Unemployment is rising because the LNP Government does not understand money management

‘Despite all the claims by various Ministers this week including Premier Campbell Newman about how the LNP understand business and are in step with business, the evidence from their actions and legislation says otherwise.

‘They don’t get it and that’s not just business.  Unemployment is rising to now 6.8% the second highest percentage in the Nation and under-employment is rising by a higher percentage to 14%.  Youth unemployment is quoted variously at 25%.

‘Business confidence rates showed a decline too – down again this month.

‘Yet the Treasurer and Premier came out in parliament and confidently claimed a 6% economic growth next year largely on the basis of gas exports.

‘Dr Alex Douglas, Independent Member for Gaven is concerned that what the Premier and Treasurer fail to state, is that small business is not employing new staff and it is overwhelmingly due to strained cash-flow, largely due to equity demands from banks. They cannot afford to employ staff even if there is available business because they have insufficient equity in property.

‘To make matters worse, this week the LNP increased the cap on deposit for off-the-plan purchases to 20% in the Land Sales Legislation, that will now tie up twice as much available capital for near twice as long with no benefit to consumer or developer.

‘Similarly in the Building and Construction Industry Payment legislation, the State merely looked after itself and did nothing for sub-contractors and small to medium-sized building contractors. They made sure the system delivers them a better result – guaranteed!

‘This means not just a further loss of trust, but also reduced available cash from each of these legislative steps.

‘The end result of this week’s legislative agenda of the LNP was the Big End of town on 2+ and the public a big zero with a subsequent decrease in available cash into the economy.

‘This is occurring week after parliamentary sitting week from each LNP legislation..

‘The consequences of transferring cash away from those businesses needing money is exactly what we’re seeing now, rising unemployment, two-speed economy and very low business confidence.

‘The LNP is reaping what it is sowing and the trouble is that the public are suffering the consequences.

What was the government thinking about other than itself?

‘This week the LNP State Government passed through the Building and Construction Industry Payments Amendment Bill 2014 and effectively said “two to the valley!” to all 84,000 subcontractors.

“At a time of great concern about where the property industry will go with two major well respected builders collapsing, many subcontractors are left scratching their heads and holding onto their wallets,” said Dr Alex Douglas, Independent Member for Gaven.

‘Sub-contractors saw the big talking LNP Minister Tim Mander on behalf of the Campbell Newman Government, decide to look after themselves first by ensuring that they appointed adjudicators and review mechanisms and reinforce perceived bias but in their favour.

‘At a time of great anticipation that someone was finally going to ensure their payment in arrears were guaranteed, all they got was plenty of motherhood statements and a commitment to review by Mr Wallace.

‘Despite this, the Treasurer claimed in Parliament that building starts had increased by 50% on the figure twelve months ago, and building was full of confidence.

‘What seems obvious is that the self-talk amongst the LNP is thought to be infectious especially if it is not true.

‘Dr Douglas makes the point that most of the public have to live in the real world.

‘Minister Tim Mander has had two years to ponder this legislative review that began in 2010.  What has been delivered is nothing more than a guarantee for the state for its own business.

‘To subcontractors in Queensland :  “Care factor zero”  – that’s the message from the government.

Fast Bucks and Slow Minds

On Tuesday this week in Queensland Parliament, the LNP State Government decided to radically alter the balance in rights between rural landholders and mining and gas companies.

Minister Andrew Cripps rammed through legislation that removes large parts of land-holders abilities to object to mining and gas companies accessing their land.

The Minister has tried vainly to defend the indefensible as he eventually retreated to the poor excuse that coal and gas prices are falling so he has to make it easier for the mining companies to act in a competitive market.

“What the Minister did not say is that donations to the LNP buy sweetheart deals as has occurred at Acland with New Hope!  All $700,000 of it.” said Dr Alex Douglas, State Member for Gaven.

“Minister Cripps did not say that New Hope’s sister company Brickworks has also just been named in the ICAC enquiries in Sydney for donating into and requesting from the Federal Liberal Party certain actions in recognition of their generosity to the Liberal party.”

