging up’ on WA over tax carve-up.

Second fire attack on Toowoomba mosque

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “A Queensland mosque has suffered its second suspected arson attack this year, prompting a spokesman to appeal to Australians to condemn anti-Islamic sentiments that are “polluting” public discussion. The fire, which tore through the Toowoomba mosque on Friday morning, has prompted an urgent trip to the Darling Downs city by the police minister, Jo-Ann Miller, to meet with the congregation after the “outrageous and shocking attack”.”: Toowoomba mosque damaged by second suspected arson attack.

Brisbane man who’s family suffered bigoted rant on Sydney train speaks out

Brisbane man Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti speaks to Amber Austin-Wright about the bigoted rant against his family on a Sydney train.

Brisbane man Hafeez Ahmed Bhatti speaks to Amber Austin-Wright about the bigoted rant against his family on a Sydney train.


(April 16, 2015) – Queenslander

Queensland hospitals facing crisis from Abbott Govt cuts

Palaszczuk leaves for COAG

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk has invoked the “Queenslander” mythos ahead of her first COAG meeting, where the state faces the prospect of losing half a billion dollars in GST funding. It’s enough to bring the Opposition and Government together, with Lawrence Springborg saying the LNP stands “side by side” with Labor on the issue. Ms Palaszczuk prepared for her round table discussion with the nation’s premiers, first ministers and the Prime Minister by heading to a kindergarten and speaking with children.”: $500m at stake for Annastacia Palaszczuk in COAG GST negotiations.
Premier Colin Barnett uses Vic fires & Qld floods as leverage for WA GST increase.

Premier Colin Barnett uses Vic fires & Qld floods as leverage for WA GST increase.

ABC News: State leaders respond to Colin Barnett's request for more GST.

ABC News: State leaders respond to Colin Barnett’s request for more GST.

Queensland’s voter ID laws impact

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland voters were wrongly turned away from polling booths in Australia’s first experience of voter identification laws, a leading community legal advocate has told a state parliamentary inquiry. Director of the Queensland association of independent legal services (Quails), James Farrell, told the inquiry on Thursday the introduction of such laws for federal elections would be an unnecessary and unfair barrier to voters.”: Queensland ID laws meant voters were wrongly turned away, inquiry told.

More fire ants found

  • Tony Moore reported, “Fire ants – which devastated crops in the United States – are marching towards Southeast Queensland’s $230 million Lockyer Valley food bowl for the very first time, the director of the Biosecurity Queensland’s Fire Ant Control Centre confirmed on Wednesday. The Lockyer Valley produces most of Australia’s beetroot and 40 per cent of the vegetables consumed in Southeast Queensland. Fire ants were first found in Greater Brisbane in 2001 and until now have mostly spread though urban areas like Ipswich, Logan and southern Brisbane.”: Fire ants threaten Southeast Queensland’s $230 million Lockyer Valley region.

The bungling legacy of Bleijie

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “A controversial Queensland magistrate vacated his country court circuit after he was accused of improperly influencing a case by contacting a witness due to testify before him. Stuart Shearer, who was one of a number of contentious legal appointments by the former Newman government, drew the complaint from lawyers representing an Indigenous defendant who faced Woorabinda magistrates court earlier this year. The magistrate, whose reputation for tough treatment of offenders led to a newspaper calling him “Judge Dread”, recused himself from the case. He was later repeatedly spoken to and given “advice” after the complaint reached the state’s chief magistrate, Ray Rinaudo.”: Queensland magistrate leaves his court circuit months early after complaint.

Queensland Labor backs NSW Coalition on lock out laws

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Sydney is calling its last drinks plan an early success, but Queensland’s government believes it can go one better. The first comprehensive review of the Sydney lockout laws, controversially brought in following the death of Daniel Christie on New Year’s Eve in 2013, revealed assaults in the lockout zone had dropped by 40 per cent. Mr Christie died following an alcohol-fuelled punch. Following the emotional outcry over alcohol-fuelled violence, the New South Wales government moved to introduce 1.30am lockouts, 3am last drinks and a ban on takeaway alcohol after 10pm. New liquor licences were also frozen.”: Labor’s enhanced lock out laws for Queensland.

