Securing Payments for Subbies

Queensland’s subbies can now look forward to the being paid on time, every time and in full after the Palaszczuk Government has commenced Project Building Accounts (PBAs) in the Qld construction industry.

PBAs are accounts where all subbie payments are to be held by the project manager, and are the first phase of the Palaszczuk Government’s reforms to Queensland’s $45 billion building and construction industry, Chris Whiting MP said.

“This industry employs about 22,000 Queenslanders, and for many sub-contractors getting paid has been a major and on-going concern,” said Chris Whiting.

“PBAs will protect progress payments to allow more timely payments to subbies, to help relieve financial pressure for them and their families,” Mr Whiting said.

PBAs are now mandatary for Government-funded building and construction projects worth between $1 million and $10 million.

Following implementation on government projects, PBA’s will be implemented on private sector projects worth more than $1 million.

The Palaszczuk Government has adopted a phased approach to our roll-out of reforms to assist in bringing about cultural change in the industry.

“The government will be holding further consultation with interested stakeholders regarding PBAs, and on developing future phases of our reform agenda for the industry,” Chris Whiting said.

More information about the government’s reform agenda can be obtained online, Google Queensland Building Plan. Up to date news and information is also available through Facebook and Twitter using the handle @BuildingforQld.

$2.3 Million to help North Lakes businesses grow

North Lakes businesses can now get access to a new $2.3 million business fund to help them grow and create new jobs, Chris Whiting MP said today.

The Business Growth Fund will provide targeted assistance for businesses to purchase specialised equipment, or access professional advice, said Chris Whiting.

“I want small and medium sized businesses to have a look at applying to this program as they will be eligible to apply for grants of up to $50,000,” said Chris Whiting.

“I know that many North Lakes small businesses take risks when they expand and I want more small businesses to expand with the help of expert advice and support,” Mr Whiting said.

The Palaszczuk Government, has worked with business and industry to create over 152,400 new jobs in Queensland since the January 2015 election.

“I know that small businesses are the engine room of the diverse North Lakes and Queensland economy, and I am determined to help them invest to grow their business, jobs and our local economy.” Mr Whiting said.

Applications will open on 28 March 2018 and applicants will go through a 2 stage assessment process, including a Shark Tank-style pitch during which they’ll have to put their plans to a panel of business experts.

The Business Growth Fund is open to businesses with fewer than 50 employees and a minimum turnover of $500,000 can apply for the funding and must be able to make a contribution of between 25 per cent and 50 per cent.

Applications for the Business Growth Fund will open this month.

For more information visit: www.business.qld.gov.au/growthfund

Hop on a train and go to the Games.

Chris Whiting MP said the best way to get to the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games (GC2018) is to hop on a train and plan your journey with the new GC2018 Journey Planner app.

“The best way to get to the Games is on our public transport system, and the new Redcliffe Peninsula line,” said Chris Whiting.
“The Games Journey Planner has all the information you need on train, tram, bus and shuttle services, all you have to do is enter you are leaving from Rothwell or Mango Hill Station, for example,”

“Then put in the event and session time they are attending, and it tells you exactly how to get there.

“There are service changes on our local Caboolture/Sunshine Coast and Redcliffe train lines over the Games period.” Mr Whiting said.

Trains will run up to 8 times an hour, 24 hours a day from Brisbane to the Gold Coast during the Games.

The Gold Coast Light Rail, and trunk bus routes will also see 24 hour services.

But I not only want to tell Bancroft residents about the ways to get to the Games, I also want to want to tell them about the great achievement of our State – the transport system to the games including infrastructure upgrade
Including:
• $420M light rail stage 2
• $163M duplication of the heavy rail between Helensvale and Coomera
• Over $350M in Gold Coast road upgrades

“To ensure ticketholders can take advantage of the free public transport to the Game and make it to the venue on-time, you can use the GC2018 App,” Mr Whiting said.

The GC2018 app is available on both the App Store, and Google Play or by visiting www.gc2018.com

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held at venues across the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns, from 4-15 April 2018.

Boats, Batons & Bunnies

Good Friday in the North Lakes and Deception Bay Area will be one to remember this year as the region will host both the Queen’s Baton Relay and the Redcliffe Festival of Sails, said Chris Whiting MP.

The Queens’s Baton Relay will be moving along Redcliffe Parade between 8.30 and 9am, followed by a community celebration at Suttons Beach, with the Easter Bunny himself dropping in for an appearance, finally the passing by of the Brisbane to Gladstone yachts from about 11.30am.

“It is something that should not be missed and I encourage locals to line the streets to cheer on our local baton bearers, and then watch the Brisbane to Gladstone yachts go by,” Chris Whiting said.

“Hosting the Queen’s Baton Relay will shine an international spotlight on the Moreton Bay Regional Council area and some of our greatest achievers as they carry the baton.

“Baton bearers have been selected from all walks of life from volunteers to well-known athletes,” Chris Whiting said.

Chris Whiting said the Queen’s Baton Relay celebrated the spirt of the games and would take a 100-day journey across the nation in the lead-up to the Games.

“The Baton will travel along the longest and most accessible route ever and it’s a great opportunity for all Queenslanders to get involved in the biggest event our state has ever hosted.”

The 2018 Commonwealth Games will be held from 4 to 15 April.

Details around the exact route being travelled by baton bearers are at gc2018.com/qbr

State Schools are great schools – 2018 Showcase Award Nominations now open.

Chris Whiting MP wants our “great local schools” to nominate for the 2018 Showcase Awards for Excellence in Schools.

Chris Whiting said a local school would get a part of the $619,000 funding pool if successful in one of the 11 categories for the prestigious awards.

“The Showcase Awards are an annual celebration of all that is great about state schooling,” said Chris Whiting

“The new stand-alone Indigenous Education category allows us to highlight the positive steps our schools are taking to improve Indigenous education outcomes.

“I’m sure this year’s award entries will also highlight many of the creative ways schools and school communities are using digital and virtual learning techniques to enhance education outcomes.”

Chris Whiting urged all state schools to celebrate their achievements by nominating for an award.

“The awards celebrate excellent teaching practices from the earliest years through to senior level, recognising improvement plans and progress and encourage a culture of learning and sharing among our schools,” Chris said.

Nominations will close on 18 May 2018.

Regional award winners and commendations will be announced in June, state finalists in July and the state award winners will be announced at a gala dinner in Brisbane on World Teachers’ Day on 26 October 2018.

More information and submission guidelines are available at www.education.qld.gov.au/showcase

Rebates Available Now on Energy Efficient Appliances

The new Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate scheme is now open for local residents to get money back when they purchase new energy efficient washing machines, fridges and air conditioners.

This $20 million scheme offers eligible households a rebate of $200 for a 4 star rated washing machine, $250 for a 4 star rated fridge, $300 for a 4 star rated air conditioner.

“This bill-busting rebate scheme from the Palaszczuk Government is now available to Queensland residents and will help lower the cost of living for Queensland families,” Chris Whiting said.

“I want to see this rebate taken up by as many eligible local families as possible.
“You can complete the application form online at: www.qld.gov.au/appliancerebate.
“If households do not have internet access, they can telephone the call centre on 13 43 87 and an officer will complete an application on their behalf.
“Households have 30 days from the date of purchase to submit their application in full.
“If you have purchased your appliance on or after 1 January 2018, prior to applications opening on 19 February 2018, you will need to apply by 20 March 2018 to get your rebate.
“The rebate is not means tested but I encourage everyone to check their eligibility at www.dews.qld.gov.au ,” said Chris Whiting.

Chris Whiting Appointed Chair of Important Economic Committee

Chris Whiting has been appointed Chair of the powerful State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee.

The Committee is charged with overseeing legislation relating to mining, agriculture, energy, manufacturing and water.

“It is a great honour to be appointed chair of the State Development, Natural Resources and Agricultural Industry Development Committee,”

“The work that the Committee undertakes is vital to the Palaszczuk Government’s plans for growing jobs and growing the Queensland economy,”

“Working with my Committee colleagues and Ministers Cameron Dick, Anthony Lynham and Mark Furner I know that we will all work hard to achieve for Queenslanders,” Mr Whiting said.

Locally, we have a strong industrial and manufacturing base, which employs people from across the region, and exports right around the world.

The Committee also oversees the Infrastructure and Planning portfolios, which are important in the fast growing Moreton Bay Region.

“I encourage local businesses to ensure that they are aware of any funding opportunities that they might be eligible for,” Mr Whiting said.

More information about available Grants can be found at: https://www.grants.services.qld.gov.au

“The Moreton Bay region is well represented in the Palaszczuk Government with Yvette D’Ath, Steven Miles, Mark Ryan and Mark Furner all serving in Cabinet, and Shane King and myself serving as Committee Chairs,” finished Mr Whiting.

Hugely Successful Jobs Program Open for Another Round

The latest round of the Palaszczuk Government’s successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) initiative is open said Chris Whiting MP.

SQW has been a hugely successful program getting local job seekers into work and training.

“Skilling Queenslanders for Work is producing fantastic results locally with hundreds of people having found work after completing an SQW program,” Mr Whiting said

“More than 13,000 Queenslanders have got into work because of the Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program,”

“I encourage any interested organisations to head to the Skilling Queenslanders for Work portal at www.training.qld.gov.au to find out how you can be a part of this outstanding initiative,” Mr Whiting said.

Community-based, not-for-profit organisations can apply online as well as local councils, and some Parents and Citizens associations. Eligible organisations have until 5pm on Thursday 12 April to develop and submit their Skilling Queenslanders for Work project applications.

Minister for Training and Skill, Shannon Fentiman said that “investment in programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work is a great example of the Palaszczuk Government’s focus on jobs, with more than 13,000 Queenslanders getting into work because of the program”.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work funds skills development, training and job opportunities for unemployed, disengaged or disadvantaged Queenslanders through a suite of targeted skills and training programs.

For further information visit www.training.qld.gov.au/sqw or call 1300 369 935.

North Lakes Shoppers: Get Ready for the end of Single Use Plastic Bags

North Lakes shoppers and retail workers need to start preparing for the ban on single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags starting on 1 July 2018, Chris Whiting MP said.

Chris Whiting said the ban on supply of these bags will mean a change in our shopping habits, but believes Queenslanders want to help reduce the amount of plastic getting into the ocean and our waterways.

“North Lakes has the most dynamic and interesting shopping experience in SEQ, and our community needs to the ready for this big change coming in on July 1,” said Chris Whiting.

“We need to take action to protect our unique environment from nearly one billion single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags used in Queensland each year.

“While the majority of these bags end up in landfill, around 16 million lightweight plastic shopping bags enter the environment in Queensland each year.

“Sea turtles and sea birds can ingest these bags or become entangled in them.

“Littered plastic bags are unsightly, can clog up infrastructure, and are difficult and costly to clean up,” said Chris Whiting.

In February 2017, a consultation paper seeking feedback from the public on a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags attracted more than 26,000 submissions and an overwhelming 96% supported the introduction of a ban on the supply of lightweight plastic shopping bags.

North Lakes shop owners and workers need to know the plastic bag ban will apply to all retailers in Queensland.

From 1 July 2018, Plastic shopping bags less than 35 microns in thickness (a single-use or lightweight plastic shopping bag) will no longer be able to be sold or given to the customer.

This includes compostable, degradable and biodegradable plastic shopping bags, as these can still harm wildlife if littered.

Retailers may choose to provide and charge for alternative bags including reusable heavy duty plastic bags, woven polypropylene “green bags,” paper or other bags. Shoppers can also bring their own bag or trolley.

Types of bags which will not be banned include:

• barrier bags for unpackaged perishable food such as fruit, vegetables, meat and fish.
• bin liners and garbage bags
• ‘dog park’ bags provided by Councils at dog parks and beaches
• paper bags or cardboard bags
• heavier weight single-use department store plastic bags.
“I know North Lakes shoppers are already changing their shopping habits in preparation for the single use plastic bag ban,” said Chris Whiting.

“Many are already taking reusable bags shopping instead of relying on the single-use bags provided in-store.

“I want to encourage shoppers to keep some reusable bags in your car for those unexpected trips to the shops,” said Chris Whiting.

Bounty Boulevard State School Scores Two New Crossing Supervisors

Students at Bounty Boulevard State School will have a safer journey to and from school, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s continued rollout of the School Crossing Supervisors Program.

Bounty Boulevard is set to receive two new crossing supervisors, as part of an additional 25 new supervisors being allocated to 19 schools during the 2017-18 financial year.

The Palaszczuk Government is committed to keeping our kids safe. Sending children to school can be stressful for parents, so it is great to have that extra level of safety assurance that crossing supervisors provide.

Thanks to the new supervisors Bounty Boulevard State School will benefit from the School Crossing Supervisor Scheme for many years to come.

Peak traffic times will now be a lot safer for these students, as they will have the help of the supervisors as they travel to and from school. School crossing supervisors do a tremendous job keeping children safe and educating them about road safety.

Supervised school crossings encourage pedestrians to cross the road at a safe location, rather than at a different and sometimes unsafe points along the road. Supervised crossing also decrease delays around schools for motorists, as well as reminding them to take extra care on the road.

As the biggest Prep – 6 school in Queensland, Bounty Boulevard State School can get quite busy in the morning and afternoon, so it is fantastic that these supervisors will be on site to make sure that children can get safely to and from school.

For more information on School Crossing Supervisors, including how to become a Supervisor visit: http://www.tmr.qld.gov.au/schoolcrossingsupervisors

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