Latest Speeches

  • Bureau of Meteorology -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/10/2021 FILE: 26102021_001296_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Rockhampton, Bureau of Meteorology Station MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Rockhampton, Bureau of Meteorology Station Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (7.04 pm): In April this year I rose in this place to voice my concerns about the closure of the Rockhampton Bureau of Meteorology station by the LNP Morrison government and the sacking of expert forecasters and technicians. I was very concerned about the potential devastating impact on regional weather radars, warning and disaster services. Since that time, I can confirm that staff have been sacked, all of the equipment at the station has been removed and the Bureau of Meteorology in Rockhampton has been closed. It is absolutely outrageous and I am completely aghast at this shocking decision of the LNP federal government. Just last week, a Central Queensland meteorologist contacted me because they fear that someone could be killed by inaccurate and late forecasts and storm warnings due to the closure of the Bureau of Meteorology station in Rockhampton. Meteorologist Mike Griffin told me that inaccurate and untimely forecasts could adversely affect flight services, farmers and travellers with potentially fatal consequences. The recent misjudgement by the Brisbane BOM, which last week failed to predict a range of Central Queensland storms, proves the need to keep Rockhampton's BOM office. Closure of the Rockhampton BOM station by the LNP Morrison government and the sacking of expert forecasters and technicians has shown to have a devastating impact on regional weather, radar, warning and disaster services. Last week's wild Central Queensland weather was missed by the Brisbane based BOM officers, with potentially devastating consequences to locals. Mr Griffin told me that Central Queensland needs to 'get a sonde or we're flying blind'. The LNP Morrison government has left Central Queensland flying blind when it comes to weather forecasting. The bottom line is that, now that they have closed the Rockhampton BOM office, we are getting second-rate forecasts. This could end up in a plane crash or a major storm event being missed without the sonde. I call on federal MP Michelle Landry and Nationals Senator Matt Canavan to stop cutting local jobs and services and to reverse their government's cull of the Rockhampton BOM station. These cuts that they support are downright insulting to Central Queenslanders, and I call on them to reverse these devastating cuts to BOM jobs and services immediately. We need expert people monitoring the Rockhampton BOM—not an automated service that comes out of Brisbane. These Brisbane people cannot even pronounce the names of our suburbs properly! They have no idea about the local weather conditions because they are reading from a computer screen in Brisbane. We are moving into the annual storm and cyclone season. Late warnings will not be acceptable. Given that our region is one of the most disaster affected areas in the country, our community and economy rely on reliable weather forecasts, observations and warnings. That is why a fully resourced BOM in our region is absolutely imperative. Our region deserves a fully resourced BOM station, but all this LNP government is doing is cutting jobs and services. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Bureau of Meteorology
  • Superannuation Merger -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/10/2021 FILE: 26102021_001296_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.01 pm): Members of the 57th Queensland Parliament, we are gathered here today to witness and celebrate the merger of QSuper and Sunsuper. In the years they have been apart, their love for and understanding of each other has grown and matured. Now they have decided to live their lives together as one big, powerful, Queensland based super fund. A merger begins well before the passing of legislation. How dare the member for Kawana threaten the sanctity of marriage! The efforts of this merger continue well beyond the bill's passing A brief moment in time and the stroke of a pen are all that is required to create the legal bond of this merger, but it takes a lifetime of love, commitment and compromise to make a merger durable and everlasting. Today we declare QSuper's and Sunsuper's commitment to each other before the Queensland parliament. Your yesterdays were the path to this moment, and your journey to a future of togetherness becomes a little clearer with each new day. This Palaszczuk government has been and always will be about delivering jobs, lifestyle and benefits for Queenslanders. Everything we do is for the benefit of Queenslanders, be it roads, health, jobs or education. It is with the pride of a true Queenslander that I support this historic merger of two Queensland based superannuation funds—Sunsuper and QSuper—into one joint entity which will create the second largest superannuation fund in Australia. Importantly, the headquarters for this powerful new entity will be based right here in Brisbane and will support 2,000 Queensland jobs. Further, I am advised that all staff below senior management at both organisations have been given commitments of employment security for at least two years. Aside from these jobs being supported, I am advised that there will be many opportunities for new jobs in investment, information technology and customer engagement as the fund grows. These roles offer untold opportunities for existing and new employees who are supported by this government's burgeoning framework of training and education to upskill Queenslanders who wish to advance. Queenslanders can also have confidence in the due diligence process leading to this super merger, knowing that the process leading to the signing of a binding heads of agreement has been debated for nearly two years, to ensure Queensland workers get the best deal for their superannuation investment. The two Queensland funds first entered into negotiations in 2019 with a view to increasing investment power, reducing costs and delivering the best returns for their customers. The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding in March last year and worked through the hurdles of the COVID-19 pandemic to finalise the arrangement to where it is today. The new entity, called MySuper, will manage some $200 billion in assets, rivalling the size of AustralianSuper, which has similar assets and 2.4 million members. To further ensure Queenslanders are being astutely guided in their superannuation investments, the Queensland government will continue to be represented on the board of the merged fund with a mix of current QSuper and Sunsuper board members also remaining. The makeup of the new MySuper board of 13 directors will include a talented mix of class and gender including: Michael Clifford, Bruce Cowley, Mary-Anne Curtis, Andrew Fraser, Mark Goodey, Elizabeth Hallett, Shayne Maxwell, Sandra McCullagh, Beth Mohle, Kate Ruttiman, Michael Traill and Georgina Williams. I understand also that the QSuper-Sunsuper merged fund executive team has been announced: CEO Bernard Reilly, chief member officer Karin Muller, chief growth officer David Woodall, chief investment officer Ian Patrick, chief risk officer Anne Browne, chief technology officer Rod Greenaway, chief strategy officer Teifi Whatley, general counsel Deanne Wilden, chief of QInsure Phil Fraser, deputy chief investment officer Charles Woodhouse and chief of staff Lachlan East. QSuper defined benefit members will continue to have their state guarantee enshrined in legislation, as Queensland will remain the only state in Australia that has its defined benefit liabilities fully provisioned. The Queensland government will continue ongoing discussions with QSuper and Sunsuper to ensure the merger delivers strong outcomes for members and the Queensland community as a whole. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 There is even a benefit for non-Queenslanders. The combination of these two strong, successful funds will create an organisation of world-class capability that will be open to all Australians. What a bonus! They get to enjoy what Queenslanders have enjoyed for years. The Queensland government has been keeping a close watch on Queenslanders' benefits all through this merger process. Among its key criteria was that it has appropriate government representation; maintains the government superannuation office's services; maintains protected defined benefits and associated liabilities; and satisfies key stakeholders. The integration of two successful superannuation funds such as QSuper and Sunsuper into one world-class business, based here in Queensland, will serve the retirement needs of about two million Australians. QSuper and its predecessor funds have been providing retirement benefits to Queensland public sector workers for more than a century. Sunsuper was established in 1987 and has quickly grown to become a leading multi-industry fund open to all Australians. The new MySuper is in good hands, with QSuper chair Don Luke to take the role as chairman of the new entity, while Sunsuper chief executive Bernard Reilly will lead the new fund until at least December 2022. Both funds have been top performers in the retirement income sector, with researcher SuperRatings awarding Fund of the Year to QSuper in 2020, while Sunsuper won the same award the previous year. I congratulate all board members and our government officers for the work done to this point. I am very confident that MySuper will realise its potential to achieve real benefits for members. This will be further tested and monitored over coming months and years. By the power vested in me by the parliament of Queensland, I hope to, after the third reading, pronounce MySuper as a merged fund in Queensland. You may now kiss your bride. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Superannuation Merger
  • Veterans Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/10/2021 FILE: 26102021_001296_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.24 pm): I rise in support today of the Queensland Veterans' Council Bill 2021. In doing so, I want to acknowledge all of the veterans in Queensland and right across Australia, including those members who have served and are now serving in this place—the members for Macalister, Nicklin, Caloundra, Southern Downs and Buderim. Those men and women who have served our country dedicated their lives, careers and time to keeping our great Australia safe. I must also disclose my membership of Legacy Australia as a Legatee. I take my responsibility to declare potential conflicts of interest seriously, and I have done so by incorporating my membership as a volunteer Legacy Legatee in my register of interests from the date that I became a Legacy member. The Queensland Veterans' Council Bill 2021 establishes the Queensland Veterans' Council as a new statutory body with three areas of responsibility: firstly, trustee of Anzac Square under the Land Act 1994 and the ongoing management and operation of Anzac Square; secondly, the functions of the board of trustees under the Anzac Day Act 1995; and, finally, providing advice to government on veterans matters. Anzac Square was dedicated on Remembrance Day 1930 as the state's war memorial. It is on Crown land, reserved under the Land Act 1994 for the purposes of historical and parks and cultural purposes and is listed on the Queensland Heritage Register. This bill will establish a statutory body for Anzac Square which supports the future strategic direction and operation of the state's war memorial, particularly to the extent that the memorial galleries educate and inform visitors about the service and sacrifice of Queenslanders and Australians in war, peacemaking and peacekeeping. Anzac Square is an important landmark in the local urban form, right up to a state and national significance. Anzac Square has changed, grown and diversified over the years into a beautiful public space in the centre of our state's capital. Anzac Square, I am proud to say, commemorates all Queenslanders who participated in war, not just Brisbane residents. In 1928 a competition for the design of a Shrine of Remembrance was won by Sydney architects Buchanan and Cowper. Construction proceeded over the following two years and on Armistice Day, 11 November, 1930 the Governor, Sir John Goodwin, dedicated the shrine and the square. In 1933 the square was declared a reserve for park purposes and the Brisbane City Council was appointed trustee of the site. Anzac Square remains as the focus of armed services commemorations, particularly on Anzac Day. It has evolved into a place not just for Anzac Day though. It is a place where, when I personally pass, I feel a sense of peace, a still calm but with sorrow, loss, grief and sadness in the midst of this bustling metropolitan centre. It is a reminder of the importance of peace, perhaps from those who the square immortalises—those veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice. I am disappointed that amendments proposed by the LNP remove heritage conservation as a potential area in which the minister must be satisfied members of the Queensland Veterans' Council have qualifications or experience in. We on this side of the House understand the heritage value of Anzac Square to the people of Queensland and the need to ensure its ongoing existence for generations to come. The committee's first recommendation is that the bill be passed. I thank the committee for its support of the policy intention underpinning the bill. The committee's second recommendation is that clause 13 of the bill be amended to provide that at least 50 per cent of the members of the Queensland Veterans' Council must be veterans or representatives of the veterans community. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government supports the committee's recommendation to ensure that at least 50 per cent of the members of the Queensland Veterans' Council are veterans and members of the veterans community. One of the functions of the Queensland Veterans' Council will be to monitor and provide advice to government on veterans matters, and clause 34 of the bill provides that the minister may establish a veterans reference group. The government recognises that the veterans reference group is essential to supporting the Queensland Veterans' Council in the performance of its advisory function and assisting the Queensland Veterans' Council to consult with a broad range of veterans organisations. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 The veterans reference group also provides a mechanism for government to engage with the Queensland veterans community. 043 The Palaszczuk government is committed to making sure Queensland remembers the courage and sacrifice of its dedicated service men and women, including through the new $4 million grants program which will assist organisations to support the state's veterans and create more opportunities for Queenslanders to honour their service to the nation. The Palaszczuk government is proud to deliver this significant election commitment to help ex-service organisations as well as eligible not-for-profit organisations upgrade their buildings and facilities and purchase equipment so that they can continue to support Queensland veterans and their families. I am pleased that these organisations have this opportunity to build for their future and for the veterans and the families they support. Ex-service and not-for-profit organisations that support veterans can apply for grants of up to $50,000 for minor capital works and for grants between $50,000 and $250,000 for major capital works over three annual rounds. There are also community grants of up to $50,000 available to ex-service organisations, councils and not-for-profit community organisations to support them to create or restore memorials, avenues of honour and memorial gardens and to deliver commemorative activities and events. As demonstrated by the large public turnout on Anzac Day this year, Queenslanders are eager to recognise our veterans publicly now that COVID-19 restrictions have eased. Communities are keen to restore or erect monuments, compile honour rolls, construct memorial trails and gardens and undertake history and educational projects. I take this opportunity to invite members to the Centenary of Anzac Memorial at Emu Park—one of the most impressive memorial trails in the country—which was the vision of Emu Park veteran the late Mr Ross Coulter, brought to life by the amazing Emu Park RSL and its members. I am proud that the Premier announced this year that War Widows Day will be celebrated annually in Queensland on 19 October from next year—a first for Australia. The date of 19 October was the birthday of Mrs Jessie Vasey, who started the first Queensland branch of the War Widows Guild in Toowoomba in 1947. What an amazing way to celebrate next year's 75th anniversary of what is now Australian War Widows Queensland than to formally dedicate this day as an annual recognition of the people left behind by those who have served in Australia. The day will further highlight Australian War Widows Queensland's stated aim to empower, support, inspire and celebrate war widows, carers and families affected by defence services. Queensland will be the first to do this, to honour the widows and widowers of members of the Australian Defence Force. I know that widows and widowers of members of the Australian Defence Force bear their sacrifice with dignity and fortitude. As a Legacy legatee, I hear firsthand from widows, widowers and the children of veterans about the impact of their family members' contribution to keeping Australia safe. I take this opportunity to honour Joyce, Zander and her daughter Ciana, my Legacy clients who I am very humbled to provide support to as a legatee. Becoming a Legacy legatee is something I implore all members to consider doing. By becoming a legatee, you will become a part of Legacy's proud traditions and actively live its values. These traditions and values have been passed on from generation to generation of legatees in caring for the families of veterans. There are over 4,000 volunteers around Australia who work directly with Legacy families to provide support and friendship, to ensure that Legacy's promise to care for the families of deceased or seriously injured veterans is kept. The spirit of Legacy is service. Legatees are strongly committed to the work of Legacy and wear the Legacy torch symbol upon a pin with pride. Legatees are the backbone of Legacy and, supported by paid staff and other volunteers, deliver the majority of their services. When a legatee joins Legacy, they are inducted and commit to the Charter of Legacy: 'The spirit of Legacy is service'. I ask for the indulge of the House to read the Charter of Legacy. It states— The care of dependants of those who served the country; namely, veterans who gave their lives or health on operational service or subsequently, and Australian Defence Force members who die in service or as a result of their service, affords a field for service. Safeguarding the interests of dependents, especially children, is a service worth rendering. Personal effort is the main essential. Inasmuch as these are the activities of Legacy, it is our privilege to accept the legacy of the fallen. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Veterans Bill
  • Covid Speech -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 15/09/2021 FILE: 15092021_001253_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.29 pm): I rise to speak in support of the amendment moved by the Deputy Premier and against the motion moved by the LNP opposition. The member for Warrego talked about all of those cases but what is interesting is that, if the Prime Minister had got quarantine right and if the Prime Minister had got the vaccine rollout right, perhaps these people would not be stranded. This motion, moved in this place today, is just another example that the LNP have absolutely no idea how to navigate through a crisis. Ms Camm interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Kelly): Order, member for Whitsunday! Ms LAUGA: This is just another example in a long list of examples since the global pandemic came to our shores last year. Thank goodness those opposite are not in government because, frankly, we would all be doomed. Luckily we have the Premier and the Chief Health Officer who are standing up for Queenslanders against the attacks of the Morrison government and against the attacks of those opposite. Queensland is going so well. Tourism in Central Queensland in my area is booming. Business is booming. Ms Camm interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, member for Whitsunday! Pause the clock. Member for Whitsunday, I have brought my concerns to your attention on many occasions. I will warn you now formally. Ms LAUGA: Rocky has never had an NRL game before, but in the last month we have had three! Only a few weeks ago at the Village Festival in Yeppoon we had bands playing and there was a mosh pit. None of this is happening in New South Wales and Victoria right now. If those opposite had their way, they would have opened the borders and let it rip. I do not need to paint that ugly picture. Australians have been plunged into uncertainty and disruption because of a leaky quarantine system and a slow vaccine rollout. Scott Morrison says it is not a race. It is a race and it always was a race. The Prime Minister had two jobs: a speedy, effective rollout of the vaccine, and quarantine—and he has failed at both. The LNP federal government and the LNP Queensland opposition are an absolute rabble. You have Senator Matt Canavan, Senator for Queensland, alleging that you cannot catch COVID outside, criticising the borders being closed and restrictions being in place to protect Queenslanders. However, the senator was very complimentary of the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service medical staff last week on the fortnightly COVID zoom, thanking them for the good work they are doing throughout this global pandemic. That is not what he is saying in the media though. Then you have George Christensen going off tap and not being reprimanded. The Deputy Prime Minister and also a former prime minister were caught not wearing a mask. These are dangerous places to be—dangerous areas. It is completely irresponsible for Matt Canavan and George Christensen to be using public office, a position of power and influence, to spread misinformation and lies. We learnt last week that, despite the Prime Minister saying Australia would be at the front of the queue for vaccines, when Pfizer reached out to the Commonwealth health minister, instead of meeting with one of the world's leading COVID vaccine candidates, Minister Hunt sent some junior burger to the meeting. It was two months later that the health minister finally met with Pfizer when countries like the US and UK had already signed deals and had supply flowing through. It took another four months before Pfizer started flowing into Australians' arms, but the Australian government has had to beg, borrow and steal to get supply from other countries. We know that, if Scott Morrison had procured enough vaccines for his original vaccine rollout goal, over 80 per cent of the Australian population would be vaccinated today. Let me repeat: if he had procured enough vaccines from Pfizer, over 80 per cent of our country would be vaccinated today, and http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 we could already have purpose-built quarantine facilities in Queensland established if it were not for the Prime Minister's inaction. Our Premier pleaded with him: we need regional quarantine facilities because our hotels are not built for quarantine. You would that think the opposition would have learnt that playing politics with borders does not work. Playing politics with a global pandemic is irresponsible, it is disrespectful to the expert doctors and medical practitioners and it is just plain stupid. Last week we heard the LNP call for the borders to be reopened—how many times, members? Government members: Sixty-four! Ms LAUGA: Sixty-four times. One Nation was doing the same. Disgracefully, Pauline Hanson said all the sick and elderly should lock themselves away so the borders could reopen. She started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a High Court challenge—which I understand had a goal of about a million dollars but did not even reach the $50,000 mark. Where is that money now? Our health is at risk. Our economy is held hostage. Families are being kept apart. Australians deserve better and Queenslanders deserve a better opposition. (Time expired) http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Covid Speech
  • Rural Fire Brigades -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 14/09/2021 FILE: 14092021_001251_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Keppel Electorate, Rural Fire Brigade Volunteers MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Keppel Electorate, Rural Fire Brigade Volunteers Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (9.47 pm): A big thankyou to the more than 30,000 rural fire brigade volunteers in Queensland. On Yellow Ribbon Day, we say thank you to rural fire brigade volunteers who often leave their own homes to protect and defend others. I am a proud volunteer rural firefighter at The Caves Rural Fire Brigade and I cannot wait to get out on my first hazard reduction burn or emergency response. I have my ID card, my blue card and my uniform and PPE and I am really keen for first officer Brad Kingston to show me the ropes. It takes a lot of dedication to put the needs of your community first, yet that is what our RFS volunteers do time and time again. RFS volunteers help during emergencies but are also there to help with hazard reduction and mitigation burns. There are many different roles within the RFS and every one of them is vital for keeping our community safe. Whether volunteers are at the fireground, behind a barbeque, talking to the public, running a training exercise or holding a drip torch, everyone pitches in to do what needs to be done. The 2021 bushfire season officially began in August and, thanks to the RFS, Keppel is well prepared. Bushfire mitigation plans have been finalised across Queensland and QFES and our partners have completed hundreds of mitigation activities. Across the state brigades have also been working with traditional owners to explore the use of Indigenous burning methods, including Queensland's first planned burn conducted by an all-women team which took place on Minjerribah last year. Embracing cultural burning will allow us to better prepare for bushfires in the future. Thank you to all of the RFS volunteers for your commitment and your service to the community. Congratulations also to Gracemere State School on its 150th birthday. I thank principal Samantha Howard and the entire school community for inviting me to celebrate with it last week. I was pleased to present the school with a new clock to mark such a momentous occasion. Thanks to Tony Newman for his stellar job emceeing, former principal Greg Wilkes for sharing his lovely memories at the school, assistant regional director Trudy Graham for a fitting tribute and all of the 150th celebrations organising committee for their work pulling together a wonderful event. Here is to another amazing 150 years. As its motto says, 'Our best—always'. 069 Last week we officially opened the brand new, fully covered, multipurpose sports court at the Carinity school at Glenlee. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government supported this project with $505,000 and Carinity contributed over $400,000. It includes some grandstand seating and can adapt for basketball, volleyball, netball, handball and badminton. The court looks great and is clearly a popular addition to the school's infrastructure. It was also amazing to hear former NBL basketballer Eric Bailey give an inspirational speech to the students about dreaming big. We know that providing the best facilities and the best education possible is one way to help students achieve that and I am really pleased that this new court will provide a great service to the students at Carinity. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Rural Fire Brigades
  • VAD legislation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 14/09/2021 FILE: 14092021_001251_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (7.22 pm): I rise this evening to speak in support of the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2021. In doing so can I thank the Premier for her leadership and the Deputy Premier for his leadership and for his time as health minister seeing this bill progress. Can I thank the health committee and the Queensland Law Reform Commission. With respect to the health committee, in particular can I thank my good friend and colleague the member for Thuringowa, Aaron Harper, who has put his heart and soul into this bill over the last three years. Can I also thank the constituents who contacted me, both in favour and against this bill; the people who made suggestions and the very personal stories they shared with me. Mr Deputy Speaker, this is very straightforward for me. Queenslanders nearing the end of their life should have greater choice about how, when and where they die. It must be voluntary, it must be assisted by medical professionals and the person must be dying. I believe the bill has adequate safeguards to protect the vulnerable. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    VAD legislation
  • Budget 2021 - 2022 -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 17/06/2021 FILE: 17062021_001186_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (9.45 pm): It is great to hear the member for Hinchinbrook and Katter's Australian Party talking up the Palaszczuk government's record education budget in this place. Ms Grace interjected. Ms LAUGA: I take that interjection from the Minister for Education. This is the first time that I have risen in this place since our good friend the member for Stretton passed away. Duncan was a good bloke. He was a friend to many of us in this place. He was taken too soon and I am still grappling with his passing. It feels like he is just on a holiday or something. I am sure that in the future many of us will have more to say about Duncan and his work. We miss him terribly. I offer my condolences to Duncan's parents, brothers, friends and family. Given the way that those opposite talk in this budget debate one would think that Queensland is falling apart. Those opposite say that Queensland's roads are falling apart, the hospitals are falling apart and the schools are falling apart. It is all drama and negativity. They are so negative. They actually sound like the used car salesman I dealt with when I traded in my first car, my beloved Betty, the white Holden Barina. The salesman said, 'The wheels are falling off, there are dings in the body, the paint is chipped, the brakes don't work and it is not worth much at all.' Just like those opposite, he talked down my car. He talked down the care and maintenance that I had given to it. He looked for every opportunity to give me the lowest price possible. He sounded just like those opposite as they talk down our great state. There are always lots of hidden fees when you are trading in a vehicle with a used car salesmen— or hidden cuts, as the LNP like to say. There are lots of hidden fees, lots of hidden cuts and lots of fine print in the contract. They said that there will not be any cuts, but then the Leader of the Opposition— asterisks—says, 'But it won't be savage.' There is always fine print when it comes to the LNP and their promises. I looked after my car, Betty. It did not miss a service. It had clean oil that was regularly topped up. The tyres and brake pads were newly replaced. I looked after my Betty Barina just as the Palaszczuk Labor government is governing with care and attention. All of us on this side have a great love for our state of Queensland, but those opposite are talking down this state—our state—like a used car salesman. They are talking down the economy, our future and the prospects of our great state for their own benefit. I would not want to be anywhere else in the world right now and that is only because of our Premier, our Chief Health Officer, our Deputy Premier and the nurses, doctors, healthcare workers and all Queenslanders who have worked so hard to keep our state safe from the global pandemic. Now our economic recovery is underway. Our economy has rebounded and the latest labour force data shows that unemployment in Queensland has dropped to 5.4 per cent, which is lower than before COVID. In Keppel the hotels are booked out. In fact, the owners of Oshen tell me that they could book out their hotel twice every night. The restaurants are full and tourism is booming. This budget demonstrates that Queensland's COVID-19 economic recovery plan is working. The budget invests in growth, jobs, infrastructure, services—including in health and schools—and growth right across Queensland. 063 In Keppel, this budget delivers on our election commitments. It delivers a record health budget with a $691 million investment in our Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service. This budget delivers the funding for the finishing touches on the $14.3 million, 42-bed detox and rehab centre in Rockhampton. It delivers funding to start work on the cardiac hybrid theatre at the Rocky Hospital so local people can get the stents in their arteries that they need without having to travel to Brisbane. It delivers the funding to refurbish and expand the mental health unit at the Rockhampton Hospital so more local people can get the mental health treatment they need close to home. I am incredibly proud to be Assistant Minister for Education in a government that is yet again delivering a record education budget, the Palaszczuk government's seventh record education budget, a record $15.3 billion state education budget investment in school and early childhood education which will deliver for Queensland children, students, teachers, teacher aides and tradies from Far North Queensland to the Gold Coast. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Almost $1.9 billion in infrastructure spending will maintain, renew and build new facilities, including 10 new schools and other facilities supporting more than 4,100 jobs across the state. This continues our proud record of giving every child a great start and engaging young people in learning, no matter where they live. The Speaker has reviewed and approved my budget speech for incorporation. As such, I ask that the remainder of my speech is incorporated into the Record of Proceedings. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Walker): Member for Keppel that has been approved for incorporation. The speech read as follows— The incorporated portion of this speech has not been included as it has not yet been provided http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Budget 2021 - 2022
  • Coronavirus Vaccine -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 27/05/2021 FILE: 27052021_001172_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Coronavirus, Vaccine Rollout MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Coronavirus, Vaccine Rollout Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.53 pm): Can I start by sending big love to our Victorian friends, family and colleagues as they battle a COVID-19 outbreak and go back into lockdown. To my gran, Heather, to my aunts and uncles and cousins who all live in Victoria, and to all Victorians: stay safe, stay strong. Queenslanders are with you. The truth is though that Victoria should never have been put in this situation because the federal government should have fixed quarantine. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, had two big jobs this year: roll out the vaccine and fix quarantine. He has failed both. Whilst the federal government has failed to fix quarantine and the vaccine rollout, people in the Prime Minister's own team are jumping the gun and calling for the international border to reopen. You have to crawl before you can walk, but LNP Senator Matt Canavan is jumping the gun by saying Australians 'cannot stay under the doona forever' and calling for the international border to reopen. Senator Canavan is again putting the cart before the horse. Australia is nowhere near ready to open the international border. Opening the international border prematurely will put Australians at risk. Before Senator Canavan drags Australians out from 'under the doona', we need millions more Aussies vaccinated and adequate quarantine facilities in place. Australians' safety must be the No. 1 priority. Queenslanders know from experience that, if you keep the community as safe as possible, the economy can open back up faster. We proved this as the best model only 12 months ago, and now our economic recovery plan is underway. What is the senator doing to encourage Aussies to get vaccinated and progress better quarantine facilities? Absolutely nothing. Perhaps instead of handing out National Party how-to-vote cards in the New South Wales by-election recently, Senator Canavan could have recorded a new podcast about the importance of getting vaccinated. That would have been at least something to help us all get one step closer to living safely and allowing our national economy to recover. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government is doing everything it can to make the COVID vaccine rollout easier in Queensland by opening 14 community based vaccination hubs by the end of July. The centres will be established to coincide with increased vaccine supply announced by the federal government. Members of the general public aged 40 to 49 who may want to receive a COVID-19 Pfizer vaccination will be able to register for vaccination. Our job so far has been to vaccinate the 1a and 1b groups that include our workforce in hotel quarantine, health, police and other emergency services. Queensland Health has sufficient Pfizer stocks to continue that work and open up to the 40- to 49-year-old age group who may want to register to be vaccinated. We do not want an ounce of vaccine to go to waste. The Palaszczuk government will ensure that our vaccine rollout is as accessible as possible, and these community vaccine hubs will further assist Queenslanders, no matter where they are, to get access to the vaccine. In closing, I would like to publicly thank the Queensland Health staff and the tireless efforts of our public health teams right across the state who are managing the vaccine rollout and for keeping us safe. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Coronavirus Vaccine