Minister Cripps did not hold back.  He condemned everyone from local solicitors to community action groups like “Lock the Gate”.

He poured scorn on the Farmers’ Federation, Agforce and the Greens.

Yet he could see nothing but good coming from any mining or gas group.

He almost relished the thought of taking advantage of weakened farmers in a 100 year record Queensland drought.

On behalf of the government, Minister Cripps brushed off all sorts of minor amendments to allow for at least some fairness in negotiations.

Dr Douglas was astounded that this LNP Government and Natural Resources and Mines Minister would not support mutual respect between parties to create harmony and collective benefits for all parties.

The Minister’s excuse was the legislation would provide for sustainable economic development for Queensland.

Why then does this government continue to ignore the economic value of the rich agricultural produce from this same area?  Surely developing better agricultural outcomes will be far more sustainable in the future.

The Mineral and Energy Resources legislation should be remembered as fast bucks for miners and drillers with laws written by slow minds.

Poor public transport changes social fabric of Gold Coast suburbs

The social fabric of Gold Coast suburbs is changing because of lack of public transport, Member for Gaven Dr Alex Douglas MP has told State Parliament.

“Residents tell me they are unable to do their shopping, go to the gym, unable to socialise, go to the library or out to dinner because they need to make stressful dashes to catch public transport home after work,” he said.

“One constituent told me it is a constant challenge to meet the few transport services available to her at Carrara, and as a result her life is extremely difficult.

“But the most perplexing aspect is that she doesn’t live in the boondocks, but close to a major transport route Nielsen’s Rd, in a densely populated area with many townhouse complexes, central Gold Coast and on the coastal side of the Pacific Motorway.

“It’s like living in a third world country.

“My constituent works at Southport and says it is a constant juggling act getting to work on the few services available on the new 739 service to the Gold Coast University Hospital which doesn’t run early morning, nights or weekends; and then again after work she needs to rush to catch a tram and a bus home.

“If for some reason that bus doesn’t arrive, which has happened since the G started operating, she is stranded.

“I have lost count of the times I have asked the State Transport Minister for reconsider improved bus services for Nerang and Carrara and one would hope with the $30 million from the carbon tax savings being spent on public transport that additional services would be added.

“I also question the LNP Government’s Translink survey in which they ask people if they want public transport fare increases or more services.

“Constituents tell me this is a sham public consultation where people are unable to offer suggestions on how the service can be improved, but rather just answer loaded questions.

“How serious is the government about providing a good public transport service?  I would say not at all.”

Minister fails to reassure Gold Coast expectant mothers

‘This morning in Parliament, Dr Alex Douglas, Member for Gaven, asked the Health Minister to provide assurance that obstetrics at GCUH would be independently reviewed for the health and safety of mothers delivering babies at the GCUH.

‘The Minister ignored my question and would not comment on the 15 critical reported incidents at the Obstetric unit at the GCUH.

‘The Minister used a review of the Women’s Hospitals Australia to substantiate his claim that there were no obstetric issues at the GCUH and that body was his reference guide.

What the Minister of Health failed to state was that ‘The Director of Obstetrics at GCUH also sits on the board of Women’s Hospitals Australia (WHA)’.

‘It is the same group who allegedly assessed the GCUH obstetric unit as being safe. It is therefore not independent nor is its review.

‘Any critical incident in obstetrics is very serious – in fact the critical incidents occurring at the GCUH are too many and too little is being said or done about the decreasing safety measures for our children.

“Even the Minister of Health says so as he stated today in parliament – furthermore he gave no reassurance to the public that safety measures are properly implemented at GCUH or will his health department conduct a proper independent clinical review ,”  Dr Douglas said.

‘If the Minister thinks that he has a greater knowledge of clinical systems then he must provide the evidence to demonstrate that. In the absence of such evidence then he must immediately take steps to ensure not even one more patient is harmed.

‘Today , I call on the Minister to be transparent and detail the critical incidents that have occurred at the Obstetric unit at the GCUH and to follow through with his public statements on health.

‘Why on the Gold Coast do mothers delivering babies at GCUH deserve lesser care than elsewhere in the Queensland  public hospital system?