David Marler

David Marler

Queensland reporter at No Fibs
David is a full time Queensland carer for his son and in quiet times contributes to NoFibs.
David Marler

Latest posts by David Marler (see all)

David Marler
The living blog. The week in Queensland politics and news. Check back for updates.

After devastating floods and Campbell Newman, can Premier Palaszczuk revitalise Bundaberg?

The Qld Weekly - No FibsTable of contents

(October 24, 2015) – Annastacia’s tells.
(October 23, 2015) – Newman Govt warned not to close Barrett Centre.
(October 22, 2015) – Women at work.
(October 21, 2015) – Steven Wardill turns gossip columnist.
(October 20, 2015) – State of Queensland.
(October 19, 2015) – Location Bundaberg.
(October 18, 2015) – Loggerhead turtles arrive in Mon Repos before politicians.


(October 24, 2015) – Annastacia’s tells

Journalist Amy Remeikis gives an eight month analysis

  • Amy Remeikis commented, “Spend enough time in the company of anyone and you’ll learn their tells. A micro-grimace before speaking. A twiddling thumb. A small intake of breath. A brief tight smile. Or, in the case of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, the use of a journalist’s name. Just eight months in to the Palaszczuk Government and its now rare to get through a press conference without a reporter’s name being uttered a time or two. Usually following an uncomfortable question. Always after a repeated question because the first wasn’t answered. After eight months, those uncomfortable questions are rolling in.”: ‘Steady ship’ approach to government facing some waves.

Bill Gordon also cleared by NSW police

When Queensland police gave Billy Gordon the all clear on domestic violence allegations, former partner Kristy Peckham lodged a complaint with the NSW police from her home in Dubbo, NSW. Police announced today that no action would be taken due to a lack of evidence. Read more on The Media Trial of Billy Gordon at our blog here.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt staffer resigns over domestic violence allegations

  • Peter Michael reported, “Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s electorate officer has resigned in disgrace over an undeclared past domestic violence order and posting explicit photographs online of his former lovers without their permission. In the latest scandal to engulf Queensland’s Labor Party, three women have come forward to ask police to investigate sexually explicit pictures allegedly posted online by Mr Pitt’s former staffer Glen Martin. Mr Martin’s ex-partner Jeda Nash says the Cairns AFL footy star and youth worker posted her naked photos on website chat rooms in retaliation to her claims of violence against him. Ms Nash, 32, yesterday lodged a formal complaint with police, saying she felt the father-of-three had violated her privacy and that her dignity was gone.”: Revenge porn: Curtis Pitt’s electorate officer resigns over domestic violence, explicit pics.
  • ABC News Queensland reported, “A staff member from the electorate office of the Queensland Treasurer has resigned over domestic violence allegations. In a statement issued this morning, Curtis Pitt said the man was issued a domestic and family violence protection order in May, subsequent to the initial employment screening process, but the information was not disclosed to him.”: Queensland Treasurer staffer resigns over domestic violence allegations.


(October 23, 2015) – Newman Govt warned not to close Barrett Centre

Queensland Health warnning ignored on Barrett Centre

Two of Queensland’s finest journalists, Tony Moore and Kathy McLeish have been relentless in their search for truth over the closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre and the future of mental health in this state. They are both to be commended for their outstanding work of which a fraction appears below.

In 2014, Kathy McLeish's 7:30 Qld report on the Barrett Centre closure also found the Newman Government was warned.

In 2014, Kathy McLeish’s 7:30 Qld report on the Barrett Centre closure also found the Newman Government was warned.