  • Debt Reduction Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/05/2021 FILE: 26052021_001171_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.40 pm): I rise to speak on the Debt Reduction and Savings Bill. Every dollar counts. It is a simple phrase but it means something to Queenslanders. It means a lot to our Treasurer, our Premier, to the Palaszczuk Labor government, and it means a lot to me. It is a lesson that the Treasurer learned when he started his first job in 1982, and it is a lesson that I too learned when I started my first job in the year 2000 as a 15-year-old working at McDonald's in Rockhampton. I have now been working for almost 20 years, and for almost all of those 20 years I have been a proud member of my union. My first pay packet from McDonald's went towards saving for my first car, which after several years of working I was able to afford: a two-door second-hand Holden Barina that I bought from a woman in Gladstone who had won it at the Yaralla Sports Club, my lucky 'Betty Barina'. I agree with the Treasurer: those dollars that I worked hard for mattered, hard work matters, prudence matters and savings matter. That is the lesson that lies at the heart of this bill. This bill is a comprehensive reform of the business and balance sheet of the Queensland government. It is designed to reduce the burden of debt and deliver savings. We are saving taxpayer dollars, restructuring our balance sheet by finding savings and reducing the burden of debt. We are doing that so we can invest to deliver services for all Queenslanders right across this state. Unlike those opposite, we do not pursue savings and debt reduction as an end in itself. We do not cut doctors, nurses and midwives, we do not cut teachers and we do not cut police. The last time the LNP was in government they cut 14,000 public servants, 4,000 health workers and 1,800 midwives. In 2013, eight of the current LNP front bench—which equates to 44 per cent of the LNP's entire shadow ministry, almost half of the current shadow ministry—served in the Newman government as ministers, including the former member for Mundingburra, the current member for Broadwater, who was Campbell Newman's minister for local government. But I digress. In 2013 my colleagues, who were all urban and regional planners, architects, project managers and surveyors who were working to deliver more social housing and community infrastructure in the department of public works, told me about a complete stranger to whom they gave the name 'Box Man'. They did not know 'Box Man'. They had never seen him before, but 'Box Man' would walk into their office on 80 George Street carrying cardboard boxes, tap random people on the shoulder and tell them to pack their stuff and get out. Hardworking professionals who had dedicated years of their working lives to delivering infrastructure and housing for Queensland were simply tapped on the shoulder, handed a box and told to leave. It was devastating for so many. The same sackings happened right across the state, including 1,400 nurses, midwives, healthcare professionals and teachers. Gladstone port workers, QBuild apprentices and tradies in Central Queensland lost their jobs because of the failed fiscal management of the Newman government. When I was elected in 2015 my community in Keppel was hurting, as was the rest of Queensland, because of the LNP's cuts to workers. In contrast to the LNP's economic wasteland, Labor makes sensible, viable savings that benefit Queenslanders. Labor's prudent savings, identified in this bill, were uncovered on our own initiative to examine public costings and are expected to make sure our frontline services—the very ones the LNP slashed and we had to rehire—are sustainable and focused on the needs of the public. Labor invests those funds for the good of every Queenslander. It is an idea that the LNP hates because when they talk about savings what they really mean is cuts. We know that the LNP hates the idea of Queensland taxpayers soon getting the full value of the titles registry on our balance sheet. This strikes a blow at the LNP economic structure because it means they cannot sell off the titles registry. Make no mistake: the LNP is always keen to sell public assets. People in my community of Keppel, and indeed across Queensland, do not support the privatisation of the state's strategic assets. An honourable member interjected. Ms LAUGA: I take that interjection, because it is actually the reason why I stand in this place. The reason why I joined the Labor Party was to stop the privatisation of assets, as do all members on this side of the chamber. When the LNP was last in government they sold Queensland Motorways, they tried to sell our electricity assets and ports, and they wasted $70 million of taxpayers' money on http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 consultants to try and do that. This is exactly why I joined the Labor Party: not because I love the Labor Party, but because I wanted to change it. That is why I am standing in this place as part of a government that is proud to stand on our track record of backing our public servants, supporting frontline workers and, most importantly, stopping the sale of assets that 44 per cent of those on the LNP front bench wanted to sell off. That is why most of us on this side of the House are here. Labor has promised Queenslanders that we will always keep our assets, and that includes the value of the titles registry as an asset that can be an offset against debt, thereby reducing our net debt. The LNP complains about deficits in Queensland, which has a booming economy, even though the Morrison government has a trillion dollar deficit 10 years into the future and beyond with no sign of a surplus. I am sure those 'Back in the Black' mugs Josh Frydenberg had made up a few years ago are in the trash. The LNP also complains about debt even though the New South Wales Liberal government has higher debt than Queensland, including when measured on a proposal basis. Mr Deputy Speaker, 20 years ago I learned an important lesson. Every dollar counts, and that lesson is just as important today as it was 20 years ago. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Debt Reduction Bill
  • Police and community safety -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/05/2021 FILE: 26052021_001171_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.46 pm): I rise in support of the minister's amendment. I support this government's massive investment in community safety—a record $2.6 billion in the police budget alone. That means more police for my electorate and more police resources. I commend this government for its record investment in police and police resources. 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. This government backs our police by providing the resources they need. Let's talk about community safety in the police district that takes in Keppel. The latest police statistics show that the overall rate of total reported crime from 1 July 2020 to 31 March 2021 has decreased by 12 per cent. The rate of offences against property decreased by 30 per cent over the same period. Those opposite do not like talking about the statistics. It is all just fear. Police themselves say early results show that the new youth justice laws are working. I know that police in the Capricornia are out and about conducting regular bail and curfew checks on repeat youth offenders to ensure they are complying with their current court ordered conditions. There is a youth justice co-responder team in the police district that covers my electorate of Keppel. This hardworking team of professionals operates on a three-shift, 24/7 roster targeting high-risk youth offenders. I commend each and every one of them for the work they do in keeping our community safe, and I support the programs that are in place to help turn young lives around. This House has often heard me talk about the success of the award-winning Project Booyah. I fought for that project back in 2016 and, since then, I have attended graduation ceremony after graduation ceremony to celebrate young people turning their lives around. I back that program 100 per cent. I give a shout-out to Constable Joe Ramsay and his team at Project Booyah Rockhampton. Project Respect, which was delivered by Project Booyah, works with young, at-risk people at the Yeppoon State High School. There is also a local Facebook page run by police for the Capricorn Coast. It is a direct link for police and the community to work together proactively on local solutions to local issues. We have 10 police liaison officers in the Capricornia District including Yeppoon. This government is investing in community safety initiatives in my electorate. Under this government, police will have new high-tech cameras, including an expanded fleet of drones to crack down on hoons. We have expanded existing laws including shifting the onus of proof onto the vehicle owner. This means if the owner claims they were not driving the vehicle at the time of the offence it will be up to them to prove it. Our attack on hooning is fully funded from our record $2.6 billion police budget. 045 The LNP axed funding to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council that provides vital data to police to help prevent car thefts. The LNP also failed to fund a trial of automatic numberplate recognition that helps police track stolen vehicles. The LNP cut police numbers—more than 300 police personnel. They forced police to buy their own body worn video cameras. They failed to fund police training and police overtime for safe night precincts. They cut weapons training. They cut the police budget. It does not matter what they say in this House or outside it; they cut, sack and sell. It will always be in their DNA. In closing, I take the time remaining to congratulate my Labor parliamentary colleagues the members for Townsville and Thuringowa. I know that these members live and breathe their Townsville community and that they have been having a really hard time. I know that they care deeply about their community and that they are working extremely hard to try to keep their community safe. We can see from the member for Thuringowa's contribution to this debate how passionate he is about working to keep his community safe. I congratulate the member for Thuringowa as I know that he puts his heart and soul into trying to keep his community safe. I thank him for the work he does to keep his community safe. He is so passionate about getting children into jobs or back into school or into skills and training but, most importantly, about community safety. I commend the minister's amendment to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Police and community safety
  • Native title Moreton Island -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 13/05/2021 FILE: 13052021_001160_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.48 pm): I rise to speak on the Nature Conservation and Other Legislation (Indigenous Joint Management—Moreton Island) Amendment Bill with particular reference to the collaborative steps taken by the Palaszczuk Labor government and the Quandamooka people on Mulgumpin. In doing so I applaud the process of engagement and understanding between the parties involved. The approach to returning state land and jointly managing the protected areas on Mulgumpin follows a precedent set by the state's actions in earlier native title consent determinations. That such a number of settlement outcomes negotiated between the state of Queensland and representatives of the Quandamooka people was successful is a tribute to this model of joint management of protected areas between the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Indigenous traditional owners. It is laudable evidence of reconciliation that provides a blueprint for future partnerships. 021 I am proud that a similar form of collaboration between state and federal agencies in my electorate, between the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of Environment and the Woppaburra people, the traditional owners of the Keppel Islands and Keppel Bay in my electorate, was pivotal to the success of a venture of which I am very proud. In the spirit of reconciliation, the Woppaburra people and the environmental centre on North Keppel Island have been working in close partnership since 2011. In 2013, a statement of intent was signed, acknowledging the Woppaburra people's right to protect, preserve and revive their law, language and sites of cultural significance. It facilitates education and reconciliation practices through mutual respect and recognition of Woppaburra ancestors. While I acknowledge it does not have the same legislative controls as the joint management of protected areas on Mulgumpin, as detailed in this bill, the successful process is similar in terms of cooperation, education and understanding which facilitates reconciliation. In the case of Mulgumpin, the formal partnership with the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation underlines the expectation that joint management of the island's natural and cultural resources can only enhance their value, particularly in terms of tourism. Joint management will facilitate greater self-determination and protect and promote the cultural rights of the Quandamooka people. This continues the underlying drive by the Palaszczuk government to work collaboratively with Indigenous traditional owners, tapping into their unique knowledge and understanding of land protection practices. One significant change that has occurred through my own involvement in the partnership on North Keppel Island is the reconnection of Woppaburra elders to their country. This demonstrates the Woppaburra people's sovereign ancestral and traditional ownership over country and demonstrates the five dimensions of reconciliation: race relations, equality and equity, unity, institutional integrity and historical acceptance. Such is the success of the Woppaburra and North Keppel Island EEC partnership that their work was acknowledged by the awarding of an esteemed Queensland Reconciliation Award in the education category. Another chapter in the Woppaburra history was the official celebration of the declaration of Balban Dara Guya—mangroves, creek and fish in Woppaburra language—as a fish habitat area on Great Keppel Island because of its important environmental and cultural significance. This is now protected from the impacts of coastal development. In many ways, Balban Dara Guya is an iconic milestone for Queensland's declared fish habitat area network as it was the first fish habitat area declared on an offshore continental island. Like the successful partnership involving the state government and the Quandamooka people, collaboration between agencies was pivotal to the success of this venture. There are economic opportunities that can come with joint land management. No doubt these opportunities on Mulgumpin will continue to grow and diversify with the partnership with the Quandamooka people. In summary, this bill warms my heart because I share its values, see its potential and applaud the collaborative spirit from which it was derived. As for many Indigenous people before, this bill http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 facilitates the rightful return of land on Mulgumpin to the Quandamooka people. It is something every member of this parliament can be very proud of. It is up to us to continue consultation in relation to the future management of not only Mulgumpin but also other native title regions as they qualify. I commend the bill to House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Native title Moreton Island
  • Criticising the Fed Budget -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 12/05/2021 FILE: 12052021_001159_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.50 pm): This afternoon it is quite clear that those opposite have been completely caught by surprise. The LNP's frontbench are madly typing away, bashing away at the keys: 'Quick, there's a motion about our federal mates' budget this afternoon. I know, I'll get onto Google.' I would love to see their search history: 'federal budget good things'. The computer says no to that, so plan B is to get on the blower to Canberra. I noticed the member for Buderim on the phone, in and out, talking to his mates in Canberra: 'Frydo, mate, we're under fire in parly. Can you flick me some material?' Honourable members interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, members! Ms LAUGA: The speech writers on level 9 are in overdrive: 'Quick, we've got to get our response to the motion.' Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Mickelberg interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Buderim, you have just made a contribution. You have been interjecting loudly and constantly. You are on a warning. Ms LAUGA: Then we had the member for Clayfield, who came in here and defended this federal government's budget—defending the indefensible really. Maybe he is effectively trying to cosy up to the Prime Minister and this is part of a bigger plan. Knock off Trevor Evans or someone nearby, using the same tactics that the LNP used on him to try and get his own federal seat and maybe try a political career plan B, or is it C or D or E? I rise to speak in support of this motion moved by the Treasurer because Queensland is the fastest-growing state in the nation and our students, teachers and parents deserve their fair share from the federal government. The Morrison government has been dragged kicking and screaming to finally make a commitment to a four-year kindergarten agreement. We have been fighting for this agreement for eight years. I will be interested to see the details of this announcement, including Queensland's allocation of this funding. I hope though that the LNP's bean counters in Canberra are not using the same wicked formula that has been used for infrastructure funding. I hope they do not use that same formula for kindergarten funding. Queensland is being punished by Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg. How can any of those opposite think it is okay for Queensland to get $1.6 billion, when New South Wales is getting $3.3 billion, South Australia is getting $3.2 billion and Victoria is getting $3 billion? Queensland has endured eight years of policy funding neglect from the federal LNP that has left the kindergarten sector and families in limbo. As a kindy mum, I know how incredibly important the early years development of our children is. All the literature is clear: kindergarten gives children the confidence in learning and expands their knowledge and connection of themselves, family, culture, their environment and the broader community. I support the motion. (Time expired) http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Criticising the Fed Budget
  • First Responders Compensation and Rehabilitation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 12/05/2021 FILE: 12052021_001159_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.00 pm): I rise to speak in favour of the Workers' Compensation and Rehabilitation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2020. Almost 12 months ago a woman in our community, Karen Gilliland, was horrifically killed. A court case is still underway. Her estranged husband was arrested and charged with her murder. On the day that Karen was murdered, the police and first responders who responded to that incident described the crime scene as the most horrific crime scene they had ever come across. After that incident, I publicly called for honours to be bestowed on the police and other emergency service workers who rapidly responded to calls for assistance at the home where this tragic domestic violence incident in Rockhampton occurred—an incident that saw the death of Karen Gilliland. Ms Gilliland died in the most horrific circumstances. Police, paramedics and hospital staff responded rapidly to this incident and did their best to save Karen's life while, sadly, her children watched. Police chased and apprehended the suspect in pitch black darkness down on the banks of the Yeppen Lagoon around the Rockhampton Botanic Gardens. I understand from what police reported that it was a young constable, a 21-year-old mother, who had to draw her weapon on the suspect when they had no idea whether or not he was armed and in pitch black darkness. They had no idea what they were facing. For that young constable to be able to draw her weapon and apprehend that suspect in awful circumstances showed so much courage. We expect police and other emergency service workers to go out and face these types of issues on their watch, but we should not lose sight of the fact they are men and women, just like us. Our first responders do not get to wake up every day knowing it will be a quiet day in the office, free from abuse, harm and tragedy. These people—our brothers and sisters, husbands and wives—are normal people doing extraordinary things. I acknowledge the former first responders who now serve in this place who have given amazing contributions in the parliament throughout this debate, including my friend the member for Thuringowa Aaron Harper, and the member for Barron River. I note the amazing contributions of members like the member for Caloundra, the member for Macalister and the member for Greenslopes. I also acknowledge the former union organisers and delegates in this House who worked either as first responders or directly with first responders and the challenges that come with that representation and advocacy. On many occasions, working as a first responder involves confronting life and death in situations akin, in part, to war zones. When these people are not on the job, how many times do we hear of off-duty fireys, ambos, police, doctors or nurses attending emergencies in the course of their everyday lives—becoming involved in heroic rescues or car accidents or fires. They deserve not just out thanks, but also our protection, as their government, when it comes to empathy, compassion and treatment as a result of injuries they may sustain as part of their work. This bill talks of compensation and rehabilitation, but what it is ultimately about is our duty of care as a government and employer of public servants. It aims to take away some of the processes that employers of first responder agencies currently have to navigate in an effort to see the just and fair compensation and rehabilitation they need, particularly if they suffer post-traumatic stress disorder. The community has rapidly come to accept and, we hope, understand PTSD and its often debilitating impact on people, particularly through the suffering of our defence force personnel, and the impact on people's family and friends. With this newfound understanding of such a severe mental health issue, I am pleased that this bill aims to introduce presumptive workers compensation laws which ease the onus of proof from the first responder in any claim. I commend the work of Beyond Blue in helping to shape this bill—particularly their 2018 survey of police and emergency services on the issue—and also the work of the 2019 Senate committee inquiry. One of our jobs as a government is to improve on the current compensable PTSD processes and make the system less stressful and adversarial for first responders when they are trying to establish and confirm the incidents which led to them making a claim. Importantly, too—and on International http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Nurses Day—this bill delivers a head of power which includes, among other employees, 'a doctor or nurse employed in emergency and trauma care, acute care, critical care, or high-dependency care, will also be covered'. There were a reported 113 PTSD claims in the public sector from 1 July 2019 to 31 May 2020. This bill will not prevent or reduce those PTSD claims, but it is critical in delivering the fastest, most essential mental health care possible to our first responders, in a compassionate, fair and just manner befitting a Labor government. I congratulate the members of the Education, Employment and Training Committee for their work. I commend the work done by the Minister for Industrial Relations and the department. I commend this bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    First Responders Compensation and Rehabilitation
  • School breakfast amendment -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 21/04/2021 FILE: 21042021_001148_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.30 pm): I rise to speak against this motion moved by the Greens in this place. Ms Grace: I moved an amendment. Ms LAUGA: I support the amendment that was moved by the minister. We all want our kids to start the day on a full stomach. There is no question about that. We know that it is important so they can concentrate. We know that it is important to their success at school and to their learning. We can definitely all agree on that. We can all agree that, when it comes to the education system and teachers, schools are a really important place for young people to learn and to be nurtured. That is why we already have wonderful programs in place in over 700 schools across the state providing breakfast for those students who need assistance. We will continue to expand these programs as required, based on need, because we know that they work wonders. We can all agree that we want every child to get a great start and we do not, and will not, let kids fall through the cracks for want of a good breakfast or lunch. That does not mean that we need to adopt the Greens' thought bubble—or avid Google search, as the member for Bundaberg put it—to spend $374 million a year to provide breakfast to every child in every school in the state. Ms Grace: It is just 30 per cent. Ms LAUGA: It is only 30 per cent of the students in the state. I effectively consider this as a serious form of a virtue signalling. It is a rush for parents and carers to get their children out of bed and ready for school, to get them fed and then to get them to school—I know that firsthand; packing lunches is one of my least favourite chores in the world. Honourable members: Hear, hear! Ms LAUGA: I hear the agreement of all the parents in the chamber. We should not be stepping in when parents and carers are more than capable of providing breakfast or where the community is coming up with its own solutions. When it equates to only $1.50 per child, what kind of nutritious meal are you going to provide for $1.50? I believe that we should be aspiring to ways in which we can support parents better. If we are going to solve this problem of poverty in our state and in our country, we need to do that through self-determination. We need to do that by raising the minimum wage. We need to do that by helping support parents to get a job and by giving them the skills and experience to get those jobs. We need to help parents with more affordable child care and more childcare places. All of those practical changes would make a much bigger difference to the lives of parents and in turn their children in this state than a thought bubble. Mr Berkman: So what are you doing on that? Ms LAUGA: We are doing lots of things on that actually. It is one of my great passions. I would suggest that a motion in support of more affordable and accessible child care would perhaps have been a better motion to debate in this place. I think that most parents would agree. Schools, in consultation with their community, can choose to operate a breakfast program to provide meals for families in need. I invite the member for Maiwar and the member for South Brisbane to my Alma Mater at Mount Archer State School in the electorate of Keppel where my mum has been a teacher for over 30 years. There has been a breakfast program running there since I was in school. I am no spring chicken anymore. That breakfast program has been a great success. There are plenty of parents like my mum who got me out of bed every day, gave me a good breakfast and sent me along to school with lunch. I am very privileged that my mum was able to do that because she had a good job. She had the benefit of being able to go to university—the first in her family. She raised me with that same principle as well—that is, the principle of the responsibility of the family and the carer and the parents in that family. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 In 2020, 727 state schools offered a breakfast program of some description—more than half of our schools. Yet the Greens are only talking about 30 per cent of our schools. Mr Berkman: Thirty per cent of students! Read the motion. Ms LAUGA: Thirty per cent of students. I suggest that the members who moved this motion have probably never been to a school in a remote area to see how this would roll out in any of those schools. Perhaps the member for Maiwar and the member for South Brisbane need to get out of their Brisbane bubble and understand how regional and remote schools work, how parents work in those communities and what would actually make a bigger difference to their lives than this ill-thought-out policy. I do not support the motion. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    School breakfast amendment
  • Call for Landry to resign -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 23/03/2021 FILE: 23032021_001134_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Federal Parliament, Workplace Culture MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Federal Parliament, Workplace Culture Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.40 pm): The last few months have been traumatic for Australian women. Last night's revelations that men employed by the Australian Public Service have been performing lewd acts on women MPs' desks only further added to the horror and shock that we have all been feeling. Yesterday it was revealed that male coalition advisers were performing solo sex acts in Parliament House and swapping photos with colleagues. Why would these men do this? Did they think the woman MP was hot? It was clearly a power trip for them to hang their penises out over a woman's desk and try to show off that they consider themselves more powerful than her. It is absolutely grotesque. However, women experience this kind of male power trip behaviour all the time and I believe all of the women who have come forward and told their story are courageous. After these shocking allegations were aired it was confirmed the staff member in question has been sacked. The woman MP was offered a token gesture of support, just like Brittany Higgins was given a brochure. However, Nationals MP Michelle Landry said that while the behaviour was unacceptable, she felt 'bad' for the sacked man. An honourable member: What? Ms LAUGA: What? It shows that so many people in Canberra, including the federal member for Capricornia, just do not get it. This morning the member for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, the assistant minister for children and families, said— I was horrified when I saw that last night. I think there is a real behaviour problem in this place and that we have to address it. I am certainly strict about what goes on in my office. I don't think people should be here after hours unless they are working and there needs to be a strict code on that. In saying that, the young fellow concerned was a good worker and he loved the place. I feel bad for him about this, but it's unacceptable behaviour by anyone and it should not happen in workplaces like this. This is the federal parliament of Australia and people should behave themselves. The minute she started referring to this man as a 'good worker' is when the member for Capricornia lost all credibility. It is all well and good to say, 'I'm appalled,' but she said, 'In saying that,' and turned her horror into an excuse. Why is she defending him? She has effectively defended the indefensible. She clearly knows him. It is all well and good to care about the mental health of colleagues. I challenge whether the member for Capricornia even knows the mental health of the perpetrators. Did she call them? The standard we walk past is the standard we accept, and the member for Capricornia's comments demonstrate the National Party's deep feelings of just brushing these matters off. She is defending the disrespect of women. She is brushing off and defending the disrespect of the parliament of Australia. She is defending the disrespect of a woman elected democratically by her electorate. These acts showed a deep disrespect for the people of Australia, and the comments of the member for Capricornia that, 'This man was a good worker,' and that he loved the place are just absolutely deplorable. It is just like last week. When asked about the March for Justice where tens of thousands of Australians marched to send a message to Canberra, the member for Capricornia called it a witch-hunt. I believe that when politicians speak off the cuff, as the member for Capricornia has been doing a lot lately, they often say how they really feel and what they really think. The member for Capricornia's comments go to the heart of how the National Party and the LNP actually feel about the treatment of women. There is no place for disrespect of women in our parliaments, in our workplaces, on our Australian streets or in our homes. Everyone is sick of it. Women are sick of it. We are sick of the dick pics, the revenge porn, the harassment and abuse if a woman rejects a man, particularly online. We are sick of men like these who perform these lewd acts over a woman's desk at work, film it and share it. We are sick of being groped, touched up, assaulted, harassed, raped and murdered. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 I say to these men: stop hiding, step up and get out. As for the member for Capricornia defending men like this, she needs to apologise or resign immediately. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Call for Landry to resign
  • Education -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 23/02/2021 FILE: 23022021_001096_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA 036 Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.19 pm): I rise to speak to the estimates committee report for the Education, Employment and Training Committee. Prior to getting into the detail of the estimates committee report, I would like to table a copy of the Isolated Children's Parents' Association prospectus. I met with members of the association in the cafe before speaking today. They are a great bunch of people who are dedicated to ensuring that all rural and remote students have equity of access to a continuing and appropriate education. I commend the association for their work in advocating for rural and remote students across Queensland. Tabled paper: Brochure from Isolated Children's Parents' Association Queensland titled `Access to equitable education: Strengthening rural & remote communities through education'. I note the comments of the member for Theodore previously with respect to air conditioning. For the member for Theodore's benefit, I want to put on the record that we are on track to air-condition every classroom, every library and every staff room in Queensland state schools by June next year. Of 650 schools to be air-conditioned when we made that commitment, nearly 500 already have operational air conditioning in less than 12 months. It has been an extraordinary effort by the Department of Education to roll air conditioning out across those schools. We are on track to deliver that commitment. After the great efforts during COVID last year and as we move into the 2021 school year, I am so excited for what lies ahead for schools and the Department of Education over the next four years. Our students, teachers and school communities were very excited and happy to go back to school and hopefully—touch wood—this school year is a full school year as per normal given that last year was such a disrupted year. The schools, the Department of Education, the students and the teachers adapted so well in such a challenging time through the global pandemic. At the last election we made a series of commitments all designed to ensure that we continue to give our students a world-class education that sets them up for a great future. That includes a $1 billion boost to education infrastructure investment over the next four years. I note that the Minister for Education said this morning that there is probably not a member in this House who has not had investment in infrastructure at their local schools. I think that is testament to the work that the Palaszczuk Labor government is doing to deliver quality infrastructure so that all of our students and teaches right across Queensland have state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces. I am particularly proud of our $45 million Local Schools Local Jobs plan, which will upgrade training facilities in 26 secondary schools across the state and prepare students with the skills they need to move into secure, well-paid jobs in their local region. Skilling young Queenslanders is essential to ensure that our youngest and brightest minds are prepared for the jobs of tomorrow and Queensland's economic recovery. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government's Local Schools Local Jobs plan includes investments like $2 million for Gladstone State High School to upgrade training facilities to prepare students for jobs in the hydrogen industry; $2.25 million for Woodcrest Secondary College to upgrade trade training facilities to prepare students for jobs in aviation engineering; and $2.5 million for Rockhampton State High School to build an aquaculture training and research facility to prepare students for jobs in this fast growing food industry. It is about creating training opportunities for students at our local schools that match the local economy and the skills demand for that local economy. This investment of $45 million under this plan will build and upgrade training facilities in schools such as metal work and welding equipment to support future jobs in the mining sector; horse stables to support future jobs in the agriculture sector such as farm managers, animal trainers and equine veterinarians and nurses; commercial standard kitchens to support future jobs in the hospitality sector; and new science laboratories to support future jobs in advance manufacturing such as product designers and automotive engineers. Local Schools Local Jobs will deliver modern facilities across Queensland that teachers, parents and students can be proud of. Over the next four years we will deliver close to 6,200 new teachers and more than 1,100 new teacher aides to meet student enrolment growth and maintain our nation-leading teacher to student http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 ratios and class sizes. On top of the existing student numbers each year, we are seeing 8,000 additional students in Queensland schools every year. That means that we need to employ more teachers, we need to build more schools and we need to build more classrooms at our schools as well. Add this to our Turn to Teaching internship program to support 300 aspiring teachers to move into Queensland state schools, new homework centres in 120 schools and sanitary products into schools, we have a clear plan and vision for the next four years and beyond for education in Queensland. I commend the committee report to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
  • Legacy -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 23/02/2021 FILE: 23022021_001096_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Legacy MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Legacy Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (7.16 pm): Some 60,000 Australian service personnel were killed in World War I and more than 150,000 were wounded, many dying soon after. Realising the dire circumstances of the tens of thousands of veterans, widows and children left behind, those who returned set out to help them. In 1923, Major General Sir John Gellibrand formed the Remembrance Club in Hobart. Another returning soldier, Lieutenant General Sir Stanley Savige, was inspired to establish a similar club in Melbourne that was named Legacy. Legacy grew out of the ashes of World War I. Originally returned servicemen took on the duty of caring for and supporting widows and children. They later became known as legatees and to this day it is the legatees who volunteer the support that Legacy provides to its beneficiaries. Currently there are approximately 4,000 legatees throughout Australia, some having served Legacy for more than 50 years. Late last year I became one of them—a new Legacy legatee. I have two clients: Ciana, a 12-year-old girl who lost her father who served as an Australian naval diver, and Joyce, a 92-year-old Rockhampton woman. Joyce lost her husband who served in the Australian Army in World War II. I would like to acknowledge in this place the legatees of Central Queensland: Brian Hollins OAM, our faithful Chairman of Legacy Rockhampton and Central Queensland and Carol Gorton, Belinda Engstrom, Michelle Ponton, Lorraine Harry, Russell Coombes, Joy Coombes, Kelly Kiddle, Jan Catip, Fran Waterson, Tom Polley, Jenny O'Donnell, Barbara Lawrence, David Nunn, Noel Gardner, Sue Conrad, Keanu Jones, Ann Botting, Bronwyn Hill and Graham Rutherford. We are supported by our outgoing CSO, Scharryn Kneen; our new CSO, Jo-anne Peace; and administrator Mary Scully. Legacy is still caring for tens of thousands of widows who have lost their loved ones and been affected by their partner's service in the Korean War, Malayan Emergency and Vietnam War, as well as campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan and in peacekeeping operations across the globe. Legacy started as a small organisation with local legatees assisting local families. Today, there are 45 Legacy clubs, plus one in London, providing emotional, social and financial support. In the trenches of the Western Front during World War I, a soldier said to his dying mate, 'I'll look after the missus and kids.' That has become known as 'the Promise' and it is still kept today. Our community at Legacy is devoted to enhancing the lives of families of veterans who have served in war, peacekeeping and humanitarian missions and have died or become seriously injured either in service or subsequently. Legacy is an amazing organisation supported by the work of our dedicated legatees, volunteers, staff members and widows. Those individuals make up a dynamic community of people, ranging from schoolchildren to senior citizens. It is with their assistance that Legacy is able to continue working to support our veterans' families. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
