A Palaszczuk Government initiative means Queenslanders can see every fuel price changes at every service station on their smartphones within 30 minutes of a price change at the bowser.
The two-year trial will see fuel prices published on existing smartphone apps and websites such as Motormouth, GasBuddy, PetrolSpy, RACQ and Compare the Market.
“We will kick off a two year fuel price reporting trial in December so Queensland motorists will find the cheapest fuel in town,” said Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting.
“All motorist need to do is download these apps or websites onto their smartphones.
“Retailers will have three months’ grace to make sure they are involved in the new scheme.
“By the Easter holidays, offenders will face fines if they do not report their fuel prices accurately and on time.
“The trial comes on top of the ‘what you see is what you pay’ laws that require retailers to display full prices on their fuel boards,” said Chris Whiting
Chris Whiting said the system would have in-built safeguards against inaccurate or misleading pricing and not inflict unnecessary red tape.
The Palaszczuk Government will evaluate the trial’s performance in 2020.
The Palaszczuk Government is set to examine if there are threats to the privacy of Queenslanders from new tracking and surveillance technology.
The Queensland Law Reform Commission (QLRC) will look at the need to strengthen legislation around the use of surveillance devices and technologies in both the civil and workplace environments, said Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting.
“Each and every day we are seeing advances in smartphone technology, drone capability as well as tracking and data surveillance devices,” said Chris Whiting.
“So we want to see if we have the right balance between protecting the privacy of Queenslanders and the legitimate use of these technologies.
“The QLRC will examine ways to achieve this balance as technologies become increasingly sophisticated,” said Chris Whiting.
Chris Whiting said Queensland’s Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 included a number of offences relating to the use of listening devices to monitor, listen to or record a person’s private conversations.
However, the 1971 the Act did not regulate optical, tracking or data surveillance devices which have appeared in recent years.
“Often a person will need to rely on offences contained in the Criminal Code Act 1899 or common law actions such as trespass and nuisance to bring action against the misuse of surveillance devices and technologies,” he said.
“This is why we want the QLRC to see if these laws are adequate and see if we need specific legislation that covers all aspects beyond just listening devices.”
Chris Whiting said the use of surveillance devices in workplaces would also be considered by the QLRC.
“Employers use optical surveillance, data monitoring and tracking devices for a number of legitimate reasons, including to ensure employee health and safety, protect property from theft and damage, prevent fraud and monitor employee performance,” he said.
“We need to ask if this goes against an employee’s reasonable expectation of privacy,” Chris Whiting said.
Householders could earn up to $225 and small businesses up to $360 over three years with the three-month extension of Ergon’s Easy Pay Rewards, said Chris Whiting MP
Eligible residents who sign up before the specified dates for e-billing, direct debit and bill smoothing from Ergon will receive a $75 per year rebate and small businesses will get $120 per year.
“This scheme has already been a great success and it shows the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to easing the cost of living on Queenslanders,” said Chris Whiting.
“I know the cost of living is an issue for families and impacts on small business’ capacity to create jobs.
“Our $2 billion Affordable Energy Plan will continue to tackle electricity costs.
“More than 53,000 Queensland households are reducing energy usage and bills with the energy efficient appliances we helped them buy with our rebates.
“Our means-tested, interest-free loans will help more Queensland families install solar systems.
“On top of all this every household is receiving $50 off their power bill this year, and next year, and our price cap guarantees that electricity prices will not rise above inflation for two years,” said Chris Whiting.
The extension of Ergon’s Easy Pay Rewards will allow customers who opt-in:
- before 30 September 2018, to receive three annual payments;
- after 30 September 2018, but before 1 April 2019, to receive two annual payments and
- after 1 April 2019, but before 1 January 2020, to receive one annual payment.
“Electricity prices are falling in Queensland, unlike under the LNP when prices rose 43 per cent over three years,’’ said Chris Whiting.
“Because Queenslanders own their assets, we are able to maintain downward pressure,” he said.
Chris Whiting MP wants local solar business to tender for work under the $97 million Advancing Clean Energy Schools (ACES), Chris Whiting MP said.
Mr Whiting said that solar panels will start being installed on Queensland state schools over the summer holidays, and he is encouraging local businesses to submit their tender for this unique solar project.
