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
Blogging the week in Queensland politics and news. Check back for updates.

Gold Coast light rail is go! Staying true to his public transport policy, the new PM funds the Gold Coast light rail extension with $95 million.

The Qld Weekly - No FibsTable of contents

(October 17, 2015) – Smoking bans to be widened.
(October 16, 2015) – CSG, drought: tough times for farmers.
(October 15, 2015) – Far North Qld local council allegations.
(October 14, 2015) – Coding and robotics for schools.
(October 13, 2015) – Can Do back in the House.
(October 12, 2015) – Billy Gordon back in the news.
(October 11, 2015) – Gold Coast light rail.


(October 17, 2015) – Smoking bans to be widened

Speaker Peter Wellington labels The Courier Mail’s Des Houghton a liar

Smoking bans around childcare centres, bus stops

  • Brisbane Times reported, “Smokers will find it even harder to light up in Queensland under proposed new laws. Health Minister Cameron Dick said the laws would ban smoking in and around childcare centres, children’s sporting events, bus stops and other areas. It is already illegal to smoke inside pubs, clubs, restaurants and workplaces in Queensland.”: Queensland to widen smoking bans in outdoor areas.


(October 16, 2015) – CSG, drought: tough times for farmers

Suicide of George Bender

  • Thom Mitchell wrote, “The Prime Minister said today he will be “looking into” the suicide of George Bender, a Queensland cotton farmer and anti-coal seam gas protestor who took his own life yesterday after a 10-year battle with the invasive and often bullying industry. If Malcolm Turnbull is serious, the best place for him to start would be the actions of the LNP government, and its state allies. But I doubt he will.”: Malcolm Turnbull tongue wags after tragic CSG suicide, but I doubt he’ll bark at industry.
  • Helen Walker reported, “The Bender family of Chinchilla, a rural town about 260km from Brisbane, has spoken of their pain and grief after losing a father and a husband to suicide. George Bender passed away on Wednesday afternoon in a Brisbane hospital after being airlifted from Chinchilla. He was a well-known campaigner for the rights of landholders in negotiations with coal seam gas (CSG) companies.”: George Bender ‘died of a broken heart’, says family.
  • Brisbane Times reported, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will look into the suicide of a Queensland farmer and anti-coal seam gas crusader, but warns the issues are almost entirely state-based. The death of George Bender, a Chinchilla cotton farmer whose underground water bores had been impacted by CSG activities, has fuelled calls for an inquiry into the human impacts of the industry.”: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to look into CSG farmer suicide.
Pippa Sheehan reported: The Prime Minister has agreed to meet with Senator Glenn Lazarus, over calls to overhaul the powers given to coal seam gas companies

Pippa Sheehan reported: The Prime Minister has agreed to meet with Senator Glenn Lazarus, over calls to overhaul the powers given to coal seam gas companies

Four years of drought

Nth Qld graziers use drones

  • @ABCRural reported, “North Queensland graziers have stepped away from traditional farm tools, such as tractors, to experience the capabilities of drones. Charters Towers graziers spent a day at the Spyglass Beef Research Facility, watching the Star Trek-like technology take to the skies. The eight-kilogram multi-copter drone is primarily used for video and photography.”: North Queensland graziers test out drone capabilities.

Gladstone LNG shipment

Domestic violence breaches up

  • Kristian Silva reported, “More than 16,500 domestic violence orders were breached in Queensland last financial year, new statistics from the state’s police service show. Breaches of DVOs grew by 13 per cent* between 2013-14 and 2014-15, occurring at a rate of 347 breaches per 100,000 people across the state.”: Domestic violence breaches up 13 per cent in Queensland.
  • Kristian Silva reported, “Police statistics released on Thursday painted a picture of crime in Queensland during 2014-15. But they also showed who the victims are. Only a handful of cases reported to police receive widespread media coverage, leaving most stories untold. According to the statistics there were 25,613 victims* of crime. So, who are they?”: Who are Queensland’s crime victims?

Gold Coast World Surfing Reserve

The push for a World Surfing Reserve on the Gold Coast took off in March 2014.