Brisbane Mayor Graham Quirk blames workers

Solar to defeat coal power

  • Tony Moore reported, “Solar energy systems on top of shopping centres, car park shade covers, hospitals, airports and other commercial buildings are the beginning of the end for large scale coal power stations, one alternative energy developer will explain on Friday. Shakra Energy managing director Sam Khalil will on Friday outline how the solar energy system his company has installed as a “shade cover” over carparking at Buranda is now doubling as a solar energy generator. He says the system cut energy costs for the owner by between 30 to 40 per cent.”: Are these solar panels the setting of the sun for coal mines?
  • Brisbane Times reported, “A renewable energy developer who wants to roll out solar carports at shopping centres across Queensland says he isn’t trying to take on the mining industry. Shakra Energy’s managing director Sam Khalil joined Greens senators Sarah Hanson-Young and Larissa Waters to unveil Australia’s “largest carport solar development” in Brisbane on Friday. “We’re not trying to take on the mining industry on – we’re only trying to generate 20 to 30 to 40 per cent of what high energy users need (and) reduce the carbon emissions,” he told AAP.”: Greens want Queensland to back solar carparks in shopping centres.

Thor movie for Gold Coast

Pineapple group accepts Labor pay offer

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “A cohort of public hospital junior and senior doctors which formed in the wake of the ‘doctor contract’ dispute with the former LNP government has claimed victory, voting to accept Labor’s pay offer. The Palaszczuk government committed to scrapping the controversial Newman government individual contracts earlier this year, and in August it reached an agreement with unions on the details of the collectively bargained award.”: Queensland doctors ‘Pineapple group’ votes to accept Labor pay offer.

United Nations awards


(October 22, 2015) – Women at work

Yeerongpilly Green is go

State-owned electricity generators to merge

Biofutures industry

NAB Business Confidence up

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “In what is becoming the government’s favourite measure of business conditions, the NAB Business Confidence survey has shown continual improvement for the state. In results spruiked by the Treasurer’s office on Thursday afternoon, the NAB survey showed Queensland jumped seven points to 2 in terms of business conditions for the September quarter.”: Treasurer picks up on good news for Queensland.

Bishop steals Palaszczuk’s thunder over Thor movie

Stradbroke Island miners want to continue

  • Judith Kerr reported, “The fate of mining on North Stradbroke Island will be discussed when deputy premier Jackie Trad meets with mining union members on Thursday afternoon. It will be the second meeting in two days the government has held with union members from mining company Sibelco and from Stradbroke Ferries. On Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk met with 14 Sibelco staff from the Australian Workers Union.”: Stradbroke Island miners take concerns to top government officials.
  • Judith Kerr reported, “The fate of mining on North Stradbroke Island will be discussed when deputy premier Jackie Trad meets with mining union members today. It will be the second meeting in two days the government has held with union members from mining company Sibelco and from Stradbroke Ferries. On Wednesday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told 14 Sibelco staff from the Australian Workers Union she would consult workers before any date to end mining was set.“: Trad to meet Straddie mine staff.

Cabinet leaks

Tweet of the Day: Newman’s Tower of Power


(October 21, 2015) – Steven Wardill turns gossip columnist

The alleged attack about rumour-mongering by senior sources

The Courier Mail: October 21, 2015 - Fear and Loathing In George Street.

The Courier Mail: October 21, 2015 – Fear and Loathing In George Street.

  • Steven Wardill reported, “Annastacia Palaszczuk’s most trusted adviser allegedly launched a withering attack on the Premier’s staff during an extraordinary meeting in which she claimed to be the victim of rumour-mongering.Senior Labor sources have told The Courier-Mail that the Premier’s loyal staff remain deflated and divided following the lambasting they received from long-serving Labor figure and the Premier’s chief of staff, Angela McDonough.Ms McDonough, who returned recently from a holiday in Europe, allegedly demanded untrue rumours that were being peddled about her cease immediately. She did not disclose the substance of the rumours.Ms Palaszczuk’s office yesterday refused to confirm or deny the meeting occurred.The roasting allegedly came last Friday following a demanding week in Parliament during which staff worked long hours as the Government fended off Opposition attacks over a controversial economic blueprint leaked from the Premier’s Department.Parliament also was dominated by the ongoing saga that has engulfed sexting MP Billy Gordon, who was forced to quit Labor earlier this year over his undisclosed criminal history.The staff were summoned to a 2pm meeting in the conference room on Level 15 of the government Executive Building in George St, Brisbane, according to sources. After a short general discussion, two recently appointed staff were told that the remainder of the meeting did not concern them and they could leave.Ms McDonough then allegedly warned the staff:* Rumours were being circulated about her that were untrue and must cease.* “Bullying” was occurring within the Premier’s office that “had to stop”.* The staff were forming office “cliques” at the expense of others.“She got stuck right into them,’’ one senior source told The Courier-Mail.“She didn’t say who it was (spreading the claims) and what the rumour was.”The meeting allegedly ended with Ms McDonough sternly telling the Premier’s employees to “get back to work”.