  • Thanks to CQ frontliners -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 03/12/2020 FILE: 03122020_001074_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.17 pm): Whilst there were lots of thing that I disagreed with in the member for Mudgeeraba's budget reply speech this afternoon, the thing I most disagreed with was when she said that Mudgeeraba is the best part of the world. I have to disagree with her on that and say that the electorate of Keppel and the southern Great Barrier Reef region in my view is the best part of the world. I rise to speak in support of the appropriation bills. In doing so, I first congratulate the Treasurer, the member for Woodridge, for the delivery of this budget, his first budget, in very challenging times. I also congratulate the Treasury officials who have worked on preparing this budget, together with the government, across all of the departments. To do this so swiftly after the election has been quite a feat, so congratulations goes to the Treasurer and the entire Queensland Treasury for all of the work they have put into this budget. I am very proud that consistently the Palaszczuk government has delivered the bulk of spending on new job-creating projects outside of Brisbane. Budget after budget after budget, the bulk of spending on new job-creating projects is outside of Brisbane in our wonderful Queensland regions, and that is our job as regional members of this place. Regional members on this side of the House consistently fight for and stand up for regional investment and job-creating projects in regional Queensland. We have seen over the past year in particular that regional Queensland has once again demonstrated its resilience and ingenuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the strength of sectors such as agriculture and the mining of coal and other minerals that has protected and fortified our economy from some of the worst effects of the COVID-19 downturn. While I am on my feet, I want to thank the workers of regional Queensland—not only the frontline workers who have helped keep us safe this year from this COVID-19 pandemic but also the workers right across the sectors. The essential workers right across regional Queensland—and all over Queensland really—have been keeping our economy moving and keeping our state moving. They have kept the trucks delivering food to our supermarkets and they have been at the checkout so we could pay for our groceries. They have been working in our hospitals and our schools. Right across our economy, those regional workers and workers right across this state have helped support our economy and helped us get back on our feet. 030 Our government knows how important the ongoing growth of Queensland's regions is to our continued economic prosperity. Our government is committed to backing regional projects that will drive private sector jobs growth. By creating skilled job opportunities in these regional centres, we will support more investment and boost economic prosperity for all Queenslanders. Queensland's regions offer a diverse range of industries and investment ready opportunities. I would invite anybody looking to invest in Queensland to consider investing in regional Queensland, particularly now that we have so much more of a COVID-safe economy here in Queensland and in regional Queensland. Attracting people and investment to the regions where and when they are needed is not only an essential part of effectively managing Queensland's future population growth but it is also essential to giving regional Queensland the keys to unlock its full potential. We must support more jobs in regional Queensland and more private sector investment in regional Queensland, and that is what this budget and this government are all about. This budget is about continuing to deliver the economic plan which we put in place prior to the last election so that regional Queensland, including Central Queensland, can continue to recover. We are supporting small businesses, growing manufacturing and building the infrastructure for our communities, which creates jobs during construction but also builds upon the foundations already laid down for our regions. This budget supports more jobs, improves transport and communication links, expands our social and community services and enhances the liveability and vibrancy of our regional communities. We want to see substantial new investment in the development of Queensland's critical minerals sector. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government has released an investment prospectus for the North West Minerals Province which Trade & Investment Queensland will use globally to attract capital to unlock http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 these vast opportunities. We want the world to know that Queensland is open for private sector investment and in particular that regional Queensland is open for private sector investment. I am taking it as my role in this place in this, my third term, to make it a priority to attract that private sector investment to Central Queensland. I have worked hard with the government to fight for our fair share in Central Queensland, and this budget really does deliver the capital and the job creation projects that we need in Central Queensland. However, we need the private sector to come on board as well. That is why I am going to be working closely with Trade & Investment Queensland and the Deputy Premier in his role in State Development to attract even more private sector investment to grow jobs in the Central Queensland region. There have been some really strong health decisions that have been made this year. In Central Queensland we are lucky that we have not actually had a case of COVID-19 for many, many months now. That is as a result of all of the hard work of Central Queenslanders and as a result of Central Queenslanders taking that advice of the Chief Health Officer and also the leadership of the Premier and the Deputy Premier, who at the time was health minister. As a result the Central Queensland economy is booming. Andrea, who runs Oshen Yeppoon, a hotel in Yeppoon, will tell you they could book out their hotel twice every night. All of our hotels on the Capricorn Coast and in Rockhampton are booked out consistently. People need to book well in advance. Airbnbs are not even available. Our cafes, restaurants and retail boutiques are all experiencing great trade as well. People just have to talk to Tanya and Grant Lynch at Vue Yeppoon, who tell me that they have had people from all over the state eat at their restaurant over the last couple of months and now people are booking from all over the country as well. We actually have an unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent in Keppel to the June 2020 quarter whereas the Queensland unemployment rate is at 6.4 per cent. We have consistently had an unemployment rate in Keppel that is at or below the state average for almost five years now. It just goes to show that the hard work of the Palaszczuk Labor government in Central Queensland is starting to pay off. We are also starting to see youth unemployment dropping. In Central Queensland youth unemployment decreased by almost seven per cent over a 12-month period to October 2020, so it fell from 17.9 per cent to 11.1 per cent. That was the single largest decrease in youth unemployment over that period for anywhere in the state. We have consistently seen a low unemployment rate, below the Queensland average, for years now and we are also seeing a significant decrease in the youth unemployment rate. House prices are up. House sales are up. New builds on new homes are up and the rental vacancy is now below one per cent in both Rockhampton and Yeppoon. It is at an historic low in Rockhampton. Master Builders are saying that they are excited and their tradespeople are very, very busy. We also had a little bit of a stimulus earlier in the year with a hail storm. Now we cannot find a roof labourer anywhere in Central Queensland because they are so busy fixing all the roofs in our region. There is so much to talk about in terms of the Palaszczuk government's budget highlights for the Keppel region for the 2020-21 financial year. I will highlight some of them. There is a $1 million commitment to the Emu Park Surf Lifesaving Club, and I am very proud to have already cut the ribbon on the first stage of that project, and the second stage is $339,000. Graeme Crow and John Phelan at the Emu Park Surf Lifesaving Club are very pleased to see that refurbishment underway. There is almost $800,000 towards the Cooberrie Park Wildlife Sanctuary dinosaur themed tourist attraction, which is all part of improving our tourism infrastructure in the region. I am sure there will be plenty of young people right across Australia who will be very excited to see the 35 new life size dinosaurs, the dinosaur dig, mini golf, picnic, playground and new entry and kiosk worth almost $900,000. I know that the Smedley family, who runs— A government member interjected. Ms LAUGA: The member for Cairns will have to make a trip down. I know there are many young people who will be very excited to see that. There is over a million dollars in disaster recovery and reconstruction funding. That comes after the Cobraball, Gracemere and The Caves fires over the last few years. There is $6.7 million towards Skilling Queenslanders for Work, and I know organisations like Jobs Queensland and MDA will be very keen to continue their wonderful work helping skill people up and get them into work. There is $4.2 million towards Project Booyah and the Respect program. I am very proud to have played a role in establishing Project Booyah in Central Queensland several years ago and to see so many of those young people graduating from that program and continuing on to lead productive and happy lives free http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 3 of crime in most cases. I know that Constable Joe Ramsay and the team at Project Booyah will be pleased to see a continuation of their funding. In terms of Transport and Main Roads in this budget year there is $1 million of a total $5 million towards the strengthening of the pavement of the Rockhampton-Yeppoon road. A lot of local people are very pleased to see the work on that road starting. Over 11,000 vehicles per day use that road. There is $1.1 million towards the Taranganba State School pedestrian signals and bus-set down area, and I know principal Susan Beatty will be very pleased to see the work on that project commence soon. Importantly, there is the final $4.8 million towards the new 42-bed residential alcohol and other drug rehabilitation and treatment facility in Rockhampton and work on that has now started. I know Debbie Ware from the ICE Affecting Families Capricorn Coast with whom I have been working closely for years now and to whom I introduced the Premier—and this is how this project was born—will be very pleased to visit the site with me in the next couple of weeks to see that work underway. We are expecting that facility to be open in August 2021. There are millions and millions of dollars in terms of education commitments in Keppel and right across Queensland. I am very, very pleased and proud to be part of a Palaszczuk Labor government that is delivering yet again another record Education budget. I would like to congratulate the Minister for Education, Grace Grace, on all of the work she has done to ensure that we deliver a record Education budget year after year. We know—and certainly this is what I am very passionate about— that all Queensland children, no matter where they live, deserve a quality education, and this year we are delivering a record $14.2 billion in Education funding in this state budget. That includes a record $1.9 billion in infrastructure spending, which means that Queensland students and teachers will benefit from world-class facilities at school. This investment builds on the $5.2 billion spent on school infrastructure by the Palaszczuk government since 2015. That investment has created new schools, new classrooms, school halls, libraries, performing arts centres, playgrounds, amenity blocks, security fencing and facilities. It will also mean more jobs for Queenslanders and will help drive economic recovery from the global pandemic. This infrastructure investment will support more than 3,100 construction jobs. 031 Building world-class schools and facilities is only one part of the job, though, in terms of giving our students a great start. The welfare of our students and staff is also vitally important. That is why I am really proud that this budget includes $100 million over three years for a student wellbeing package to ensure every Queensland primary and secondary state school student has access to a psychologist or similar health and wellbeing professional. They will be able to go to school—and we are trialling this pilot with GPs—and see a doctor or a psychologist to get the help and support they need. I am so excited to see how this rolls out, because I just know that it is going to be a game changer for student wellbeing in Queensland. As part of this $100 million, more than $4 million will go towards establishing this pilot for GPs. At the election Labor committed to giving students free access to sanitary products. We are delivering on that commitment with $2½ million being invested to provide pads and tampons at 120 state and non-state schools across the state. We are partnering with Share the Dignity to deliver this program. Queensland's fantastic teachers, teacher aides and school staff are the backbone of schools right across the state. We will employ more than 6,100 teachers and 1,100 teacher aides over the next four years. That is building upon the over 6,000 teachers and over 1,000 teacher aides that we have employed in the last four years. We are doubling down on our investment over the next four years. We will also invest in a new Turn to Teaching paid internship program to attract aspiring teachers from other fields of work. I am really keen to see this roll out, because this program will give 300 aspiring teachers financial support and real-world teaching experience to complete their teaching qualification and guarantees a permanent teaching role at a state school upon completion. A great start to education should be accessible to all children, no matter where they live. I am very passionate about working together with the Minister for Education in my role as Assistant Minister for Education to help build upon the work that we have done in the last four years and to continue to deliver a world-class education for students in this state. I commend the bills to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Thanks to CQ frontliners
  • CQ tough in small business recovery -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 10/09/2020 FILE: 10092020_001060_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.37 pm): I rise this afternoon to speak on the cognate debate for the Appropriation Bill 2020 and the Appropriation (Parliament) Bill 2020. In reflecting on the contribution of the member for Clayfield—a former treasurer, and a failed treasurer at that, and Campbell Newman's right-hand man— Ms Pease: Failed leader. Don't forget that. Ms LAUGA: Failed leader as well; there is a long list there. He was Campbell Newman's right- hand man. In his 15-minute contribution in this place, he completely ignored the fact that we are experiencing a global pandemic where hundreds of thousands of people have died— Mr Nicholls interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Weir): Member for Clayfield, you have had your turn. It is the member for Keppel who now has the call. Ms LAUGA: Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions of people have been infected and economies around the world are in turmoil, but I do not think the former treasurer and former leader of the LNP even mentioned the words 'COVID' or 'pandemic' in his entire 15-minute contribution. Opposition members interjected. Ms Grace: It's like it's not happening. Ms LAUGA: That is right. I take that interjection. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Keppel, I encourage you to address your comments through the chair instead of across the chamber. To those on my left, I say that I held order in the House during the last contribution and I ask that it happen again. 020 Ms LAUGA: In that entire contribution of the member for Clayfield there was not one mention of the pandemic, not one mention of COVID-19, not one mention of— Mr NICHOLLS: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. The member is misleading the House— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Weir): Member for Clayfield, you have a point of order? Mr NICHOLLS: I do have a point of order. The member is misleading the House. I quite clearly said it in the last part of my contribution. I take offence. I ask the member to withdraw. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Keppel— Ms LAUGA: I withdraw. Even if it was only mentioned once in the entire 15-minute contribution— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: When you withdraw you do not then start with 'but'. You withdraw unreservedly. Do you withdraw? Ms LAUGA: I withdraw. It is almost like those opposite are completely ignoring the fact that there is a global pandemic happening at the moment. It reminds me of that RACQ ad with the woman in the backyard with the sheet on a clothesline. She asked, 'What charter boat?' It is like those opposite are running around saying, 'What pandemic? What pandemic is going on? What economic turmoil is being caused right now?' It is completely crazy. Those opposite want to whinge and they want to whine. They are so negative. They are talking down the Queensland economy. Mr Watts interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: The member for Toowoomba North, you have made your contribution. Ms LAUGA: Those opposite need to get on board because we are getting Queensland back on track. We are getting Queenslanders back to work. Queensland is doing so well. Our forecast economic rebound is almost twice as strong as the Australian average, but we do not hear those opposite talking about that. Ms Pease: They don't want to know about that. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Ms LAUGA: They do not want to know about that. Global economies are doing it tough and Queensland is not immune. As a result of the hard work by Queenslanders, we are the best performing state in response to the global pandemic in Australia. Central Queensland, the patch that I represent in this place, has been so strong this year. Not only have we all banded together to contain the spread of COVID-19 in Central Queensland, but I have also been witnessing local people helping each other, supporting the vulnerable and immune suppressed in our community and doing our best to support local businesses by buying locally. Central Queenslanders are tough. Whether it be floods, cyclones, bushfires or global pandemics, we know how to plan for, respond to and recover from disasters. I take this opportunity to thank the Central Queensland Health and Hospital Service, including the CEO, Steve Williamson; the chairman of the board, Paul Bell; and members of the executive and board. Importantly, I also thank the nurses, assistant nurses, doctors, surgeons, allied health professionals, community and public health officers including the unsung heroes, our contact tracers, the cleaners, the wardies, pathology staff, cooks, laundry staff and everyone who has rolled up their sleeves and worked so hard together to contain the spread of this virus in our community. When the case was diagnosed at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre it became the epicentre of COVID-19 in Queensland. Because of the brilliant work done by all the staff there, the staff at the Rocky hospital, the Mater and the Hillcrest; and the QAS, everyone was able to keep our most vulnerable elderly residents safe. We know that the best way to shield our economy right now is to contain the spread of COVID-19 and to keep Queenslanders as safe and as healthy as possible. It is only because of this strong response that Queensland can put the pedal to the metal and get our economy back on track. That is why the Premier and this government have been so strong in ensuring that Queenslanders have been kept as safe as possible. We know that things are tough for Queenslanders right now right across the state. It is only the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Labor that have a plan for economic recovery that will not hurt Queenslanders by cutting services, sacking workers and selling assets. I note that Unite & Recover: Queensland's economic recovery plan is a great document that really outlines all of the ways in which the Queensland government is going to work together with Queenslanders to bounce back from this global pandemic. I love page 29 in particular which outlines how Dobinsons Spring & Suspension, a local North Rockhampton manufacturer, has been awarded over $580,000 through a Made in Queensland round 2 grant towards a $1.2 million project to introduce state-of-the-art cold coiling processing capabilities. The director, Mr Glen Dobinson, said the grant has helped the company get through these trying times and become more cost-effective while expanding their product range. They were able to put on three new full-time workers and they expect to create a total of 12 new jobs in the region over the next five years. That is a perfect example of how we are supporting manufacturers in Queensland to bounce back from this global pandemic, create jobs and support our local economy. The Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and Queensland Labor's plan for economic recovery is simple: supporting, protecting and creating jobs is our No. 1 priority. We will do that by investing in building and construction projects across our state, particularly in our regions. Take roads, for example. More than 1,500 jobs will be supported by a $1.4 billion road-building boom in Central Queensland being delivered by the Palaszczuk government. I speak of projects like the Rockhampton ring-road, the northern access upgrade and the Yeppoon and Rockhampton roads upgrade which are all part of that package. Importantly, there is also the $14.3 million 42-bed detox and rehab centre, which is important for supporting people with drug and alcohol problems to get the treatment they need. We are helping small businesses in Queensland; we are giving them the support they need to recover quicker and stronger. I have visited dozens of small businesses in my electorate recently who have taken advantage of the Palaszczuk government's Small Business Adaptation Grant. Take Jacinta Perry at Boost Juice Rockhampton, who was awarded the grant to pay some rent. In the case of Daryl and Nat at Wilson's Farm Fresh Fruit & Veg, a digital business upgrade has been installed at that their farm at Nankin as well as an upgrade to their ordering system. Loretta Simpson at Lyn-Jelle Crafts in Emu Park has used the grant to pay their electricity bill. Also through this recovery plan we will buy more goods and materials locally and ensure that Queensland businesses, from small to large, play an even bigger role in our economic recovery. By investing in Queensland's manufacturing industry we can also ensure that Queenslanders use and buy more goods and services made right here in Queensland. Queensland's manufacturing industry employs over 165,000 people and it is incredibly important to the Central Queensland region. The manufacturing industry employs about seven per cent of the state's workforce and contributes about $20 billion per annum to the state's economy. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 3 The Palaszczuk Labor government has put Queensland on the road to recovery by making strong health decisions on the border and starting to deliver Queensland's economic recovery plan. The member for Nanango, Deb Frecklington, and the LNP cannot be trusted with our recovery. I commend the bills to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    CQ tough in small business recovery
  • Coronavirus Response -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 08/09/2020 FILE: 08092020_001058_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Coronavirus, Response MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Coronavirus, Response Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (7.06 pm): The coronavirus pandemic continues to threaten communities and economies around the world. We know the threat of COVID-19 remains as deadly and as debilitating as ever to lives, jobs and businesses. Victoria and NSW remain a threat, the USA still has 2.5 million active cases, which is nearly three times as many active cases as anywhere else in the world, and there are record numbers of new cases daily in France and Spain with nearly 9,000 and 10,000 cases respectively recorded in a 24-hour period on Friday. Right now I would not want to be anywhere else in the world. Queensland was the first state in the country to declare a state of emergency in January. Only because of the strong leadership of our Premier, the calm and considered approach of our health minister, the expert advice of Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young and the cooperation of all Queenslanders can Queensland put the pedal to the metal and get our economy back on track. It has not been easy though. Our Queensland Labor Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, stood up to the attacks by the LNP, the NSW premier, Pauline Hanson and Clive Palmer, and even the Prime Minister weighed in. The Premier has always unashamedly made Queensland's health and safety her No. 1 priority. On behalf of the people of Keppel I sincerely thank the Premier for her strength and her determination to keep us safe. Global economies are doing it tough and Queensland is not immune, but as a result of the hard work of Queenslanders we are the best-performing state in response to the global pandemic in Australia. Our forecast economic rebound is almost twice as strong as the Australian average. Only the Palaszczuk government has a plan to get Queensland's economy back on track after this pandemic. At the heart of Labor's economic plan is supporting small businesses, buying locally, growing our manufacturing sector and building critical infrastructure. Queenslanders know that the Leader of the Opposition, Deb Frecklington, and the LNP cannot be trusted to manage this health crisis and they cannot be trusted to get the Queensland economy back on track. It was the LNP leader who called for the borders to be opened no less than 64 times. Those opposite do not have a plan, unless it is the secret plan that they are keeping very hush hush because the only way they can pay their election commitment bill is by cutting services, sacking Queensland workers and selling assets. They have done it before and they will do it again. In 2012 the leader of the LNP sat at the Cabinet Budget Review Committee table as Campbell Newman's apprentice assistant treasurer and ordered the sacking of 14,000 workers after telling Queenslanders that they had nothing to fear. Let us make no mistake: those opposite will do the same again. It was only yesterday that the Leader of the Opposition and the Deputy Leader of the Opposition said that stabilising debt and cutting waste is what they plan to do. The LNP needs to come clean and tell Queenslanders how they plan to fund their election commitments, because the only possible way they can do so is by cutting, sacking and selling. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Coronavirus Response
  • Keep public assets in public hands -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 12/08/2020 FILE: 12082020_001048_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA 037 Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.28 pm): I rise to speak in the cognate debate on the Queensland Future Fund Bill and the Royalty Legislation Amendment Bill. Queensland's Future Fund will deliver tough new anti-privatisation protections to ensure Queensland's strategic assets are kept in public hands as part of the Palaszczuk government's plan to reduce debt and recover from the economic damage wrought worldwide by COVID-19. Treasury had identified opportunities for the fund to hold non-cash investment such as commercial land and unregulated infrastructure. Importantly, strategic assets such as commercial power or water infrastructure will be put into this new 'locked box' to protect them from being privatised by those opposite. The inclusion of an anti-privatisation locked box removes the risk of the LNP trying to justify a sell-off of assets that are already helping the state offset its net debt position. Mr Nicholls interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stevens): Order! Member for Clayfield, the member is not taking your interjections. Ms LAUGA: Assets placed in the fund that are deemed to be strategic assets will be placed in a unit trust and, by law, can only be sold or traded with other state government entities. Queenslanders can rest easy knowing that there will be no benefit from privatising these strategic assets and that they will be protected by law. Now more than ever, as we deliver our plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs, we must protect our assets and get them working hard for Queensland's future. Mr Crandon interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Coomera, you have just had your chance. Let the member for Keppel have a chance. Ms LAUGA: The Queensland Future Fund was announced to be seeded with surplus funds from the defined benefit fund. Mr Crandon interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Coomera, next time you will be on a warning. Ms LAUGA: I am pleased that the Treasurer has also confirmed that the defined benefit fund is still in surplus despite harsh global economic conditions due to COVID-19. Mr Crandon interjected. Ms LAUGA: This bill will ensure that the Queensland Future Fund includes a rock solid guarantee that the defined benefit scheme will remain in surplus. In fact, Queensland will continue to be the only jurisdiction with a fully funded scheme. This bill will provide the government the opportunity to ensure that the defined benefit superannuation liabilities are guaranteed— Mr Crandon interjected. Mr RYAN: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. I refer to your previous direction to the member for Coomera about his interjections. I note that he just made a number of other interjections. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister, please resume your seat. I will run the House from this particular chair. I do not need direction from you. There is no point of order. Ms LAUGA: This bill will provide the government the opportunity to ensure that the defined benefit superannuation liabilities are guaranteed to remain fully funded. By investing a sensible proportion of that surplus into the Future Fund, we can free up borrowing capacity to invest in job-creating infrastructure to support our economic recovery—an idea that those opposite had not even considered when they in were in government. All they chose to do was to cut, sack and sell— Opposition members interjected. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, members on my left! The member cannot be heard. I cannot hear the member. Please keep the interjections down. If you want to get on the speaking list, put yourself on the speaking list. I will be warning members shortly. Ms LAUGA: Under our locked box arrangements, that kind of trade could only occur between Queensland government entities. Regional jobs will also be protected with service level agreements put in place that ensure that there is no impact on any employees who work on these assets. Queenslanders know that only a Labor government can be trusted to keep strategic assets in state hands, and this arrangement will make it much harder for the LNP to undertake a sneaky sell-off. The challenges ahead are as great as any that Queensland has faced. The government is implementing all possible measures to mitigate the health impacts and economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Palaszczuk Labor government is also planning for the future—a future when our economy recovers from the current crisis. Whatever the global economy looks like when we eventually emerge from COVID's shadow, it will be vastly different to what it was before. The government has a strong plan, a credible strategy and a solid commitment to reduce the state's debt burden. Mr Crandon interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Coomera, you are warned. You have had several warnings before. You are now officially warned. Ms LAUGA: It is quite clear that those opposite have no interest whatsoever in hearing about the Queensland government's plan to unite and recover to make sure that we have a strong economic future here in Queensland. They clearly have no interest in listening to what the Queensland Future Fund will do by ring-fencing these assets— Opposition members interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Members, let the member finish her speech. Ms LAUGA: The establishment of the Queensland Future Fund will continue Queensland's sensible, accountable response to that uncertainty that is created by COVID-19. It will give Queensland the economic weapons necessary to adapt to whatever we face. The government has a strong plan, a credible strategy and a solid commitment to reduce the state's debt burden. I commend the bills to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Keep public assets in public hands
  • Correctional Centre Safety -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 11/08/2020 FILE: 11082020_001047_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.43 pm): The No. 1 priority for Queensland Corrective Services throughout the COVID-19 public health emergency continues to be the health, safety and wellbeing of Corrective Services officers and, importantly, the broader community. Measures to support Queensland Corrective Services to maintain safety throughout the pandemic have included those in the Corrective Services (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020. Section 7 of the regulation was introduced to ensure that all offenders can continue to be supervised in the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, accounting for the unlikely event that the public health directions prevent in- person reporting. During this pandemic, face-to-face appointments, electronic monitoring and substance testing have all continued based on assessments of risk and relevant health advice. Appropriate levels of supervision to address risk have been maintained and will continue to be maintained during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Any offender who is released by the courts or Parole Board Queensland for supervision in the community is subject to different supervision requirements. These requirements are determined based on the level of risk an offender presents to community safety. A greater risk is met with more intense supervision and more restrictive conditions. One cohort that is subject to significant supervision requirements is those supervised under the Dangerous Prisoners (Sexual Offenders) Act 2003, the DP(SO)A. This government will always take a hard stance on managing dangerous sexual offenders after they are released from custody to ensure our community safety is maintained at this level. Mr Hunt interjected. Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Pugh): Order! Member for Nicklin, I note that you are on the speaking list. The member for Keppel is not being inflammatory and she shall be heard in silence. Ms LAUGA: Queensland Corrective Services closely monitors the state's most dangerous offenders under the DP(SO)A orders using 24/7 GPS monitoring, surveillance, curfews and intensive case management and interventions. Supervision orders place significant restrictions on DP(SO)A offenders in the community and are tailored to the specific risks posed by that offender. As an example of how supervision is continuing during COVID-19, the community can be assured that face-to-face contact with DP(SO)A offenders has remained unchanged during the pandemic. In some isolated cases—such as where an offender may have presented with COVID-19 symptoms or is residing at an aged-care or mental health facility—additional supervision methods were required and these were adopted on a case-by-case basis. These could include, for example, rearranging appointments, introducing curfews or increasing surveillance. Queensland Corrective Services has and will continue to put the safety of the community at the forefront as it adapts to the changing environment presented by COVID-19. Measures that have been introduced to support this effort must remain in effect. This regulation is absolutely essential to keep community corrections officers safe and reduce the potential transfer of this virus within the community. We know from the last time the LNP were in government that they have no respect for the jobs our frontline workers perform. Now we know they have no respect for the safety of our frontline workers. I will be opposing this motion. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Correctional Centre Safety
  • Building Our Regions and LNP hit - Copy -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 20/05/2020 FILE: 20052020_000972_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA 036 Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.19 pm): I can tell members that the only plan the LNP has if they form government in 2020 is to cut, sack and sell in Queensland. They will cut services. They will sell assets. They will sack public servants. That is exactly what those opposite will do. I strongly believe that that is the only plan that those opposite have. They talk about no new taxes. They have a plan for all these things, but they do not talk about how they propose to pay for them. Mr Lister interjected. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Member for Southern Downs, direct your comments through the chair. Ms LAUGA: They do not talk about how they propose to pay for them, but we know exactly how they will pay for them. They will cut services, sack public servants and sell our state owned assets. I rise to speak in support of this motion and to support Queensland's Unite and Recover for Queensland Jobs plan. In particular, I welcome the funding from Building our Regions round 5 for the Causeway Lake revitalisation business case to look at expanding recreational activities and the Yeppoon waste treatment sustainable energy project to install solar panels in partnership with Livingstone Shire Council. Both are wonderful local projects which will grow jobs and grow tourism. The Causeway Lake project will set the community up for the future. It is something that the people of Keppel have been asking for for a long time. I look forward to seeing more projects supporting more jobs through the $200 million COVID Works for Queensland program. The $100 million for small business adaptation grants of up to $10,000 for businesses below the payroll tax threshold will provide much needed support for smaller companies and tourism operators in Central Queensland. I have already had businesses contact me and say that they are very pleased about these grants. The $50 million tourism industry support package, including $25 million in grants for tourism infrastructure, will help position our tourism operators to be competitive when restrictions ease and travel can resume within Queensland and later on within the nation. I know that the $50 million tourism package announced by the tourism minister has been well received by the tourism industry. It will encourage domestic tourists to come back and visit our regions when the restrictions ease. I think it is a smart campaign to market our regions and get tourists thinking about making trips to our regional communities. I am fully supportive of Daniel Gschwind's comments that most of the potential projects for Queensland are in regional areas. I am very excited about the tourism marketing package in particular. I support the government's plan. (Time expired) http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Building Our Regions and LNP hit - Copy