The push for a World Surfing Reserve on the Gold Coast took off in March 2014.

Bleijie attacks Police Commissioner over VLAD

  • Kristian Silva reported, “Queensland’s former attorney-general Jarrod Bleijie claims the state’s police commissioner has been “silenced” by the Labor Government for not talking up anti-gang laws introduced in 2013. The Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment laws, which impose longer jail terms for organised criminals, were introduced by the former Newman Government as part of its strategy to crack down on bikies. However the laws were put under review by Labor, and recommendations for changes are due by December 18.”: Opposition accuses QPS Commissioner Ian Stewart of backing down on VLAD laws.

Roy Morgan, Palaszczuk preferred premier 59.5pc, LNP 51pc 2PP

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The LNP has inched ahead of Labor in the latest Morgan poll, with the Opposition gaining three points in the last month. Mike Baird and Daniel Andrews would easily win an election in their states if one was to be held tomorrow, but the pollsters show Queensland remains too close to call. The SMS poll of 773 Queensland voters over the last week had the LNP ahead of Labor 51 per cent to 49 per cent, a three point increase for the Opposition since last month.”: Lawrence Springborg-led LNP ahead of Labor in latest poll.
  • Gary Morgan writes, ““In Queensland the L-NP Opposition has regained the advantage with the L-NP 51{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} (up 3{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} since late August) now ahead of the ALP 49{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} (down 3{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3}) although Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is still preferred as ‘Better Premier’ despite a drop in support for Australia’s only female Premier: Ms. Palaszczuk 59.5{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} (down 3{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3}) cf. Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg 40.5{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3} (up 3{17ac88c265afb328fa89088ab635a2a63864fdefdd7caa0964376053e8ea14b3}).”: Election would be too close to call.

No daylight saving for Queensland

Radioactive waste dump for Mt Isa


(October 15, 2015) – Far North Qld local council allegations

Unethical behaviour, bullying and breaches of the Local Government Act

  • Daniel Bateman reported, “Deputy Premier Jackie Trad has referred Cairns MP Rob Pyne’s allegations of illegal activities within three Far North Queensland councils to investigators. But Cairns Mayor Bob Manning has come out swinging against the Member for Cairns, denying any wrongdoing. Mr Pyne yesterday tabled “explosive” evidence in State Parliament alleging unethical behaviour, bullying and breaches of the Local Government Act occurring within Cairns Regional Council, Tablelands Regional Council and Mareeba Shire Council.”: Cairns MP’s allegations against FNQ councils referred to State Government investigators.

Adani Carmichael coal mine given Federal approval

Cotton farmer George Bender commits suicide

  • @ABCNews24 reported, “A farmer’s suicide in his home state has prompted Queensland senator Glenn Lazarus to demand a halt to coal seam gas (CSG) mining projects until the human impacts can be established. Western Downs landholder George Bender took his life on Wednesday. He was involved in a long-running dispute with resources companies, one of which reportedly wanted to put 18 wells on his farm near Chinchilla. In an interview on Macquarie Radio, independent senator Lazarus said he had known Mr Bender for some time and was “gutted” by his death.”: Farmer’s death prompts senator Glenn Lazarus to renew call for CSG mining halt.
"People don't have anywhere to go": Senator Glenn Lazarus on the suicide of George Bender

“People don’t have anywhere to go”: Senator Glenn Lazarus on the suicide of George Bender

Voices from the Gaslands - George Bender's story

Voices from the Gaslands – George Bender’s story

Ian Rickuss, a dinosaur lumbering around the parliament

Bundaberg Community Cabinet

Barrett inquiry

Tweet deleted: LNP MP for Southport’s ‘German or Japanese invasion’

Four year terms proposal for Qld

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “In an attempt to gauge public reaction to increasing Queensland’s parliamentary terms from three years to four, and making them fixed to a certain date, the review committee has urged all those with something to say to let them know in four clicks or less.”: Parliamentary terms: have a say online.