    Ms McDonough, who worked for former primary industries minister Tim Mulherin in the Bligh government, formed a close bond with Ms Palaszczuk during Labor’s brief stint in Opposition last term.

    However, after eight months of Labor in office, she is being targeted increasingly for criticism internally over flawed political tactics and heavy-handed control of other ministers and their staff.

    Some have compared her to former prime minister Tony Abbott’s chief of staff Peta Credlin, whose iron-fisted approach allegedly alienated some Liberal MPs and contributed to his downfall.

    Another senior Labor source said the Palaszczuk Government’s woes had been fuelled by inexperienced staff while more experienced people sat on the sidelines.

    “Annastacia is naturally a risk-averse person and she has a risk-averse office now,’’ the source said.

    “They just make no decisions.”: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s top adviser accused of attack on staff.

Working in the best interests of Queenslanders

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she has “full confidence” in all her ministerial staff, despite grumblings from senior Labor sources about her chief of staff, in the second leak in as many weeks against her fledgling government. Angela MacDonagh has been a point of discontent among some Labor members since Ms Palaszczuk took power in February, which culminated with reports of a “fiery” meeting Ms MacDonagh held with other members of Ms Palaszczuk’s staff making News Corp headlines on Wednesday.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk has ‘full confidence’ in staff despite second leak.

Dr Paul Williams says Premier’s praise for PM could bite

OneSchool IT failure

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “More senior Education department staffers have been sacked over the IT system failure which left more than 1000 cases of suspected child abuse unreported. Education director-general Jim Watterston had asked staff members identified in an independent Deloitte report into the failure to show cause regarding mistakes made during the implementation process following the report’s release on Monday.”: Education Queensland staff sacked over child abuse IT failure.

Road deaths down, focus on safety

  • Andrew Backhouse reported, “Road deaths across Queensland are down but the State Government is cracking down on mobile phone users in a bid to halt increasing rates of hospitalisations. Speaking in Toowoomba today at the Local Government Association of Queensland’s annual conference, the minister for Road Safety said crashes cost the Queensland economy millions of dollars a year. Minister Mark Bailey said the government had implemented strategies to reduce the road toll.”: Road deaths down but renewed focus on safety.

Medicinal cannabis trial for LCH

  • Cameron Atfield reported, “The Australian Medical Association of Queensland has urged caution following confirmation of a medicinal cannabis trial in the state. AMAQ president Chris Zappala said he welcomed the trial, which Health Minister Cameron Dick revealed would likely be held at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. The move was met with approval by Queensland Council of Civil Liberties president Michael Cope on Tuesday, but he said it could have gone “a lot further and a lot quicker” and said a trial was not necessary. Dr Zappala urged more caution, saying medicinal cannabis, like any drug, could come with risks.”: AMAQ urges cannabis caution before trial at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.
  • Cameron Atfield reported, “Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital would likely host Queensland’s first medicinal cannabis trial, Health Minister Cameron Dick has announced in a letter tabled in state Parliament. The letter, in response to a petitioner calling for Queensland to allow the use of medicinal cannabis, also revealed Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young attended the first meeting of a steering committee for the clinical trial last Thursday.”: Lady Cilento Hospital ‘likely’ site for cannabis trial.
  • Jessica van Vonderen reported, “Children with severe drug-resistant epilepsy will be the first in Queensland to be treated with medicinal cannabis. Health Minister Cameron Dick revealed on Wednesday that the trial is likely to occur at Brisbane’s Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in 2016.”: Epileptic children to be first in Queensland treated with medicinal cannabis as part of trial.
Katrina Blowers reported: Cannabis trial ‘not soon enough’.

Katrina Blowers reported: Cannabis trial ‘not soon enough’.