  • Mine Safety Legislation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 20/05/2020 FILE: 20052020_000972_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.28 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Mineral and Energy Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. Before I go to the heart of the bill I want to offer my sincere condolences to the five mine workers who were seriously injured as a result of a gas explosion at Anglo American's underground Grosvenor mine two weeks ago on 6 May 2020. I am very pleased for one of the miners who has been released from hospital; however, his four comrades are still in hospital in a critical condition and they will likely have a very long road to recovery. I wish them and their families and co-workers all the very best. I also thank the first responders who were there to support those miners after that incident. I would also like to pay tribute to the victims of the Moura mine explosions and those workers who lived through those tragedies. I know from having spoken to one Moura miner, John Hempseed— who lives in my electorate and who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder after those explosions— that this incident was a serious trigger for him. I recognise that this explosion would have been a very serious trigger for a lot of those Moura miners and their families who experienced those tragic events all those years ago. I want to thank those Moura miners who have worked so incredibly hard to deliver the Moura mines explosions memorial in Moura. 019 I would also like to reiterate how dangerous mining as a profession is and that miners really do put their lives on the line every single day they go to work. Safety in our mines is incredibly important. Every man and woman who works in our Queensland mines and quarries deserves as safe a workplace as possible. I can report that the collection of evidence and reconstruction of the scene prior to the explosion at the Grosvenor mine is underway and that there are nine inspectors who form part of the Queensland Mines Inspectorate team with specialist expertise in mechanical, electrical, mining and geological disciplines on site. Debate, on motion of Ms Lauga, adjourned. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Mine Safety Legislation
  • Interstate Transfer Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 20/02/2020 FILE: 20022020_000918_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Ms LAUGA Ms LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.56 pm): I also rise today to support the Community Based Sentences (Interstate Transfer) Bill 2019. This bill proposes that the national scheme will apply only to adults serving community based sentences. The community based sentences available in Queensland that may be transferred under the scheme include: probation orders, community service orders, graffiti removal orders, intensive corrections orders and drug and alcohol treatment orders. These community based sentences and the orders imposed by our courts are really important and effective ways to provide an alternative pathway to people who are convicted of a crime so that they can do their bit and give back to society without being sentenced to a period of imprisonment. In my experience, I have found that these types of orders can be very effective at not only giving something back to a community that has been impacted by a particular crime but it is also an opportunity for the offender to be rehabilitated and give back to the community they have impacted through their crime. The bill does not apply to juvenile offenders, offenders on parole, offenders with a sentence that imposes a fine or financial penalty or includes reparation to a particular person, for example, a victim of crime. As a government, we are committed to the safety and security of our community. That is always a priority for our government. Importantly, this bill resolves the risks and issues identified with the current informal administrative interstate transfer arrangements, including the limited opportunities for enforcement or extradition action following an offender's contravention of their order without significant expenditure of resources by the multiple jurisdictions involved. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Interstate Transfer Bill
  • The Spit -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 19/02/2020 FILE: 19022020_000917_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.41 pm): I rise today to speak on the Implementation of The Spit Master Plan Bill 2019. As a planner passionate about responsible development, unique tourism experiences and environmental sustainability, I am confident that this bill strikes a healthy balance in what is a very important site on the Gold Coast. I acknowledge the Minister for State Development for ensuring the community were consulted extensively on this proactive, responsible framework for sustainable development on the Spit. I also acknowledge the member for Bancroft and the other members and secretariat of the parliamentary committee which examined this bill. The Gold Coast is home to iconic tourism experiences. The last time I was at the Spit was a few years ago when I went fishing. I did not catch anything that day, but it was a great day out. Ms Pease: Casting practice. Mrs LAUGA: It was a casting practice. This bill will help unlock the Spit's potential for even more experiences in a responsible, planned manner in much the same way as I aspire to see Great Keppel Island again be home to iconic, sustainable tourism experiences. Of course, the bill and its accompanying master plan will provide for low-rise residential properties which will be in context with the surrounding environment. I note the Palaszczuk Labor government has committed $60 million to commence implementation of the master plan. This will go towards capital works projects including public realm improvements on the Spit and a site release program to manage the release of development sites identified in the master plan. This is what our government does: we consult, we invest, we deliver and we create jobs. We are delivering a master plan and precinct rejuvenation that will protect green spaces and amenity, unlock responsible sustainable development, enable more tourism investment and, most importantly, will drive more jobs—1,800 jobs, I understand - as the projects in the master plan are delivered. This is a plan by the people for the people. The vision, strategies and precincts together create a cohesive framework for the future of the Spit and it brings consensus to a part of the Gold Coast that for too long has been contested. As a passionate urban and regional planner I believe in the power of planning to shape our world. Planning supports our everyday life, connecting us with places to live, to work, to study and to play. It supplies us with clean water and air, with energy to power our lives and with food to nourish our bodies. Planning is the tool that creates places that we love and that nurture us now and into the future. Planning matters. The Spit Master Plan is a prime example of good planning. The Queensland government committed to genuine consultation and engagement utilising an inquiry-by-design approach. Innovative community consultation techniques were utilised in both online and workshop settings and I can see that the investment in consultation and engagement is really the strength of this plan because the views of stakeholders are very strong in the vision of the plan. I support the bill and welcome another example of the Palaszczuk government's commitment to responsible development, sound planning principles, catalytic investments in tourism and community assets and extensive community consultation. I look forward to this master plan unlocking another generation of memories for Queenslanders as they enjoy what is one of our state's many tourism gems. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    The Spit
  • Weapons Act -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 19/02/2020 FILE: 19022020_000917_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA 034 Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.58 pm): I rise to speak in support of the bill that is before the House. In doing so I want to particularly draw to the attention of the House the provisions which amend the Weapons Act. The bill proposes to expand the period for which a weapons licence can be suspended from 30 days to 90 days. The Weapons Act currently allows an authorised officer to suspend a person's weapons licence where they suspect the licence holder is no longer a fit and proper person. The suspension period is designed to provide the licensee more time in which to demonstrate that they are in fact a fit and proper person. When a person's licence is suspended because they may no longer be a fit and proper person on the grounds of mental or physical health, the licensee may engage the services of a psychologist or a medical practitioner to demonstrate their fitness. Sometimes it can take several weeks to get in to see a psychologist or other specialist who can provide that evidence that the licence holder needs to support their case. I think that this makes good sense. The statutory window of 30 days disadvantages licensees, and additionally it is administratively burdensome for the police and QCAT. I support the amendment in the bill to the Weapons Act to extend the time for which a licensee can be suspended to 90 days. I met local grazier Russell recently who has a property at Farnborough and also at Stanage. Russell uses guns on his property to kill feral pigs and dogs. The amendments in this bill will help people like Russell. If they are notified that their gun licence has been suspended, they will have more time now to put their case together with the supporting evidence that they need. I was pleased to read in their submission that the Firearm Dealers Association of Queensland supported this amendment for the proposed suspension notice extension. The Firearm Dealers Association said— On the basis that there are safeguards and reasons for licence suspension and there is an ability for the Authorised Officer to lift the suspension earlier than the 90 days proposed, we support the amendment, which apparently seeks to assist licensees in establishing or re-establishing their eligibility for licence. I think the amendments to the Weapons Act are common sense. They are good for farmers and graziers, they are good for gun licence holders and they are good for the police and our courts. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Weapons Act
  • Olive Downs Mine -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 18/02/2020 FILE: 18022020_000908_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Olive Downs Mine Project, Approval; Central Queensland, Bulk-billing Doctors MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Olive Downs Mine Project, Approval; Central Queensland, Bulk-billing Doctors Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.44 pm): I rise to draw to the attention of the House today that the approval from the federal LNP government for the Olive Downs Coking Coal Project, a billion-dollar investment that will bring 500 construction jobs and 1,000 operational jobs to Central Queensland, is now 239 days overdue. The people of Central Queensland are desperate for jobs. It is a real shame that the federal government has been sitting on the approval for this metallurgical coalmine that is proposed by an Australian miner. Metallurgical coal is in such high demand for steel production in markets around the world. The federal Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, and her federal counterparts have been sitting on this approval for 239 days now, despite the fact that the Queensland Coordinator-General approved this project last year. As a direct result of the federal government dragging its feet on this project, these jobs are now in limbo. The people of Central Queensland are sick and tired of the infighting happening at a federal level. It is very clear that the government is completely forgetting about their role, their responsibility to govern and to provide jobs for people in Central Queensland. It is clear that the LNP at a federal level are just too busy fighting against each other. They are stabbing each other in the back and talking about themselves. What they really need to do is concentrate on their job which is to get on with it and to sort these approvals that are now 239 days overdue. I am calling on the federal member for Capricornia to pick up the phone to talk to her federal counterpart, the Minister for the Environment, and ask to get these approvals sorted as soon as possible. While I am on my feet, I would also like to draw to the attention of the House an ongoing problem for people in my community which is the exorbitant out-of-pocket costs that they are paying to visit the GP. People in Central Queensland are not going to the doctor when they are sick because they cannot afford to. The average person in Central Queensland is paying $40 out of their own pocket to see a GP now. We are seeing declining numbers of fully bulk-billing GPs. Most GPs in Central Queensland only bulk-bill for pensioners; everyone else is paying the full fee to see a GP. In some cases we are hearing of fees in excess of $70 and the patient receives back only $38. This problem not only exists with GPs but also psychiatrists, psychologists and other medical professionals who provide support and treatment to people in the community when they are sick. I have been speaking with people such as Amanda who tells me it is costing in excess of $500 per visit to see her psychiatrist. The Medicare rebate is only $160. The amount of $160 is not much in comparison to the $500 that she has to spend to see the psychiatrist. Kylie is seeing her psychologist at a cost of over $200 per visit. She qualified for a federal government mental health care plan, yet receives a rebate of only $120. I am really concerned about this. I particularly worry for the people who do not have $200 in their bank account to see their psychologist and what that spiralling impact has on those people's health care. If they need to see a psychologist or a GP because they are unwell and then they do not and their condition worsens, it can possibly end up in a hospital visit. When we are talking about a $38 Medicare rebate at the moment, in comparison to the $600 cost that is imposed on the taxpayer for a hospital visit, it makes good economic sense to support people to see their GP first and foremost. We know that through the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners that less than one in four GPs in Australia are bulk-billing all patients. It is not the doctors' fault. They have costs; they have to pay their staff and their overheads. They are merely charging what they need to in order to cover their costs. The federal government has, after many years, frozen the Medicare rebate. It is having a huge impact on people in my community, as well as on our hospitals and emergency departments. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Olive Downs Mine
  • Mining deaths and new safety legislation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 04/02/2020 FILE: 04022020_000896_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.23 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Resources Safety and Health Queensland Bill 2019—a bill which will set up an independent body to protect the safety and health of Queensland's 70,000-plus resources sector workers. Firstly, I want to note that recent tragic incidents in mines and quarries in Queensland have been deeply disturbing. Families have a right to expect that loved ones will return home from work. It is every mining family's worst nightmare when their loved ones do not come home from work. I want to offer my sincere condolences to the families, friends and co-workers of the eight men who have lost their lives on mine sites in Queensland in past the 20 months. The family and friends of Adam Malone, Connor-Shaye Milne, Allan Houston, Bradley Hardwick, David Routledge, Jack Gerdes, Brad Duxbury and Donald Rabbitt have had their lives torn apart because their husbands, their dads, their uncles, their fathers, their grandads have not come home from work. That is a real tragedy. That is why it is so important we are standing in this place today passing legislation which will make a difference to the health and safety of workers in our Queensland mines. These deaths and injuries should not be happening and enough is enough. Over the past two decades 47 Queenslanders have died in the mining and quarrying industry, and that is plain unacceptable. The Palaszczuk government takes mine worker safety extremely seriously. As the member for the Keppel, I will always stand up and fight for improved safety for mine workers in Central Queensland. Resources Safety and Health Queensland will form a new, independent safety and health regulator statutory body that will be a strong regulator with teeth and, importantly, be at arm's length from the industry it is regulating. Resources Safety and Health Queensland will include already independent mining inspectors as well as excising safety and health functions currently within the Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy. This separates the job of protecting the workers from the job of growing and facilitating mining and exploration projects and the resources sector as a whole. This is something that mine workers have been talking about for a long time and something that mine workers talk to me about regularly. RSHQ will include Queensland's mines, explosives and petroleum and gas inspectors, the Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station in Redbank near Ipswich and the Coal Mine Workers' Health Scheme that covers mine dust lung diseases, including black lung. RSHQ will be subject to monitoring and review by a separate, independent commissioner for mining and quarrying, petroleum and gas and explosives. The establishment of the independent body flows from the recommendations of the parliamentary select committee into coal workers' pneumoconiosis. The committee made 68 recommendations, all of which the government supported or supported in principle. Over the last couple of months I have met with a number of former mine workers who suffer from coal workers' dust diseases. It is tragic to hear their stories. Tim, whom I met only a few weeks ago, is only 38 years of age. He started his mining career at the age of 17. He has only known working in mines and yet has multiple coal workers' dust diseases. His career in mining is over. He struggles to find employment. He is struggling mentally to deal with what has happened to him. His family has been completely torn apart by having to relocate after being diagnosed. It is horrible what is happening to him. I am pleased that the government has supported those 68 recommendations, but there is still more work to be done. This bill is yet another in the suite of reforms the Palaszczuk government has put in place over the past five years to protect the safety and health of our resources sector workers. Our government has introduced reforms to enable the better detection and prevention of black lung and an improved safety net for affected workers, a $35 million package to deliver reforms to improve the safety and health of our mine workers and a commitment to tighter controls on mine dust levels. This bill represents the third major package of legislative reforms to mining safety and health in the past three years. Last year the regulator was given powers to issue fines without going to court for mine safety and health breaches. Maximum court penalties were increased to $4 million. The http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 government has also introduced sweeping changes to prevent and detect black lung disease among coal workers and provide a safety net for affected workers. Our government has also invested $1.2 million which will see a health service on wheels deliver vital medical checks to coal workers throughout regional Queensland. Talking to coal workers in my electorate and from further around Central Queensland I hear that they are very pleased about this commitment. It is an innovative way of delivering health services out in coalfields to the workers who need those checks done. The new mobile health screening service means respiratory health checks will be accessible to more Queensland coalmine workers. The mobile service, which is an equipped and staffed van, was recommended by the parliamentary select committee into coal workers' pneumoconiosis and will supplement existing regional specialist services. 031 These are more funds for more reforms to protect the health and safety of our 38,000 Queensland coalmine workers. The budget provides $1.21 million over two years for the mobile screening service, which will help improve the detection of coal workers' pneumoconiosis, silicosis and other mine dust lung diseases. This bill was introduced weeks after a commitment by all mining and quarrying companies to improve safety culture, including safety reset sessions on all worksites statewide. I am incredibly proud that the minister has today introduced legislation to make industrial manslaughter an offence as it is in other Queensland workplaces. Queensland coalmine workers have told me that this is something that is important that this government needs to deliver on. I am pleased that we are. The re-identification of coal workers' pneumoconiosis and the six mining and quarrying fatalities highlighted the importance of a transparent, independent safety and health body. At the time of the inquiry there were six mining and quarrying fatalities, but sadly we are now up to eight in the last 20 months. Queenslanders want to see a strong, fully independent regulator at arm's length from the industry it is regulating. That is what the RSHQ will deliver with a sole focus on the safety and health of our resources industries' workers. Mine worker safety is imperative and it is on all of us—government, industry and unions—to make safety our No. 1 priority to ensure Queenslanders come home safely to their loved ones. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Mining deaths and new safety legislation
  • Aged Care Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 28/11/2019 FILE: 28112019_000876_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.14 pm): Today I rise to speak in support of the Health Transparency Bill, which will enable the collection and publication of information from private and public health facilities and residential aged-care facilities. It will make our healthcare system safer. This bill will enable elderly residents and their families to make informed decisions when choosing a service. This is about making sure that our parents and grandparents and loved ones are treated with respect, dignity and appropriate levels of care. We are sick of dodgy contractors and greedy owners exploiting vulnerable Queenslanders for profit. Even though the federal government is responsible for the sector's regulation, this is one way we can make them more accountable. This legislation will help open up private and public facilities to similar levels of scrutiny which will help improve the care provided to older Queenslanders. Queensland families want to know that if their loved one gives their life savings to a company to care for them in their old age exactly what they are paying for. Enough staff with the right skill mix to care for them, or another Lamborghini for the CEO? The Health Transparency Bill will create a standalone legislative framework to collect and publish information from public and private health facilities and public and private residential aged-care facilities. Consumers will be able to view and compare this information on a new interactive website. Residential aged-care facilities will be asked to report their average daily resident care hours quarterly. Private residential aged-care facilities can choose not to report this information, but their decision to opt out will be highlighted beside their name on the new website. The bill also requires Queensland Health's residential aged-care facilities to have a minimum nurse skill mix of 50 per cent and for 30 per cent of the total care staff to be registered nurses. These residential aged-care facilities must also provide a minimum average of 3.65 hours of nursing and personal care to residents daily. I visit the nursing homes, both the public and private nursing centres and aged-care facilities, in my electorate four times a year—for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter and Christmas. I visit the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre, the Capricorn Adventist Retirement Village, Bolton Clarke Sunset Ridge and Blue Care's Capricorn Gardens. The North Rockhampton Nursing Centre is a Queensland government facility operated very proudly by the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service. This facility was being prepared for sale by the LNP when those opposite were in government in Queensland. They wanted to sell it off to the highest bidder and privatise this important public health facility in Central Queensland. Those opposite do not care about quality public aged care. They stripped back the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre to make it look as profitable as possible on paper for prospective buyers. I speak with residents, their families, staff and management at each of the facilities I visit. I see the tireless work that the staff do to help residents and on several occasions staff have spoken to me about the need to make changes to improve safety and staffing levels. Older Australians—those who cared for us as we grew—are entitled to affordable, accessible and high-quality aged-care services delivered by a professionally trained, accredited and dedicated workforce. Caring for elderly people, especially those with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia and other disabling health conditions, is a stressful occupation requiring the right people with the right knowledge and skills to develop and implement holistic care plans customised to individual needs. There is so much more work that needs to be done to bring the standard of aged care in Australia up to the standard that Australians expect. This legislation introduced by the Palaszczuk Labor government is a step in the right direction. Aged care is primarily a federal government responsibility and the Morrison LNP government has been absent on this issue. The Prime Minister seems happy to take responsibility for calling the royal commission into aged care but refuses to acknowledge that it was his aged-care cuts and the Liberals in action that led to it. Older Australians deserve better. The Morrison LNP government is still yet to introduce a serious incident response scheme that would respond to incidents of assault in Australia's aged-care system. Scott Morrison must act immediately to ensure that older Australians get the quality aged-care services that they need. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 036 Scott Morrison and the LNP are responsible for cutting billions of dollars from aged care, including $1.2 billion from residential care in the 2016 federal budget, $500 million from residential care in the 2015 MYEFO, and $100 million from the dementia and severe behaviour supplement in the 2014 budget. For more than a year the Morrison government has been sitting on a comprehensive report on building the workforce that Australia's aged-care system requires, but there is no evidence that it has fully responded to even one of the report's 14 actions. In fact, earlier this year the author of the report gave evidence at the royal commission that the government would not even respond to his requests for an update on how it was progressing each of his recommendations. This is just not good enough. I call on the member for member for Capricornia, those opposite and the federal LNP to stand up for Central Queensland aged-care residents and their families and the staff of my local facilities and call for urgent changes to improve our aged-care system. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Aged Care Bill
  • CQ Bushfires -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/11/2019 FILE: 26112019_000867_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Mining Tragedy; Central Queensland, Bushfires MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mining Tragedy; Central Queensland, Bushfires Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.20 pm): I rise to reflect on the tragic and horrific bushfires that we experienced recently in Central Queensland at Cobraball, west of Yeppoon. I would also like to pass on my sincere condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of the miner who sadly passed away at the underground coalmine at Carborough Downs at Coppabella. It is a real tragedy. Given that we have had seven lives lost in the past 18 months, I think we need to have in this place more of a conversation about that. I offer my condolences to the family and friends of that miner. In recent weeks in Central Queensland we have experienced a really tragic and difficult time because of horrific bushfires. Over 12,000 hectares of land west of Yeppoon were burnt and 15 homes were destroyed. Mr Boyce: You didn't want an inquiry last year. Mrs LAUGA: Those opposite want to turn this into a political point-scoring exercise, which they have been doing over the past couple of weeks—whether that be about rural firefighters— An opposition member interjected. Mrs LAUGA: I take those interjections from those opposite. This is a very serious matter. Fifteen homes have been lost. People's lives were at risk. I do not think this issue is a laughing matter. Those opposite need to take the issue very seriously, because the people of Central Queensland and the people of Queensland more broadly are very concerned about the bushfire risk. They are having conversations on a daily basis now about how we need to protect and mitigate against these kinds of disasters in the future. Thousands of livestock were destroyed. I invite the member for Callide to come to Yeppoon, to Cobraball, to Lake Mary and to Bungundarra to talk to the people there who have been affected—those farmers and graziers whom those opposite purport to represent, yet want to make political point-scoring exercises out of the tragic circumstances that those people experienced. A government member interjected. Mrs LAUGA: It is a shame. How low will the LNP go with its political point-scoring and scaremongering while Queensland is in a state fire emergency, putting lives at risk with misinformation and lies? I was absolutely shocked when National Party backbencher Barnaby Joyce said, in the height of a disaster— An opposition member interjected. Mrs LAUGA: It is not a laughing matter. In the height of that disaster, National Party backbencher Barnaby Joyce said of the two people who died in the bushfires in New South Wales that they had most likely voted for the Greens. The Greens were equally responsible for stupid comments made during the height of those disasters. Politicians from Canberra making stupid comments in the media in the midst of a disaster made me and the people in my community very cranky. Those comments were insensitive to the communities who were affected—the people who lost their lives, who lost their homes, who lost crops or livestock. Those comments were insensitive to the firefighters—the officers and volunteers—who put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe. Those comments were insensitive to every single person who played a role in fighting these fires and to my entire community. Australians expect that our No. 1 priority at the moment is to save lives and properties and help people who have been affected get back on their feet. There has been a significant amount of outright lies told by the LNP and One Nation about our government's bushfire hazard mitigation policies. We know that, since January this year, the Department of Environment and Science has conducted 296 planned burns in our national parks and state forests, covering more than one million hectares. This is the largest area of planned burns undertaken in six years and well above the 600,000 hectares that were burnt under the LNP in three http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 years. In April this year, we launched Operation Cool Burn and encouraged landowners to work with their local fire wardens to undertake hazard reduction burns. Over that time, more than 15,000 hectares were burnt. Since 2015 our government has approved on average 27,463 hazard reduction permits each year, which is 1,300 more permits than the highest number of permits issued when those opposite were in government. Let us not forget that it was the Newman government that slashed $10 million from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service salaries budget, which meant that 60 fewer rangers were out there to look after protected areas across Queensland. Preparing for and responding to natural disasters has always been a part of Queensland's life. Queensland is the most natural disaster-prone state in Australia. We now face challenges that climate change presents in understanding and preparing for current and future disasters. It is true that the fire at Cobraball west of Yeppoon was a human caused disaster, but the ferocity of the fire and the speed at which it went was directly as a result of the conditions and the weather. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Before I call the member for Burdekin, member for Keppel, you used unparliamentary language in your speech. I ask you to withdraw. Mrs LAUGA: I withdraw. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    CQ Bushfires
  • Safety and protesters -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 23/10/2019 FILE: 23102019_000856_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.20 pm): This bill is first and foremost about safety. It is about the safety of our community, the safety of emergency services workers and the safety of the individuals planning to use these devices. The government fully supports the right to protest, but community safety will always be paramount. The changes in this bill will make it easier for police to prevent disruptions to the daily lives of Queenslanders. Anyone who uses one of these devices during a protest will also be subject to a new offence. We have seen over the past few months that Queensland has entered a new era of extremist action. No-one disputes the right of people to protest peacefully and lawfully. Peaceful and lawful protests are a bedrock principle of our democratic society. The changes to the law we are introducing will have no impact on the ability of anyone to protest lawfully, but the actions we are witnessing now are not protests. I honestly believe that the dangerous actions we are now witnessing completely detract from the purpose of the protests and the message the protests seek to send. What we are seeing now from these extremists is a blatant disregard for the law and the rights of others. These people clearly take the view that their opinions and beliefs override the legal rights of others. These extremists wilfully disrupt the right of others to go about their daily lives without interruption. This is contrary to the shared values of our democratic society. This extreme behaviour will not be tolerated. This bill will help keep our frontline emergency services workers and the broader community safe. There has been a significant increase in the use of potentially dangerous tactics by a small cohort of individuals which is putting at risk the safety of first responders and the individuals themselves. These tactics include the use of potentially dangerous attachment devices such as sleeping dragons, dragon's dens, tripods and monopoles. Removal or disassembly of these devices often requires the use of specialist tools like angle grinders, cold cut saws, hydraulic cutters, hammer drills and jackhammers. The use of such equipment in proximity to a person's body represents a real risk of injury. The risk is exacerbated by the way some attachment devices have previously been or may be constructed. This includes where individuals have reinforced the devices with glass, wire, steel and other items. This bill will make it an offence to use a dangerous attachment device. Police will have the power to deactivate, disassemble and dispose of anything that is a dangerous attachment device. The penalty for using one of these devices will be up to two years imprisonment or a fine of nearly $7,000. It is both the design of these devices and the manner in which they are used that make them potentially dangerous. For example, devices which are embedded with metal or other items and those which incorporate glass sleeves can result in significant injuries to the individual, police, emergency services and community members if removed incorrectly or hastily. Devices that use trip wires or drums reinforced with concrete to obstruct rail lines and roads could result in serious injury or death if individuals are not removed and the trains or vehicles stopped. I have participated in a number of rallies and protests in my life, including against John Howard's draconian Work Choices legislation, against plans by the LNP to increase our HECS fees when I was a uni student and in support of women's reproductive rights. All of these protests have been peaceful. Many people take their children to rallies and protests, as I have done in the past. When I speak to school students about the importance of playing an active role in our democracy, I encourage them to get involved peacefully in causes that are important to them. Protests are a cornerstone of our free democracy, but when people turn violent and use dangerous tactics or attachment devices, like we have witnessed in Queensland recently, it should be against the law. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Safety and protesters
  • Neerkol and child abuse reforms -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 22/10/2019 FILE: 22102019_000854_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.31 pm): I rise today to speak in support of the Civil Liability and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. I would like to pay tribute and thank the member for Mirani for his contribution and for sharing that very personal story. The story that he told is the precise reason we are here today debating this bill. In speaking in support of this bill, I want to acknowledge the Central Queenslanders who attended St Joseph's Orphanage at Neerkol near Rockhampton. I also acknowledge the immense bravery of all of those who have shared their horrific stories in the royal commission and also through the redress scheme legislative process. Neerkol was a horror movie in real-life for the children who lived there. The Rockhampton region must never forget the awful, horrendous and appalling treatment of children in a place where they were supposed to be cared for by people they were supposed to be able to trust. The Neerkol nuns' reign of terror ran for decades. It was only brought to an end by the orphanage's 1978 closure. It was the royal commission that revealed the full horror of what went on in the dormitories, the yards, the dining halls and the priests' quarters not so long ago. Children were routinely slapped, flogged, starved, sodomised and ridiculed by nuns. There were public floggings. There was walking on children in high heels and forcing bed wetters to stand hungry in the dining room with their urine soaked sheets draped over their heads while the other children ate breakfast. About 4,000 children, mostly state wards, passed through the orphanage over its 93 years of operation. I have personally met with many of these children, now adults, who experienced this horrific abuse at Neerkol and also others who experienced abuse in other institutions, and they have told me how important not only the redress scheme is but also this bill is. This bill finally acknowledges the harm suffered by those children which is so important to their healing. I extend my gratitude for the immense bravery of all of those children, now adults, who have shared their stories and to those who have provided ongoing support to them including organisations like Micah Projects and Lotus Place, and also the departmental officers, some of whom I met with earlier this week to get a briefing on the redress scheme. Their bravery, courage and determination to see those victims receive the compensation that they deserve is really quite admirable as well. Whilst no amount of money can compensate for their suffering, this bill is an important step towards healing. The royal commission's historic inquiry revealed widespread, systemic failings of institutions to protect children and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. Although the royal commission was specifically looking at institutional child sexual abuse, we heard from many victims and survivors of physical and psychological abuse who had also experienced lifelong trauma from their treatment at the hands of adults who were supposed to protect and care for them. Unfortunately, the national redress scheme does not offer compensation to victims and survivors of physical or psychological abuse which has meant that some people who have experienced physical or psychological abuse have felt overlooked. This bill will make it easier for the survivors of all kinds of child abuse to sue the institutions where the offences occurred. Under these reforms, it will be easier for child abuse survivors to claim for civil damages or personal injury now and in the future. This will be achieved by removing some of the loopholes which institutions were using to avoid being sued. In particular, a defendant can now be appointed in claims against unincorporated institutions and survivors can target the assets of associated trusts of the institution. We have also removed the limitation periods for survivors to commence a civil action against an institution. Survivors will also now be able to seek damages for serious physical abuse and connected psychological abuse as well as for child sexual abuse. To try to prevent new abuses, there will now be a reverse onus duty on institutions. They will have to prove that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the sexual abuse of children in their care to avoid legal liability. These reforms will provide another avenue for people who had experienced institutional child abuse to seek justice. These reforms are especially important to people who experienced physical or psychological abuse while in institutions in Queensland, as it will give them a way to seek compensation for the suffering they have experienced. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 While I am on my feet, I would also like to call upon all of those institutions who have not yet signed up to the national redress scheme to do so. I believe that in Queensland there are about 20 institutions who have not yet signed up to the scheme, so the victims at the hands of those institutions are not currently able to lodge an application with the scheme because those institutions have not signed up. I would strongly encourage all of those institutions to sign up, to sign up now, so that those victims can seek the compensation that they deserve. Our message to everyone who has experienced institutional child abuse is: we see you, we believe you and we support you. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Neerkol and child abuse reforms
