Premier nation – Power shift to the sub-national leaders: The #QldWeekly blogazine: #qldpol @Qldaah

Blogging the week in Queensland politics. Check back for updates.
The Qld Weekly - No Fibs

Premier nation - The Qld Weekly blogazine.

Table of contents

Premier nation.
(April 25, 2015) – Abbott Government not engaging on public transport.
(April 24, 2015) – Qld shopping hours deregulation debate.
(April 23, 2015) – Field of study – Combating climate change deniers.
(April 22, 2015) – Auscript under fire.
(April 21, 2015) – Justice system can do better with DV.
(April 20, 2015) – Unions and Labor, no secret.
(April 19, 2015) – Medical marijuana trial.


Premier nation

In a recent Australian National University (ANU) – Social Research Centre study, satisfaction with democracy in Australia had declined from 86 percent in 2007 to 72 percent in 2014. 43pc of people believed it didn’t matter which political party led the nation, this number down from 68pc over the same time frame. The perception of unstable government during the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd years was attributed to this plunge in confidence. The Abbott Government, with it’s lagging poll figures and outstanding 2014 budget measures, seems unlikely to restore hope in the short term.

In an interesting piece this week by Professor Anne Tiernan of Griffith University she discusses the potential for the state premiers to define the nation’s future fiscal and federation policy. Tiernan noted in the wake of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting that the normally Canberra-centric media was notably focused on what the sub-national leaders had to say.

The three new Eastern State Premiers, Mike BairdDaniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk, have already shown this week they can put aside their political party differences to join forces on the trial of medicinal cannabis. So what else could they achieve?

Tiernan thinks the upcoming July COAG Leaders’ Retreat is the best opportunity yet for them to take action on the Reform of The Federation White Paper and the White paper on Tax Reform. She quotes former Prime Minister Paul Keating who recently said at the opening of Barangaroo Point in Sydney, “What happens in states today is more important than what happens in Canberra, in terms of economic growth”.

So could a combined force of three, four or five state leaders fill the leadership void the nation is craving?

Tiernan finishes by writing, “Expect more from Mike Baird, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Daniel Andrews as the July meeting looms. Separately and together they have a lot to lose — not least $80b that was wiped unilaterally and without consultation by the Commonwealth in last year’s budget. But they might find they also have something to gain. As long as revenue features as part of that, and any new settlement redresses the abject financial dependence wrought upon them by the vertical fiscal imbalance, then they should embrace the opportunity.”


(April 25, 2015) – Abbott Government not engaging on public transport

Is Warren Truss reading his mail?

On Friday the LNP claimed the Queensland Government would have “zero” chance of securing funding for the Gold Coast light rail stage 2 project because they hadn’t requested funding from the Federal Government. A spokesman for the Federal Infrastructure Minister Warren Truss told the Gold Coast Bulletin report, Kathleen Skene, “There have not been any approaches by the new Queensland Government seeking funding for a second stage of the light rail project.”

In January, 2015, the former Newman Government had committed to the project but had declined to offer any milestones. The then premier, Campbell Newman said, “We are committed to building the Gold Coast light rail Stage 2 project. We will provide 20 new and upgraded Park n Rides across Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast.”

Queensland Shadow Minister for Transport Scott Emerson attacked the Palaszczuk Government for “misleading” the Gold Coast. However, Deputy Premier Jackie Trad replied to Emerson telling him he was wrong and attached a copy of a letter sent to Truss’s office on February 24, 2015, ten days after she had been sworn in by the Queensland Governor.

On Saturday, Tony Moore, reported, “The major road block to extending the Gold Coast’s light rail project out to the main Brisbane line in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games is the federal government’s reluctance to commit any money, according to Queensland Deputy Premier Jackie Trad. “The problem is that the federal government refuses to engage with this project,” Ms Trad said on Friday afternoon. The previous Labor federal government provided $365 million for stage one of the Gold Coast Rapid Rail project, while the Queensland government provided $464 million and Gold Coast City Council about $100 million.”: Jackie Trad says Federal Government will not engage on Gold Coast light rail.