TURC recommends charges

  • Kristian Silva reported, “Two Queensland union heavyweights should face criminal charges over allegedly destroying documents from 2014, the Royal Commission into Trade Union has found. Dave Hanna and Michael Ravbar, from the CFMEU, are accused of destroying the material which would have been required for the royal commission.”: CFMEU’s Dave Hanna and Michael Ravbar ‘should be charged’.

Adani met with Federal Treasury over loans


(October 20, 2015) – State of Queensland

Premier gives her maiden State of Qld speech

  • Cameron Atfield reported, “Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a $40 million fund to help innovative start-up companies prosper in the state. This fund is active from Tuesday. In the Premier’s annual State of the State address at a CEDA luncheon in Brisbane on Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk said the Advance Queensland Business Development Fund would “help kickstart Queensland’s next wave of start-ups”. “We are talking about co-investing with industry on the advice of some of business’s best minds,” she said.”: Premier Palaszczuk pledges $40 million for business start ups.
  • Chris O’Brien reported, “New business ventures could attract State Government funding of up to $2.5 million under an incentive fund outlined by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk in her first State of the State address. The Business Development Fund will commence with $40 million from the Government, with private investors also expected to contribute.”This is a fund that will help kickstart Queensland’s next wave of start-ups,” Ms Palaszczuk said at a CEDA luncheon in Brisbane.”: State of the State: Queensland Government pledges $40 million for new businesses.

Doctors in Brisbane rally against children in detention

Come out of hiding

  • Cameron Atfield reported, “Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones has ramped up her attack on her predecessor John-Paul Langbroek over the former LNP government’s failed roll-out of child protection software for the state’s schools. Ms Jones released an independent Deloitte report into the OneSchool student protection reporting system on Monday, which revealed systemic coding failures that resulted in more than 1000 suspected child abuse notifications not passed on to authorities. In response, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg accused Ms Jones of creating a diversion to deflect attention from the Billy Gordon saga.”: School abuse failure: Jones challenges Langbroek to ‘come out of hiding’
Katrina Blowers reports: Reports of child abuse fall through the cracks dating back to 2013

Katrina Blowers reports: Reports of child abuse fall through the cracks dating back to 2013

Labor MPs and Billy Gordon being stalked

A photo has been published in The Courier Mail of Labor MPs and Billy Gordon having coffee together.

The Courier Mail claims: Labor MPs Duncan Pegg and Shane King have coffee with Billy Gordon (second from left).

The Courier Mail claims: Labor MPs Duncan Pegg and Shane King have coffee with Billy Gordon (second from left).

Read more on The Media Trial of Billy Gordon, here.

Domestic violence women’s refuge workers call for more funding

Taskforce to address rural debt

  • Brisbane Times reported, “A taskforce to address crippling rural debt in drought-ravaged Queensland should have been established three years ago, Mount Isa MP Rob Katter says. Mr Katter, to chair the Rural Debt and Drought Taskforce announced by the state government on Monday, says the crisis facing primary industries and regional businesses and communities has reached breaking point.”: Rural debt taskforce years overdue: Katter.

Shen Neng 1 Great Barrier Reef spill from 2010

  • Tony Moore reported, “The highly toxic paint that is still on the Great Barrier Reef off Gladstone five years after the Shen Neng 1 ran across it in April 2010 contains a banned substance called tributyltin, known as TBT, a Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority spokeswoman said on Tuesday. It will cost $50 million to remove this harmful – now banned paint – from the Douglas Shoal area where the Chinese oil carrier Shen Neng 1 ran aground in April 2010.
    This highly toxic banned substance has “become embedded on coral rock” on the Douglas Shoal because no clean-up has begun.”: Great Barrier Reef toxic paint removal to exceed $50 million.

Lauren Day reported: A toxic three-kilometre stretch of paint has been sitting on the Great Barrier Reef bed for five years, but no one is prepared to clean it up.

Lauren Day reported: A toxic three-kilometre stretch of paint has been sitting on the Great Barrier Reef bed for five years, but no one is prepared to clean it up.