  • Ian Flamanck and workers health -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 17/10/2019 FILE: 17102019_000848_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.05 pm): I rise to speak in support of the amendments in the bill as they relate to workers who suffer from work related chronic or terminal illnesses. The bill makes an important improvement for these injured workers. Under the workers compensation legislation, a claim by a worker must be made within six months after the entitlement to compensation arises—that is, the date the worker is diagnosed with the injury or illness by a doctor. Many workers who sustain some injuries or chronic illnesses may not be immediately incapacitated and are able to continue working. The condition may stabilise or go into remission in response to treatment. It is common for workers in these circumstances to manage their conditions or illnesses and keep working, as was the case for the late Ian Flamank, a good friend and mentor of mine whom I will talk about shortly. However, it is this stoicism, like Ian had and displayed, that can disadvantage the worker down the track. For example, a worker may develop a melanoma from occupational exposure to the sun, as was the case with Ian. A worker in this situation may attend a doctor and have the melanoma removed, often without the need to have any time off work or incur any medical expenses if the procedure is bulk-billed. The worker then continues on with life and may not even consider the need to make a workers compensation claim. Some years later the worker develops another melanoma, however this time the melanoma is malignant and the worker is diagnosed with a latent onset terminal condition. Because the melanomas are from the same injury event, the worker was required to have lodged a workers compensation claim within six months of the diagnosis of the original melanoma. As the worker did not make a claim for the original melanoma, the worker is now not eligible to make a claim for the latent onset terminal condition. This is patently unfair to the worker and their family. The current requirement to make a claim within six months of the first diagnosis can be challenging for workers with chronic or insidious illnesses such as melanoma. This bill makes an important amendment by providing insurers additional discretion to accept claims submitted more than six months after the worker's injury is diagnosed if the injured worker has lodged a claim within 20 business days of developing an incapacity for work from their injury. Mr Ian Flamank was a PE teacher at Mount Archer State School. He started teaching at Mount Archer back in 1983. Sadly, he passed away this year. We paid tribute to Ian at his funeral in June. Mr Flamank was my PE teacher. His wife, Mrs Flamank, has been my mum's teaching partner for almost 30 years. Mr Flamank taught PE at Mount Archer since 1983. He also coached Rugby League teams there from 1988 to 2004. He was also the secretary of the Rockhampton primary school Rugby League for 24 years, organising countless exchanges, fixtures and trials and even a national championship. He coached my brother and a number of young boys who went to Mount Archer State School. He was a really amazing PE teacher. I loved his classes because it was not just about playing sport or being active; there was always an educational element. I think as a PE teacher he really got the link between gross motor skills and cognitive development. He was a wonderful teacher. He was very patient. He commanded respect from his students. 041 Mr Flamank always had a great lesson planned. He loved music and loved to dance. He would often have music playing during our PE lessons. He was just a great mentor and a top bloke. He left behind two daughters, Jessica and Rebecca, and I know that they miss him terribly. He did not get the chance to see them have children or obviously meet his grandchildren. He was taken far too early at only 56 years of age—far too early for a man who did not drink, did not smoke, looked after himself, was physically active, had lots of friends and was, as I said, a top bloke. It was terrible when Mr Flamank was first diagnosed with melanoma, but he is one of those people who were not eligible to continue their claim because the claim was submitted more than six months after the original diagnosis. I was incredibly pleased when the bill was introduced into this place to see that people in Mr Flamank's situation from here on in will be able to make that claim. It is not like he was lazy or did not make the claim in time, because he did not have time. He did not make the claim in time because he did not know at the first diagnosis of melanoma it would end his life, that he would lose his life as a result. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 These changes are incredibly important for people like Ian, who worked as a PE teacher out in the sun for many years and at a time before we really understood the impacts of the sun on our skin and the risk of skin cancer and the risk of melanoma. I am incredibly pleased that this bill is before this House and hopefully we will see these provisions changed this evening because these sensible changes to the workers compensation scheme will have an enormous benefit for Queenslanders and their families—like Ian, wife Tanya and daughters Jessica and Rebecca—at little or minimal cost to employers. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Ian Flamanck and workers health
  • Fishing disallowance motion -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 15/10/2019 FILE: 15102019_000846_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (6.13 pm): I rise this evening to oppose this motion as moved by the member for Gympie. It is clear that this disallowance motion is a reflection of the problem that sits at the rotting heart of the LNP. They have yet to grasp that the purpose of opposition is to hold the government to account and to contribute to the public discourse in a way that promotes good policy and that delivers good outcomes for the Queensland people. Under the leadership of the member for Nanango, however, that function has degenerated into the mediocrity of opposition for its own sake. The opposition's election plan is quite simply to throw enough mud and hope like crazy that some of it will stick: vexatious allegations, disallowance motions on regulations that have already been amended—oh but then that motion was withdrawn at the last minute because it took them so long to work out that they were trying to disallow regulations that had already been amended weeks ago—not to mention wasting the parliament's time with frivolous divisions on the business program each and every week, $7 billion of unfunded election commitments with no plans or transparency to the public whatsoever about how taxpayers will fund their own thought bubbles, and the list goes on. Queenslanders expect that the opposition exercises oversight of the actions of the government, but the LNP opposition is not making Queensland a better state and this parliament more robust. They are quite literally impeding Queensland's progress and this parliament's productivity. It was 2016 when the then federal LNP Attorney-General, George Brandis, labelled the member for Clayfield and the LNP state opposition as very, very mediocre. What we are witnessing from those opposite, tonight included, is far from mediocre. In fact, it is incompetence and the motion tonight is evidence of just how incapable and unfit to govern they are. It is disappointing that the member for Gympie did not consider the entirety of the fisheries sector when the motion was moved to disallow these fisheries regulations. I speak specifically of Queensland's charter fishing sector. The disallowance of these regulations will sink all of Queensland's charter fishers. To have over 350 charter fishing operators stuck on dock by the LNP's move to disallow these regulations is a disgrace. I would find it surprising if the opposition even sought the views of the charter sector when their industry-destroying measure was thought up. Queensland's charter industry is worth $94 million. That includes multiple fishing charter businesses in Keppel. That is $94 million that will 'get away' to other states if this disallowance succeeds. Queenslanders, tourists to Queensland and international visitors who partake in charter fishing will be left high and dry because of the LNP if this motion is passed. I support our charter fishing sector in Keppel, and in Queensland more broadly, and that is why I will be opposing this motion this evening. To have an entire industry destroyed because the opposition does not understand fisheries is unfathomable. This disallowance motion will strip away charter fishing licences and leave charter fishers without an authority to undertake their business. I would like to acknowledge the great work that has been done by the Minister for Fisheries in promoting the charter fishing sector. One of Labor's election commitments was the development of a charter fishing action plan. It was a plan that was welcomed by the sector because the sector had an opportunity to have their say, just as the entirety of the fisheries sector have had their say on what is in these regulations that the opposition is attempting to disallow. It was noted that public feedback to a discussion paper in 2017 found overwhelming public support for greater recognition and engagement of the charter fishing sector, and the minister at the time stated that the Charter Fishing Action Plan was developed in consultation with Queensland's 344 licensed charter operators and the government would work with industry to implement the plan. Earlier this year, parliament approved changes to the Fisheries Act to specifically recognise the charter sector in the legislation, acknowledging their important role in our community and regions. As I mentioned earlier, there are local, Australian and international visitors who want to engage with charter fishing in the beautiful waters of Queensland—just like in my backyard, the Southern Great Barrier Reef—who have the opportunity to target game fish, visit areas of Queensland few in this House http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 will ever see or even just be out on the water away from their day jobs. It is important for a government to support this sector. The government is also progressing reforms as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027 which will ensure healthy fish stocks that underpin a world-class charter industry. Yet the main opposition to these fisheries reforms—not just now but in the past—have been the Liberal National Party in Queensland. I will not even place the entirety of the blame at the current Leader of the Opposition, as the opposition to fisheries began under Campbell Newman. I guess that is one slippery fish that the LNP is glad got away! In 2014, the then minister for fisheries had the completed MRAG report on his desk. It should be noted that the MRAG report is quite a good report, and it notes— The systems that have evolved over time to manage and share access to Queensland's fish stocks are, by any measure, exceedingly complex and inadequate to deal with the modern challenges faced by its fisheries. Maybe the recommendations were too complex for the LNP, as they refused to table the report— and no doubt it would have been sunk without a trace unless Labor had won the 2015 election. The report saw the light of day, and many of the recommendations were adopted as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. Thank goodness! I would advise the opposition, and in particular the shadow minister, to read that report. 048 The next opposition to fisheries, which benefited tourism and charter operators, came from the current Leader of the Opposition. It should surprise no-one that the opposition also sought to disallow the net-free zones which have proved incredibly popular in these regions. I spoke in this place against that disallowance motion in the last term of parliament. The then Cleveland—renamed Oodgeroo—LNP MP, Mark Robinson, supported the proposal for net-free zones and was quoted in the media as saying— The proper rollout of net-free zones will mean plenty of locally caught seafood for all, no price increase in seafood, more sustainable fisheries and extra jobs in Queensland's $1 billion recreational fishing, boating and tourism industries. Yet the member for Oodgeroo neglected to show up to vote on that motion and backed net-free zones because his policy was in stark contrast to his own party's policy. It is a wonder that the state LNP branch did not move to have him disendorsed prior to the 2017 state election because of his alternate view, as we know the LNP in Queensland has a history of doing. As someone who fishes on a regular basis, I can confirm that the Rockhampton and Capricorn Coast net-free zone is incredibly popular with locals and visitors alike. It is making a huge difference to barramundi and threadfin salmon stocks in the Fitzroy and Keppel Bay. We are getting closer and closer to the Fitzroy becoming the largest wild barramundi fishery in the world as a result of the net-free zones. The fisheries flip-flop meant that at the 2017 election the LNP said they supported the net-free zones. It would not surprise me if the LNP come out at some future point and say they are supportive of the 350 plus charter operators in this $94 million industry. Of course, this motion to destroy that industry by banning their operation entirely will be glossed over, as it is these regulations that allow their business to operate. We want to see the fishing charter industry in Queensland thrive. In fact, we want to see an increase in the number of charter operators in Queensland, more engagement of charter operators in fisheries management, improved satisfaction of charter fishing clients, better data on charter catch, a reduction in the number of permits or approvals required to operate as a charter business and improved certainty for charter operators. Yet if this motion passes, the only certainty is that the industry will be caught out permanently. I would encourage members of the opposition to carefully consider exactly what is being proposed tonight: the extinguishing of charter fishing in Queensland; ending commercial fishing in Queensland; stopping the recovery of key fisheries; and ignoring the feedback of working groups and expert panels. It will undo five years of progress in fisheries. It will stop access to seafood from Queensland waters to those who want to have local fish and chips. This is a disastrous motion and it should be vocally opposed. Close to one million Queensland recreational fishers will surely remember this motion the next time the LNP claim to care about fishing in Queensland. If the LNP had any sense they would withdraw this motion, as they did the former motion, and support the Palaszczuk government's Sustainable Fisheries Strategy. I oppose this motion. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Fishing disallowance motion
  • Job figures below average -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 15/10/2019 FILE: 15102019_000846_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Central Queensland, Jobs and Economy MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Central Queensland, Jobs and Economy Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.51 pm): The Palaszczuk government continues to back Central Queensland by creating jobs and boosting the economy. In fact more than 5,100 jobs have been created in our region over the past year by Labor. Creating permanent, secure jobs is my No. 1 priority for the Keppel region, and our government's policies of investment in building infrastructure and the support we are providing for local people so they can get the jobs they want to provide for their families are working. They are making a difference to the lives of people living in Central Queensland. I am pleased to report that the job growth rate in our region over the past 12 months has been 4.6 per cent, which is higher than the state average. The Palaszczuk government is committed to creating good quality jobs in the regions and we are seeing that commitment pay off. Our Back to Work program has supported almost 1,160 local businesses to take on 2,500 employees, including almost 530 apprentices and trainees across regional Queensland—not to mention our $47 billion infrastructure budget this financial year, of which 70 per cent is being spent outside the south-east corner in regional Queensland. The successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative continues to provide job ready training and skills, assisting almost 4,038 people in our region with over 2,547 participants going on to get a job once they finished the program. Our Labor government has been investing in job-creating projects, like infrastructure for Great Keppel Island, upgrading the Capricornia Correctional Centre, building Rookwood Weir and upgrading the Yeppoon-Rockhampton road. We are building new classrooms at Yeppoon State High School and Parkhurst State School to give our local students and teachers state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces. We are building a $14.3 million 42-bed detox and rehab centre to treat Central Queenslanders suffering from ice, alcohol and other drug addictions, and we have given our local elderly people and amazing nursing staff a beautiful new Cec Pritchard wing and kitchen at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government is rebuilding QBuild. QBuild was a major economic force in Rockhampton before the LNP sacked 1,500 local apprentices, electricians and carpenters when they were in government. I worked with QBuild on many projects in my time as a town planner before politics. It was a horrific time for many hardworking, loyal and experienced colleagues who had dedicated their lives to building our local schools, hospitals and community facilities. The LNP decimated QBuild, destroying its ability to provide safe, responsive trade services throughout the state. I am so proud of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's government's incredible announcement to rebuild QBuild and to restore the North Street depot in Rockhampton to the regional headquarters for plumbing, carpentry, electrical and refrigeration workers and apprentices. The Palaszczuk government is building and upgrading hospitals, schools, social housing, police stations and other government facilities—the economy-boosting infrastructure that underpins jobs, growth, investment and prosperity. We are backing Queenslanders with free apprenticeships for those under 21, as well as our free TAFE initiative for year 12 graduates. The Palaszczuk government is delivering on its commitment to Queenslanders to put downward pressure on power prices. Queensland has the lowest average power price on the eastern seaboard. In contrast, electricity prices under the LNP went up by 43 per cent. Meanwhile, the Palaszczuk government's $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan is in full swing and continues to deliver on lower power prices and more renewables. Those opposite have no idea how to run our great state. Last time, they cut services, sacked 197 full-time jobs from the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service, including 40 midwives, and planned to sell off our income-generating assets like Stanwell, Ergon and the Gladstone port. The LNP have already announced $7 billion in unfunded promises with absolutely no plan, meaning they have no other option but to sack workers, sell assets and cut services to balance the books. Their record includes sacking 14,000 Queenslanders, and the only way they can pay for their uncosted promises is to cut services, sack people or sell state assets. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Under the LNP's watch, unemployment went from 5.5 per cent to 6.7 per cent in trend terms and peaked at 7.2 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms. Overall, the Palaszczuk government has added seven times as many jobs as the LNP. It would have taken the LNP more than two decades to create as many jobs as we have in five years. Those opposite are happy to throw mud. They are happy to make vexatious allegations, just like the unfounded allegation they made to the Electoral Commission about me. It is dirty politics and it just goes to show that those opposite are not fit to govern. The hardworking people of Central Queensland see through the LNP's unfunded promises and vexatious allegations. Queenslanders will not be taken for fools and it is an insult to all Queenslanders to have an opposition so incompetent and so incapable of running our state. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Job figures below average
  • Personal Explanation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 15/10/2019 FILE: 15102019_000846_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA PERSONAL EXPLANATIONS Courier-Mail Article Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (10.16 am): I rise to make a personal explanation. I refer to an article appearing in the Courier-Mail on Thursday, 22 August 2019. This article alleged I breached the Palaszczuk government's strong developer donation ban laws. Yesterday I received a letter from the Electoral Commissioner of Queensland concerning a complaint made to the ECQ by the opposition. The letter relevantly states— I refer to Ms Melanie Mundy's letter of 27 August 2019 advising of a preliminary assessment by the Electoral Commission of Queensland (ECQ) in relation to a complaint lodged by the Liberal National Party of Queensland. I write to advise that the ECQ has now concluded its assessment and found no evidence that you accepted a political donation from a prohibited donor. The ECQ wishes to thank you for your assistance in this matter and considers the matter now closed. I table a copy of the letter dated 14 October 2019 under the hand of the Electoral Commissioner of Queensland that clears me of any wrongdoing. I call on the Leader of the Opposition to apologise. Tabled paper: Letter, dated 14 October 2019, from the Queensland Electoral Commissioner to the member for Keppel, Ms Brittany Lauga, in relation to a complaint lodged by the Liberal National Party of Queensland. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Personal Explanation
  • Asset Sales -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 18/09/2019 FILE: 18092019_000825_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.52 pm): I rise to speak in support of the motion moved by the Deputy Premier. Before I get into the crux of my contribution today I want to table a 2014 newspaper article in the Australian Financial Review where it says very clearly that 'the Queensland government', the LNP government at the time, 'has sold more than $10 billion of assets since elected in 2012 despite claiming that it would wait for a privatisation mandate at next year's election'. Tabled paper: Article from the Australian Financial Review online, dated 14 October 2014, titled 'Despite assurances, Queensland on asset selloff binge'. Opposition members interjected. Mrs LAUGA: You can take the word of the Australian Financial Review. The people of Queensland sent a resounding message to members in this place in 2015 because they absolutely, categorically rejected the LNP's plan to sell our electricity assets. The Palaszczuk government has committed to maintaining our publicly owned energy generators. I am the daughter of a government owned electricity generator worker. My dad has worked in our government owned electricity generators since before I was born and up until he retired a few years ago. I know how important our electricity assets are to jobs, to local communities and to electricity prices. The Morrison government has plans to bring back the big stick energy legislation to federal parliament which could force the break-up and privatisation of Queensland's publicly owned energy assets, not to mention the Morrison's LNP government's intention to revive the Abbott government's asset recycling policy which promotes and encourages privatisation. New South Wales, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT were all offered very generous rewards for selling public assets. In total, about $3.3 billion in rewards were offered. Despite allocating $3.3 billion to New South Wales, Victoria, the Northern Territory and the ACT - Queensland was not eligible for the rewards because we opted not to sell our electricity assets - the federal LNP pocketed more than $850 million allocated to the asset recycling scheme as budget savings. Those governments that sold their electricity assets and were told that they would be given rewards were not even given the rewards because the federal LNP pocketed the reward. The budget papers revealed that the federal government quickly moved to pocket the remaining $854 million. Because the Queensland people have categorically rejected the idea of selling our electricity assets, the federal LNP government is punishing all of Queensland. We know that the privatisation of income generating assets by governments reduces public sector net worth and fails to deliver improvements in economic performance. Privatisation has been rejected by the Australian public on almost every occasion when the issue has been put to them and yet those opposite, the Queensland LNP, are refusing to reject it too. We know that the real reason Queensland is not getting its fair share from the federal coalition is because the Palaszczuk government put a stop to the LNP's asset sales. As a result, we are missing out on billions of dollars of funding which was being used as a sweetener by the federal LNP to sell public electricity assets. The federal LNP is essentially blackmailing Queenslanders by saying that unless you sell your electricity generators, the very generators which we know have put downward pressure on electricity prices, Queensland will not get its fair share from the federal coalition. I reject the notion of selling our electricity assets, Queenslanders have rejected the same notion and yet the federal LNP and those opposite are still trumpeting this botched policy. The LNP wants Queensland to sell its electricity assets which are actively working to put downward pressure on electricity prices. Does the LNP actually want higher electricity prices? Is that what they want? Why do they want to increase electricity prices for the people in Queensland? A government member: They put it up 43 per cent! Mrs LAUGA: They did! I take that interjection. They did put electricity prices up 43 per cent, in fact. In other states where they have opted to sell their government owned electricity generators not only have there been impacts on electricity prices but other service delivery impacts such as job losses, increased brownouts, poor delivery of electricity services and poor maintenance on infrastructure. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Rewarding the sale of assets through asset recycling like the Morrison government is doing is not smart public policy. Why on earth would you sell your house to buy an expensive car? Disposing of an income generating asset for short-term gain is shortsighted at its best and at its worst is foolish. It is a failed model. The LNP and those opposite are looking at the short-term opportunity but are refusing to look at the long-term opportunity cost. Queenslanders will lose the annual income generated by our electricity assets. I support the motion. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Asset Sales
  • Medication Addiction -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 17/09/2019 FILE: 17092019_000815_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (11.55 am): Today I rise to speak in support of the Medicines and Poisons Bill 2019 and the Therapeutic Goods Bill 2019 in this cognate debate. The Medicines and Poisons Bill establishes a new regulatory framework to modernise and streamline the regulation of medicines and poisons in Queensland. A new regulatory framework is needed to modernise and streamline the regulation of medicines and poisons. The bill aims to ensure medicines and poisons are made, sold, used and disposed of in an appropriate, effective and safe way; to ensure health risks arising from the use of the substances are appropriately managed; and to ensure persons who are authorised to carry out activities using the substances have the necessary competencies to do so safely. I am particularly supportive of the provisions of this bill relating to real-time prescription monitoring. The Medicines and Poisons Bill provides a head of power for the establishment of a real-time prescription monitoring scheme to essentially align with other jurisdictions and to meet Queensland's obligations under the national agreement to manage the use of dependence forming medicines. The scheme will include all schedule 8 medicines and some high-risk schedule 4 medicines such as Valium, codeine and Stilnox. I was speaking to two pharmacists at the chemist recently and they told me that they are very pleased with the proposed changes to implement real-time prescription monitoring for schedule 8 medicines and also the higher risk schedule 4 medicines. Pharmacist Cindy told me that she regularly sees people with multiple prescriptions for schedules 4 and 8 drugs who have doctor shopped to get the prescription and she agrees that these new measures will put a stop to not only the abuse of these medications but also the use of these medications in the cooking of illicit drugs. If we are going to have a full and frank discussion about addressing drug addiction in Queensland though, we must address the prescription medication addiction epidemic. Drugs of dependence are prescription medications that have a recognised therapeutic need but which have a higher potential for misuse, abuse and dependence. Drugs of dependence like morphine, hydromorphone, pethidine, methadone, codeine phosphate, benzodiazepine and oxycodone are all drugs of dependence. The 2019 Australian wastewater drug monitoring report found that consumption of prescription medication like oxycodone in regional Australia was much higher than in capital cities. In fact, the average oxycodone consumption increased in both capital and regional cities across the country. Oxycodone and fentanyl are two legally prescribed pharmaceuticals in Australia, but they have potential for absolute abuse. The abuse of and addiction to prescription medication in Australia is a real problem. We are experiencing what I would suggest is an overdose crisis, and many of these overdoses are accidental as a result of misuse of legal prescription medication. The 2019 Australian overdose report has revealed a spike in the number of overdose deaths. We know that opioids cause the majority of overdose deaths in Australia, accounting for 53 per cent of all accidental drug related deaths in 2017. Coronial statistics indicate an annual death toll from prescription opioids approaching 1,500 people each year and increasing. 016 In fact, in the last 12 years the number of drug induced deaths involving opioids has nearly tripled—increasing from 338 in 2006 to 904 in 2017. The majority of opioid induced deaths continue to involve pharmaceutical opioids only. Further, from 2008 to 2017, accidental deaths involving benzodiazepines have more than doubled. Although drug abuse is typically associated with younger people, the report found that it is middle-aged Australians aged between 30 and 59 years who have the highest incidence of accidental drug induced mortality. It also showed that rates of accidental overdose remained higher for men and Aboriginal Australians and that this gap is widening. Even though pharmaceutical drugs of dependence may be prescribed by a doctor—and it is legal—that does not mean that there are no consequences and that addiction will not occur. Someone is addicted to prescription medication when they lose the ability to control their prescription usage. They http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 feel an uncontrollable urge to use and they have incredible difficulties stopping themselves from using the prescription medication. They will also be likely to be using much more than the prescribed dose, as their body builds up a tolerance to the drug. Over time, as their body's tolerance increases, they must increase their dosage to feel the same effects. Expanding access to drug treatment services and increasing drug education in the community is key to addressing the rising rates of overdose. I am incredibly proud of the Palaszczuk government's $14.3 million commitment for a 42-bed ice, alcohol and other drugs residential detox and rehabilitation centre for Rockhampton. It is even better that this new facility will provide treatment for people who are not only addicted to ice, alcohol and other illicit drugs but also will provide detox and rehabilitation treatment for people in my community who are addicted to prescription medication. It is great news that, this week, the non-government organisations are being invited to submit offers to the new alcohol and other drug treatment service in Rockhampton. The successful service provider will be responsible for the delivery of residential rehabilitation and withdrawal management services at a suitable Rockhampton site, the location of which is yet to be confirmed, and a day program. This is another big step in extending these vital services in Rockhampton and Central Queensland. The Palaszczuk government is committed to tackling drugs and the devastating effects they have on individuals, families, communities and our economy. It is important for us to find an experienced NGO service provider to deliver these much needed treatment services in my community. In addition to the residential service, a non-residential day program will be established in Rockhampton by mid-2020. The day program will be targeted at young people to help them get the right treatment and support within their community at a central location that is easy to access. The NGO chosen will also deliver rehabilitation and withdrawal management services at the new $14.3 million residential facility once it is open. By selecting the NGO now, the organisation can be involved in the planning of services at both locations and can contribute to future community consultation. I have been fighting hard to get this facility built in Rockhampton for years and this funding is a great next step closer to it becoming a reality. This facility will be the first of its kind in Queensland, so finding the best possible alcohol and other drug provider to run it is really important. We want this facility to be one that other regions, states and countries look to as best practice. With the right NGO, we can make this happen. Additionally, early engagement will enable specialist advice to be considered as part of the design and fitout of buildings and assist in the early coordination of service delivery with other local service providers. We know that providing care closer to home, in communities and for communities improves lives. This process is getting us closer to being able to do that for the people of Rockhampton and the wider Central Queensland community. Currently, Queensland Health is continuing discussions with the Rockhampton Regional Council and undertaking several preliminary land use planning investigations to determine the feasibility of the proposed Music Bowl site, including traffic, bushfire and flood investigations. I was quite shocked when the member for Mudgeeraba came into this place when parliament was sitting in regional Queensland—in Townsville—and outlined the LNP's ice plan. She made it very clear that the LNP has no centre promised for Central Queensland whatsoever. The LNP and the member for Mudgeeraba came into this place and refused to commit to the detox and rehabilitation centre for Rockhampton. They have made a commitment for four detox and rehabilitation centres across Queensland, but have completely overlooked the desperate need of my Central Queensland community. Ms BATES: Mr Deputy Speaker, I rise to a point of order. The member is misleading the House. That is not true. We have committed to the detox facility— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Kelly): Order! Member, there is no point of order. If you believe that the member is misleading the House, there is a process to follow in relation to that. I urge you to follow it. Mrs LAUGA: Only Labor is delivering on a new detox and rehabilitation centre in Rockhampton. Only Labor went to the 2017 state election with a plan to build this centre. The member for Mudgeeraba and those other members opposite did not make a commitment for a detox and rehabilitation centre in Rockhampton at the last state election. Only Labor did. No other party had the vision to commit to building this centre to provide the treatment to people in Central Queensland that they need to get well. I look forward to the successful tenderer being announced to run the detox and rehabilitation centre in Rockhampton. I commend this bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Medication Addiction
  • Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 22/08/2019 FILE: 22082019_000795_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.00 pm): I rise today to speak in support of the Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019. All Queenslanders deserve to be safe in their homes, workplaces and communities. We expect children and young people to be law-abiding and respectful. If they are not, we expect them to be accountable and put things right. I also want the best for our state's children, as many members on this side of the House have said over the course of this debate. I want children to live safe, happy, healthy and fulfilling lives. The Palaszczuk government is absolutely focused on keeping communities safe, reducing offending and reoffending while holding young offenders to account. We want to change that story for our communities and our children and young people and that means working differently to do more of the things that address youth crime and keep our communities safe. This bill, which is part of the implementation of the Queensland Youth Justice Strategy, makes a number of priority amendments to remove legislative barriers that may contribute to children being refused bail, breaching bail conditions or remaining in detention on remand for an extended period. Importantly, the bill does not remove discretion and aims to strike a balance between maintaining community safety and enabling the appropriate release of a child from custody. At my recent annual youth summit that I held at the PCYC in Rockhampton with over 70 students from high schools around the Keppel region, the students told me that they too are concerned about the behaviour of some young people. They said that they think bad behaviour by young people is linked to boredom and a lack of respect being taught at home. The students also were conscious that only a small group of young people seemed to be giving other young people a bad name. And it is only a small group. Between 2017 and 2018 only one per cent of the 490,111 children and young people aged 10 to 17 in Queensland had a proven offence. By and large, young people in Queensland are law-abiding citizens and great contributors to our economy and our community. There are so many young people that I can think of in the Keppel region who are amazing contributors, doing fantastic work in their school, in their education, in sport, in their workplaces and in training and I love celebrating their achievements. Unfortunately there is a small group of young people who do the wrong thing. Most children and young people do not commit crime and most who do grow out of it. I have met a number of young people who were on the wrong side of the law and they have seen the error of their ways. They have had the issues that led to them being offenders rectified. They have got housing, they are back at school, in a job or are in training and they have turned their lives around. It is those people who I enjoy meeting because they are real-life, living examples of people who have turned their life around after being on the wrong side of the law as a young person. It is true that many young offenders have been exposed to more trauma, violence and drugs than most adults. I have had the benefit of talking to children involved in Project Booyah and Transition 2 Success. Some of the things they have been through from such an early age terrifies me. They have experienced and witnessed things in their life that no adult would have normally experienced. It is well established that children and young people who have experienced trauma and maltreatment, particularly in cases of severe neglect or abuse, may experience developmental issues and reduced resilience, along with immaturity and impulsivity. These factors are directly linked to the increased risk of offending and reoffending. We know that prevention programs, such as those that improve parenting, strengthen community, support families at risk, address mental illness, disability and substance abuse and respond to childhood delay and education problems are not only effective but also extremely cost effective. Prevention generates long-term savings to taxpayers by reducing pressure on detention centres, police and justice systems. I support the bill introducing an information sharing framework to assist government and non-government organisations to assess and respond to the needs of young people in the youth justice system. It is currently difficult for organisations to share information between them and to appropriately assess and respond to the needs of juvenile offenders. We know that an holistic approach that considers all aspects of a juvenile offender's life is necessary. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Many juvenile offenders do not have their basic human needs met, such as a safe place to live and access to basic medical treatment. In fact, I have met some young people who do not even have a birth certificate, access to a Medicare card or have never seen a doctor in their life. They need caring parents or guardians. Some of them do not even have access to clean running water or food. This component of the bill precisely addresses the issue relating to information sharing between government and non-government agencies. This is fantastic because this will allow agencies to have a full and frank discussion about the needs of young people in the youth justice system. Housing can talk with police, Child Safety, Health and Education and the youth justice providers can now have a conversation around a table about a specific case as a result of these amendments. This was raised at a community safety forum that I held recently at Yeppoon. Parents of juvenile offenders and some agencies expressed frustration with the sometimes disjointed management of cases between government and non-government agencies. I am pleased that this bill will put a new information sharing framework in place that will better streamline the support services for juvenile offenders and their families. This bill is an important step in continuing the significant progress that has already been made in reforming Queensland's youth justice system. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Youth Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Bill
  • Budget speech 2018 -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 13/06/2019 FILE: 13062019_000763_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.23 pm): I rise this evening to speak in support of the appropriation bills that are before the House. In doing so, I want to highlight a number of the commitments and initiatives included in this budget that will support and grow jobs and grow prosperity in Central Queensland, in particular in Keppel. In her budget speech the Treasurer talked about this being a budget for the regions. I really think this is a budget for regional Queensland. It is a tourism budget and an agriculture budget. It goes to the heart of education and health and creating jobs in our regions. In particular, I am very impressed and very pleased to be delivering millions of dollars worth of education infrastructure. I note that this is a record Education budget. I know that the teachers, students and parents in Central Queensland and right across Queensland will be very pleased to see that this record budget is delivering $1.35 billion in education capital works expenditure. I think that is marvellous. Not only is it about improving our schools; it is also about creating jobs. At Parkhurst State School there is $5.7 million going towards six general learning spaces and two specialist learning spaces. I note that all of the member for Stretton's brothers went to Parkhurst State School. I am sorry that he was not fortunate enough to enjoy the experience of being a student at Parkhurst State School. I know that Principal Lyle Walker is over the moon about this funding. There is $250,000 to refurbish the tuckshop at Yeppoon State High School. I recently met with the P&C from Yeppoon State High School. They told me about the need to refurbish the tuckshop. This is something about which I went in to bat for them. I spoke with the minister and I lobbied really hard for this funding. On Monday I called the tuckshop to tell them that I understood there would be some money in the budget for the Yeppoon State High School tuckshop. They were just so over the moon about this funding that will go towards improving the tuckshop at Yeppoon State High School. The Yeppoon State School P&C, parents and the school principal wanted to meet with me about the need for a new playground and shade covering, since the cyclone a couple of years ago knocked down most of the shade trees. I went in to bat for them, too. I am pleased that in the budget there is $150,000 to go towards a new permanent shade structure and playground at Yeppoon State School. There is close to $870,000 allocated across the 15 state schools in Keppel for maintenance and minor works over the next financial year. I think that is great. A lot of the schools get maintenance and upgrade work done over school breaks. When the students, parents and staff come back, they are really pleased to see the work that has been done. Even a lick of paint on some of the buildings can make a big difference in terms of pride in the schools. Also in the budget is $5.1 million for Yeppoon State High School's new administration building. Construction is underway, so the funding in the next financial year is for the next stage of those works. I know that the P&C, the parents, the staff and the principal at Yeppoon State High School are very much looking forward to that building being completed. There is also $861,000 to provide mental health program services. The member for Rockhampton and I recently met with the CEO of Anglicare, which has been contracted to deliver part of this mental health program. She is just over the moon. I know that it will go a long way to helping people in the community who are struggling with their mental health. There is also half a million dollars to construct change rooms and amenities to support female participation in multisport at the Barmaryee Multisport Precinct. That multisport precinct is a precinct that Labor has been investing in for years in partnership with the Livingstone Shire Council. That precinct now is huge. There are Rugby League and netball carnivals on there regularly. It is a hive of activity. It is amazing to see that, in partnership with the Livingstone Shire Council, the Palaszczuk Labor government is delivering on sporting infrastructure in Keppel. I thank the Minister for Sport for his support and for allocating this funding towards the multisport precinct at Barmaryee. The other day I spoke with the president the netball association, Tanya Burnett. She is just so excited. The girls need more change rooms, and this funding will go towards expanding the amenities there. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 There is also the continuation of funding, delivered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, for the Rockhampton Northern Access Upgrade in the Parkhurst part of my electorate. This project is shared with the member for Rockhampton and it is going gangbusters. There are workers and machinery everywhere. It is a $120 million project that is creating jobs, giving local people the opportunity to work on a very big project and really improving the entire northern entrance to Rockhampton. It will make the entrance to Rockhampton much more spectacular and it is growing jobs at the same time. The businesses around the Parkhurst Town Centre are absolutely loving the fact that this project is ongoing around their shopping centre. 043 The budget also includes funding to deliver on our commitment for the Rockhampton alcohol, ice and other drugs detox and rehab centre, a $14.3 million commitment that we made for a new 42-bed residential alcohol and other drug rehab and detox facility. There will be 32 beds in that facility for residential rehabilitation where people can stay and be treated, eight beds for withdrawal stage or detox treatment and two family units so that people can get the treatment that they need with their families supporting them on their journey. I understand that a preferred site has been identified for the facility and the schematic level design and the detailed business case are expected to be completed by the end of this year, with construction planned for 2020. Service delivery will commence as soon as practicable after the completion of construction. The services to be provided include residential treatment for adults aged 18 years and over and flexible non-residential treatment provided for young people aged under 18 years and other groups in the community indicated for this type of treatment to address their substance abuse issues, and that is fantastic. There is so much more that I could talk about with respect to budget commitments in Keppel. This is a great budget for Central Queensland and it is a great budget for Keppel. This budget will create jobs and it will improve our health services, our hospitals and our schools. We made the commitment in 2015 to restore the front-line services that the Newman government cut in Queensland and I am really pleased that since March 2015 when we came to government there have been 168 extra nurses employed in Central Queensland and 95 extra doctors. That is an outstanding number of front-line workers who have been employed in our hospitals and who are delivering services to Central Queensland local people in order to keep them healthy. There have also been 185 extra teachers and 71 extra teacher aides, and that is just fantastic. It goes a long way to helping improve our schools and help deliver a quality education for people in Central Queensland. As a teacher my mum would be very pleased to know that there are 185 extra teachers in our region now. She is always talking to me about the importance of education and how hard teachers work. I know how hard they work because I have seen it. She has been working hard every day for the last 30 years as a teacher and she is passionate about it. She loves her job, but we need more teachers and the Palaszczuk government is delivering. This budget includes $1.1 billion for infrastructure in Central Queensland—a record budget for infrastructure. I understand that 60 per cent of the infrastructure spend in this Palaszczuk government budget is being allocated across regional Queensland, and that is great news for regional Queensland because the $1.1 billion that is being spent in this budget will support around 3,600 jobs in this coming financial year in Central Queensland alone. That is outstanding news for people in Central Queensland. I also think that the payroll tax package is a great way to incentivise business to grow, to hire more staff and to diversify their business. It is an awesome package and I am so pleased that the Treasurer has listened to the calls from the chambers of commerce and other business associations across the state, because people in Central Queensland have been saying for a long time that they want payroll tax relief, and this government is delivering. In closing, I highlight the need for the seven-day manning of the Yeppoon Fire Station. There is no budget line item for any additional firefighters at Yeppoon station, but I want to see that station manned seven days. Currently those officers are on a five-day roster—and the auxiliaries and the officers do a fantastic job manning that station—but I want to see that upgraded to a category B station with seven-day manning. I will be calling on the government and the minister to allocate some of the remaining full-time equivalent positions that are still owing to regional fire stations across the state to Yeppoon and I will be asking for the Yeppoon Fire Station to be considered for that upgrade, an upgrade which is desperately needed to help improve response times in Central Queensland. Mr Millar: You have my support. Mrs LAUGA: The member for Gregory is also supporting that call. I congratulate the Treasurer on this fantastic budget that is delivering jobs for regional Queensland. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Budget speech 2018
  • GST distribution -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 12/06/2019 FILE: 12062019_000762_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Distribution of GST MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA 017 Distribution of GST Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.09 pm): It was interesting to hear the member for Burdekin talking about royalties in the House today, considering that the federal government is changing the integrity of the arrangements of GST distribution and that they have interfered with the independence of the Commonwealth Grants Commission by instructing the Commonwealth Grants Commission to cease reviewing its mining revenue assessment as part of its 2020 methodology review. Without the commission's proposed changes, Queensland will continue to unfairly lose royalties to Canberra. It is absolutely outrageous that hundreds of millions of dollars of Queensland royalties, which are produced from mining the resources of our state, are now going to Canberra to be spent elsewhere in the country. Those resources are owned by Queenslanders and Queensland royalties should be invested in Queensland. For years now the Queensland government has been doing all of the heavy lifting when it comes to creating jobs, restoring front-line services, building schools and delivering health services to the people of Queensland. Under Tony Abbott, then Malcolm Turnbull and now Scott Morrison, the LNP have cut billions to our hospitals, our schools, remote Indigenous housing, pensioner concessions, natural disaster assistance and main roads. Queensland Labor has had to fill the gaps. We have had to find money out of Queensland coffers to pay for basic services that the LNP cut and slashed. Queensland taxpayers should be outraged at the fact that Queensland has had to fill the gaps and cover the shortfall. Queensland Labor has always said that we will not leave Queenslanders hanging, but the LNP razor gang are at it again. This time the federal LNP are taking our fair share of GST and spending it in other parts of the country. I for one will not stand for it and members on this side of the chamber will not stand for it. Queensland is the only state to receive less GST revenue from the Commonwealth government in 2019-20, despite the GST pool growing. Our GST revenue from the federal government has fallen off a cliff. In 2019-20 alone they are cutting $360 million from Queensland. In fact Queensland's share of the GST has been slashed by $866 million as a direct result of interference by the federal government. Queensland is the most disaster affected state in Australia. Over the past decade natural disasters have cost us $15 billion. In March this year, the federal LNP also decided to adopt changes to the GST distribution that will rip money out of Queensland just when we need it most. In 2019-20 Queensland is set to lose out on $268 million in GST, because the federal government has excluded natural disaster payments from GST calculations. I suggest that the member for Burdekin talks to his community about that. The flooding in Townsville and North Queensland caused $1.3 billion worth of damage to public assets. The federal LNP no longer thinks the recovery funding we provide to local councils and communities should be classed as necessary. Not only is Queensland the only state to receive less GST revenue— (Time expired) http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    GST distribution
  • General Speech -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 12/06/2019 FILE: 12062019_000762_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.16 pm): I rise to oppose the motion. The federal election results were disappointing. As Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese said, we must respect the results. In respecting the results, it is important for our party to reflect. Taking a good, hard look in the mirror is the duty of a political party of progress, not protest. The people of Queensland expect us to respect the results of the federal election, and taking a good, hard look in the mirror, as I said, is part of paying respect to the people of Queensland. Federal Labor must take stock, recalibrate our federal policies and tune our message. This government must continue with our steadfast resolve to always put Queenslanders first. New leader Anthony Albanese, 'Albo', has said as much. Yes, we must take a good, hard look in the mirror. As a result, Labor must rise with courage, imagination and new ideas. We must seek change through the power of parliamentary democracy and the timeless truth of solidarity. We must keep unashamedly investing in all of Queensland's potential, to reverse disadvantage and to care for the most vulnerable in our state. We must continue to drive growth in our regional cities and towns, because our state, more than any other, relies on the prosperity of our regional economies. When our regions do well, all of Queensland does well. Our party was founded on the important principle that everyone deserves a fair go in life. Our greatest achievements have always come from broadening the meaning of the fair go to include more people in its benefits. A strong minimum wage, a fair day's work and a decent pension were once radical notions, but it was Labor that made them universal rights. Labor believes in the dignity of work. We know how important a good job is to an individual's sense of self and to the stability and health of their family. For Labor, the choice between prosperity and fairness will always be a false one. We know that economic growth comes from extending opportunity and reducing inequality. We know that building a more prosperous Queensland and nation means making sure no-one is left behind. This is the mission that defines our party and that defines the Palaszczuk Labor government. Labor's new challenge is to honour those achievements by building on them—to bring new meaning to our oldest ideal, to revere it and revitalise it. This election result will not break Labor. We have 125 years of history which built our party, and over that time we have seen great election victories. Of course, we have also endured devastating defeats, but we are tough. Because our party was built on the principles of equality, fairness and opportunity for all, we will continue to invest in jobs and front-line services to meet the needs of a growing state. 036 We must continue to support business, particularly small and medium sized businesses, to create jobs. We have chosen to stay the course and not cut, sack and sell. Our vision for Queensland, together with the policies that shape our government with our tireless Premier at the helm, is working. The proof is in the numbers, because since 2015 199,000 jobs have been created. While the fundamental principles which define our party do not change, we are a party that is good at reflecting on our direction and we thrive on governing with tact, insight and consideration. This is in stark contrast to those opposite, who have never truly learnt from the lessons after their disastrous result at the 2015 Queensland election. In 2012 the then member for Callide came into this place when he was the deputy premier of this state and told the now Deputy Premier, the member for South Brisbane, that she ought to get comfortable sitting on the opposition benches because Labor would be there for years. It demonstrated just how arrogant and truly lost the LNP had become. It did not learn its lesson. When those opposite spent more than $70 million of taxpayers' money to try and sell their asset sales plan to the community at a time when the community was not buying it, it demonstrated just how arrogant and truly lost the LNP had become. The motion moved today by those opposite demonstrates just how arrogant the LNP still is. The principles that underpin the Liberal National Party do not support a fair go at all. The LNP's platform is to encourage and facilitate wealth—in other words, less or no regulation which protects the public from http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 exploitation, anti worker, pro-privatisation and open slather for those who seek to maximise profits at the expense of everyday working Queenslanders. I am proud that our party is constantly looking at better ways of running this state and ways to make the lives of all Queenslanders and Australians better. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    General Speech
  • Taxi subsidies for disabled passengers -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 11/06/2019 FILE: 11062019_000757_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA 018 Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.18 pm): The Palaszczuk government wants to ensure that Queensland is a place where people with disability have equal access to opportunities and can contribute to and participate in all that our beautiful state has to offer. This bill will support Queensland's next step in transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. Since 2016 Queensland has been a host jurisdiction under the NDIS Act 2013, which supports the gradual transition of Queenslanders into the NDIS. The Queensland government is committed to ensuring a smooth transition to full scheme operation of the NDIS. We are also committed to ensuring that Queenslanders with disability continue to receive disability services that are subject to a robust quality and safeguards framework. This bill is the next stage of reform to support Queensland's full scheme implementation of the NDIS in Queensland. In rising today to speak on this bill I want to highlight the underspends, staffing caps, excessive paperwork and a `plague of contractors' which have undermined the effectiveness and original design of the NDIS. This great national enterprise cannot be capped, cut or delayed or put at the mercy of consultants who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. It is a great relief to me, to members of the community with a disability and to their carers that the Palaszczuk government stepped in to ensure that the Taxi Subsidy Scheme for NDIS participants continues over the coming year. A further $6 million has been committed in 2019-20 to continue the subsidy payment. Taxi subsidies were expected to transition to the NDIS funding arrangement by now, but under the Morrison government this has not happened. We will not allow thousands of Queenslanders to be left stranded, so we have stepped in to ensure this does not happen. We want to ensure that people with special needs continue to receive this support so they can undertake everyday activities and stay connected with family and friends. The Palaszczuk government understands how important it is for all Queenslanders to have access to transport. Queensland has already invested significant amounts under the NDIS funding arrangement, and Canberra must fix the gaps. We will continue to work over the coming year to ensure the NDIS agreement delivers proper affordable transport options for Queenslanders in the longer term. The Taxi Subsidy Scheme provides a co-contribution of up to $25 per trip for people with severe disabilities who are unable to use other forms of subsidised passenger transport. The budget commitment continues the same level of investment in the TSS as in 2018-19. This is in addition to $15.7 million to continue the TSS for non-NDIS eligible members. Scott Morrison and the LNP need to meet their responsibilities under the NDIS, including providing proper support for participants. The Palaszczuk government will also allocate $6.8 million in 2019-20 to continue incentive payments for drivers of wheelchair accessible taxis to give priority to TSS members. A lift payment of $20 is provided to taxidrivers for each eligible wheelchair accessible taxi trip involving transportation of a TSS member who is required to travel in a wheelchair. The Palaszczuk government has been working closely with people with a disability and their representatives as well as the taxi industry and transport stakeholders. We have listened to the concerns of Queensland NDIS participants, their families and carers, disability advocacy organisations and transport providers. We have also strongly advocated on behalf of Queensland participants to resolve these issues with the NDIA and the federal government. However, disappointingly, these issues have not yet been resolved by the Morrison government. I call on the member for Capricornia and Minister Matthew Canavan to fund plans fairly for Central Queenslanders by providing adequate transport. Following this bill, a second stage of legislative changes will progress further amendments to support the full scheme operation of the NDIS in Queensland, including legislative changes to ensure the Queensland government continues to champion access and inclusion for people with disability and support the implementation of nationally consistent NDIS worker screening in Queensland. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Taxi subsidies for disabled passengers
  • Work for Queensland jobs -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 16/05/2019 FILE: 16052019_000744_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Keppel Electorate MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Keppel Electorate Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.15 pm): I rise today with some fantastic news for Central Queensland. Central Queensland is set for a major jobs boost with hundreds of new jobs supporting Works for Queensland projects now funded. Some $1.5 million is being funded by the Palaszczuk Labor government for the Yeppoon Aquatic Centre at Cooee Bay. I have been lobbying for upgrades to this centre for years. I met with Helen and John Auriac from the centre a couple of months ago. The pool badly needs upgrading. This funding will go towards renewal of the pool to include eight lanes and a new access ramp, to raise water depth to competition standard and also the renewal of the wading pool, including the installation of small leisure features and simulated rock profiles, and a renewal of the filtration systems for both the pools. I spoke with Judy from the centre today. She was over the moon with respect to the $1.5 million commitment that we are making through the Works for Queensland program. I recently received correspondence from Jordan McCann, a champion swimmer from the Yeppoon Sharks Swimming Club, who was advocating for this upgrade. I am really pleased. I cannot wait to speak with Jordan personally and tell him the news. Some $800,000 has also been funded from the Works for Queensland program for the Emu Park community arts hub. Keppel Coast Arts met with me and Mayor Ludwig a couple of months ago advocating for this project. I was really pleased to be able to go and lobby on behalf of them for this funding. Leanne Smith from Keppel Coast Arts will be incredibly pleased. The Rockhampton Heritage Village is also being funded $300,000 to replace and upgrade lighting and electrical infrastructure. I know that the friends of the heritage village and the council will be so pleased to receive this funding, especially given that this month they are celebrating their 21st birthday. I am sure it will be a welcome birthday present for the Rockhampton Heritage Village. Livingstone Shire Council Mayor Bill Ludwig and Rockhampton Regional Council Mayor Margaret Strelow have both hailed the Works for Queensland program saying that it has immediate and dramatic impacts on our local communities. I have seen firsthand a number of the projects, including the sealing of Svendsen Road to Coorooman Creek boat ramp. The local boaties I saw over Easter are incredibly pleased to see that that road is now sealed after years. The Palaszczuk Labor government came to the rescue by committing funding and that road is now fully sealed. The residents of Zilzie are pleased because they were putting up with all the dust from Svendsen Road. This vital funding is about getting people into work. It is being used by our local councils for new parks, gardens, roads and other community facilities that are improving many regional towns and cities, including in Central Queensland. Councils estimate that the 494 new projects that are funded under the program in this round will create or support more than 4,500 jobs in regional Queensland. The Palaszczuk government is getting on with the job of delivering infrastructure, creating jobs and working with councils. We are delivering on our election commitment to continue the Works for Queensland program. I cannot wait to see work started on these projects. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Work for Queensland jobs
  • Queensland funding ripoff -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 15/05/2019 FILE: 15052019_000743_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Federal-State Funding MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Federal-State Funding Mrs LAUGA: My question is to the Premier and Minister for Trade. Will the Premier inform the House whether Queensland is getting its fair share from the Morrison government? Ms PALASZCZUK: What a great question from the member for Keppel. We know that Queensland is not at all getting its fair share from the Morrison government. We know how important Central Queensland is to the economy. Yesterday I spoke about record exports from our state. Rocky is the beef cattle of Australia. In the year to March, beef exports from Queensland increased from $1 billion to $5.8 billion. We are doing our part by injecting $946,000 to reinstate the Yeppoon branch line to the JBS meatworks. I remember going out there with the member for Keppel and talking about that. That is an example of government and business working together. In this state, we get on with the job of working with everybody in the best interests of Queenslanders. Unfortunately, that is not the case with the Morrison government. This Saturday, Queenslanders have a great opportunity to send the Morrison government a very clear message by voting them out. The clearest way to send a message is to vote them out. When it comes to health funding, Queensland has not been given its fair share. We are owed more than $300 million. When it comes to infrastructure, yesterday I told the House that we are not getting our fair share. Wouldn't it be wonderful if Queensland received the same amount of money that the Morrison government gives to New South Wales and Victoria? Imagine what we could do for regional Queensland! We also know that the federal Labor candidate in Capricornia has committed $20 million to fix Laurie Street at Gracemere, but we have heard nothing from Scott Morrison. It is very hard. Over the past nine months—indeed, over the past six years—we have seen complete chaos in Canberra. We have seen a procession of people such as Abbott and Peter Dutton involved in leadership coups. Wouldn't it be wonderful if on Saturday the people of Dickson sent Peter Dutton a clear message by voting him out? Mr Mander: Ali France will go against me after she loses. Ms PALASZCZUK: I think she will be the federal member. Let us wait and see. I am happy to take a bet. 007 In all seriousness, Queensland has been dudded. All I can say about the LNP is if only for once they stood up for Queensland and said that Queensland deserves its fair share. I know that the member for Rockhampton, the member for Keppel and the member for Gladstone will always stand up for Central Queensland—part of the economic powerhouse of Queensland. We will continue to fight the good fight. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Queensland funding ripoff
  • Landry and penalty rates vote -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 14/05/2019 FILE: 14052019_000736_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Robertson, Mr R MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Robertson, Mr R Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.42 pm): The member for Maiwar talks about turning the ship around at this election. I can tell you that it is not the Greens that will turn the ship around at this election! I rise today to speak about how important this election is for Queensland and Australia. Scott Morrison and the LNP have cut schools, hospitals, TAFE and pensions, all to pay for their $80 billion handout for banks and multinationals. There is a lot at stake this Saturday, especially in Capricornia. When it comes to what matters to middle-class and working Australians, Scott Morrison and the LNP are only for the top end of town. As treasurer, Scott Morrison spent three years trying to give the banks a $17 billion tax cut. Scott Morrison and Michelle Landry, the member for Capricornia, have cut $14 billion from schools. This means that Queensland schools will be over $2 billion worse off under the LNP. Cutting funding from public schools means more pressure on class sizes and less individual attention for students. You cannot have a plan for economic growth without a plan to invest in schools and education. Scott Morrison, Michelle Landry and the LNP have cut $3 billion from TAFE, skills and apprenticeships. Under the LNP Australia has lost almost 150,000 apprenticeships and traineeships nationwide. If you are serious about jobs, you do not cut funding from TAFE. Scott Morrison and the LNP tried to give an $80 billion taxpayer funded handout to multinationals and big business. He cut $360 million from Queensland hospitals, including $11 million from Central Queensland hospitals. Scott Morrison, Michelle Landry and the LNP supported cuts to penalty rates. In fact, Michelle Landry sat in parliament and voted eight times to cut penalty rates. In Capricornia that equates to 10,670 retail and hospitality workers who have had their Sunday penalty rates cut. Their take-home pay has been cut by up to $3,200 this year. We need a wage rise for working Australians, not tax handouts for big banks and multinationals. Michelle Landry and the LNP voted to raise the pension age to 70 and to cut the pension. There is a lot at stake this election for the people of Capricornia. That is why on election day this Saturday I am backing Russell Robertson, Labor's candidate for Capricornia. Russell Robertson, or 'Robbo' as he is affectionately known, is a third-generation miner and father of three. Russell was born in Clermont and grew up in Moranbah, where he attended the same local school that his children went to. He has dedicated time as chairman of the Moranbah community scholarship board, which supports and funds local kids to attend university. For the past 17 years Russell has worked at the nearby Goonyella mine, where he operates heavy mining vehicles. I have known Russell for a little while now and I know that he will not sit back and watch the LNP destroy the secure jobs our workers and their families need in Central Queensland. He has the guts and the fight in him to stand up for our region. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Member for Keppel, that is unparliamentary language. I ask you to withdraw. Mrs LAUGA: He has the fight and the determination— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. I still need you to withdraw, though. Mrs LAUGA: I withdraw. Creating good, secure, local jobs in Central Queensland is Russell Robertson's top priority. While Michelle Landry supports Scott Morrison and the LNP's cuts to our region, Russell will fight for the funding our region needs for our schools and hospitals. Russell Robertson is on our side. He understands that every worker should get the same pay for the same job, and he will fight for more funding for our schools and hospitals. Michelle Landry and the LNP have cut $11 million from our Central Queensland hospitals, destroyed permanent jobs and cut penalty rates from our workers and families. Michelle Landry wants to back the big end of town instead of putting an end to dodgy labour hire practices. Russell will fight http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 for more funding for our schools and hospitals and will stand up for workers and their families so they can have a good, secure job. There is much at stake this election for the people of Capricornia. This weekend I am encouraging everyone to vote Labor so as to restore penalty rates, fix our schools and hospitals, ease pressure on family budgets by ending the Medicare freeze and give tax breaks to workers and not the top end of town. We need a local member who will stand up for workers, not someone who is too busy getting selfies with mine bosses. We need a local member who will reverse cuts to penalty rates and crack down on abuse of labour hire and 457 visas. We need Russell Robertson standing up for us in Capricornia—working to build a strong economy that works for us all. He will make the top end of town pay their fair share so that we can build new infrastructure and give workers a fair go. We need to end the cuts and chaos that the Canberra LNP government has dished up to us, and Russell Robertson is the only person on the ballot paper in Capricornia who will do so. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Landry and penalty rates vote
