The Parliamentary Committee has now invited submissions addressing any aspect of the terms of reference for the inquiry.
Chris Whiting MP, State Member for Bancroft said the inquiry had been set up to hear evidence on the extent and impact of wage theft of workers and their families, why it is happening and what can be done about it.
“When workers head off to work each day, they expect to return home safety and they expect to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
“For too many workers, this is not the reality though.
“Barely a day goes by without a story of a worker being ripped off. We have all seen the high profile reported cases of 7 Eleven, Dominos, Pizza Hut and Caltex just to name a few.
“But this is only the tip of the iceberg – it’s fast becoming a national disgrace,” Mr Whiting said.
Chris Whiting said the inquiry wanted to shine a light on what is happening, why it is happening and what needs to be done whether at a state level or at a federal level where much of the responsibility lies.
“The Palaszczuk Government is concerned about Queensland workers – regardless of which jurisdiction they fall into.
“Given the Turnbull Government has refused to take action, Queensland will do all it can at a state level.
“I encourage local workers and all interested parties to participate in the Parliamentary Inquiry and make submissions for how we can stop this insidious practice.
“Members of the public also have the option of participating in an online survey (due 30 September 2018) – a good option for those workers who want to tell their wage theft story but do not feel comfortable making a formal, written submission.
“Of course, the Inquiry also wants to hear from the many law-abiding businesses who do the right thing by their workers, but find themselves undercut by those employers who are not playing by the rules,” he/she said.
Affected workers and other interested parties are encouraged to visit the inquiry website for more information:
Closing date for written submissions is 4pm on 30 July 2018 and the Committee is due to report by 16 November 2018.
“I want local businesses to know how Labor is actively supporting small business in our communities,” said Chris Whiting.
“Small business provides most of our local jobs and small business is at core of communities in Deception Bay and North Lakes.
“We have more small home-based businesses and start-ups in North Lakes than anywhere else in the region, and I am always championing them.
“The first of the good news for small business in North Lakes and Deception Bay is that the EcoBiz program now has an extra $4 million allocated to it this Budget.
“This program provides help to small and medium business to lower their operating costs and lessen their environmental impact.
“It is a great program for helping small businesses reduce their water and electricity costs.
“More than 1,000 Queensland businesses have already got help thru EcoBiz and made electricity savings of 17% on average and water savings of about 14%.
“For those businesses in Deception Bay, North Lakes, Burpengary East and Rothwell looking to put on new people, I can tell you we will extend the 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees.
“That is a real financial incentive that I hope will tip your decision to employ more young people.
“Also, if you have an idea you want to make a commercial reality, the Business Development Fund is there to help you.
“There is an extra $40 million in this fund over the next years to help develop your business.
“And Advance Queensland has a range of programs that offer all kinds of opportunities to innovative local businesses.
“That includes the Small Business Digital Access Grants which allocated a total of $16,000 recently to two North Lakes Businesses
“FlowBiz and Australian Nurserymen’s Fruit Improvement are two of the 220 Queensland small businesses who receive combined funding of more than $1 million under the program.
“Advance Qld is building up our entrepreneurs, helping small and medium businesses innovate and grow.
“We are investing an extra $123 million into Advance Qld this year – that is a total of about $650 million since the Palaszczuk Government was elected,” said Chris Whiting.
For more information on business support programs call the Bancroft Electorate Office on 3448-2100.
The highly successful Back To Work program from the Palaszczuk Government will be extended to job seekers in the Deception Bay and North Lakes area as part of the 2018-2019 Queensland Budget
Chris Whiting MP said he was relying on the Skilling Queenslanders For Work and the $20.5 million Back To Work programs to open up new training and job opportunities in the community
“I have worked hard to deliver effective programs into our community to help local job seekers,” said Chris Whiting.
“I am putting a real focus on providing the social infrastructure we need in our area, such as education, jobs, skills and training programs.
“The Back To Work Program can help put hundreds of locals in Deception Bay and North Lakes into a job.
“Under Back To Work payments of up to $15,000 are available to eligible employers who hire a long term unemployed job seeker.
“Youth Boost Payments of up to $20,000 will be available for eligible employers who hire an eligible unemployed young jobseeker.