(October 19, 2015) – Location Bundaberg

Port of Bundaberg key

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “By the sheer grace of its location, the Bundaberg Port is about to become one of the most important in the country. The port, which was to be included in the LNP’s privatisation plans, will be the site of a proposed State Development Area, with the Palaszczuk Government hoping to cash in on its position as the northern most port not impacted by the Unesco Great Barrier Reef protection area. Sitting just outside the protected zone, the Bundaberg port is free to be developed without the same environmental restrictions that affect the Gladstone and Townsville ports, but still has easy access to Asian shipping routes. State Development Minister Anthony Lynham said it made the region “very important”.”: Location key in Bundaberg port plan.

The Courier Mail has renewed its call for a Cook by-election

Read more on the media trial of Billy Gordon here.

Moving to escape coal mines, time to fight

  • Jorge Branco reported, “Second generation grazier Bruce Currie moved 10 years ago to escape coal mines. Now he’s launching his second court battle against a mine on his doorstep in two years. The 54-year-old beef man is representing himself and wife Annette against Gina Rinehart’s GVK Hancock, whose Kevin’s Corner operation is one of three so-called mega mines planned for the Galilee Basin, in Queensland’s central west. “I’ve really got no choice. If we lose this groundwater, I lose my business,” he told reporters outside Brisbane’s Land Court on Monday.”: GVK Hancock mine challenge back in court.

Bundaberg taxi drivers

Ambulance services

Campbell Newman’s job cuts expose kids to child abuse

  • Cameron Atfield reported, “Ms Jones said while it was potentially a serious blunder with terrible consequences, no children had so far been found to be at risk. “What the Deloitte report shows is that the proper governance and resourcing was never there from the moment they decided to change to an online system in September 2013,” she said. “This report clearly shows that questions were not asked about the resourcing and the appropriate governance over that and that’s why we’re standing here today.” Ms Jones said former education minister John-Paul Langbroek, the deputy opposition leader, had questions to answer. “The most obvious is, why would you cut 230 staff from the IT department and, at the same time, move to an online reporting system for child abuse?” she said. Ms Jones said those 228 staff members represented about a third of EQ’s IT department.”: School abuse reporting system flawed: report.
Katrina Blowers reported: An independent report detailing how an IT bungle saw hundreds of suspected child abuse reports fell through the cracks has being handed to the Education Minister.

Katrina Blowers reported: An independent report detailing how an IT bungle saw hundreds of suspected child abuse reports fell through the cracks has being handed to the Education Minister.

Combating domestic violence

  • Bridie Jabour reported, “The premier of Queensland has been warned not to recognise male victims of domestic violence at the expense of women after she said she had changed her language to include male victims. Annastacia Palaszczuk, who has committed to ending domestic violence, told a community cabinet event violence against men is something that needs to be addressed more. Domestic violence: Quentin Bryce to head taskforce after horror week. “I do understand that there are a number of men have gone through or are going through [domestic violence],” she said on Sunday, according to Fairfax Media.”: Annastacia Palaszczuk warned: don’t put domestic violence against men above women.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has admitted she “changed her language” around domestic violence after hearing of the men it impacted. Ms Palaszczuk, who has led a government-wide response to domestic violence issues after receiving the ‘Not Now, Not Ever’ report commissioned by the previous administration, said violence against men did need to be recognised while speaking with a male domestic violence survivor at the Bundaberg community cabinet event.”: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ‘changes language’ about violence against men.

Smoking bans on the way

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The sale of nicotine patches and quit aids is about to get a boost along George Street, with the Premier confirming Parliament would be included in the government’s expanded smoking bans sites.”: Smoking bans to hit Parliament.


(October 18, 2015) – Loggerhead turtles arrive in Mon Repos before politicians

Turtles arrive before Premier can open visitor centre upgrade

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Time waits for no man and neither do turtles, with the first of about 500 Loggerheads returning to Mon Repos for the laying season before the government had a chance to officially open the new visitor centre. The $630,000 upgrade, which includes a turtle-shell shaped roof for the amphitheatre, was started under the previous government but opened by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Environment MInister Steven Miles on Sunday.”: Loggerhead turtles return to Mon Repos for laying season.

Strong moral case for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine