Santos cops and Wilson ambos – The Qld Weekly #qldpol: @qldaah

Jaded - The Qld WeeklySantos cops and Wilson ambos.
ReachTEL – Ashgrove TPP 55pc to Labor.
Trend unemployment rises to 6.9pc.
Dr Bruce Flegg ousted by own party.
No aircon for you kids, says Langbroek.
Seeney orders removal of climate change sea level precaution.
The Wavebreak Island Battle.
Santos cops and Wilson ambos.
Queensland tourism down again.
Newman Government relaxes sex offender monitoring.
Tweet of the week – LNP goes cap in hand.


7 News Brisbane & The Courier Mail: ReachTEL poll in Ashgrove shows 55pc TPP to Labor.

7 News Brisbane & The Courier Mail: ReachTEL poll in Ashgrove shows 55pc TPP to Labor.

ReachTel – Ashgrove TPP 55pc to Kate Jones

The latest Sunday night ReachTEL poll conducted in Ashgrove for 7 News Brisbane and The Courier Mail has shown Labor’s Kate Jones well ahead on a  primary vote with 47.9 percent leading Premier Campbell Newman on 40.7 percent. On a two-party preferred basis Labor looks to be in a winning position with 55pc of the Ashgrove vote. Labor has consistently led in the seat for the past year indicating that Newman is on track to become a one term premier.

On Monday morning, Newman Government ministers repelled all questions from the media on who would lead the party should Newman lose his seat. Instead, the faithful rallied around their leader rejecting any suggestion of a “Plan-B”.

“We have one option and that is option A for Ashgrove…that is the only plan we’ve got,” said Racing Minister Steve Dickson.

“Campbell Newman will win Ashgrove,” proclaimed Housing Minister Tim Mander.

Griffith University political analyser Dr Paul Williams told Fairfax media that based on current polling Newman would lose Ashgrove.

“It is almost inevitable that he is going to lose that seat,” he said. “A 10-point gap is huge to make up and also he is trailing in the primary votes – and the Green vote is on the rise and he is going to struggle to win that. You would almost have to write him off as being elected in that seat.”

As for Newman, normally not commenting on polls, he appeared to have a light bulb moment and admitted that, ‘Labor could win’. He also announced the first of the state election commitments by pledging half of a $7.5m Brisbane City upgrade to Waterworks Road in his electorate.


Trend unemployment rises to 6.9pc

The November monthly trend jobless rate rose from 6.8 percent to 6.9 percent while seasonally adjusted figure fell from a record 7.1pc to 6.9pc. The nation’s unemployment rate rose from 6.2pc to 6.3pc in both trend and seasonally adjusted terms. Premier Campbell Newman vowed the Queensland government would “bust our gut” to create more jobs and achieve the 4pc unemployment target.

Read more at our @NoFibs monthly jobs report, “Gut busters – November Qld trend unemployment rises to 6.9pc”.


Dr Bruce Flegg ousted by own party

The sitting LNP MP for Moggill, Dr Bruce Flegg, has been ousted by his own party in a bloody pre-selection ballot which saw rival Dr Christian Rowan win 67 votes to 56. The entire 24 membership of the LNP state executive was in attendance to ensure Flegg’s downfall.

“I can’t say I’m that surprised. We had the entire state council turn out. That’s pretty hard to beat, Flegg said.

In contrast, a triumphant Rowan proclaimed that democracy had been served.

“Again we’ve had a democratic process today, it’s about local branch members deciding who’s going to be their representative at an election in any particular electorate and today they’ve chosen me,” he said.

Rowan is expected to throw his support behind Queensland Health Minister Lawrence Springborg should their be a leadership challenge in 2015 if Premier Campbell Newman loses his seat of Ashgove.

Read more on the history at our @NoFibs report, “A failure of presidential sized proportions”.


Ten News Qld: Queensland state school P&Cs are calling on the state government to fund air-conditioning in classrooms, saying they're sick of picking up the costs

Ten News Qld: Queensland state school P&Cs are calling on the state government to fund air-conditioning in classrooms, saying they’re sick of picking up the costs

No aircon for you kids, says Langbroek

In Queensland not all schools have air conditioning. In a fragmented implementation system dating back decades, some have been upgraded recently by the Newman Government whilst others have relied on their Parents and Citizens associations to fund the implementation and ongoing costs. Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has all but ruled out extending the “Cooler Schools” program which was limited to 400 Queensland schools, telling parents to fund it themselves.

