Thoughts from Innovation-20

Independent Member for Gaven,  Dr Alex Douglas participated in Innovation-20, leading into the G20 summit in Brisbane.  He gives his thoughts on issues discussed at the forum.

 The key issues that we must all remember are:  Firstly, all eyes need to realise peak baby production globally is now 2014 and will gradually decline.  Peak population is proposed to be in 2050, peaking at 9 billion due to aging population and birth growth from 1984 to 2014.  

 Seventy percent of the world’s available fresh-water is used for agricultural production.

Most great rivers except the Amazon don’t flow to the ocean. The Colorado in the US is a superb example. All the others the water goes through humans 6 times before reaching the ocean.

The ocean is our major carbon sink, trees especially above the tundra northern hemisphere near the Artic line do much of the rest of carbon capture to O2 biosynthetic conversion.

 Finally, the difficulty of the world producing enough food for an extra 2 billion when simultaneously famine is such a dreadful global problem, the earth is for whatever reason warming.

 The two major populous high growth economies of China and India have emerging middle class demands. The evidence is that every sovereign group is looking after itself but much more than it is prepared publicly to admit.

 We must do more to secure our  food supply. This is not a demand to be totally self-sufficient in all food production but we have to do more than we are.

 The Lockyer, Scenic Rim and inner Downs are part of Australia’s 4% of our best prime agricultural land that must be protected.

 Senior advisor for Biotechnology, United State Department of State,  Jack Bobo says it can be done with better water management, better farming techniques including low tillage, removal and re-use of biomass, lower wastage, newer growth areas such as buildings, better climate control strategies, and better agronomy including more GM crops. He says it will be touch and go.

  His best advice is put food security ahead of energy security. It’s our mindset that is wrong.


Safety on Oxenford-Coomera Gorge Rd to be improved

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas says road works will be undertaken on  the Oxenford-Coomera Gorge Rd (Maudsland Road) to make it safer.

Two projects are planned under the Safer Roads Sooner program by the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“The first project will start in the first half of 2015 and includes work between Huntington Drive and Beaudesert-Nerang Rd,” Dr Douglas said.

The work includes the installation of guardrails at two locations, 300 metres north of Beaudesert-Nerang Rd intersection and on the south-eastern corner of Maudsland Rd and Huntington Drive intersection; and culvert protection at three locations. Two culverts near the south-western corner of Maudsland Rd and Guanaba Creek Rd intersection and one culvert about 100 metres north of Beaudesert-Nerang Rd intersection.

“The second project between the Gaven Arterial Rd and Beaudesert-Nerang Rd  will be undertaken in 2015-2016 and includes sealing of shoulders,” Dr Douglas said.

GP co-payment and Tony Abbott

We may never see nor hear Barrack Obama, the Leader of the free world, again here in Queensland. Certainly we will never see nor hear from this identical group of world leaders who control 80% of the total economies of the world, in Queensland again.

We, here in Australia, are a country of 23 million people with an economy just in the top 20 and proudly pulling above our weight. In the key speech to this world group at the weekend, having the attention of those whose individual  problems range from massive organized drug crime, war and unsustainable debt post GFC, our Prime Minister prioritizes GP co-payments ahead of even dreadful collective problems of global famine, threats of global recession or even drought in our rural communities leading to property foreclosures and suicide.

Tony Abbott, besides being rude, unable to appreciate the scale of what he was privileged to participate in as our representative, decided to focus his speech, not on everyone else but on himself and his own perception of life’s unfair political minor burdens. He is reflecting ideological defiance, petulance, personal ignorance and should apologize for a major error of judgment and insensitivity.

This event was not his to unburden himself of irrelevant issues that had no context for a global audience. It is never too late to take a leaf from Obama. In contrast, his focus was on world issues and offering hope for a better world. Beautiful one day perfect the next!

The GP co-payment as planned by the current Federal Government has no justification, penalizes those who are weakest and saves nothing, merely diverting a group of patients who can ill -afford it back to our state funded public hospitals as GP patients. It is a base cost shifting exercise or worse still, will render a very needy group unable to receive basic care.

As a nation, we are better than this. This offensive global embarrassing statement of PM Tony Abbott, should consign this ridiculous non-saving penalty measure into our policy best forgotten history.

I call on all members of parliaments throughout the nation to echo Bill Shorten’s words and ignore our PM, demanding he focus on the real priorities for Australians and our fellow nations.

Gaven workers lose out to Chinese workers in new trade deal

Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP says local builders and workers look like losing under the Federal Government’s new free trade agreement with China.

“The government has made concessions in the agreement which are not reciprocated by the Chinese and place Australian workers and farmers at great risk,” he said.

“If you farm wheat, sugar, cotton or rice, you’re a loser in this agreement, and that comes on top of the tough time being experienced by  Queensland sugar cane growers and their communities.

“For skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled workers including apprentices, the future where China can bring its own workers on a $150 million plus project is very bleak.

“That means even those who have jobs are at risk of being made unemployed from now on. Unemployment in Queensland is rising fast and will be much higher.

“The big end of town is doing very nicely out of this deal, with billionaires doing meat and dairy deals, big miners getting iron ore and coal tariff concessions and every hospital operator getting a foot into China.

“Farms valued at up to $23 million can be sold without any Foreign Investment Review Board review.

“All Australian workers need to see the relaxation of 457 visa requirements as a direct threat to their livelihoods.

“No trade deal is worth giving up your country for and its people when those with whom you trade won’t do the same!

“The free trade deal with China is not really that which the government is cheering itself about.”

Planning needs to start ASAP for new inter-regional corridor from Nerang to Pimpama

Independent Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP says the State LNP Government must immediately begin detailed planning to prepare for tenders for a new inter-regional corridor expressway from Nerang to Pimpama following  yesterday’s gridlock on the Pacific Motorway caused by three serious accidents.

“Yesterday’s traffic standstill  closing down the south to north section of the motorway from Hope Island inter-change to Nerang demonstrated how completely dependent our state has become on the M1 alone,” Dr Douglas said.

“It’s time to accelerate the well-delineated corridor expressway to the east of the M1 with construction from Pimpama to Nerang, made all the more urgent with best available transport evidence suggesting the date for gridlock on the M1 is between late 2018 and 2020.

“Knowing this, the LNP Government is doing nothing to prepare for this alarming scenario, only  proposing to build a multi-layered rail and road tunnel through the heart of Brisbane and upgrades to the Bruce Highway.

 “I will be asking questions in Parliament next week because with the  2018 Commonwealth Games just around the corner, Premier Campbell Newman needs to act immediately and call tenders so work can get underway next year.

“Rather than finishing the project by 2031 as announced by the Member for Coomera on ABC radio today, it must be completed by 2018 at the very latest.

“If the state can’t afford it, then they must consider a toll option possibly as a public private partnership.

“The M1 between the Queensland border and Brisbane is the critical economic artery into the state traversed by major freight trucks and thousands of tourists.

“Increasingly in  the section south of Pimpama, the volume of local traffic has exacerbated the problems.  Even  accidents occurring out of peak hour paralyse the movement of traffic.
“Alternative side routes are few,  but these too are causing major congestion in the suburbs.

“Do we really want more traffic rat-running through our suburbs as suggested by the LNP Member for Coomera when the M1 is blocked?

“If the LNP is to prove it is serious about the future of Queensland,  it must build the things that are needed and avoid building monuments to itself in Brisbane or fund risky ventures by overseas speculators.”