This appears to be the second time paperwork has gone amiss through Truss’s office. In September 2014, under the Newman Government, Truss claimed he had not received a request for funding for the Toowoomba rang crossing project.

“To enable a full assessment, the Australian Government has been seeking access for many months to the funding model Queensland is using to test financing assumptions for this project. This information has not been forthcoming,” he told the media.

The then treasurer, Tim Nicholls, said, “So we are quite shocked to receive a letter yesterday saying the federal government is not going to proceed with the funding.”

The Gold Coast light rail stage 2 project is a vital link between the existing service and the mainstream Queensland rail line. It is hoped the project will be completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.



(April 24, 2015) – Qld shopping hours deregulation debate

Queensland’s resistance to trading hours deregulation

  • On ABC 612 Brisbane, Director of Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, Nick Behrens, spoke about the case against deregulation but the need for a review. Vice President of the Gold Coast Central Chamber of Commerce, Boyd Sergeant, spoke about the benefits of free trading hours for the Gold Coast: Deregulating Shop Trading Hours.

CJ Tim Carmody – Claims of apprehended bias

  • Rae Wilson reported, “The defence team for the man found guilty of murdering Daniel Morcombe will make an application to disqualify the Chief Justice from further involvement in the appeal amid allegations he is too closely assigned with a child protection lobby group. Chief Justice Tim Carmody has agreed not to deliver judgment in Brett Peter Cowan’s appeal pending the application for disqualification. If Justice Carmody is disqualified, the appeal might have to be heard again which will mean a further wait for the Morcombe family and Mr Cowan. Barrister Peter Davis suggested in Brisbane Supreme Court on Friday that there was apprehended bias when Justice Carmody had a private meeting with Bravehearts founder Hetty Johnston on April 15 after having heard the Cowan case in the Queensland Court of Appeal in November.”: Daniel Morcombe killer seeks new appeal: Carmody ‘bias’.
  • Hetty Johnston responded to claims of apprehended bias, “What kind of world are we living in where child protection advocates cannot meet with our legal leaders to discuss initiatives that serve to keep the most vulnerable members of our community safe?”: Meeting with Chief Justice Tim Carmody.
  • 9 News Brisbane, “Lawyers for the man jailed over the abduction and murder of Queensland schoolboy Daniel Morcombe have applied to disqualify the state’s Chief Justice from appeal hearings, amid allegations of bias. Brett Peter Cowan is appealing the life sentence he received last year for murdering, indecently dealing and dumping the Sunshine Coast teenager’s body in 2003. But Cowan’s barrister, Peter Davis, today told a special court hearing that Queensland Chief Justice Tim Carmody had met with Bravehearts Inc chief executive Hetty Johnson and had been in email communication with her about child advocacy matters.”: Daniel Morcombe killer’s lawyers demand judge disqualify himself from appeal over ‘bias’.
Michelle Rattray reporte: Apprehended bias application against Qld Chief Justice Tim Carmody after Hetty Johnston meeting.

Michelle Rattray reporte: Apprehended bias application against Qld Chief Justice Tim Carmody after Hetty Johnston meeting.

Holy Spirit Northside

Sunshine on the Sunshine Coast

  • Bruce Atkinson reported, “The Sunshine Coast council has voted unanimously to approve its 15 megawatt solar farm project at Valdora. Mayor Mark Jamieson said tenders should be finalised and a contract signed in the next couple of months and he hoped construction could begin before the end of the year. Councillor Jamieson said the solar farm was forecast to save council $9 million in power bills over the life of the project.”: Sunshine Coast solar farm plans at Valdora win council approval.

Accusations fly after Kristy Pekham interview


(April 23, 2015) – Field of study – Combating climate change deniers

Debunking the deniers

  • Natalie Bochenski reported, “A free online university course created in Brisbane aims to explain the mentality behind climate change denial and give students tools to combat it. The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute has developed the seven-week program,Making Sense of Climate Change Denial, which will be offered for the first time from April 28. It features lectures and interviews with 75 leading experts, including Sir David Attenborough, Michael Mann and Katherine Hayhoe.”: UQ offers free course to combat climate change deniers.