  • Health and Wellbeing Bill breaastfeeding -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 02/05/2019 FILE: 02052019_000731_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.35 pm): I rise to speak in favour of the Health and Wellbeing Bill 2019. In doing so, I want to shine a light on new research from the World Health Organisation that has found that breastfeeding reduces the risk of babies being overweight as a result of the hormones, nutrients and prebiotics in breast milk, which changes a baby's gut bacteria. The positive impact of breastfeeding on lowering the risk of death from infectious diseases in the first two years of life is now well established. There is also a mounting body of evidence that suggests that breastfeeding also plays a role in programming non-communicable disease risk later in life, including protection against being overweight and obese in childhood. According to a World Health Organisation study involving 16 countries, breastfeeding can cut the chances of a child becoming obese by up to 25 per cent. The more breast milk a child receives, the lower their risk of obesity and diabetes in childhood and also later in life. As a result, researchers are calling for more help and encouragement to women to breastfeed as well as to curb the marketing of formula milk, which misleads women into thinking that breast is not necessarily better. Breast milk is believed to program babies to burn more fat efficiently in later life instead of storing it and gaining weight. Human milk—breast milk—is specifically designed for human babies. In contrast, formula milk is thought to increase a baby's insulin levels compared to breast milk, which may cause them to grow more and bigger fat cells. Formula milk also contains sugars that may lead to obesity. There is an increased risk of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes in babies whose exposure to breast milk was brief or for those who were exposed to infant formula prior to three months of age. When it comes to health outcomes, it has long been known that breastfeeding is important. Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed babies. However, 'normal' does not always mean that it is the most common way to feed babies, but it means that breastfeeding is the biological norm. Any other way of feeding a baby and the subsequent change in health outcomes has to be compared to breastfeeding. That means that there are no benefits to breastfeeding; rather, there are risks of not breastfeeding. When it comes to health outcomes associated with infant feeding, the longer the total duration of breastfeeding and the longer the period of exclusive breastfeeding within the first six months of a baby's life the lower the risk. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for babies to six months of age and thereafter for breastfeeding to continue alongside suitable complementary foods for up to two years and beyond. However, Australian breastfeeding statistics indicate that we are falling well short of these recommendations. Statistics gathered from the results of the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey indicate that 96 per cent of mothers initiate breastfeeding. Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than half, around 39 per cent, of babies are still being exclusively breast fed to three months and less than one-quarter, only 15 per cent, to five months. Not breastfeeding or being breastfed for shorter lengths of time increases the risk of a whole raft of health issues for the child, including SIDS, gastrointestinal infections, respiratory infections, ear infections, necrotising enterocolitis in premature babies, sepsis in premature babies, dental malocclusions, overweight and obesity and a lower IQ. For the mother, not breastfeeding increases the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer. There is also a strong evidence base about the many benefits of breastfeeding for the mother and her baby and that reinforces the need to increase the resources that are put into supporting women to begin and maintain breastfeeding for at least the first six months of the baby's life. It is estimated that early weaning adds around $1 million to $2 million to annual hospitalisation costs for gastrointestinal illness, respiratory and ear infections, eczema and NEC. By using these figures, savings across the Australian hospital system could be between $60 million and $120 million annually for these illnesses alone. 038 The study reinforced the need to put more resources into supporting women to breastfeed. We need both more specialist breastfeeding support for women after birth and more time for all http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 professionals involved in antenatal and postnatal care to offer the support women are telling us they need. We know that in the postnatal period many women are saying they do not feel midwives and health professionals have the time to give them the support that would enable many more to continue breastfeeding. I take this opportunity to publicly thank the Australian Breastfeeding Association for all of the measures of support they provide to women, their partners and their babies to initiate breastfeeding and continue on their breastfeeding journey. In addition, infant feeding is a highly emotive subject because so many families have not breastfed or have experienced the trauma of trying very hard to breastfeed and not being able to. We need more support to help new mothers learn breastfeeding skills and policies in place that help them continue breastfeeding through the baby's first year of life. We also need to stop the inappropriate marketing of formula milk which may lead some mothers to believe it is as good for babies as breastmilk. Only a few weeks ago I saw an advertisement on TV for a toddler milk drink which is completely unnecessary and makes mothers think that they need to supplement their child's diet with toddler milk drinks. Toddler milks and special and/or supplementary foods for toddlers are not required for healthy children. From 12 months of age and beyond toddlers should be consuming family foods consistent with the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Solid foods should provide an increasing proportion of the energy intake after 12 months of age. Children should be able to meet their nutritional requirements from eating a healthy diet without special toddler milk drinks. Toddler milk drinks are purely and simply marketing to parents who are concerned that their children's diet may be inadequate and a money grab which is only damaging to Australian women and their children. In Australia, the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formulas agreement is a voluntary self-regulatory code of conduct between manufacturers and importers of infant formula. Although most formula manufacturers comply with these guidelines, when it comes to toddler, junior and growing-up milks for babies over 12 months there are no restrictions and I believe that this needs to change. Breastfeeding protects against a range of diseases and therefore has the potential to alleviate costs to the healthcare system in both the short and long term. In fact, the Australian Medical Association said that the total value of breastfeeding to the community makes it one of the most cost-effective primary prevention measures available and well worth the support of the entire community. There are few other preventative health interventions which have proven permanent effects in reducing risk factors for chronic disease in such a variety of settings. More needs to be done to support families to breastfeed for longer. I hope that the health promotion agency which this bill will establish, Health and Wellbeing Queensland, will take the evidence on board and consider ways in which we can help support women in Queensland to initiate breastfeeding and continue on their breastfeeding journey with their babies. We can do this by ensuring that all health professionals have the tools and the knowledge to support future parents and current parents to breastfeed. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Health and Wellbeing Bill breaastfeeding
  • Child murder sentencing -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 01/05/2019 FILE: 01052019_000728_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.40 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. I can only imagine the absolute heartbreak that a parent or relative would go through when a child dies. Unfortunately, in my family we have experienced two children dying when two of my cousin's children died in a car accident. It was earth-shattering for us all but none more so than for my cousin Melinda who survived the accident. Two little beautiful, smart and gorgeous children's lives were cut too short and we miss them terribly every day. If my child died I do not think I could go on. It would absolutely break me. It would shatter my heart and every bit of my being into a thousand pieces. Like me, most parents want the best for their children. We want to raise happy, healthy, strong and confident children. However, children are so incredibly vulnerable. They rely on us for their every need from the day they are born and for many years afterwards. Someone said to me once that being a parent is the hardest job you will ever do, but it is also the most rewarding. I think it is a privilege to be Odette's mum and I will always do everything to protect her. Child killers in Queensland must receive the tough punishments they truly deserve. It is absolutely unacceptable that the average sentence for adult manslaughter is 8½ years and yet the average sentence for offenders convicted of child manslaughter is 6.8 years. This is why I support these amendments which make clear the expectation that higher sentences should be imposed. The bill gives effect to recommendation 1 of the Queensland Sentencing Advisory Council's report by amending the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to introduce a new statutory aggravating factor for manslaughter of a child under 12 years. The new statutory aggravating factor will require that when determining the appropriate sentence for an offender convicted of the manslaughter of a child under 12 years, a court must treat the child's defencelessness and vulnerability having regard to the child's age as an aggravating factor. This reform will ensure the community can have confidence that courts are focusing on defencelessness and vulnerability of the child victim when sentencing an offender for child manslaughter. Such an approach will still allow courts to impose a sentence that is just in the individual circumstances of the case while making clear the expectation that higher sentences should be imposed. Higher sentences must be imposed. The Palaszczuk government wants justice to be done—justice for the victims and justice for those left behind: their families and friends. We want to see strong sentences imposed when people take the lives of our most vulnerable: our children, the elderly and the disabled. The community must have confidence that this state has a criminal justice system that is robust in its protection of the most vulnerable members of our community. Some of the most vulnerable members of our community are, of course, our children. Every child has the right to be safe and to live in a home free from violence. Every adult needs to remember that being a parent and a carer is not a right; it is a responsibility, and it is a big one. People convicted of child manslaughter have in many cases escaped murder convictions because intent is inherently difficult to prove in these types of cases. This bill will expand the definition of murder to include the unlawful killing of another if the death is caused by an act or omission with reckless indifference to human life. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the committee for its timely and detailed consideration of the government's bill. I have no doubt it was a really difficult process and I want to thank all of those family members of victims who came forward to give their personal stories. I thank the individuals and organisations who provided submissions and also those who gave evidence before the committee. I commend the government's bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Child murder sentencing
  • Education Amendment Teachers Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 30/04/2019 FILE: 30042019_000721_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (11.38 am): I rise to speak to the Education (Queensland College of Teachers) Amendment Bill. Today I will very proudly talk about teachers. I think we should celebrate, admire and be grateful for the dedication of teachers to the future of our children. I have seen firsthand the sheer hard work, determination, dedication and passion that goes into teachers' work. My mum has been a state school teacher for over 25 years. Every day she would get to work early and stay late. She would work on weekends and public holidays. Recently when she took long service leave she spent each day marking instead of relaxing. I said, 'Mum, that's really not what long service leave is for,' but she is so dedicated to her job. I am so incredibly proud that she has instilled in me a belief in the importance of a good quality education no matter where in Queensland people live. I was also fortunate recently to attend the professional development day for teachers at Parkhurst State School. The teachers could not help but teach me— Mr Pegg: My brother attended there. Mrs LAUGA: I take that interjection. The teachers could not help but teach me that day about reading assessment. It was great. I loved learning about the way in which they teach reading and about the work they do. It is not easy to teach. Teachers have so much patience and creativity. They are so incredibly invested in getting the best outcomes for their students. The teachers I meet with and speak to seem to be always thinking about creative and innovative ways to teach their students and about how to engage the different learning styles of students. I was also incredibly impressed when I visited Parkhurst State School on the first day of school this year. I got to see two prep teachers in action on the first day of school. In fact, for one of the teachers it was the first day of her career. I am sure the first day of school was incredibly nerve wracking for the prep students, this teacher and the parents. The new prep teacher sailed through with flying colours. 014 That day I was also able to witness another prep classroom with a teacher who had years and years and years of experience who probably would qualify for the HAT or LT qualification, and she also sailed through with flying colours. It was so amazing to see the experience of that teacher at work and the way that both teachers had put so much effort and planning into setting up that day to make it as easy as possible for those two prep classes. We know that an excellent teacher with strong professional skills, motivation and commitment can account for up to a 30 per cent difference in the achievement between students. Given the significant difference that teachers can make to a student's performance, it is also important therefore to attract the best talent to teaching. Teachers need meaningful career pathways that cultivate and recognise expertise through appropriate remuneration and role allocation. This is how the HAT and LT roles will support our experienced and best teachers. It will give a real pathway that cultivates and recognises expertise. To create a world-class teaching workforce, teaching needs to be an appealing and valued profession. Teachers must be valued for the critical role that they play in educating our young Australians. We are cultivating a profession of expert educators by creating meaningful career pathways with the HAT and LT classification by strongly valuing their expertise and impact. Improving our education system largely depends on ensuring that competent people want to work as teachers and that existing experienced teachers feel that they are valued. Teaching must be a high status profession of expert educators. We know though that between 30 per cent and 50 per cent of Australian teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and feeling undervalued is one of the primary reasons for leaving the profession. Last year I held a drinks afternoon for World Teachers Day for teachers in my electorate. After hosting them on a Friday afternoon for a few drinks, they were so grateful to feel valued by their local member and to be invited along to celebrate with a few drinks for World Teachers Day. That just goes to show how much those teachers really enjoyed the opportunity to feel valued. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Teachers are subject to so many negative perceptions which impact not only how others see them but also how they see themselves. Their work is often undervalued and the perception that teachers are overworked and underpaid serves as a career disincentive for some. Deeper change targeting perceptions and mindsets about the profession and education is needed, so I am calling on parents and students everywhere to love their teachers. Celebrate your teachers. Appreciate them. Work with your teacher or your child's teacher. Get involved in your child's learning. Get involved in your child's school. The teachers who are engaged with your children are there for one reason, and that is to give them a better opportunity and a better start to life. Parents and students need to work together with teachers and value them more because teachers need a little bit more support from the community to help them feel that they are a valued occupation and a valued part of our community. This bill is a good bill. It is a good bill that will help teachers. It will provide support to teachers and provide a great career pathway for teachers. This is something that we have been talking about and that we as a government have committed to. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Education Amendment Teachers Bill
  • QCAT Bill -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 03/04/2019 FILE: 03042019_000710_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (11.39 am): I rise this morning to speak in favour of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2018. I am very pleased that through this bill we are delivering on the Palaszczuk government's promise to introduce laws to help purchasers of lemon vehicles. These amendments are being made to implement elements of this government's 2017 commitment to improve fairness and provide greater rights for Queenslanders buying a vehicle. This bill will extend QCAT's jurisdiction for motor vehicle related claims under the Fair Trading Act and Motor Dealers and Chattel Auctioneers Act from $25,000 to $100,000. The new limit of $100,000 will increase access to justice as consumers who have problems with vehicles of a higher value will be able to have their matter heard by QCAT whereas consumers with issues involving vehicles in excess of $25,000 currently need to initiate proceedings in the Magistrates Court or District Court. These changes are great news for owners of lemons. I am sure there will be a lot of matters filed with QCAT upon the assent of this bill, including two of my friends, a couple with two young children who purchased a Subaru Outback in 2014 at a price of $48,000. Under the current laws this couple was not eligible to have their matter heard by QCAT and would have had to initiate proceedings in the Magistrates Court or District Court. The 2014 Subaru Outback has been a huge headache for my friends since they bought it. When they invested in a brand-new car with a warranty they thought they were buying a safe vehicle that would last them for years. Little did they know of the years of safety issues, stress and inconvenience they were about to embark upon. A car can be a significant expense, often purchased with finance. The purchase of a new car is usually the biggest purchase a person will make in their lifetime other than their home. My friend's car has had persistent and ongoing defects and they have spent a significant amount of time requesting repairs, refunds and replacements, visiting and negotiating with the dealer and their vehicle servicing department, writing to the manufacturer and seeking reports from independent mechanics and specialists. Within the warranty period of the car it has had to be returned more than a dozen times for issues that render the car temporarily unusable each time. There have been numerous other smaller issues each time which were often never addressed, including the electric park brake. It would sometimes disengage itself and cause the vehicle to roll forward even when it was unattended. Subaru ordered a manufacturer's compulsory recall for the vehicle in relation to the EPB issues and the assembly was replaced. Months later the electronic park brake defected again, this time engaging itself when the vehicle was travelling at speed, causing the rear wheels to lock up and the car to grind to a halt. It is lucky that no-one was injured. The car was towed to the dealer, who inspected it and replaced the part, assuring my friends that the issue was fixed. Within 10 minutes of driving, the EPB defected again, this time when the car was travelling at 100 kilometres an hour, causing the car to lurch into oncoming traffic screeching to a halt in a cloud of smoke and narrowly avoiding a serious collision. The couple's young children are still scared to get into a car after this ordeal. There are other significant issues with the car which the dealer refuses to acknowledge. The car has not been driven by my friend since that day. The dealer sent a letter offering to buy the vehicle back at market value, which they claim to be $15,000, and offered $2,000 extra for the hardship experienced with the car. This bill is absolutely about providing access to justice, something that has been denied to purchasers of lemon vehicles for too long. This bill will also reinstate the statutory warranties that applied to older second-hand vehicles under the now repealed Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000. This will mean there will be a statutory warranty for cars which are more than 10 years old or which have clocked up more than 160,000 kilometres. People in Keppel have raised with me previously issues regarding statutory warranties on second-hand cars. In one case a young woman bought a second-hand car that was just outside the age required for the statutory warranty. She bought the vehicle on finance from a dealership in Brisbane http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 and drove it back to her home in Rockhampton. Only a few months later the car broke down and the bill to fix the car was significantly more than what she had paid for the car and she had no recourse with the second-hand dealer she bought the car from because it did not come with a statutory warranty. The vehicle now sits in her front yard and she is continuing to pay off a car that does not work. Under these new changes the car would have been eligible for a statutory warranty and this young woman would have had the ability to take the matters up with the dealer. I want to commend the Attorney-General and the department for their work over a number years to bring about this reform. This bill delivers on another Palaszczuk government commitment to improve consumer protections and remedies for buyers of motor vehicles in Queensland and create efficiencies and improvements to QCAT, which supports better access to justice for all Queenslanders. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    QCAT Bill
  • Contracting -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 02/04/2019 FILE: 02042019_000703_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Keppel Electorate, Big W Store Closures; News Contracting and Logistics MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Keppel Electorate, Big W Store Closures; News Contracting and Logistics Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.21 pm): Firstly, I want to acknowledge all the employees of Big W in North Rockhampton and Yeppoon in the House after Woolworths announced these two stores are being targeted for closure. It is very sad news which will no doubt affect hundreds of local staff and their families. I really hope they do not close because it would have a huge impact on our local economy. If they do, I hope that all Big W employees receive their entitlements and employees are supported throughout the closures. I rise today to talk about News Contracting and Logistics, a local welding and fabrication company based in Yeppoon which, together with Rockhampton based labour hire company Champ Resources, travelled to the Philippines recently to bring sheet metal workers from the Philippines to Central Queensland. News' corporate manager, Matilda Chapman, appeared on a promotional video for the Philippines recruitment company where she said— I have probably been a bit disillusioned in the recruitment sector over the past three or four years in Australia with work attitudes, ethics and sense of entitlement that comes from a lot of the Australian workforce, which is a negative thing to say, but it's a reality. It is one thing to justify the use of foreign labour with a skills shortage, but it is completely un-Australian to say that our workers are self-entitled, that they lack work ethic and to then try to fill Australian jobs with foreign labour because you have a problem with Australian workers. How dare she tar all workers with the same brush? I for one will not stand for this. How dare this woman stereotype and slander our local workers. If she is not prepared to give local people a go, I suggest that she pack up and leave. Why isn't this company investing in training and development of local people—of Australian people—to support them into jobs? I guess they are of the same mind as the federal government which does nothing to develop our local workers except slash money for TAFE and training. They are cheating local apprentices, trainees and experienced tradespeople of further training and job opportunities. Another similar case is when rail giant Aurizon sacked hundreds of Central Queensland workers including train drivers and then gave permanency residency to 11 foreign train drivers, refusing Australian workers the opportunity to take those positions. What a rort! We need good Australian jobs for the benefit of working people, their families, local businesses and local communities. I am proud that the Palaszczuk government led the way in 2017 by becoming the first jurisdiction to introduce a labour hire licensing scheme. Those opposite argued against this, regurgitating the rhetoric of big business and dodgy labour hire operators—rhetoric which attacks workers' rights and entitlements. They said in their dissenting committee report to these laws that action was not warranted or efficacious. I can tell the House that every single day I hear stories from local workers, whether it is about dodgy labour hire operators or the thousands of cases where local workers cannot afford to have time off sick or spend Christmas with their families because despite working for months or years the boss will not make them permanent. A national licensing scheme for labour hire would be the best outcome, but there is continued absence of national leadership on this matter. In fact, because of Senator Hanson's deal with the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison government, federal laws to act on this issue have been voted down. Central Queensland has some of the highest levels of casualisation and dodgy labour hire in Australia so one may wonder where is the member for Capricornia on this issue. One would think that the Nats would be standing up to the Libs in Canberra on this issue. She is in complete denial that 457 visas are even an issue, declaring that it is naive to suggest that the 457 skilled migration program is flooding the national labour market. When she is in Queensland Michelle Landry says that she is standing up for battlers, but in Canberra she stabs them in the back. She has done it on penalty rates. She has done it on pensions. Now she has done it on labour hire. Her time in Canberra is about to come to an end, because I will be fighting every day to ensure that the people of Central Queensland http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 have a Labor government in Canberra that will work with the Palaszczuk government to restore job security and dignity in workplaces across Central Queensland. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
  • Planning -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 02/04/2019 FILE: 02042019_000703_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.44 pm): I find it absolutely astounding that the member for Maroochydore rose in this place today to talk about this government not investing in infrastructure. In terms of those opposite, just ask Mayor Margaret Strelow about the zero dollars Rockhampton Regional Council received through the LNP's Royalties for the Regions program. Should I call it perhaps the LNP's slush fund? Zero dollars were invested in the Rockhampton Regional Council through Royalties for the Regions in the entirety of the LNP's term in government. We on this side of the House are invested in building infrastructure in Queensland, and we put our money where our mouth is. I should also turn to the contribution of the member for Glass House. I am reminded of his own goal a few weeks ago when he moved a disallowance motion about the Oxley PDA, a motion that was a spectacular and transparent attack by the LNP on a first-term Labor member, my good friend the member for Mount Ommaney. The member for Glass House— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr McArdle): Member for Keppel, I am finding it hard to relate your current comments to the long title of the bill. Could we try and bring it back in some manner to the long title of the bill, please? Mrs LAUGA: I am referring of course to the spectacular and transparent attack that occurred as a result of a PDA proposal in the member for Mount Ommaney's electorate. Of course, we are here talking about priority development areas. In this particular PDA there was an incredibly dodgy online petition that extraordinarily underestimated the hard work of the member for Mount Ommaney, Jess Pugh, and so many in her community. The Mount Ommaney community has put him well and truly in his place. The Planning Act 2016, which commenced on 3 July 2017, provides a framework for land use, planning and development assessment across the state. This framework balances economic development, the environment and the wellbeing of our communities in an effective, efficient and transparent way. The Planning Act has been in place for some 18 months now and stakeholders have identified operational matters which the bill proposes to address. As a proud member of the Planning Institute of Australia, I have had a number of colleagues in the PIA raise these operational matters with me as well. I am pleased that today we are addressing a number of those operational matters and fixing the bill. The government has listened to what industry, councils and the community have to say, and this bill demonstrates this government's commitment to continuous improvement of the planning framework. Planning frameworks, we know from experience, do need continuous improvement because things are ever changing. Technology plays an integral role in our planning system. As technology improves, so too do we need to continuously improve our planning framework. A key concern raised by stakeholders is the current requirement whereby a submitter who chooses to appeal a development decision must notify every other submitter in the appeal. In practice there can be hundreds, if not thousands, of submitters with respect to an application, so the requirement for the submitter appellant to notify every other submitter is causing uncertainty and delays in court proceedings. The bill removes this requirement and in doing so removes the unnecessary administrative burden and also the cost on submitter appellants during the appeals process. The bill does not change any rights to initiate an appeal or join an appeal in the Planning and Environment Court. Similarly, this government recognises the importance of ensuring legislation enables the appropriate use of technology as expected in contemporary business practices. The bill provides that, as part of an exchange of documents between two parties under the Planning Act, information and documents can be viewed and downloaded electronically. For example, a council may receive thousands of submissions in response to a development application. The amendment in the bill would allow the council to save time and money by providing this information online instead of potentially sending reams of paper to each submitter. It is just crazy that that would need to happen, so this bill fixes these provisions and essentially says that the submitter would still be informed about council's decision and have access to relevant documentation. If a submitter prefers to receive a card copy of the documentation, a request can of course be made to the council. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 Finally, the bill addresses uncertainty about the infrastructure charges framework by responding to recent concerns about the validity of certain infrastructure charges notices. Infrastructure charges are used by councils to contribute to new and upgraded essential infrastructure required to service our growing towns and neighbourhoods. It is routine for councils to issue infrastructure charges notices to developers if the development is a type that incurs a charge under council's publicly available infrastructure charges resolution. 033 To levy a charge the council must give an infrastructure charges notice to the applicant. Information regarding levied charges are publicly available in a council's infrastructure charges register. Infrastructure charges are not calculated on the whim of council. The Planning Act clearly sets out the specific methods for calculating charges and any related offsets and refunds. The Planning Act also provides the ability to seek a negotiated infrastructure charges notice and dispute resolution processes. The proposed amendment to the Planning Act will validate infrastructure charges notices issued under the former Sustainable Planning Act 2019, but only to the extent the notice did not provide reasons. Communities need to be assure that the essential infrastructure they expect is delivered. Communities also need to be assured that their rates are not being used by councils to defend court actions by developers seeking to have their charges notices declared invalid or recoup charges already paid. It is important to recognise this amendment has the broad support of councils, developers and other industry stakeholders, like the Planning Institute of Australia. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
  • Pakleppa Fatality -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 28/03/2019 FILE: 28032019_000698_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Pakleppa, Ms Z; Keppel Electorate, Yeppoon Road MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA 023 Pakleppa, Ms Z; Keppel Electorate, Yeppoon Road Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.09 pm): It is with great sadness that I report to the House of a tragic accident in my electorate that has claimed the life of a nine-year-old girl. Zara Pakleppa was travelling in a car with her mother and siblings when it collided with another car on Yeppoon-Rockhampton Road on Sunday. Her six-year-old brother was flown to and treated in the Queensland Children's Hospital. I want to pass on my sincere condolences to both families involved in this horrible accident, which has cut the life of a nine-year-old-girl far too short. Zara would have been getting for week nine of school on Sunday, yet she is no longer with us. I cannot fathom—I cannot imagine—the heartbreak that her parents, family and friends must be suffering. According to police, the two vehicles collided at the intersection of Artillery and Yeppoon roads on Sunday morning. The crash involved two families in separate hatchbacks—a mother and her three children and another mother with her two children. One of the children had to be cut free from one of the cars. Since the accident, I have spoken with both the district officer of the Queensland Police Service and the regional manager of the Department of Transport and Main Roads, because I want to see this intersection upgraded so that no more lives are lost. Whether the intersection needs better signage, better line marking, reduced speed or any other safety measures, I want to see the engineers on the ground as SAP so that we can make this intersection safer. Yeppoon Road to Rockhampton is a busy road with more than 12,000 vehicles using it every single day, with almost 1,200 of those being heavy vehicles. More heavy vehicles are using that road. As well, a growing number of tourists to the region are driving on it. That extra traffic has slowed travel times and increased the potential for head-on crashes as more people try to overtake. As the state member, I support improved safety for Central Queensland, including on Yeppoon Road. I travel that road on a daily basis and I know that it can be dangerous, which is why I am calling on a safety audit to be carried out on the road as soon as possible. I fought for funding for the planning to duplicate Yeppoon Road and I was pleased when Bill Shorten and federal Labor committed $47.5 million to the first stage of the duplication. Today, I am calling on the federal government to commit to match this funding from federal Labor. Although the federal government's commitment of $190 million for the Mount Isa to Yeppoon corridor is welcomed, we need certainty about where the dollars will be spent along this 1,400=kilometre corridor of road. We will have to wait and find out the detail with respect to the distance that this $190 million will be spent across. In the meantime, I call on the federal LNP to match federal Labor's commitment so that the people of Yeppoon, Rockhampton and the surrounding communities have some certainty around future upgrades. I agree with the community that improvements are needed. There has been lots of discussion on social media and across the community in the last couple of days after the accident with respect to safety upgrades that are needed at this intersection. I think we really need to work together to get this safety audit undertaken as soon as possible. I will continue to work the Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Queensland Police Service to make the safety audit happen as soon as possible. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Pakleppa Fatality
  • Terror -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 28/03/2019 FILE: 28032019_000698_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (12.45 pm): I rise to support the Justice Legislation (Links to Terrorist Activity) Amendment Bill 2018. Firstly, I would like to send my sincere condolences to the loved ones of everyone who lost their life in Christchurch recently at the hands of a terrorist. The threat of terrorist attacks in Australia remains elevated, and Australians are viewed as targets by people who want to do us harm. This is why we must ensure that tough measures are in place to deal with people who have been convicted of terrorism offences. Sometimes this means taking extraordinary measures that may impact adversely on the rights and liberties that underpin our free and democratic society. Ultimately, what is important is ensuring that a balance is struck between the rights of all citizens to go about their daily activities free from acts of violent terror and the rights of individuals who come before our criminal justice system to be dealt with fairly. The threat posed by terrorism to the safety of our community remains ever-present. Nowhere is immune. All Australian governments have a duty in the interests of community safety to work together and take appropriate action to respond to this threat. This bill implements the 9 June 2017 COAG agreement, wherein First Ministers agreed that they 'will ensure there will be a presumption that neither bail nor parole will be granted to those persons who have demonstrated support for, or have links to, terrorist activity.' The bill will amend the Bail Act and the Youth Justice Act to reverse the presumption in favour of bail for an adult or child who has previously been convicted of a terrorism offence or who has previously been the subject of a Commonwealth control order. These presumptions apply regardless of the offence the person is alleged to have committed. This bill reflects important lessons learned from previous terrorist incidents in Australia. It proceeds on the basis that the ultimate goal in our fight against terrorism is to prevent terrorist acts from occurring. The Queensland government is committed to continuing to work with the Commonwealth, other states and territories and industry to manage the shared national security risks arising from foreign involvement in Australia's critical infrastructure. The Queensland government is committed to doing whatever it can to keep Queenslanders safe from the enduring threat posed by anyone who wishes to do us harm and attack our very way of life. These new bail and parole laws form a very important part of the work this government is undertaking to confront the threat of terrorism in Queensland and Australia. I commend the bill to the House. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
