Community

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Is your Business a Champions of Mature Workers?

 Chris Whiting MP is calling on locals to nominate businesses who are champions for mature workers to be recognised in the Mature Workers Mean Business Awards.

These awards are an important way of recognising those local employers who value the contribution mature aged workers to their businesses.

“About a quarter of the nation’s population are aged 55 and over, but they represent only 18% of the total labour force,” Mr Whiting said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work program has assisted many mature aged people in Bancroft into work, or further training.

“If your business is currently benefitting from the experience and dedication of a worker who is over 55, then we want to hear from you,” Mr Whiting said.

To nominate for the awards, for a chance to win a personalised business coaching program visit www.business.qld.gov.au/experience and tell us in 100 words how your business has benefitted from hiring older workers.

Entries close at 5pm on Friday 26 October 2018.

Do we have the nation’s best fish & chips? Have your say!

 Love your local fish and chip shop? Chris Whiting MP wants you to share your love by voting for them in the Australian Fish and Chip Awards.

“The Australian Fish and Chip Awards are a great opportunity to publicise our local stores on the national stage and show you support the local staff.

“We all grew up eating fish and chips and my kids now reckon it’s their favourite family meal

“My office is close to Rothwell Seafood Café and Want the Food and I can vouch for quality and tastiness of their seafood.

“That’s why I have nominated them for the Australian Fish and Chips Awards.

“I think it would be great recognition for owners such as Rod and Glen and for all the local workers who work in their shop.

“But I know local businesses right across the electorate from North Lakes to Burpengary East are serving up amazing fish and chips,” said Chris Whiting.

Voting is open until September 15, with state award winners being announced on 15 October.

“I want fish and chip loving locals to go online and vote for their favourite store,” said Chris Whiting.

To vote for your local fish and chip shop to be named Queensland’s best visit:
http://www.fishandchipsawards.com.au/

Brisbane Airport Community Giving Fund

On 1 September the Brisbane Airport Community Giving Fund will once again be seeking applications from eligible community groups, organisations, individuals and schools. Applications for this round close at 5pm on Sunday 30 September 2018.

The Fund has been established to provide much needed financial assistance to community groups and is part of Brisbane Airport Corporation’s ongoing commitment to supporting and engaging with the local community. It is focused on the categories of health and wellbeing, safety, sport, education or other community benefit initiatives.

To be eligible for consideration in the upcoming round, applications for a Community Giving Fund grant must fit into one of two categories:

  1. The Giving Fund – cash grants to community groups providing health and wellbeing, safety, sport, education, environment or other community benefit initiatives.
  2. Lunch and Learn – opportunity for students or young entrepreneurs to spend time with a leader in the aviation industry. This category does not include cash grants, but rather provides an opportunity to learn.

I would encourage community organisations in the Bancroft electorate to apply for this funding.

Application details and full terms and conditions can be found at www.bne.com.au/givingfund. 

Deception Bay locals ready for jobs (and getting them)

Deception Bay locals are gaining jobs in conservation, land management and hospitality as a result of two more jobs and employment projects funded by the Palaszczuk Government.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said Deception Bay Community Youth Programs (DBCYP) had delivered The Green Project and Get Set for Work Deception Bay thanks to $688,800 from the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

“These projects offered participants a range of support to prepare for new employment opportunities, including earning a Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management or a Certificate II in Hospitality,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Working with a community organisation and earning a nationally recognised qualification means each participant can build their understanding and skills in a friendly environment that also addresses any other barriers they are facing.”

Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting attended the graduation for the two projects on behalf of Minister Fentiman.

“Get Set For Work is changing lives in our community by directly getting local people into work after they finish training,” Chris Whiting said.

“One participant is working with a local cabinetmaker and I talked to a young man who has a job interview tomorrow.

There are real long-term benefits that come from assisting young people towards joining the workforce, because they can secure their own futures and contribute more to the wider community.”

DBCYP Employer Relationships Manager Donna Conroy said both projects offered tailored support to each participant.