“If school communities want to fund air conditioning and water coolers they can do so, but I don’t support a one-size fits all approach,” he said.

He later told Ten News Queensland that further upgrades would be expensive.

“It would cost $500 million if we were to redo it [Cooler Schools program] again now,” he said.

As reporter Amber Austin-Wright found out, some Brisbane schools have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Here at Bulimba State School the P&C Association has raised around $350,000 to air condition every classroom while the school is paying the electricity bills,” she revealed.

P&C Queensland’s Kevan Goodworth also explained that parents were tired of having to raise the funding necessary.

“If you’ve been involved in fundraising at all, it’s raised with a lot of hard sweat and tears, standing outside shopping centres, doing sausage sizzles [and] running fetes,” he said.


ABC News Qld: Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has ordered Morton Bay Council to remove sea level rises from regional plan.

ABC News Qld: Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has ordered Morton Bay Council to remove sea level rises from regional plan.

Seeney orders council to remove climate change sea level precaution

Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney has used his executive powers to order the Morton Bay Council north of Brisbane to remove all references to 0.8-metre sea level rise due to climate change from its planning laws. The Insurance Council of Australia warned of the risks of rising sea levels to properties in 2010, “The coastal risks of storm surge, coastal erosion and gradual sea level rise are excluded by many general insurance policies in Australia.”

“I direct council to amend its draft planning scheme to remove any assumption about a theoretical projected sea rise due to climate change,” Seeney wrote in a letter to council dated 28th November, 2014.

Seeney also told the ABC that he was acting after complaints were filtered through local LNP MP for Pumicestone & assistant minister for finance Lisa France.

“To ensure residents’ rights to build and develop their properties were maintained and not restricted by their local council,” he said.

“Local member Lisa France was invited to attend these meetings and, on behalf of her constituents, brought the issue to my attention. I am prepared to protect the property rights of Queenslanders in other council areas should this issue arise again.”

Seeney also dismissed the climate change dangers and campaigners and warned he would enact the same powers to other Queensland seaside councils.

“It’s not an issue for zealots to engage in the sort of emotive language that doesn’t produce any sort of a reasonable outcome,” he said. “It’s not a question of whether you’re a believer or a denier, it’s a question of responding appropriately to a risk that can’t be quantified in any firm way, but we need to respond to the risk.”

Morton Bay Mayor Allan Sunderland expressed grave concern over the move, particularly in the area of liability.

“He hasn’t just singled us out, he’s taken to us with a baseball bat because there has been a lot political argument in the Bribie Island area,” he said.

“We will now remove it from our planning scheme because we’ve been requested to do so. That shifts the responsibility from the council to the State Government. It will now be the State Government that will carry the liability into the future.”

The Opposition’s environment spokeswoman, Jackie Trad, said the decision was consistent with how the Newman Govenment went about business.

“Consistently this Government has denied that climate change is happening and they have changed the laws in this state to ensure that there are no planning or water allocation or environmental protection policies that account for the effects of climate change,” she said.


ABC News Qld: Protesters have again rallied to prevent development of Wavebreak Island on the Gold Coast.

ABC News Qld: Protesters have again rallied to prevent development of Wavebreak Island on the Gold Coast.

Wavebreak Island battle

Plans for cruise ship terminals on the Gold Coast have long been touted by both of Queensland’s two major political parties. Gold Coast MPs have switched from opposing development to silence, depending on who is in government. On Sunday, residents gathered yet again to show the Queensland Government that they did not want the latest proposal of a multi-million dollar casino and terminal on Wavebreak Island. It’s the same message they have been sending for over ten years.

In 2006 whilst in Opposition, LNP MPs Jeff Seeney and Lawrence Springborg attended a rally to show opposition to the then Labor Beattie Government plan at The Spit.

“We have stood against development of The Spit for forty years and we will stand against the development of The Spit for another forty years and beyond and beyond and beyond,” Springborg told the crowd pounding his fist on a lectern.

Local MP for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek also spoke on camera in 2006 to assure the electorate there would be no more development.

“The Coalition and the Liberal Party and National Party have been resolute on this for over forty years. There is to be no more development north of where there currently is. There is to be no sell off of land or giving away of public open space to developers and we need to hear from Labor members and our Labor opponents as to where they stand and whether they support the Beattie Government in giving away public open space to developers,” he said.

In 2012, former LNP MP and member for Gaven on the Gold Coast, Dr Alex Douglas, was famously dumped as chair of the Ethics Committee after attending a rally against The Spit development. He went on to join Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party before leaving to become an independent in the Queensland Parliament.