“That is someone aged between 15 and 24 and unemployed for four weeks or longer.
“What a great incentive to put on a young person, especially if you add it to the 50% payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees.
“Employers not eligible for a Back To Work payment can get a Work Start payment for hiring an apprentice or trainee from a Skilling Queenslanders for Work program.
“Back To Work was originally launched to help drive down unemployment in regional areas and it was hugely successful.
“It has helped more than 6,000 businesses employ more than 13,000 Queenslanders, including more than 3,000 apprentices and trainees.
“I lobbied with other local MPs Mark Ryan, Yvette D’Ath, Steven Miles and Shane King to get it extended to outer urban area as we need to reduce our unemployment rate.
“So from July 1 the Back to Work SEQ program will be available to job seekers in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area,” said Chris Whiting.
For more information go to qld.gov.au/backtowork or call 13 QGOV.
The $6 million upgrade to the intersection with Morris Road at Rothwell will start with a $2.4 million allocation in the 2018-2019 Budget.
“The Morris Road intersection upgrade will connect to the works done as part of the $38.5 million Rothwell Intersection upgrade, which was also delivered by Labor,” said Chris Whiting.
“The upgrade will cater for the traffic that comes with the increased growth in the area, and the expanding retail facilities in Rothwell.
“And it will make getting to and from the Rothwell shops a lot easier!
“Let me point out – we did $6 million of work on Deception Bay Road in last term, compared to less than half a million spent under the LNP government.
“Add that to the Morris Road project, that is $12 million we will have spent on Deception Bay Road.
“And add to that is the $24 million we contributed to the Rothwell intersection at one end and the $30 million we have contributed to the highway overpass at the other end of Deception Bay Road.
“It is the clear that locals can only rely on Labor to deliver the infrastructure we need,” said Chris Whiting.
Tuesday’s State Budget committed $2.4 million to begin detailed plaining and preparatory works to widen the approaches at Rothwell Road Intersection.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Service and Member for Murrumba Steven Miles said the design would ease congestion in the area and open up the region for further development.
“The multi-million dollar design work for an upgrade of this intersection will lay the base for widening Morris Road and Deception Bay Road to three lanes,” Mr Miles said.
“This is going to be a $6 million project and demonstrates just how committed our Government is to busting congestion in Moreton Bay.”
Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting said the upgrades were part of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to building new infrastructure for Queensland’s busiest regions.
“The Moreton Bay area is one of the State’s fastest growing regions and with that population boom comes some challenges,” Mr Whiting said.
“That’s why we’re tackling congestion head on and that’s why this upgrade is so critical for the further development of our region.”
Avid readers in Bancroft are being encouraged to sign up to become Ready Reading volunteers to help students discover the joy of reading.
Chris Whiting MP said the Palaszczuk Government was supporting students to become lifelong readers through the Ready Reading Program.
“We’re looking for an army of up to 3000 reading volunteers from across the state, who will be provided with free training to help Queensland students improve their literacy skills,” Mr Whiting said.
“The Ready Reading Program encourages students to develop a love of reading from a young age and we want people to register for it now.
“It shows the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to give students a strong start in their early years.
“This program is being delivered in partnership with Volunteering Queensland and is open to all parents, caregivers and community members,” said Chris Whiting.
Chris Whiting said the Palaszczuk Government was investing $1.6 million over three years to bring back the Ready Reading program, which was cut under the LNP Government.
Volunteers from across the state can express their interest in becoming a reading volunteer. Training will commence in Far North Queensland, North Coast and Central Queensland regions in Term 1, 2019.
Chris Whiting said even parents who already read to their children at home could benefit from volunteering to be a Ready Reader at school.
“All volunteers will be trained by reading experts to understand the deeper foundational knowledge of reading and strategies to assist the development of reading skills in children,” Chris Whiting said.
“Instilling a love of reading in our children is one of the greatest gifts we can give them, and one which sets them up educationally for life.”
Ready Reading volunteers who require a Blue Card will incur no charge. Parents volunteering solely at the school attended by their child do not require a Blue Card.
Registration for the Queensland Ready Reading program is available online at the Volunteering Queensland website.
Queensland Parliament recently voted to hold a Parliamentary Inquiry into unpaid wages that will hear testimony from Queenslander workers who have experienced wage theft.