Qld Governor at the House

Restoring civil unions a step closer

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “It was one of the hot button issues of the first year of the LNP government, a debate so emotional it sparked protests and fed the wave of unpopularity which was beginning to swamp the fledging Newman government. But Labor’s proposal to return registered partnerships back to civil unions has been greeted with barely a peep from the community. The committee reviewing the government amendments, which if passed would reinstate state-sanctioned ceremonies for same-sex unions, has received just five submissions – four in favour and one from the Society of Notaries of Queensland “earnestly” asking for another name to be found for those called upon to perform civil ceremonies.”: Queensland civil unions move quietly closer.

Against domestic violence

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Leanne Linard was just nine years old when she learnt one of her school friends had been brutally murdered by her dad. The Nudgee MP was just one of many Queensland parliamentarians who recounted harrowing tales of violence and death, as they spoke in support of strengthening the State’s domestic violence laws.”: MPs share emotional tales as domestic violence laws strengthened.
Alex Bernhardt reported: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has passed new DV laws & led a rally out of the Qld Parliament

Alex Bernhardt reported: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has passed new DV laws & led a rally out of the Qld Parliament

Ten News Qld reported: Politicans from both sides have come together to address domestic violence

Ten News Qld reported: Politicans from both sides have come together to address domestic violence


(October 14, 2015) – Coding and robotics for schools

Premier launches Coding Counts program

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Education Minister Kate Jones has insisted a move to allow Queensland Teachers’ Union members the opportunity to block becoming an Independent Public School was about giving teachers a say, not rewarding union supporters. During its term in government, the LNP introduced Independent Public Schools, which gave principals more autonomy in making decisions regarding the school. Under the LNP, teachers could vote against the move, but their objections could be overruled by the principal.”: More power to QTU teachers not about rewarding union, says Kate Jones.

Springborg claims secret plot to means-test education

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “A single line in a leaked document was all it took to spark one of the biggest debates seen in the Queensland Parliament since Labor took power. Education Minister Kate Jones was ambushed by Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg just before question time with a page from a Cabinet-in-Confidence document which was prepared by the Premier’s Economic Policy Group in June 2015. That document mentioned funding allocation systems, including “co-payments for high income families” as a potential area of investigation to help improve Queensland’s high school completion rates.”: Kate Jones: Public education means testing was Abbott’s idea.
Shane Doherty reported: Abbott Govt discussion paper leads Lawrence Springborg to claim secret plan to means-test education.

Shane Doherty reported: Abbott Govt discussion paper leads Lawrence Springborg to claim secret plan to means-test education.

Verity Barton in the news again

  • Jeremy Pierce reported, “Trouble-prone Gold Coast MP Verity Barton is facing a new battle as a senior staffer on stress leave considers legal action. The key staffer from Ms Barton’s Broadwater electorate office has been on leave on full pay since winning a bullying complaint through WorkCover Queensland in April. However, she has now engaged high-profile law firm Maurice Blackburn and is weighing up a civil law suit.”: Staffer of Gold Coast Queensland MP Verity Barton considers legal action against LNP member.

Can Do features in question time again

NDIS update for North Queensland

Taxi drivers rally at the gates

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Queensland’s Deputy Premier has been heckled by taxi drivers at an anti-Uber rally, as tensions between the two groups continue to worsen. Ms Trad faced the group of about 250 taxi drivers and their supporters outside the Queensland Parliament to explain while she understood the industry’s concerns, the review she had ordered was necessary to ensure any new legislation laid out a level playing field.”: Taxi drivers heckle Deputy Premier Jackie Trad at anti-Uber rally.
  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Uber has been blocking the phones of known transport department inspectors in an effort to dodge fines from the Queensland Government, a parliamentary committee has heard. The Katter’s Australian Party MPs have introduced a bill which, if it won the support of a major party and the cross bench, could see ride-sharing drivers who are caught three times working for a service such as Uber, lose their licence.”: Uber rules block inspectors from booking drivers to issue fines.


