Whiting reels in boaties and fishers for BBQ forum

Calling all local boat owners! Come to the Boatie BBQ Forum on Saturday 15 October to hear about boating safety, local marine facilities and pollution reduction in our waterways.

The BBQ forum will be held at the Caboolture River Fishing and Boating Club at 514 Uhlmann Road Burpengary and is expected to bring in lots of keen anglers and recreational boaties.

“I want to use the Boatie BBQ Forum to push for better boating facilities in the area,” said Chris Whiting MP.

“It’s a great opportunity for local boaties to talk to government departments. It’s not often we have them all in one place.

And you will have an opportunity to get your boat checked for free,” said Chris Whiting.

Representatives from Maritime Safety Queensland, National Marine Parks, Brisbane Water Police, Department of Transport and Main Roads and the Deception Bay SES will all be in attendance.

The community will be able to discuss any issues they might have on new regulations surrounding boating safety and pollution responsibilities.

The BBQ forum follows on from the Palaszczuk Governments commitment to boaties in this year’s budget with an additional $30 million allocated to the Marine Infrastructure Fund over two years.

One piece of infrastructure already in the process is a new floating walkway on the eastern (downstream) side of Dohles Rocks Road boat ramp. It will provide shelter to the ramp and also an improved access when launching and retrieving boats.

 “I am very pleased that the Palaszczuk Government is committed to seeing boating cities have great facilities that the locals can enjoy, especially for our boating community,” Mr Whiting said.

Vegetation Management Bill – Speech 18 August 2016

I rise to speak in favour of the bill. We have heard a lot from the opposition tonight, but we have not touched upon the issue of climate change. This bill is a crucial part of the actions that we need to take to combat climate change. We have to take action against climate change. Climate change is real and it will change our state. I talked about how it will change our state in my inaugural speech and I will touch on some of these issues. This is what we are facing in Queensland if we do not act. There will be more extreme rain events and they will be more destructive and extremely expensive. The 2011 floods caused $56 million worth of damage to public infrastructure.

Due to heat stress, slower growth, lesser breeding success and reduced appetite, our $5 billion beef industry will decline by 19 per cent in 2030 and 33.5 per cent in 2050. As reefs bleach and highland forests are fragmented, the tourism industry will decline. The Great Barrier Reef brings in $12.6 billion in direct and value-added expenditure, and employs nearly 70,000 Australians. Tourism will be worth $51.4 billion in visitation dollars over the next 100 years. Rising seas will place $31.3 billion worth of roads, commercial buildings, industrial sites, houses and railways under threat in the next 100 years.

We are already suffering from the effects of climate change here in Queensland. In my time as a councillor and member of parliament, in the areas that I represent I have seen two one-in-1,000-year rain events. That is a 0.1 per cent chance plus a 0.1 per cent chance of those things happening. Our infrastructure and our houses are built to cope only with a one-in-100-year flood event. They cannot cope with a one-in-1,000-year flood event. During those two rain events, I saw whole neighbourhoods that were devastated.

In Queensland, the best and most effective legislative action that we can take to stop that getting worse is to stop emissions released through land clearing and protect the carbon that is locked up in vegetation. That is the best way to shield all Queenslanders, including rural producers, from the effects of climate change. Over the last day or so, I have found it galling to hear opposition members say that they will oppose the bill to protect rural producers. I state: the rural economy will suffer the most from climate change. Rural producers will bear the impact of runaway climate change. If we want to protect their interests, we need to protect them from climate change.

Of course, if you do not believe climate change is actually a threat, you will not take action. Incredibly, it looks like the LNP does not believe climate change exists. The member for Moggill has questioned the extent of human contribution to climate change. He says it is in scientific dispute. Here we have a man of science rejecting the opinion of 97 per cent of scientists. The shadow minister for the environment is ignoring the opinion of all climate scientists.

Dr ROWAN: I rise to a point of order. The member is misleading. I find it personally offensive and I ask him to withdraw.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Furner): Order! Member for Murrumba?

Mr WHITING: I withdraw, but I also table this article.

Tabled paper: Article, dated 17 August 2016, from the Brisbane Times titled ‘LNP environment spokesman questions human contribution to climate change’

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can do that.