“The Palaszczuk Government has committed over $97 million over the next three years to install solar panels, and other energy saving devices in our state schools,” said Chris Whiting.
“Every single state school in the Bancroft electorate has been selected, with the first stage to start in the summer holidays,” said Chris Whiting.
“The ACES program includes $40 million for new solar systems and $57 million to install other energy efficiency measures, such as LED lighting and timers on hot water systems.
“Queensland’s state schools are one of the largest energy users in Queensland as they spend more than $67 million a year on their energy bills.
“The ACES program will save schools money which they can redirect into learning outcomes for students, air-conditioning and other facilities,” Chris Whiting said.
The Government is calling for tenders to establish a Pre-Qualified Panel of lead contractors to implement the ACES program.
Companies who qualify will be announced during Term 4.
“We know this program will have flow-on effects for the local economy as the contractors we employ will have to maximise local employment opportunities,” said Chris Whiting.
Stage One schools will be named during Term 4, with stages two and three rolling out to remaining schools in 2019 and 2020.
Details of the Invitation to Offer (ITO) are available on the Qtenders website – https://www.hpw.qld.gov.au/qtenders/
The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, which was axed under the Newman LNP Government, and reinstated by the Palaszczuk Government, provides funds for local community groups, in partnership with Registered Training Organisations, to train people and provide them with skills to help them enter the work force.
“The Skilling Queenslanders for Work programs, is one of the things I am most proud of delivering to our community.
“It is always great to hear about the many, many success stories coming out of local SQW programs.
“From the long term unemployed family of five who all secured work after completing the SQW training, to the young single mother, have all had their lives changed for the better through SQW.
“When I speak with the providers of the programs, they tell me that one of the best things that people get from SQW is not only the ability to look for and gain work, but also the confidence to do so.
“Since SQW was reinstated by the Palaszczuk Government more than 514 people have gotten a job through the program in Bancroft alone,” Mr Whiting said.
To June 2018 683 people have benefitted from one of 25 Skilling Queenslanders for Works programs in the Bancroft electorate.
The latest round of funding brings total SQW funds, since 2015 in the Bancroft Electorate to more than $7.16 million.
“The Deception Bay Community Youth Program will received more than $165 million in funding in this round to provide four programs, to assist 172 people.
“The Deception Bay Neighbourhood Centre, and Movement TwentyTwo will receive $282,300 and $224,100 to assist 90 and 75 people respectively,” Mr Whiting said.
Applications are still open for the Palaszczuk Government’s Business Growth Fund, Chris Whiting MP said.
The fund provides help for small businesses to grow through targeted assistance to purchase specialised equipment or access professional advice.
“Committing funds can be challenging for small business owners, and the Business Growth Fund will provide them a much needed helping hand,” said Chris Whiting
“Applicants will be required to pitch their business ideas to a panel of business experts, including representative from the CCIQ, Small Business Advisory Council and the Queensland Government’s Mentoring for Growth Program.
“First round recipients have been granted funding for projects from a solar powered climate-control system, to an electrostatic spray unit,” Chris Whiting said.
The Business Growth Fund is open to businesses with less than 50 employees, and a minimum business turnover of $500,000.
Businesses must be able to make a contribution of between 25-50% of the total project cost.
For more information, and to apply visit: www.business.qld.gov.au/growthfund
The “Start Playing, Stay Playing” Excellence Awards acknowledge the achievements of individuals, groups or organisations going above and beyond to increase and enhance participation opportunities for women and girls in the region.
“We have so many women and men who set the example in volunteering for local sports clubs and keep getting teams on the field every weekend,” said Chris Whiting.
“Winners get $1,000 in prize money and go in the running to win an additional $2,000 for the Minister’s “Start Playing, Stay Playing” Excellence Award.
“The awards opened this week and close on 6 August, so I encourage people to nominate women, teams, organisations or initiatives who set the example through Inspiration, Innovation and Inclusion.”
“Too many Queensland women and girls in the community are missing out on the health and social benefits of sport and active recreation.
“I hope we can change that and that is why our message to women and girls of all ages is to Start Playing and Stay Playing.
“The Inclusion award recognises individuals, groups or organisations who have broken down barriers to include female participants in sport or active recreation.