Queensland’s ‘Big Dry’

Allyson Horn reported: In Hughenden, west of Townsville, business owners have been laying-off staff and selling up in desperation in the drought-stricken outback Queensland region.

Allyson Horn reported: In Hughenden, west of Townsville, business owners have been laying-off staff and selling up in desperation in the drought-stricken outback Queensland region.


(April 15, 2015) – Units to build

Morgan Poll – Two party preferred Labor 52.5pc

  • Gary Morgan wrote, “Further north in Queensland, new Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has gained a clear increase in support after her strong stance on North Queensland Labor MP Billy Gordon. The ALP 52.5% (up 3.5% since March) cf. LNP 47.5% (down 2.5%) is now ahead for the first time since Palaszczuk’s surprise victory in Queensland’s January election. Despite Palaszczuk governing in a minority Government with only 44 seats in the 89 seat Queensland Parliament, Palaszczuk ‘threw’ Gordon out of the Queensland Labor Party for being dishonest with regards to his affairs and has pressured Gordon to resign from Parliament altogether. The strong leadership demonstrated by Palaszczuk is clearly supported by Queensland electors with Palaszczuk 61.5% (up 0.5%) maintaining a strong lead over LNP Leader Lawrence Springborg 38.5% (down 0.5%) as ‘Better Premier’. “: Voters in Queensland back Premier Palaszczuk after strong stance on Billy Gordon.
  • Guardian Australia reported, “Queenslanders have put Labor ahead on two-party terms in polling for the first time since the election, despite the Billy Gordon revelations”: Palaszczuk’s call to expel Billy Gordon powers Labor ahead in latest poll.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Labor would easily win a state election if it was held tomorrow a new poll has found, with Annastacia Palaszczuk considered the “better” premier over Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg by both male and female voters. The latest Roy Morgan poll found Labor would win the election 52.5 per cent to 47.5 per cent on a two party preferred basis.”: Labor would easily win another Queensland election, poll shows.
  • 7 News Brisbane reported, “Queensland voters have strongly backed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s handling of outcast MP Billy Gordon, the latest opinion poll suggests. The Roy Morgan poll shows Ms Palaszczuk and the Labor party have pulled ahead since she called for Mr Gordon to be expelled from the party over his undisclosed criminal record and allegations of domestic violence.”: Gordon crisis boosts polls for Palaszczuk.

LNP MP for Chatsworth watches the game, not the polls

The power to stop Acland coal mine expansion

  • Joshua Robertson reported, “The Queensland Labor government has been urged to embrace legal advice that it has the power to kill off a coalmine proposal controversially pushed through by its Liberal National party predecessor. Activist group Lock the Gate claims to have found the “out” Labor had been looking for on the Acland mine expansion, which was thought to have been approved by the LNP government a month before its demise. The activists on Wednesday met with mining minister Anthony Lynham to hand over legal advice it had commissioned from interstate environmental legislation experts which revealed final approval had not actually been given.”: Labor has power to shelve New Hope mine expansion, activists claim.

Yeerongpilly to get its development

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Seven years after it was first mooted, Yeerongpilly will finally get its suburb-changing development – but it will have to wait another decade for it to be completed. Consolidated Properties, working with LJCB Investments, has won the government tender to build on the heritage-listed veterinarian school site on King Arthur Terrace. The 14-hectare project will include 1100 to 1200 units, provide the Queensland Music Festival with a home base, offer retail and food opportunities and adjoin the Yeerongpilly train station in Brisbane’s south.”: Consolidated Properties, LJCB Investments win tender for Yeerongpilly development.
  • The Queensland Department of State Development reported, “The Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, in partnership with Brisbane City Council (Council) have finalised the planning framework to deliver a transit oriented development (TOD) on the former Animal Research Institute site at Yeerongpilly. A TOD is a planning concept that promotes the creation of well-designed and sustainable urban communities focused around transit stations.”: Yeerongpilly Transit Oriented Development.