“Earlier this month participants form The Green Project showed off the skills they learnt by designing and building two display gardens—one Japanese inspired and one Aboriginal—at the Redcliffe Garden and Lifestyle Expo. These participants also regenerated other sites including Kumbartcho Sanctuary,” Ms Conroy said.

“While these two projects wrap up now, we have four more Skilling Queenslanders for Work projects kicking off soon, including a new Green Project, thanks to $1,656,600 from the latest funding round. These are aiming to assist a further 172 people.”

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. Seventy-three per cent of participants found work, took on further training or returned around 12 months after exiting a Skilling Queenslanders for Work project.

Applications to deliver projects through Skilling Queenslanders for Work’s second funding round for 2018–19 are open now until 5pm Thursday 27 September. For further information visit www.training.qld.gov.au/sqw or call 1300 369 935.

Bruce Gets $12 million Facelift

The Palaszczuk Government investment in the Bruce Highway continues with a 15km resurfacing project between the Pine River Bridge and the Sunshine Coast.

The resurfacing project is a result of the hard work done by local Labor members

“This upgrade will mean a safer commute for locals and travellers heading to the Sunshine Coast,” said Member for Bancroft Chris Whiting.

“Commuters from North Lakes and Deception Bay travelling to Brisbane know we need improvements in the Murrumba Downs stretch of the highway.

“Works will be conducted at night from Sunday to Thursday to help minimise delays for motorists.

“The Moreton Bay region is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia and the Palaszczuk Government is committed to maintaining safer roads to cater for the growth.

“Work on this $12 million upgrade has already begun and will be completed progressively over the rest of the financial year,” said Chris Whiting.

Roadworks can add time to your journey, plan ahead and visit the QLDTraffic website for up-to-date information: www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

Community Benefit Grant Turns 25 in Style

A commemorative round of grants for 11 special projects across Queensland has been announced, to celebrate 25 years of the Gambling Community Benefit Fund (GCBF)

“The commemorative grants funding round provides total funds of up to $1.25 million, and will be distributed to 11 not-for-profit groups across Queensland.

“For nearly 25 years the GCBF has been supporting local community groups and support services by providing one off grants to help them, help our community,” said Chris Whiting.

There will be 10 grants of $100,000 and 1 grant of $250,000, with applications being accepted for projects with a minimum value of $35,000.

“The commemorative round will be done in two stages, with the first round being an Expression of Interest, and the second where shortlisted applicants will be invited to proceed further.

“The Expression of Interest stage closes at 11:59pm on 31 August, so I encourage all eligible local groups to get in quick,” said Chris Whiting.

Groups eligible to apply must be a Queensland community based not-for-profit group. Further details can be found at:
https://www.justice.qld.gov.au/corporate/sponsorships-and-grants/grants/community-benefit-funding-programs/commemorative-grants

The Gambling Community Benefit Fund is Queensland’s largest one-off grants program which distributes roughly $54 million annually.

Queensland Seniors Week

Queensland Seniors Week provides opportunities to promote positive community attitudes towards older people and ageing, facilitate community participation, and enhance community connections, aligning with the Queensland Government’s and Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland’s vision of building Age-friendly communities in Queensland.

During 18-26 August 2018, Seniors Week will connect communities, providing opportunities for people to share and learn new experiences, discover services and support, and assist in reducing social isolation.

Queensland Seniors Week is coordinated by the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland, which receives Queensland Government funding to collaboratively plan, run and provide subsidies of $100,000 in total to organisations across Queensland for Seniors Week events and activities.

For more information on Seniors Week or to find an event near you visit www.qldseniorsweek.org.au

If you are interested in making sure you are getting the most out of the available seniors concessions visit www.qld.gov.au/seniors or call the Seniors Enquiry Line on 1300 135 500.

Civil and workplace surveillance laws to be examined

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.

The terms of reference can be found at www.qlrc.qld.gov.au and the QLRC will report back by 1 July 2019 (civil surveillance) and by 30 June 2020 (workplace surveillance).

Electricity rebate scheme extended for local households and small businesses

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.

Solar ACES Wanted to Light Up Solar Schools

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/

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