Billy Gordon’s defacto appears on A Current Affair

Springborg attacks over power prices

Springborg Student ANZAC

Ethanol fuel is go

  • In a joint statement Qld Treasurer Curtis Pitt, Energy Minister Mark Bailey and Environment Minister Steven Miles said, “The Palaszczuk Government plans to unlock the untapped potential of Queensland’s biofuels and bio-manufacturing industries to help power the state towards a cleaner, greener energy future and create more job opportunities. Energy Minister Mark Bailey said State Cabinet had given the green light for government to explore ways to expand Queensland’s biofuels.”: Towards a cleaner, greener energy future.
  • Sarah Elks reported, “Powerful Queensland crossbencher Rob Katter says he’s “highly cynical” of the Palaszczuk government’s announcement it will add ethanol to fuel, saying it appeared to be a “kite-flying exercise” to appease his party. The state government today revealed it intended to require big oil companies to “make available an ethanol blend in their fuel”, a process that would be rolled out gradually. Katter’s Australian Party, which holds two of the four crossbench seats in Queensland’s finely balanced hung parliament, has long pushed for an ethanol mandate.”: Katter cynical of Queensland’s ethanol fuel move.

Queensland Senate race

  • Cameron Atfield reported, “Former premier Campbell Newman’s brother-in-law is one of nine candidates vying to fill Queensland’s casual Senate vacancy for the Liberal National Party, brought on by the retirement of Brett Mason. Nicholas Monsour, one of Lisa Newman’s four brothers, was announced as a candidate along with company director Teresa Harding, project officer Joanna Lindgren, company director Chris Mangan and lawyers Philip Roberts and Andrew Wallace.”: Campbell Newman’s Brother-in-law enters Qld Senate race.


(April 22, 2015) – Auscript under fire

Auscript scrutinised

The Newman Government announced the outsourcing of court transcription and recording services to Auscript on February 22, 2013. The then Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie declared that this would save $6 million. The move ultimately resulted in the shutting down of the State Reporting Bureau (SRB). Read more at our NoFibs special report: Auscript welcomes referral to Queensland Auditor-General.

Palaszczuk drought tour – Barcaldine

Great Barrier Reef food chain

  • Brisbane Times reported, “Commercial and recreational fishing is taking a toll on the Great Barrier Reef’s food chain, researchers say. A study produced at James Cook University has found removing predatory fish such as coral trout, snapper and emperor fish significantly changes the make-up of the reef’s ecosystem. “A healthy coral reef contains a diverse array of species of all different kinds,” co-author and PhD student April Boaden says. “That level of diversity is what helps make reefs resilient to changes.””: Fishing damaging Great Barrier Reef’s food chain.

Moreton Bay rail link reality

  • Tony Moore reported, “The Queensland government will use the example of three levels of government funding Brisbane’s newest rail line to argue for a change of heart from the Abbott Government on funding public transport. Queensland Transport Minister Jackie Trad argued the case on Wednesday when she inspected the first train lines being placed on the $1 billion Petrie to Kippa Ring rail line. It is estimated each train will take 600 cars off the road and save 15 minutes in commuting time.”: Fund public transport, Queensland urges federal government.
Alex Bernhardt reported: The Morton Bay rail link is ahead of schedule.

Alex Bernhardt reported: The Morton Bay rail link is ahead of schedule.

Ten News Queensland: Making tracks - Morton Bay Rail line '130 years in the making'.

Ten News Queensland: Making tracks – Morton Bay Rail line ‘130 years in the making’.

Alpha mine challenge

Jeff Seeney knocked back for watchdog chair

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Former Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has issued Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk an ultimatum –show him the comments. The Premier confirmed reports the government had rejected the LNP’s suggestion for Mr Seeney to head up the parliamentary committee charged with overseeing the state’s crime watchdog, a position Ms Palaszczuk has committed to granting a non-government MP. The chair, which requires bipartisan support, holds the deciding vote in the event the committee is split on an issue. Ms Palaszczuk mandated it must be held by someone outside her government as part of her “open and transparent” government crusade.”: Seeney demands committee snub explanation.


(April 21, 2015) – Justice system can do better with DV

Lack of response and communication to DV

  • Kim Stephens reported, “After a horrific start to the year for domestic violence related crime, experts from the sector gathered in Brisbane on Tuesday afternoon to discuss how the justice system could better deal with the issue. The Queensland University of Technology forum brought together judges, lawyers, social workers and victims of domestic violence, with the judicial system’s inconsistency when dealing with family crime top of the discussion priority list. QUT Associate Professor Molly Dragiewicz said with a record numbers of alleged domestic-related homicides this year – four just in Queensland – there was an urgent need to find solutions. “Among the most pressing issues at the moment is improving the system’s response and dealing with the lack of communication,” she said.”: Justice system can do better with domestic violence: experts.

Qld migration slows to a trickle

  • Tony Moore reported, “Queensland is no longer the apple of Australia’s interstate migration eye with figures showing the number of people shifting to the Sunshine State at its lowest point for a decade. Queensland’s latest 2014 research shows the state’s younger workforce is beginning to shift interstate. The Queensland Government’s “Population growth, highlights and trends: 2015 study” shows how the population growth in Queensland has reversed since 2005-06.”: Queensland asks: Where the hell did everyone go?

Palaszczuk drought tour – Charleville

Chairless watchdog

  • Melinda Howells reported, “The Queensland Government and the Opposition are yet to reach an agreement on who will chair the committee that oversees the corruption watchdog. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wanted a non-government MP to lead the Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee (PCCC). But Ms Palaszczuk said the Liberal National Party (LNP) had nominated former deputy premier Jeff Seeney for the role. “I think if anyone wants to go back through the history about the public comments that the member for Callide has made about the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) and the committee itself, everyone would realise he is not a suitable candidate,” she said. “I’ve had no further discussions with the leader of the Opposition.”When he wants to come forward with a suitable name I’m more than happy to have that conversation.””: Queensland Government and Opposition yet to agree on Parliamentary Crime and Corruption Committee chair.

Sand miner Silbelco acquitted

  • Judith Kerr reported, “North Stradbroke Island mining company Sibelco has been acquitted of two charges of extracting sand without appropriate permits. Magistrate Graham Lee found the miner not guilty and dismissed both charges when he handed down his judgment in Toowoomba Magistrates Court this afternoon. In March 2013, Magistrate Lee found the miner, previously known as Unimin, had a case to answer on two charges relating to whether the sand miner had permits to extract B-grade sand. At the time, Magistrate Lee ordered the miner to pay court costs of $250,000 after making his ruling on Unimin’s “No Case to Answer” submission.”: Stradbroke Island sand mining company Sibelco acquitted over permits.
  • Joshua Robertson reported, “A mining company has been cleared of charges of illegally extracting sand brought by Queensland’s environment department after a five-and-a-half-year prosecution. Sibelco, the Belgian miner formerly known as Unimin, was found not guilty in the Brisbane magistrates court on Tuesday of two charges of illegally extracting sand as part of its Stradbroke Island operations. The former Bligh government was warned in 2010 by critics of the company that “technical defences” were available to both charges.”: Stradbroke Island sandmining: company cleared of illegal extraction.

No public holiday for ANZAC Day

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “On Saturday, we will remember them. On Monday, we will go to work. Anzac Day remains unique among Australian gazetted holidays because the Monday does not automatically become a public holiday if April 25 falls on a weekend. Under the Queensland Holidays Act, the Anzac Day holiday is only carried over to the Monday if April 25 falls on a Sunday. The 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing falls on a Saturday this year, with only West Australian residents set to turn the commemoration into a long weekend.”: Why there’s no Anzac Day public holiday.


(April 20, 2015) – Unions and Labor, no secret

The Courier Mail links Labor to unions (again)

  • Jason Tin reported, “Union bosses are warning Annastacia Palaszczuk to honour commitments Labor made to them, issuing blatant reminders of how they helped the party secure an unlikely win on January 31. One high-profile figure boasts about how his union “supported” seven successful Labor candidates and the fact that two of them now sit in Cabinet with the Premier. Gary Bullock, who heads left-wing union United Voice, even went so far as to refer to the members and ministers as “United Voice MPs”. It comes as a recent AMWU publication links promises to grow manufacturing jobs with the pouring of resources by the union into local campaigns for “card-carrying” candidates.”: Unions hoping to cash in on poll pledges.
The Courier Mail - Payback Time - April 22, 2015.