On Sunday, opponents of the Wavebreak Island development demanded the political parties state their position ahead of the state election in 2015.

“The state election may be the pointy end of where they find out where the community really feels,” said Steven Gration of the “Save Our Spit” campaign group.

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has since pledged to implement a Gold Coast surf reserve should Labor win the next election. Read more at, Gold Coast Surf Reserve.


Signs of commercialisation and privatisation: Santos cops and Wilson Ambos

Signs of commercialisation and privatisation: Santos cops and Wilson Ambos

Santos cops and Wilson Ambos

In a strong sign that the Queensland Government is forging ahead with commercialisation and privatisation of of state services, the patient transfer ambulances have been outsourced to the Wilson group. However, emergency services must remain with the Queensland Ambulance Service until an act of parliament alters the arrangement. Perhaps in the near future, Queenslanders will be calling a “Wilson” to take them to hospital.

As for Queensland Police Services, eyebrows were raised and a Twitter storm erupted when two police vehicles appeared in New South Wales with Santos logos. The Queensland police service has had a long standing road safety campaign called “Stay on Track Outback” to increase awareness of road safety in the bush. Recently, they sought sponsors for the roadshow with one being controversial gas miners, Santos.

President of Lock the Gate Alliance, Drew Hutton, commented that it was a “bad look”.

“The campaign Santos is sponsoring is a good campaign but the police are supposed to be imposing the law impartially,” he said. “And how can you enforce the law impartially against a company that’s sponsoring you?” he said.

The intrusion over the border did not impress anti-coal seam gas campaigners such as Lock the Gate who took to Twitter with their thoughts.

However, Queensland Police Minister Jack Dempsey told the media that the program was for a worthy cause and the vehicles were not patrol cars.

“This particular project in relation to the vans, I’ve witnessed them a number of times and congratulate the officers for their entrepreneurism for being able to ensure that road users… are kept safer,” he said.

“Look, it’s part of a partnership right across the board whether it be from all of us sponsoring people… from NRMA to Rio Tinto to Suncorp to Rotary Clubs to Lions Clubs.”

Seeing no conflict of interest, Queensland Police Commissioner, Ian Stewart, also fielded queries from concerned members of the Twitter public and The Greens.


Tourism down again

Queensland is now lagging behind the national average with Victoria the leading destination for international and domestic holiday makers. Brisbane Times reporter Cameron Atfield wrote;

“At 3.62pc, Queensland’s growth in international visitor nights (from 2.05 million to 2.12 million) was less than half the national 8.17pc increase and well behind Victoria’s 10.42pc (1.9 million to 2.01 million) and New South Wales’s 6.62pc (2.96 million to 3.16 million).”

Tourism Minster Jan Stuckey refused to speak to the media but issued a statement. Read more at, “Queensland’s tourism market share continues to slide”.


Newman Government relaxes sex offender monitoring

Under recent Newman Government changes passed in September 2014, 1,700 child sex offenders released from prison are no longer being monitored by police. Before the changes, sex offenders were monitored for between 8-15 years. Under the Child Protection (Offender Reporting) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2014, some offenders who have served their sentence will only be monitored for five years.

Police Minister Jack Dempsey explained that the change was based on research.

“The research shows that the re-offence rate in large combined samples of child sexual offenders are at their highest within the first three to five years after release into the community, with the rate of re-offending substantially decreasing beyond 10 years.”


Tweet of the week – LNP goes cap in hand

The LNP needs your money. Despite amounting more than $40 million in donations, emails were sent out this week to raise a further $50,000 to combat the combined power of Queensland Labor with nine seats and the unions.

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  1. Good work again, David. Thank you.

    BTW, we live in a small coastal tourist town, just south of Ballina, in the Northern Rivers of NSW. Usually, at this time of the year, we are swamped with families from Queensland who come here for their summer holidays. This year, while there are already tourists here, it is much quieter.. Maybe the economic vandalism of the Newman govenant is biting hard on families’ holiday budgets.

    Shouldn’t complain as there should be an influx of other tourists next week but business owneers are noticing the difference & cutting staff hours for this week.

  2. Rats!! *government* although covenant might work.

  3. If the Qld. Police Minister Jack Dempsey thinks that Santos advertising on Police vehicles is not impartial and sends the wrong message to some of the community, then he should be sacked for incompetence and Ian Stewart Take a long look at yourself.