“The Innovation award recognises individuals, groups or organisations who have implemented an innovative initiative to increase or enhance women’s and girls’ participation.
“The Inspiration award recognises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, teams or groups who have achieved a significant goal that inspires others.
“In addition, there is an overall Minister’s Start Playing Stay Playing Excellence Award that will be presented to one of the category winners,” said Chris Whiting.
Opportunities and funding for females in sport and active recreation include:
- The $15 million Female Facilities Program to improve sport club facilities for women
- Almost $2 million for the Get Out, Get Active program to fund 75 community initiatives
- Join the Movement as part of the Start Playing Stay Playing initiative.
Odour reduction measures and planning scheme issues were the two main topics covered in a recent meeting of a local community based reference group, said Chris Whiting MP.
The Narangba Innovation Precinct Reference Group met on Friday 29 June to exchange reports on what has been happening in this vital economic precinct based on Boundary Road and Potassium Street, Narangba.
“This is a committee of residents, businesses, State Government and local government representatives that sorts through any problems that might arise on the Narangba Innovation Precinct,” said Chris Whiting.
“We have been sorting out problems for about 20 years, and we keep on solving issues that keep popping up.
“This time we heard about recent innovations that reduce odour for residents, and we heard from businesses about ongoing concerns on planning scheme matters.
“Firstly, resident representatives thanked businesses for investing in equipment that dramatically reduces odours experienced by local residents.
“Queensland Organics recently enclosed their fertiliser plant and installed ducting that pumps fumes through an organic mulch bed.
“We heard from business representatives that Ridley AgriProducts have recently upgraded their odour treatment facilities as well,” said Chris Whiting.
Chris Whiting and local residents’ representative Spence Grubb said improvements such as these made a real difference since last month when some of these new investments have come online.
Secondly, the Reference Group meeting heard from local business representatives about “a lot of angst” amongst businesses on the Innovation Precinct about local rezoning changes by the Council.
Business representatives said the zoning change from what was called “hazardous” or “hard to locate” industry to General Industry gives new residents “a different impression” about the types of business that are located and can be located on the Precinct.
Business representative also reported a level of concern about new housing in the North Lakes area moving closer to Boundary Road.
Chris Whiting was questioned by group members about State planning policies designed to keep a development buffer around the Innovation Precinct.
Chris said he would liaise with the Minister for Planning about the enforcement of planning regulations surrounding the Precinct.
He also urged businesses to keep talking to Moreton Bay Regional Council about their concerns over planning scheme changes.
“We will hold the next meeting of the Reference Group in September, and any local business or resident that wants to make a contribution can contact our office,” said Chris Whiting.
Chris Whiting is calling on local workers and businesses to give feedback on a consultation paper on the Queensland Small Business Procurement Commitment
“There are huge opportunities created for Queensland businesses through our multi-billion-dollar State Government investment in goods and services,” said Chris Whiting.
“The new Buy Queensland procurement policy clearly puts our local businesses and workers ahead of the pack when they bid for State Government work.
“Through this consultation paper we will hear from small business owners and operators, industry groups and stakeholders on how they can participate in Queensland Government procurement activity,” Mr Whiting said.
“I encourage all our local small businesses to go https://www.getinvolved.qld.gov.au/gi/consultation and provide their feedback.
Consultation is open now, and closes on 31 July 2018.
It’s National Tree Day on Sunday 29 July and Chris Whiting MP will be again giving away native seedlings to local residents.
Chris hopes this will inspire people to get out in their gardens or community spaces and plant more trees to make it a “greener” community.
“It would be great to see young children prompted to go into their gardens to plant and tend to these young trees and shrubs,” Chris Whiting said.
This year, Chris will be giving away seedlings at specific times, at the following locations:
The Hilltop Shopping Centre (71 Astley Parade, North Lakes) – 9:00am – 10:30am near the IGA.
The Deception Bay Market Place (Bay Avenue, Deception Bay – 11am – 12:00pm inside near the post office.
The Hub (Corner Buckley & Uhlmann Road, Burpengary) – 1pm – 2:00pm next to Spicerite.
“Come and have a chat with me about how planting one tree can do for our environment,” said Chris Whiting