“If it is local workers’ money that is being withheld, I want our local voices to be heard,” said Chris Whiting.
“That could be underpayment, unpaid super, unpaid penalty rates, unauthorised deductions from pay, unpaid work trials, the misuse of ABNs and sham contracting to deny workers their proper entitlements”
“The Premier announced on Labour Day that the Government would move a motion in Parliament to establish a Parliamentary Inquiry into unpaid wages – and that’s exactly what we have done,” Mr Whiting said.
The Palaszczuk Government had the support of cross-benchers for the Inquiry to proceed, but the LNP opposed the motion.
The LNP has showed a lack of concern for Queensland workers by voting against a Parliamentary Inquiry into wage theft,
Chris Whiting said when workers in Bancroft head off to work each day, they expect to return home safely and they expect to receive a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work.
“But for too many workers, this is not the reality,” Mr Whiting said.
“During a period of historically low wages growth, there is an even bigger problem that some workers are not even getting the pay to which they are entitled”
“The Palaszczuk Government is concerned about Queensland workers, regardless of which jurisdiction they fall in”
“We encourage workers and all interested parties to participate in the Parliamentary Inquiry and make submissions for how we can bring an end to this insidious practice.” Mr Whiting said.
The Wage Theft Enquiry will report back to the Queensland Parliament by 16 November 2018.
For more information on how to make a submission to the enquiry contact Chris Whiting on 3448-2100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The Palaszczuk Government’s plastic bag ban comes into effect on July 1, said Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting.
Urgent action is needed because around 16 million of these bags wind up in our environment each year, said Mr Whiting.
“Close to one billion single use plastic shopping bags are used every year by Queenslanders,” Mr Whiting said.
“The ban will help keep our state beautiful for generations to come and reduce the impact of plastic pollution on our treasured environment and wildlife”
The ban applies to all single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags under 35 microns in thickness, including compostable, biodegradable and degradable plastic shopping bags.
Mr Whiting said the ban will apply to all retailers including market-stall holders and organisations which supply single-use lightweight plastic shopping bags, for in-store and online sales.
“Already some retailers have already stopped using plastic shopping base.
“Most householders are already likely to have alternative bags they can use such as reusable ‘green bags’ or bags they use every day, like a backpack,” Mr Whiting said.
Local school and community groups are encouraged to apply for funding grants through the Queensland Government’s Community Road Safety Grants, said Chris Whiting MP.
Community Road Safety Grants provide opportunities for community organisations to support local road safety initiatives, to help educate and drive a cultural change toward road safety in local communities.
“I look forward to seeing many local school and community groups flex their creative muscles, and put forward proposals that help make safer roads in our community,” Chris Whiting said.
“This is a fantastic initiative that is aimed at reducing our road toll,” Mr Whiting said.
Applicants can apply now for funding up to $20,000 for short-term projects that target local road safety issues, or funding for periods up to three years for programs that deliver young driver road safety education and learner driver mentoring.
Projects funded in previous years include:
• bicycle safety education and infrastructure
• school road safety education
• community road safety awareness
• child restraint educations and resources
• learner driver mentoring programs
The Community Road Safety Grants program is funded from the Camera Detected Offence Program. Applications opened on 17 April 2018 and will close on Friday 8 June 2018.
More information can be found at:
“This specialised patient transport van is a $230,000 investment by the Palaszczuk Government in the region,” Mr Whiting said.
“The vehicle has been built locally in Bancroft by Varley, who are located in the Narangba Innovation Precinct.
“This is yet another example of the Palaszczuk Government’s commitment to growing Queensland jobs.
“The vehicle can carry two patients and is staffed by a specialised mixture of drivers and paramedics depending on the needs of the patients.
“It carries state of art equipment for patients, but also to ensure the safety of Queensland Ambulance staff and other road users.
“These features include lane sensors, rear sensors and the Emergency Vehicle Priority system, which triggers a green light at compatible intersections”
“What a pleasure it is to deliver this new resource to our hardworking ambulance officers and to our station at North Lakes,” Mr Whiting said.
The North Lakes Ambulance Station, opened in 2012, is the largest Ambulance station in Queensland with a fleet of 11 vehicles and 34 staff.