Queensland Disability Minister tours NDIS trial site in Colac, Victoria


(April 14, 2015) – COAG wars

Going to COAG

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk plans on “standing up for Queensland” at the upcoming Council of Australian Governments meeting, but can’t yet say what the state could use as leverage in the deliberations. Ms Palaszczuk, who will attend her first COAG meeting this week, will, in the tradition of Premiers past, demand a larger slice of the GST pie for Queensland and more funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The Premier is also chasing infrastructure funding, but, having staked her political career on not selling assets, wants the money from the federal government to come without asset selling strings. Ms Palaszczuk didn’t have much to say on her game plan, other than wanting the states to create a united front.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk seeks bigger slice of GST.
  • Guardian Australia reported, “Queensland premier will approach other state leaders to join call for states to receive more of Medicare levy to fund the disability scheme”: Annastacia Palaszczuk lobbies Tony Abbott for greater share of NDIS funding.

Langbroek resists NDIS funding again

 New airport training facility

Springborg drought tour day 2


(April 13, 2015) – NDIS back on the agenda

Premier puts Qld NDIS back on the table

  • Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Disabilities Coralee O’Rourke stated,”All Queensland is asking for is its fair share of this funding so we can get the NDIS up and running as quickly as possible,” Ms Palaszczuk said. “The NDIS is one of the most important reforms Australia has seen since the introduction of Medicare, and we want to make sure it’s one right. “We want to work with the Commonwealth to ensure Queenslanders’ NDIS money is passed on in full, but to this point they’ve been unwilling to enter into negotiations. “I know the Prime Minister recognises the value of the NDIS, and I will be presenting Queensland’s case to him at COAG later this week.”: Premier urges Commonwealth not to withhold NDIS funds for Queensland.
Lauren Day reports: Shortchanged on the Medicare levy increase - The State Government says Queensland will only receive a third of its entitlement, when the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out next year.

Lauren Day reports: Shortchanged on the Medicare levy increase – The State Government says Queensland will only receive a third of its entitlement, when the National Disability Insurance Scheme rolls out next year.

LNP resists NDIS funding

Funding for TC Marcia

  • William Rollo and Jacquie Mackay reported, “Queensland’s Deputy Premier says a central Queensland federal MP is undermining efforts to get more relief funding for the area. Jackie Trad said the State Government was negotiating with the Commonwealth over ‘Category D’ assistance for central Queensland councils affected by Tropical Cyclone Marcia. The federal LNP Member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, said the State Government had not made a formal submission for extra funding. However, Ms Trad said that was untrue.”: Cyclone Marcia: MP Michelle Landry accused of undermining bid for more ‘Category D’ funding help.

Springborg drought tour day 1

  • Chrissy Arthur reports, “Queensland’s Opposition Leader says governments need to look at medium-term projects to strengthen rural communities, as well as offering immediate drought relief. Lawrence Springborg is visiting Longreach today and tomorrow, along with the Opposition’s agriculture spokeswoman Deb Frecklington”: Springborg visits Longreach to get first-hand look at western Qld drought impact.



(April 12, 2015) – Springborg’s drought tour dates

Not Springborg’s intention to be a poll commentator

  • Kim Stephens reports, “Annastacia Palaszczuk has weathered the first major storm of her two month old government to emerge a popular premier, according to a new poll. But on Sunday, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg would not be drawn on the results of the Galaxy Poll, in which just more than half of respondents, 53 per cent, declared themselves satisfied with her performance as Queensland leader. “I have always said it’s not my intention to be a poll commentator, I’m not going to start today,” he said, when asked about the premier’s popularity despite having to withstand the emergence of an undisclosed criminal history and allegations of domestic violence against one of her party members, Cook MP Billy Gordon.”: Majority of Queenslanders think Billy Gordon should leave parliament: Poll.

Springborg announces drought tour


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