The Courier Mail – Payback Time – April 20, 2015.

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk said it is “no secret” the Labor Party was spawned by the labour movement but dismissed suggestions her government owed a debt to the union movement. The Courier-Mail reported union bosses, including United Voice chief Gary Bullock, were boasting of how their support helped Labor candidates across the line at the January election. But Ms Palaszczuk, speaking at the launch of the Premier’s Reading Challenge, said her government would consult with all sectors of the community, unions included. “Everybody, it is no secret, the Labor party was born out of the labour movement and I make no excuse for standing up for workers’ rights in this state, I make no excuse for ensuring that workers’ conditions at work are safe and secure and I make no excuse for having as my top priority creating jobs in this state,” she said. “So I’m proud to hang my hat on a government that is focused on job creation, safety at work, and making sure that workers’ rights are protected.”: ‘No secret’ Labor and labour movement connected.

Linking Labour/Labor to unions is a worldwide theme

Commsec ranks Qld economy fifth

Geoff Breusch reported: Jobless rate hits Qld economy - Commsec ranks state 5th.

Geoff Breusch reported: Jobless rate hits Qld economy – Commsec ranks state 5th.

Shane Doherty reported: Commsec says Qld economy dragged down by high unemployment & low population growth.

Shane Doherty reported: Commsec says Qld economy dragged down by high unemployment & low population growth.

Premier’s Reading Challenge

Skip the cannabis trial

  • John Birmingham wrote, “So, a little girl, two years old, lies in a Brisbane hospital right now, her body a battlespace in which doctors wage chemical warfare on the neuroblastoma that is trying to kill her. The chemotherapy is aggressive, the side effects harsh. There are adults cannot endure such treatment and succumb to their cancer instead. She is very sick with nausea and vomiting. Years of clinical trials and experience overseas have proven that her suffering could be greatly reduced by controlled doses of cannabis oil.”: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk should skip Queensland cannabis oil tests.


(April 19, 2015) – Medical marijuana trial

Eastern states join forces to implement medicinal cannabis

  • Janelle Miles reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will today announce Queensland’s first medicinal cannabis trial, saying she has been particularly moved by stories of children with drug-resistant epilepsy. Ms Palaszczuk said Queensland would join forces with the NSW Government – which last year announced scientific trials for patients with intractable epilepsy, chemotherapy-­related nausea and end-of-life pain where standard treatments were ineffective. She spoke to NSW Premier Mike Baird about the trials during Friday’s Council of Australian Government meeting in Canberra. “I didn’t want Queensland standing on the sidelines,” Ms Palaszczuk said yesterday. “I wanted us to be an active participant because I know many Queensland families see real value in this form of treatment.””: Queensland to trial medical marijuana.
Katrina Blowers reported: Queensland will join a NSW scientific study to see if cannabis oik can ease the suffering of children who have severe epilepsy.

Katrina Blowers reported: Queensland will join a NSW scientific study to see if cannabis oik can ease the suffering of children who have severe epilepsy.

Jessica Millward reported: Queensland is set to follow New South Wales and Victoria in trialling medical marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy.

Jessica Millward reported: Queensland is set to follow New South Wales and Victoria in trialling medical marijuana in the treatment of epilepsy.

Lost treasures under Newman Government

  • Peter Cameron reported, “Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane Entertainment Centre and The Gabba were secret privatisation targets if the Newman government had won the state election. Freedom of Information emails linking directors-general and a global real estate firm indicated the government-owned Suncorp Stadium, the Brisbane Entertainment Centre at Boondall, and The Gabba were in the privatisation mix, along with ports and electricity hardware.”: Newman government planned to privatise Suncorp Stadium, Gabba, Brisbane Entertainment Centre.

Premier gets flu shot

– Ends

Support an independent media voice. Support No Fibs Citizen Journalism.
Monthly Donation