Mr WHITING: I withdraw.

An honourable member: You’re back on camera 2, Ritchie.

Mr WHITING: Indeed, thank you very much. The former minister for the environment, the member for Glass House, could not even say the term ‘climate change’. During three years of the LNP government, he could not even say it. During his near one-hour speech last night, the member for Hinchinbrook could not even say the phrase ‘climate change’. The only member opposite to say ‘climate change’ was the member for Hervey Bay. Climate change is a massive public policy issue for the future of the state.

Mr Cripps: Only if you carry on about it forever.

Mr WHITING: Perhaps the member would like to listen, because he has not talked too much about it in the past. Climate change is a massive public policy issue for the future of the state and to deny it is a massive abrogation of responsibility. The public needs to hear the LNP say that they think climate change is real or that it is not. The member for Moggill: does he actually believe climate change exists? The member for Glass House: can he state whether climate change is or is not a threat to Queensland?

Dr ROWAN: I rise to a point of order. I find the member misleading, based on my speech tonight.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Order! If you find the member misleading, you may put that in writing to the Speaker.

Dr ROWAN: I find his comments personally offensive and I ask him to withdraw.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: We need to be a bit circumspect about claiming personal offence for every single thing. Can the member explain to me what it is about what the member said that you found personally offensive?

Mr SEENEY: I rise to a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. That is a gross departure from the normal procedure of this House. As long as I have been here, which is a fair while, every member has had the right to find comments made about them personally offensive and ask for them to be withdrawn, without explanation to the chair. That has always been the case, Madam Deputy Speaker, and I doubt whether you have the authority to change that.

Ms TRAD: I rise to a point of order. It is true that comments made that are personally offensive should be withdrawn, if a member finds them offensive, but the honourable member for Murrumba was not making comment; he was asking a question. He was posing a question. How anyone could find offence through the proposition of a question beggars belief.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I will say two things: you, member for Moggill, may make—

Mr Hart: ‘You’?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: I beg your pardon?

Mr Hart: ‘You’; is that what you said? ‘You’?

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: I take offence at your tone and I ask you to withdraw.

Mr Hart: I withdraw.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. The member for Moggill may ask the member for Murrumba to withdraw his comment. I ask the member for Callide to withdraw because of the tone in which you questioned my ruling. Member for Callide, I ask you to withdraw your comment. I accept your comment, but I find the tone in which you addressed the Deputy Speaker to be personally offensive and I ask you to withdraw.

Mr SEENEY: I withdraw, Madam Deputy Speaker.

Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Member for Murrumba?

Mr WHITING: I withdraw. Last night, I heard the member for Hinchinbrook say that he is speaking up for real people, real industries and real communities. I am speaking up for the real people, real businesses and real communities in my area. They are the ones who are now facing the spectre of the continual flooding that we can expect to see from climate change. They are real people such as Liz Parks from Major Street in Deception Bay. Her place has been flooded three times in the past 18 months. They are real people such as Kylie from Northshore Pet Resort in Rothwell, which has suffered from continual flooding in recent years. In the May 2015 floods, they had to haul their boarded pets out by hand in order to save them. There could well be other factors in the flooding, but we cannot explain the sheer volume of downpour without the forcing of excessive carbon in the atmosphere. To the members opposite I say that businesses in their communities are potentially facing disasters such as these floods, and scientists are pointing the finger at climate change and the forcing actions of CO2 concentrations.

This debate is one of those moments that people will look back on in future years. One of the things that they will be asking the LNP is, why did you not take action on this issue? Why could you not take up the one bit of legislative action that could have made a real difference to the future? I commend the bill to the House.

 

Schools & Apprentices Benefit from Record $$ on School Maintenance.

Murrumba electorate schools are sharing in $1.2 million for improvements to classrooms and other facilities as they benefit from the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment in school maintenance.

All local schools are benefiting from our state-wide $667 million school infrastructure program. This will help our state schools stay on top of their maintenance needs and ensure students have access to quality education facilities.

Education is a priority for me, and I want our state school students to have the best possible classrooms to make the most of their education.

Local maintenance projects include:

$300,000 for Deception Bay State High School – to refurbish the Home Economics Block
$200,000 for Deception Bay State School for classroom refurbishments.

