What I said in the pre-election
debate 2020

  • What are your infrastructure and road priorities for Keppel including any funding promises your party might have made.

    A: “I’m proud that a re-elected Palaszczuk Labor Government will deliver a
    record $1.38 billion for roads in Central Queensland with more to announce
    this week.

    Unlike the LNP who cut $1.6 billion from our roads, Labor has the record to
    prove it with close to $810 million in road upgrades for the region completed since 2015.

    Labor will invest another $100 million on the Bruce Highway to duplicate the road between Rockhampton and Gladstone, building on our already
    fully-funded $12.6 billion plan.

    We’ll continue to deliver Bruce Highway projects like the northern access as well as the all-important $80 million Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road upgrade,
    sparking 1,290 jobs in the process.

    We’ll put shovels in the ground on the Rockhampton Ring Road, fund more
    ramps and walkways for boaties, and invest in better active transport.
    Keppel needs a government that has a plan for economic recovery from
    COVID-19, jobs and better roads – not one that will sack workers, sell public assets and cut vital funding.

    And it’s only the Palaszczuk Government that has a plan for economic
    recovery and that backs better roads for Keppel and Central Queensland.
    Deb Frecklington and the LNP will cut 29,000 jobs – that’s 29,000 teachers,
    doctors and nurses – during a global pandemic to reach surplus and pay for
    their $25 billion in unfunded promises.

    We saw that when when the LNP under Campbell Newman and his then
    Assistant Minister Deb Frecklington cut $1.6 billion from Queensland roads
    and sacked 20 per cent of TMR staff, including 700 roadbuilders.

    Queensland and the Palaszczuk Government’s strong response to COVID-19
    has meant our government has been able to deliver a plan for jobs, better
    roads and economic recovery.

    There’s a roads bonanza in our region under Labor – whether that’s on the
    Bruce, Rockhampton-Yeppoon Road or even the $30 million upgrade to
    Rockhampton-Emu Park Road to deliver road train access to the abattoirs –
    because Labor builds, the LNP cuts. “

  • What would you like see improved regarding health care in the Keppel region. Please explain your priorities and any funding promises your party might have made.

    A: “The health of Central Queenslanders has been given top priority in the State Budget with more than $691 million to be invested in more frontline staff and a range of key projects.

    I welcome the investment which is an increase of $30.07 million from last year’s budget, and well up on the $225.5 million (48.4%) increase since former Premier Newman’s last LNP budget.

    I am particularly pleased that the Rehabilitation and Detoxification Centre she had been fighting will soon be delivered thanks to extra funding.

    This budget will deliver $5.7 million in 2021-22, out of a $16.3 million total spend, for the new 4-bed residential alcohol and other drug rehabilitation and treatment facility in Rockhampton which is due to open later this year.

    I have been fighting for this centre for several years and I believe it will help many people and families trapped in a drug or alcohol maze.

    The Rockhampton Hospital will also benefit from $6.2 million to improve facilities, including an expansion of the Mental Health Ward and the Cardiac Hybrid Theatre, as part of a $31.1 million total spend.

    Other Budget highlights for CQ Health include:

    • $7 million in growth funding to deliver additional services to meet the community’s needs

    • $500,000 earmarked for the Transfer Initiative Nurse model of care at Rockhampton Hospital to support ambulances getting back on the road faster

    • $1.9 million committed towards the First Nation people’s health including the Making Tracks Investment Strategy and the First Nations Health Equity Strategy”

  • Please explain your plans to address Keppel’s crime problem and whether you had any ideas regarding modifications to the judicial system.

    A: “The Palaszczuk Government has a record $2.6 billion police budget which will include 150 additional police for the Central region.

    In Keppel, I’m pleased to report a decrease in overall crime of 12% from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021.

    There has also been a 30% decrease in property offences in that same period.

    Police are also reporting early signs that the new youth justice laws are working.”

    There will be more than 2,000 extra police personnel over the next five years with at least 150 additional police to be delivered to the central police region, which includes my electorate of Keppel.

    “I commend every one of the 550-plus police in the Capricornia police district and I say: ‘Thank you for keeping our communities safe.’

    This government backs our police by providing the resources they need.

    The fight against youth crime has been stepped up with the boosting of initiatives by the Queensland Government.

    The Queensland Government’s approach to addressing youth crime involves a significant investment, which focusses on what the evidence says works to reduce reoffending and keep the community safe.

    There is a strong body of evidence which shows that harsher penalties do not work to reduce youth offending or make our communities safer.

    The Queensland Government is adopting a preventative approach to youth offending as opposed to an excessively or exclusively punitive approach.

    In late 2018, the Queensland Government launched Working Together: Changing the Story Youth Justice Strategy 2019-23 (the Strategy) which aims to reduce youth offending and reoffending.

    The Strategy and Atkinson report can be accessed online at https://www.youthjustice.qld.gov.au/reform/youth-justice-strategy.

    On 25 July 2019, the Government released the Youth Justice Strategy Action Plan (Action Plan).

    The initiatives are based on current evidence from research both in Queensland and internationally, designed to be the most effective in reducing youth crime and keeping the community safe. These include:

    • Continuing Project Booyah’s ‘Framing the Future’ leadership and mentoring program which will continue to support young people to reduce offending through adventure-based learning.

    • Expanding the successful Transition to Success (T2S) program to 10 further areas across Queensland.

    • Continuing Restorative Justice Conferencing. A recent evaluation found 77 per cent of young people who completed a restorative justice conference either did not reoffend or showed a decrease in the magnitude of their reoffending within six months.

    • Providing intensive support to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families who have children at risk of entering, or already in contact with, the youth justice system.”

  • What is your vision for reviving tourism on Great Keppel Island? What specific infrastructure would you like to see and what has your party promised?

    A: “Infrastructure like walking trails, viewing platforms and jetties will benefit locals as well as tourism operators in the region.

    We are the only side of politics that is investing in new tourism infrastructure for Keppel.

    We made a commitment to deliver $25 million worth of infrastructure and that’s exactly what we’re doing.

    I want to see boots on the ground, building this new infrastructure, creating jobs now – because I know that’s what locals want.

    Tourism and construction will be vital to rebuilding the local economy.

    This $25 million injection will really help in the economic recovery of our community.

    Infrastructure planned includes:

    • Cyclone rated jetty
    • Barge slant boat ramp
    • Solar with backup generators
    • Visitor facilities including amenities, shade and seating
    • Rehabilitate existing walking trails
    • New walking trails
    • Viewing platform
    • Water treatment