  • Contempt and privilege letter to Speaker -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 28/02/2019 FILE: 28022019_000672_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: PRIVILEGE MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA 013 PRIVILEGE Alleged Deliberate Misleading of the House by Members Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (11.29 am): I rise on a matter of privilege suddenly arising. I refer to the private member's motion moved by the member for Kawana last night regarding air conditioning in state schools. I also refer to page 498 of Hansard—and I table a copy—which outlines the two questions that were put at the end of that motion. Tabled paper: Extract (page 498) from record of proceedings, dated 27 February 2019. The first question put was 'that the amendment be agreed to.' The amendment which the Minister for Education moved deleted all words after 'House' and inserted— calls on the LNP opposition to explain how they intend to fund and implement the LNP's plan to air-condition every Queensland state school classroom. The question was resolved in the affirmative. The second question put was 'that the motion, as amended, be agreed to.' This was resolved in the affirmative also. At no stage was there a question put in relation to the original motion put forward by the member for Kawana, and as such the government did not vote against any motion last night. Standing order 266(13) states that it is contempt of parliament to publish a false or misleading account of the proceedings before the House. As such, I will be writing to the Speaker to ask that he consider referring the following members to the Ethics Committee: the Leader of the Opposition and member for Nanango; the member for Mudgeeraba; the member for Coomera; the member for Surfers Paradise; the member for Glass House; the member for Toowoomba North; the member for Pumicestone— Mr McARDLE: I rise to a point of order. This does not qualify as a matter of privilege. The member is making a speech to the House. She is making a statement clearly articulating what she wants to say in her own patch. This is not a matter of privilege. If she wants to write, she should write; not argue the point— Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Whiting): Thank you, member for Caloundra, I understand your point of order, which is also not an invitation to debate. Hon. YM D'ATH: Mr Deputy Speaker, in relation to the point of order can I stay that it is not a point of order: it is privilege. The member for Keppel is outlining what the issue is that she is writing to the Speaker about. She has the right to outline the issue that she is going to write to the Speaker about. She is not debating the issue. Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: I find no point of order, but I understand that the member for Keppel is coming to the end of her explanation. Mrs LAUGA:—the member for Kawana, the member for Gympie, the member for Oodgeroo and the member for Burnett for publishing or republishing a false record of proceedings, that being the publication of a social media graphic saying 'Labor just voted against the LNP's plan to air condition every state school classroom,' and I table copies of the social media post. Tabled paper: Bundle of screenshots from Facebook pages in the name of various Members regarding vote on LNP's plan to aircondition state school classrooms. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Contempt and privilege letter to Speaker
  • Fisheries Strategy legislation -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 28/02/2019 FILE: 28022019_000672_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (4.21 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Fisheries (Sustainable Fisheries Strategy) Amendment Bill 2018 as a keen fisherwoman. The Palaszczuk government released the Sustainable Fisheries Strategy 2017-2027 in June 2017, paving the way for a world-class fisheries management system. It sets out the reform agenda for the next 10 years. Queensland's current fisheries management framework is outdated, cumbersome and incapable of appropriately responding to sustainability issues. Decision-making processes are slow and unclear, and Queensland's ability to respond to issues such as black marketing lags behind other Australian jurisdictions. The black marketing of seafood is a serious problem in Central Queensland, so I am pleased that the bill will combat the illegal trade of seafood with the creation of an indictable offence for the illegal trafficking of priority fisheries resources, for example shark fin, mud crabs and reef fish. A person convicted of such offences could face a penalty of up to 3,000 penalty units, currently $391,650, or three years imprisonment. My grandmother taught me to fish and I married a keen fisherman. Fishing is literally in our blood. Our favourite pastime is throwing a line in, either in our amazing Fitzroy River, which is fast becoming the largest wild barramundi fishery in the world, or in our beautiful Keppel Bay, part of the southern Great Barrier Reef. Crabbing in Coorooman is always fun. In fact, we are planning on taking the tinnie out over Easter to hopefully net a few. Home cooked Singapore chilli crab is actually my personal forte. Odette has already been on her first fishing trip, and my family and I hope that fishing becomes a favourite hobby of hers as she grows. My father-in-law, Rodney, is a passionate advocate for sustainable fishing. He has always said that we should only take what we need. It frustrates me when people do not fish by this rule. If we all work together and only take what we need and abide by bag limits and commercial laws, we will have a much more sustainable fishery. I am proud that this bill will ensure that the public's fisheries resources are sustainable into the future and will ensure our children and grandchildren can enjoy recreational fishing and local sustainable Queensland seafood. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Fisheries Strategy legislation
  • School air-conditioning -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 27/02/2019 FILE: 27022019_000671_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.18 pm): I rise to support the motion as amended this evening. Since it was elected four years ago, the Palaszczuk government has made giving Queensland kids a great start a top priority. As a result, we have seen record investment in new and enhanced school infrastructure; additional teachers, teacher aides and support staff; and a focus on programs that will make our students the global citizens of tomorrow. Since 2015 the Palaszczuk government has delivered 13 new schools in the fastest growing parts of the state. There are now some 2,000 more classrooms being used at state schools from Cape York to Coolangatta today compared to when the Palaszczuk government was first elected. Since 2015 we have also delivered 33 new school halls and nine performing art centres at state schools across the state. In the past four years the Palaszczuk government has employed more than 4,000 additional full-time-equivalent teachers, from just over 42,000 at the start of 2015 to more than 46,000 today. We have also employed more than 1,500 additional full-time-equivalent teacher aides. Today there are around 10,900 teacher aides in Queensland schools compared to around 9,300 in January 2015. 042 In relation to air conditioning, more than 3,500 classrooms in almost 400 state schools in the hottest and most humid parts of the state—the Cooler Schools zone—already have air conditioning installed. Outside the Cooler Schools zone, schools make decisions in consultation with their community and many have installed air conditioning in classrooms using minor works allocations and P&C funding. The Palaszczuk government's record of achievement stands in stark contrast to the record of education cuts, sackings and closures from those opposite when they were in government. When those opposite were in government they said that they could not afford it—even with a massive multibillion dollar Strong Choices slush fund which they would have had access to after flogging off our assets. When those opposite were in government, instead of building for enrolment growth across the state they closed schools without community consultation and threatened to sell them off. They failed to properly maintain the state's then 1,234 schools and left behind a $260 million backlog of critical school maintenance. In addition to closing schools and failing to build for enrolment growth, the LNP cut more than 500 teachers from Queensland schools—on their way to sacking a total of 14,000 public servants across the state. But now in opposition they suddenly have all the answers. What then Minister Langbroek said could not be done in 2014 suddenly they can do at the flick of a switch. It is all very easy in opposition, is it not? Mr Stevens: You'll find out soon enough! Mrs LAUGA: You can solve all the world's problems with a single thought bubble. I think you will be experiencing opposition for a little while longer. The hard work of government is a different matter— working through competing priorities, consulting with stakeholders and finding the money to properly fund initiatives. The LNP made such a hash of government the last time around—they were elected for the first time in 20 years and the people of Queensland turfed them out in less than three years with the loss of almost 40 seats. If you want to come into this House claiming you now have all the answers, put your money where your mouth is. Mr SPEAKER: Member for Keppel, direct your comments through the chair. Mrs LAUGA: How are those opposite going to fund it? How are those opposite going to implement it? What are those opposite going to cut in order to fund it? Let us have no more thought bubbles and no more carping from the sideline. Show the people of Queensland you have done the serious policy work required from an alternative government. Otherwise it is just more hot air from an incompetent opposition. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    School air-conditioning
  • Bushfire praise -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 26/02/2019 FILE: 26022019_000670_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.40 pm): I rise to speak in favour of the motion moved by the Premier. The bushfires in Central Queensland in late 2018 were unprecedented fires coming off the back of weather conditions that included high temperatures, low humidity and hot gusty winds. It felt like a dry cyclone and it caused fear and panic. Central Queenslanders though are tough and in the last few years we have endured a category 5 cyclone, a major flood and unprecedented weather conditions that caused extremely serious bushfires. For two weeks in November and December last year, Queenslanders battled more than 1,000 fires across the state for 24 hours a day. The unprecedented bushfire crisis was a traumatic event for our community. However, the resilience of our communities, such as The Caves, Gracemere, Stanwell and Alton Downs, during the bushfires was nothing short of remarkable. The role of emergency services in assisting residents, businesses and landholders was invaluable. I saw the local, permanent and volunteer firefighters, backed by colleagues from other parts of Queensland and interstate, do a wonderful job at protecting the people and their property in Central Queensland. They are incredibly brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our community. The Rural Fire Service volunteers from Bungundarra, The Caves, Keppel Sands, Cawarral, Tanby and Adelaide Park brigades within my electorate all rose to the occasion. The fire and rescue stations at Emu Park, North Rockhampton and Yeppoon played an incredibly important role too. I want to thank in particular The Caves Rural Fire Brigade, QFES personnel and SES volunteers. These men and women did an amazing job containing the fire at The Caves. They sacrificed their time, but also made significant financial sacrifices as well. They missed work or running their businesses in order to keep our community safe. Volunteer firefighters like Brad had been volunteering fighting fires down south at Mount Larcom for days and then came home to The Caves where they were fighting their very own fire. Brad was fighting fires for over eight days. The Caves Rural Fire Brigade volunteer Jenny Kingston is the behind-the-scenes angel of the brigade. She cooks for the men and women firefighters, has the fridges stocked with water, soft drinks and Powerade and when I visited the brigade she had a hearty chicken gravy dish simmering away in the slow cooker ready for the men and women when they returned. Thanks so much, Jenny, for all that you do. The smooth preparation for and recovery after the bushfires was a credit to the cooperation between all levels of government, including Rockhampton and Livingstone mayors, their respective local disaster management groups, the member for Rockhampton and all of the respective state agencies involved. Thank you to all of our local firefighters, both the volunteers and officers, who left their families to help keep our local families safe. We love your work. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Bushfire praise
  • Frontline health services -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 14/02/2019 FILE: 14022019_000646_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: Central Queensland, Health Services MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Central Queensland, Health Services Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (2.15 pm): The Palaszczuk government is delivering on our commitment to restore front-line services. In the past few weeks I have had the pleasure to welcome an influx of highly skilled emergency services and health personnel to bolster our Central Queensland front line. The appointment of new doctors, nurses, midwives and paramedics continues the Palaszczuk government's drive to ensure Queenslanders have access to the best services possible. In Central Queensland residents in need of pre hospital emergency care will be better serviced due to 10 new Queensland Ambulance Service front-line staff in the region. The Emu Park Ambulance Station is one station which benefited, with three new advanced care paramedics joining the station. I was pleased to meet the new paramedics at the station last week. These additional ambulance staff will mean an improvement in response times and will result in improved officer safety through the removal of single-officer response situations. The Gracemere Ambulance Station also received a major boost to its paramedic numbers with the seven additional officers promoting the station from a category 4 to category 5 station. I would like to thank the Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, and the health minister, Steven Miles, for providing the QAS with a record operating expenditure budget of $800.3 million in the 2018-19 financial year so that these extra staff could be deployed. We also welcomed another intake of new junior doctors to the hospital and health services in the Central Queensland region as part of a massive graduation of 780 across the state. Putting boots on the ground in our local hospitals is critical for ensuring the future health of our local communities. The size of this round of new junior doctors reflects the Palaszczuk government's commitment to rebuilding Queensland's health system. I congratulate and welcome all of our new doctors, in particular Dr Clay Renwick, who will work out of the Capricorn Coast Hospital. It was a pleasure to meet Dr Renwick recently. He told me how pleased he was to be posted at such a beautiful location— something which I have to agree with him on. The Palaszczuk government has increased the number of nurses and midwives by 137 since coming to government in 2015. Just two weeks ago my colleague the member for Rockhampton and I welcomed 57 new nurses and midwives who will be posted across Central Queensland as part of the Palaszczuk government's commitment to hiring 100 new nurses and midwives across Queensland. There will be two of these midwives in Emerald, two in Gladstone, three in Rockhampton and three in Biloela, and they will be based at clinics and hospitals across the region. In total, 42 of the 100 extra midwives will be employed in rural and regional Queensland. We are doing what we said we would do. Twice now we have asked the people of Queensland what they want, and they have told us and we have listened, and we are continuing to deliver. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Frontline health services
  • Rural firefighters -001 PAGE: 1 Queensland Parliament Hansard Green DATE: 13/02/2019 FILE: 13022019_000645_LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY_GREEN CHAMBER.DOCX SUBJECT: (no subject found) MEMBER: Mrs LAUGA Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (5.43 pm): Firstly, I would like to address some of the comments made by those opposite and reaffirm that I rise tonight to speak against this motion. I think it is quite interesting that tonight is the first time I have ever heard those opposite talk about the importance of biodiversity and the importance of our national parks. If the member for Warrego and those opposite want to save national parks, they could pick up the phone and talk to their federal colleagues and get them to stop the closure of the Charon Point Conservation Park near Shoalwater Bay—the same national park that the federal government wants to acquire to allow for the expansion of the Singaporean-Australian military training expansion. Stand up and fight— Mr Millar: Speak to the motion. Mrs LAUGA: I am talking about national parks. You want to talk about national parks; I am talking about national parks. Those opposite can stand up and fight for our national parks by picking up the phone today and talking to their federal defence minister and saying, 'We want to save some national parks.' If those opposite want to talk publicly about the value of our firefighters and volunteers, why not include something to that effect in this motion? All this motion talks about is ways in which they are being critical of our rural firefighters and of our processes. There is actually nothing in the motion that supports our firefighters. That is what I am getting up here today to do. While we are talking about landholders and consulting with landholders, it is landholders who are often the rural firefighters—they are the ones doing the hazard reduction burns. To say that the rural firies do not consult with landholders is outright ludicrous. I see no need to hold a parliamentary inquiry when I witnessed an outstanding and absolutely fantastic response from Queensland firefighters to catastrophic bushfire conditions in our community— unprecedented catastrophic bushfire conditions. I saw the local permanent and volunteer firefighters, backed by colleagues from other parts of Queensland and interstate, do a wonderful job at protecting the people and their property in Keppel. They are incredibly brave men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our community. The Rural Fire Service volunteers from Bungundarra, The Caves, Keppel Sands, Cawarral, Tanby and Adelaide Park brigades within my electorate all rose to the occasion. The fire and rescue stations at Emu Park, North Rockhampton and Yeppoon played an incredibly important role too. I saw a system that worked. I have seen it before in Central Queensland after Cyclone Marcia in 2015, after the Fitzroy floods in 2017 and again in 2018 after the Queensland bushfires. Sure there are ways in which we can improve the way we respond to and recover after natural disasters, but I can assure you that the people leading the charge in response and recovery to natural disasters in Queensland, and those who review the whole process, are world-leading experts. What we are witnessing here tonight is those opposite trying to use every opportunity to politicise natural disasters in our state—trying to use every opportunity to blow the disaster up into a political storm. We saw those opposite yesterday and again today preying on the devastating floods in North and Far North Queensland to try to turn this into a blatant political point-scoring exercise. We see it again tonight. Those opposite are trying again to turn unprecedented bushfire conditions and huge firefighting operations into a political firestorm—no pun intended. The people of Queensland can see through their shallow plan. There is no need for a parliamentary inquiry when we have the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management, IGEM. IGEM was in fact established by those opposite in 2014 under the Newman government to independently review and assess disaster management arrangements in Queensland. The minister of the day, Jack Dempsey, in his ministerial statement on 26 November 2014, said— Yet another first for Queensland is the establishment of the Inspector-General Emergency Management, whose independent oversight maintains world-leading standards in emergency and disaster management. http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx -001 PAGE: 2 The member for Everton in a speech on 30 August 2016 supported the establishment of the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management, which was tasked with reviewing and assessing the effectiveness of disaster management in Queensland. In speaking on the bill which established IGEM in 2014, a number of members opposite spoke in support including the member for Broadwater, the then member for Mundingburra. He said— I rise to make a contribution in steadfast support of the Disaster Management Amendment Bill and I commend the minister for the bill. Even the member for Toowoomba North backed in the bill. He said— From my point of view, I think this is a good bill. I think that the minister is to be commended for introducing it. It simplifies the emergency management structure. (Time expired) http://ropes/sites/ropes2013/Document Templates/ropes.docx
    Rural firefighters
  • Maiden Speech Speech By Brittany Lauga MEMBER FOR KEPPEL Record of Proceedings, 5 May 2015 MAIDEN SPEECH Mrs LAUGA (Keppel—ALP) (3.16 pm): I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Turrbal people, and pay respects to their elders both past and present and to the future elders—a group we do not often mention but one of great importance. Of course, I would like to extend that respect to the Aboriginal people present today. I would also like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land which I represent here in this place, the Darumbal and Woppaburra people, and extend that respect to their elders past, present and future. Firstly, it is a great honour and a privilege to stand here in this place representing the people of Keppel. Let me place on record my deep gratitude and thanks to the people of Keppel for giving me the opportunity to represent our community. The Keppel electorate, in my opinion, is the most beautiful and diverse part of our world, though perhaps I am somewhat biased. Just five days after the Queensland Electoral Commission declared the winner of the election in Keppel, Tropical Cyclone Marcia formed. On Friday, 20 February 2015 category 5 Tropical Cyclone Marcia crossed the Central Queensland coast near Shoalwater Bay. The cyclone intensified rapidly into a category 5 cyclone within 48 hours of its formation. After landfall the cyclone went on to affect many communities in the Keppel electorate including Byfield, Yeppoon, Emu Park, Keppel Sands, Cawarral, Woodbury, Mount Chalmers, Stockyard Point, Koongal, Nerimbera, Frenchville, Norman Gardens, Coowonga, Parkhurst, Rockyview, The Caves and Etna Creek. Over 60,000 homes were left without power in Central Queensland and almost 3,000 people requested assistance from the SES. Significant structural damage occurred, with a number of houses having roofs blown off. I was in constant liaison with the mayor of Livingstone shire, Bill Ludwig, and the deputy mayor, Graham Scott, and Rockhampton Regional Council's mayor, Margaret Strelow, and the deputy mayor, Tony Williams, about how I could help, acting as a conduit between local and state government where they needed me. It has been over two months now since Marcia hit. I have travelled across the electorate visiting and listening to the people of Keppel. The cyclone blew off roofs and destroyed houses and businesses, but I know from talking to people across the region that one thing is for certain—Marcia did not destroy our fighting Central Queensland spirit. I have listened to some heartbreaking stories and also lots of heartwarming stories of neighbours meeting for the first time, of strangers sharing supplies and leads for generators being thrown over fences so that neighbours could share electricity supply. I reminisce about Cindel, an SES volunteer whom I met one afternoon in the days after the cyclone at the SES headquarters in Yeppoon. Both Cindel and her husband had been working hard volunteering in the recovery and had not seen their young daughter for many days. Cindel's mum was in fact looking after her. Cindel's uniform was dirty and she had not slept properly for days, and when she did it was on the floor of the SES headquarters. She had been doing some really hard yakka helping our community. The next time I saw Cindel was a few days later, but this time she was actually wearing a Queensland police uniform. Cindel explained that she also works as a police officer Brittany_Lauga-Keppel-20150505-634243733670.docx Page 1 of 4 and in her time off she volunteers with the local SES. I think it is just amazing that this young woman was working so incredibly hard in the recovery as a police officer away from her young family but in her spare time she was also working tirelessly as a volunteer for the SES. I want to say thank you to everyone who played a role in the recovery after Marcia. In particular I want to thank the Ergon and Energex workers from around the state who worked tirelessly to restore power to our region in record time, and there were over 900 of them who came to our rescue; the doctors, nurses and allied health professionals who worked around the clock in our hospitals and local practices; and the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service, emergency services workers and the volunteers such as the SES, BlazeAid and the rural fire brigades around the region, many of whom also came from around the state to help. They volunteered to help and also gave up their time away from cleaning up their own homes and helping their own families to assist our community. Thanks also to the mayors and deputy mayors of Rockhampton Regional Council and Livingstone Shire Council and their respective councillors and staff. Thank you also to all of the local people who went out and helped their neighbours, the elderly and the disabled. I have heard stories from right across the region of generosity, caring for each other and lending a hand. Your efforts have been absolutely brilliant. Finally, I want to say thank you to the Palaszczuk government. Premier Palaszczuk, Deputy Premier Trad and many state government ministers visited the region multiple times during the recovery. I thank you and your staff for your assistance and the urgent attention given to matters when I raised them with you. The Keppel electorate has some of the most amazing natural beauty and it is an honour and a privilege to be here, the youngest member of this Queensland parliament, representing our community. A prime example of its natural beauty is Mount Archer National Park. I love standing on top of Mount Archer and looking out to the picturesque Capricorn Coast on one side and bustling Rockhampton on the other. The amazing Great Barrier Reef World Heritage area and Keppel Bay islands are within the electorate right on our doorstep. We have a spectacular diversity in corals, fish and marine fauna. The snubfin dolphin, for example, which inhabits Keppel Bay, is Australia's only native dolphin and is genetically unique to Central Queensland. Peak Island, just off the coast from Keppel Sands, is the second largest and most important breeding rookery for flatback turtles which migrate from as far as the Torres Strait. Picture the bluest of blue water you have ever seen and the whitest sandy beaches. Dolphins frolic with their calves in the bay. I have even seen whales. Some of the most resilient coral lives in the bay, and it has to be resilient because it is regularly flushed with fresh water from the mouth of the Fitzroy Delta. Throw in a line just off the coast and experience the pure exhilaration of having a giant Spanish mackerel on the end of your line. The drag on the line goes 'whiz!' and everyone is running mad around the boat in a group effort to help you land that big fish and then there are smiles and high fives all around when you finally get it in the boat. I love zipping up Coorooman Creek, ducking and weaving through its tributaries to plant a few crab pots on high tide. When you go back out at the next high tide the pots are full to the brim with big dark green muddies, ready to share around the family after being whipped into a tasty chilli crab. You should all be very jealous. You are all of course more than welcome to come for a visit. I am lucky because I do not need to go anywhere for a holiday. Just being home in Keppel with our beaches, great beef, delicious food and produce, amazing weather and cruisy lifestyle makes being at home feel like a holiday all of the time. Great Keppel Island is one of the jewels in the crown of our region and the Southern Great Barrier Reef. We need to be taking action to protect it for the future, for both its natural wonder and its tourism potential. I would like to see tourism development occur on Great Keppel Island but always ensuring that it is undertaken in a way that will be sustainable for future generations. I want to see tourism grow on the island, encouraging more visitors to the Capricorn Coast and Rockhampton to support jobs for locals. I know from talking to locals that they want the development to proceed, but they also want it to be managed properly. I promised I would be a strong voice for our region's future, and that is what I have done. I have been working extremely hard every day since I was elected and I am proud of that. Standing up for our community is what I promised, and I have done that day in and day out. We do not always get our way, but the people of Keppel can rest assured that I will continue to stand up for them and fight for our fair share every day. It is what I was elected to do and it is what I am passionate about doing. We are also lucky to have CQ University's North Rockhampton campus in the electorate of Keppel—a world-class dual sector university which is also Australia's largest regional university. It has 30,000 students studying qualifications from certificate to post doctorate level from over 100 different countries. We have some of the best schools too. I am constantly amazed by the sporting and academic achievements of students in Central Queensland. We have a river that provides us with so much more than just a reliable water supply. At 142,600 square kilometres, the Fitzroy Basin is the Brittany_Lauga-Keppel-20150505-634243733670.docx Page 2 of 4 largest catchment on the eastern seaboard. The most diverse range of freshwater fish in the country is found within the Fitzroy Basin. We love our Keppel Bay, our river and our climate, so it is no surprise that we have more boat registrations per capita than anywhere else in the state. We have an airport with international capabilities, the third longest runway in Queensland and the ninth largest in Australia. More than 750,000 passengers travel through our airport every year, which equates to about 2,000 per day. Our tourism industry employs over 4,000 people and injects hundreds of millions of dollars into the local economy each year. We have over 1.2 million overnight visitors to the Capricornia region annually. Tourism is important, so I am working on making that number of overnight visitors grow. Local primary producers are busy putting fruit on the plates of our nation. To give members an example, the region actually supplies 45 per cent of Australia's pineapples. We know that we have even more opportunities in agriculture and I am working on exploring and taking advantage of those right now. In fact, this week in the electorate adjacent to Keppel, Beef Australia 2015 is being held. Australia's national beef exposition is one of the world's great beef cattle events and is held just once every three years in Rockhampton. Beef Australia is a celebration of all facets of the Australian beef industry and in particular it celebrates the beef industry in Central Queensland's backyard. Congratulations to Denis Cox and his team at Beef Australia and I look forward to joining the Beef Australia 2015 celebrations at the cessation of parliament this week. Did I mention that we have excellent weather? We have so many more opportunities and assets that I have not even mentioned. Regional planning to take advantage of these opportunities and assets whilst ensuring that we protect and treasure them for future generations is my passion. My childhood growing up in Rocky and the Capricorn Coast was special. My family moved there when I was a little girl because dad, Peter, took a job working at Stanwell. My mum, Sharon, whom I thank for being here today, is a primary schoolteacher and she has worked now for almost 25 years at Mount Archer State School, which is where my brother, Lewis, and I went to primary school. Lewis and I had a very busy upbringing. We were always encouraged to get involved in everything. My dad would often have to work away on shutdowns at power stations around the state, so mum was often the one who would run us around to netball training, soccer, footy, ballet, T-ball and anything else that we had on in the afternoons and on weekends. She would drop one of us off and then the other, race home for forgotten soccer boots or something, hang around to watch practice, pick us both up and miraculously still have a hot nutritious home cooked meal on the table for when we got home. She was and still is in my eyes a superwoman. Both of our parents worked hard to give my brother and I a great start to life. My mum instilled in me the belief that all children should have access to a first-class education. My dad taught me the value of hard work and fairness. Other women in my life have also played an important role in shaping the person I am today. My late grandmother, Mary Ayscough, was a happy and friendly yet fiercely determined businesswoman. She taught me that everything must be done with a smile and to respect everyone, no matter their background. The Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Shannon Fentiman, is a university friend turned parliamentary colleague and is someone whom I look up to very much. After I finished school I moved to Brisbane to study law at the Queensland University of Technology. I studied two years of law and decided that I just was not passionate about it, so I changed to a degree in urban and regional planning, which I absolutely loved. I reflect on the passion and grace of my lecturer, Associate Professor Phil Heywood, who also is here with us today, who inspires me with his creativity and who has a real passion for life, enthusiasm and a fervent desire to work for good community outcomes. Planning has been a wonderful career and a great profession to be involved in. Planning matters in Keppel and it matters to our state. Good planning is the best way to manage urban growth, to secure necessary infrastructure investment, to determine appropriate settlement patterns for our cities and towns, and to generate economic development that contributes positively to the wellbeing of individuals and communities and the natural and built environments on which we rely. I thank members and life members of the Planning Institute of Australia who have been wonderful mentors and colleagues over the years, including PIA president Kate Isles, state manager Dan Molloy, immediate former national president Dy Curry, Gary White, Greg Vann, Greg Ovenden, Steve Craven, Laura Gannon and Planning Institute of Australia CEO Kirsty Kelly. They have all taught me so much about good planning. They can rest assured that I am putting those lessons to good use every day in this new role. I must also say thank you to my husband, Wayne, and I am also grateful to have him here today. Shortly after I moved back from Brisbane I met and fell in love with my husband, Wayne—a Brittany_Lauga-Keppel-20150505-634243733670.docx Page 3 of 4 born and bred Rocky boy, quantity surveyor and manager of a building firm. Wayne and I have been happily married now for almost four years. We live in the electorate at Rockyview with our gorgeous chocolate Labrador, Apollo. Wayne has been a great supporter for me in both an emotional and practical sense. Being a hardworking local member involves many late nights and early mornings, often seven days a week. But I come home and my ironing is done, dinner is on the table and the lawn is mowed even though Wayne is extremely busy in his own professional life. I was endorsed as the Labor candidate for Keppel for 14 months prior to the state election. In that time I spoke to thousands of constituents in the electorate—at market stalls, school P&C meetings, retirement villages and through phone calls and doorknocking. I would like to thank so many people who helped in the campaign. Hundreds of people helped me pound the pavement and to get our message out. I thank my husband, Wayne; my parents, Peter and Sharon McKee; and my brother and his wife, Lewis and Pia McKee. I also thank Rohan Webb, Ann-Marie Allan, Jules Campbell—who is also here today—Peter Lyon, John Hempseed, Sonia Steffen and Luke Moore from the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union. I also thank my good friend Sara Barnbaum; Lloyd Beatson; Neville Beattie; Ken Berry; Margaret, Katelyn and Megan Clements; Jason Sladden; Jason Conway; Barry Thomson; former member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan, who was here earlier, and his wife, Elizabeth; Jarred Kennedy; Bary Large; Angie and Bill Luck; Bernie Misztal; Leisa Neaton; John Olsen; Cam Schroder; Leonie Short; Wal Taylor; John Homan; Brett Svendsen; Anthony White; Tony Williams; Craig Allen; Craig Sell; Billy Bijoux; Ashleigh Saunders; Barry Thompson; Trish Bovingdon; Darren Blackwood; Chris McJannett; Paul Jensen and the meatworkers; my parliamentary colleague Bill Byrne; Tom Dixon; Rachel Dixon; Vicki Chopping; Denise and John Christensen; Luke Christensen; Clyde and Diana Wode; Les and Mavis Wust; Mary Hempseed; Bruce Craig; Peter Lyon; Tom and Carmel Hall; Hugh and Yvonne Chardon; Ernie O'Sullivan; Janice and Ray Murphy; Ingrid Murphy and her darling children Mitchell and Baily. I know that for Keppel to grow and develop as a community and to foster prosperity we have to be forward thinking, hungry and ambitious for change. But a region that does not know its destination will never know its journey. I will work with the people of Keppel to realise that destination, plan the journey and bring everyone along for the ride. I will be that loud voice representing them in Brisbane. I am passionate, tenacious and hungry to make a difference. I will be a strong voice for our future. I am young, energetic, passionate and I have a big vision for Keppel. I want to work towards a prosperous and healthy community—one with jobs, opportunity, growth, tourism and a place that we can all be proud of. I will be working as hard as I can for my electorate, because I am here to put Keppel and Central Queensland on the map. Brittany_Lauga-Keppel-20150505-634243733670.docx Page 4 of 4
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