Schools in Mango Hill and North Lakes will share more than $335,000, with Moreton Downs and Hercules Road State Schools, in Deception Bay and Rothwell benefiting from over $134,000 in funding.

To ensure that classes are not disrupted most of the work will be carried out over school holiday periods.

Each year Principals and Condition Assessors work together to prioritise maintenance projects for local schools. Our school maintenance is not only building better schools across Murrumba and Queensland but also providing valuable jobs for tradies and training opportunities for apprentices.

At least 10% of all maintenance work carried out on state schools will be done by apprentices, ensuring we continue to develop skills locally.

St Benedict’s College Gets State Funding Boost

Member for Murrumba Chris Whiting today announced $190,000 in State Government funding to support the completion of new facilities at St Benedict’s College in Mango Hill.

“The St Benedict’s College community is investing in their school and I’m proud the Palaszczuk Government is supporting them with $190,000 towards their new facilities,” Mr Whiting said.

“This funding is in addition to $31,000 the College received from the State Government in June for upgrading sporting facilities.”

Mr Whiting said the Mango Hill and Murrumba region was growing rapidly and it was important for schools to keep pace with growth.

“I’ve been fighting hard to make sure our local schools have the funding they need to build new classrooms and provide for local students,” he said.

“I’m pleased to have delivered a commitment of more than $22 million towards new school facilities in the Murrumba electorate in this year’s budget.

“Investing in new school facilities is vital to ensure that every student is able to learn in the best-possible environment.”

Mr Whiting said the St Benedict’s College funding was part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $93 million capital assistance program for Catholic and Independent schools in Queensland this year.

“St Benedict’s plays an important role in the Mango Hill community in providing a quality education to local students,” he said.

“Our government is committed to providing students in Queensland with the best-possible learning environments, no matter where they go to school.”

Full Steam Ahead as First Train Ballot Opens!

img_6804It’s full steam ahead as the ballot for tickets on the first train from Kippa-Ring station is open!

230 lucky locals will have the opportunity to ride the first train to depart the brand new Kippa-Ring Station on 3 October 2016!

You can put your name in the ballot here: https://www.ivvy.com/event/BPL/

Not only do locals have the opportunity to be on the first train, they can also get a FREE ticket to ride one of the shuttle trains that will be running between Petrie and Kippa-Ring on 3 October between 10am – 3pm!

All the stations along the new line will be open, and you can explore and get to know your new station ahead of the start of services the following day – Tuesday 4 October.

Head here: https://www.ivvy.com/event/MBRO/ to get your ticket!

Our brand new bus network will also open on 4 October, to coincide with the opening of the Redcliffe Peninsula Line.

I hope to see you enjoying the food, entertainment and our brand new rail line on 3 October!

Moreton Bay to have say in advancing innovation funding

Moreton Bay region start-ups and entrepreneurs are being invited to have their say on the Palaszczuk Government’s $6 million Regional Innovation Hubs program.

A workshop will be held on 21 September at the North Lakes Golf Club, for locals to have a say in the development of a new program for regional innovation.

Member for Murrumba, Chris Whiting MP is encouraging locals to join in the regional innovation co-design process which is underway until 26 September 2016.

“Innovation is not something that only happens in cities and by people in lab coats in research institutions and universities,” Mr Whiting said.

“Innovation happens in the regions every day, from small businesses offering new services, to doctors using technology to reduce patient waiting times.

“The Regional Innovation Hubs program will support regional innovation by connecting local efforts, leveraging key regional strengths and lifting the capability of innovative local firms. This is about innovation by start-ups as well as existing firms and industries.

“Each region has its own unique challenges and opportunities and that’s why it is important there is input from Moreton Bay – to make sure that we get what we need to succeed.”

Innovation Minister Leeanne Enoch said regional Queenslanders could also have their say through an online discussion paper.

“This is regional Queensland’s program and we want to ensure their voice is heard,” Ms Enoch said.

“Our investment is designed to draw on regional Queensland’s huge potential by supporting our regional start-ups and entrepreneurs with funding activities that meet their needs.

“We want to build regional innovation activity that will continue well beyond this funding commitment.”

“That’s why on top of this $6 million program to develop a number of regional hubs across Queensland, the Palaszczuk Government has also allocated $1.5 million to ensure all the hubs are networked.”

The Regional Innovation Hubs discussion paper and information about consultation in your region can be found at: http://advance.qld.gov.au/entrepreneurs-startups/regional-innovation-hubs.aspx

Consultation closes at 5pm on Monday 26th September with funding decisions to be announced by the end of 2016.

Parliament Speech: Construction Industry, Industrial Organisations

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I rise to speak against this motion and in support of those Queenslanders who, like these workers on the Sunshine Coast University Hospital site, take protected industrial action to protect themselves. Let me reiterate that there are no orders on this site. I rise to speak in favour of an industrial relations system that is based on a cooperative approach, not the combative and divisive approach adopted by the ABCC and the LNP.

Let me start by saying that we can always expect Queensland workers to take action to protect their rights and to protect their lives. All too often Queenslanders who work on construction sites do have to take action to protect themselves from injury or death because Queenslanders are dying on construction sites at a rate that is unacceptable. I talked to Andrew Ramsay from the CFMEU and Eddie Bland, a CFMEU organiser who lives in my area, about this issue. Their stories about workmates who have been severely or fatally injured on worksites make you realise how potentially dangerous construction sites can be. Andrew and Eddie told me the story of a major infrastructure project in Brisbane which endured three fatalities during the construction phase. One worker was fatally crushed when a beam he was cutting fell on him. There was a near fatality at a major infrastructure project in my area. A worker put his head into a lift well and his skull was almost crushed by a lift that was operating.

These are horrific stories, but the statistics on construction fatalities are even more horrifying. From February 2008 to April 2016, there were 74 construction fatalities in Queensland—74 deaths between 2008 and 2016—yet none of these 74 fatalities was on a unionised site. The prevention of workplace fatalities on construction sites like the Sunshine Coast University Hospital is what many do not hear about construction unions. Let me outline just how they prevent injuries and fatalities on sites such as this. They train health and safety reps in keeping sites safe and what to look for. They form safety committees on sites. They hold regular meetings. Delegates and organisers do site inspections and walk-throughs and advise builders and contractors on safety problems they have discovered. They use iPads with a specialised app to record any hazards. The CFMEU arranges training for many workers for a certificate IV in workplace health and safety. This range of proactive actions to prevent fatalities is why we need unions, business and government working together in a cooperative model.

People should have the freedom to negotiate and reach agreement on whatever workplace outcome they want, but this freedom would be severely curtailed by the ABCC. The Turnbull government still wants to adopt an adversarial model and prosecute and pursue those unions through the ABCC. If reintroduced, this body would make no productivity gains. If it were brought back, unions fear fatalities would actually increase, as they did under the previous reincarnation of the ABCC. If brought back, the ABCC would have unchecked, broad coercive powers, and these powers are stronger than those provided to even the state or Federal Police to compel workers to give evidence. There is no right to silence or representation by a lawyer of their choice.

Ironically, this is a body that is supposed to pursue lawlessness; yet in Victoria not one criminal conviction was recorded as a result of its information over its seven years of existence. In those seven years there were 255 deaths in Australia on construction sites and 356 deaths within the construction industry. Now the federal government wants to sideline workplace organisations that have an unparalleled record in preventing workplace fatalities. Instead of pursuing an ideological agenda, the federal government should adopt a cooperative workplace model to stop injuries—

An honourable member interjected.

Mr WHITING: It is very ideological—at sites like the hospital, as the member says. The reason is, and I repeat it: there have been no fatalities in Queensland at CFMEU sites since 2008, while there have been 74 deaths on non-union sites. In my inaugural speech I said that I wanted to address fatalities at construction worksites, and I am speaking here tonight as a step to address this. I oppose this motion. I want to highlight how the ABCC will not lower rates of injury and fatalities but how a cooperative workplace model will save the lives of workers

 

Motorists and Cyclists to Benefit from Anzac Ave Upgrade

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Design work is underway on $5.75 million worth of upgrades and improvements to Anzac Avenue in Rothwell and Kippa-Ring.

Yvette D’Ath MP, State Member for Redcliffe and Chris Whiting MP, State Member for Murrumba have welcomed the news of the upgrade which will see dedicated cycle lanes added to this section of Anzac Avenue.

The works will include the asphalt resurfacing of all six lanes of Anzac Ave between Gynther Rd and Klinger Rd,” said Ms D’Ath

“Design work on this project is currently underway. Consultation with stakeholders will commence once these plans are finalised.” Ms D’Ath said.


“I welcome the addition of almost 3km of cycle lanes to the network in the Moreton Bay region. These new lanes, and the Shared Pathway on the Moreton Bay Rail Link will provide choice for local and visiting cyclists,” Mr Whiting said

“As a cyclist myself I am pleased to see these much anticipated lanes added to Anzac Avenue, providing another active transport option for people across the region to get out and active.”

“This is the first upgrade of the road surface on Anzac Ave in almost a decade, and is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to improving Queensland’s infrastructure.” Mr Whiting said.

Ms D’Ath and Mr Whiting said that they look forward to the upgrade works commencing in early 2017.

 

Skilling Queenslanders for Work Now Open!

SQW

We are all aware how difficult and demoralising it can be for young people to find employment. That’s why the Palaszczuk Government is partnering local councils and community groups to give unemployed and underemployed young people a leg up so they’re skilled and prepared to for job opportunities in their area.


Community groups can apply now for Queensland Government Skilling Queenslanders for Work grants. The grants fund support ranging from nationally recognised training to certificate III level, paid work placements, job preparation skills, case management and career advice.


There’s more information at
http://www.training.qld.gov.au/sqw including eligibility criteria, templates and guides.

Applications will close on 20 October 2016.

 

New Smoke Alarm Laws Make Murrumba Homes Safest in Nation

Murrumba households will be the safest in the country after new smoke alarm legislation was passed in Queensland Parliament today.

Member for Murrumba, Chris Whiting MP, has today welcomed the Palaszczuk Government’s move to legislate for improved standards in smoke alarms for residential households.

“This year in Murrumba there has already been one death as a result of a house fire and since 2004 there has been more than 150 deaths. The installation of effective smoke alarms will save lives,” Mr Whiting said.

“We cannot see another tragedy like the 2011 Slacks Creek fire, where 11 people lost their lives. Our Bill implements the Coroner’s recommendations as law, to keep Queenslanders safe.”

There have 135 residential structure fires attended by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services officers between August 24, 2011 and December 31, 2015 in the Murrumba electorate alone.

“The legislation specifies that every Queensland residence will need to be fitted with photoelectric, interconnected smoke alarms in all bedrooms, as well as hallways of residences,” Mr Whiting said.

The proposed changes will be phased in to ease the impact on households and allow time for cultural change.

“A 10-year phased rollout of the legislation will allow ample time for everyone to have their alarms installed correctly,” Mr Whiting said.

“By having the alarms interconnected, it won’t matter which part of a house a fire might start in, the alarm closest to you will sound and if you are asleep, an alarm will sound in your room, even if the area is closed off to the rest of the house.

“I am proud Queensland is now the national leader on this issue, making sure we are doing all we can to keep residents safe.”

“Hard-wired, interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms will require a qualified electrician to conduct the installation and ensure the alarms are working as they should be.

“There is an option to install photoelectric alarms with a 10-year lithium battery that have the capability to achieve interconnectedness wirelessly between alarms. This option may be more suitable for Queenslanders living in remote areas where attendance of an electrician could be difficult.”

All houses being built or renovated will need to comply with the smoke alarm legislation upon completion after January 1, 2017. All houses leased or sold will need to meet compliance within five years and all owner-occupied private dwellings will need to comply with the legislation within 10 years.

Any smoke alarm being replaced after January 1, 2017 must be a photoelectric alarm.

Fire and Emergency Services Minister Bill Byrne said although some residents would have up to 10 years to install the alarms, everyone should take action to update their alarm system as soon as possible.

“This technology is proven to save lives and the sooner it is in every Queensland home, the safer we’ll be,” he said.

QFES has a free Safehome program where Queenslanders can request a visit from local firefighters who will advise them of the best locations for smoke alarms and suggest other fire safety initiatives around the home. To request a Safehome visit call 13QGOV or visit:

www.qfes.qld.gov.au/communitysafety/freeprograms/safehome.

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