(October 13, 2015) – Can Do back in the House

Premier lampoons Campbell Newman’s book

Queensland Labour May Day returned to May

Fraud and bullying in local government

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “Labor MP Rob Pyne will demand an inquiry into local government in Queensland, alleging fraud, bullying, nepotism and toxic environments are running rife. Mr Pyne, a former Cairns Councillor, will use parliamentary privilege to table “explosive allegations” against the Tablelands Regional Council, where residents are to face a 30 per cent rate rise in the 2017/18 year, which Mr Pyne said had been brought to him residents.”: North Queensland MP Rob Pyne to allege fraud, bullying in local government.

Crime and Corruption Commission watching Qld Police Service

  • Amy Remeikis reported, “The State’s corruption watchdog has the Queensland Police Service in its sights, particularly how it deals with allegations involving excessive use of force, with claims some officers have escaped prosecution because of delays in dealing with complaints. New Crime and Corruption Commission head Alan MacSporran used his first appearance in front of the CCC’s parliamentary oversight committee to highlight the need for reform within the police disciplinary system as a whole.”: Corruption watchdog has thin blue line in its sights.

Human Rights Act for Queensland

  • Aimee McVeigh wrote, “If a government is required to consider human rights while making decisions, a transparent dialogue with the people is created – the people can see their government cares about their rights. When MP Peter Wellington supported the Labor Party to form government in February, they agreed to look at the issue of a Human Rights Act for Queensland.”: Human Rights Act for Queensland would show people their government cares.

Premier’s Literary Awards

A fourth woman accuses Bill Gordon

Updates on Billy Gordon at our NoFibs blog The Media Trial of Billy Gordon.

Indigenous asked to help with water management

  • Ash Moore reported, “The State Government is consulting Aboriginal people in south-west Queensland this week for their take on water usage in the region. Locals in towns like Cunnamulla and Eulo will be able to share their knowledge on how water can be used in the Warrego, Paroo and Bulloo catchments. Natural Resources Minister Anthony Lynham said it was about giving Aboriginal people the opportunity to contribute to water management.”: South-west Qld Indigenous residents asked to share water knowledge with Qld Government.

Funding restored to health community groups, gag orders removed

  • Minister for Health Cameron Dick stated, “20 community groups which had their funding stripped by the Liberal National Party when in government have had their funding restored by the Palaszczuk Government.”: Funding restored for community groups.

Snake wrangling at parliament


(October 12, 2015) – Billy Gordon back in the news

Three women claim Gordon sent them explicit photos

Just days after being cleared of domestic violence allegations, independent MP for Cook Billy Gordon is once again making news. Two unnamed women claim he sent them explicit photos via social media. A third has been charged with extorting Billy Gordon over a photo she alleges he sent her. For the full story see our NoFibs blog The Media Trial of Billy Gordon.

Crime and Corruption Commission powers reduced under Newman


(October 11, 2015) – Gold Coast light rail

Prime Minister commits $95m in funding

In perhaps a sign that combative politics is at an end, the long awaited decision on stage two of the Gold Coast light rail has been made with a $95 million commitment from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate. Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had refused to fund the project unless Queensland sold some of its assets in return for federal funding. Politically in the lead up to the next federal election, the policy that would have proven problematic in the state for the Liberal National Party after two state elections which saw the public reject the asset sales policies of both Labor and the LNP.

On July 10, 2015: "We are not in the business of funding urban public transport," declared Former PM Tony Abbott about the Gold Coast light rail extension.

On July 10, 2015: “We are not in the business of funding urban public transport,” declared Former PM Tony Abbott about the Gold Coast light rail extension.

This week’s decision will see the project completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games to be held on the Gold Coast.

  • Kim Stephens reported, “In his first visit to Queensland since his ascension to the Australian prime ministership nearly a month ago, Malcolm Turnbull came bearing promises of $95 million for Gold Coast public transport. It was a telling move in the early days of his reign, after the man he ousted for the top job, Tony Abbott, had, just two months ago, flatly refused to chip in the required federal cash that would facilitate the project with funding from three tiers of government.”: Gold Coast light rail: PM arrives by train with $95m promise on board.
  • Andrew Potts and Kathleen Skene wrote, “Federal and State MPs jostled for position and took selfies with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull as he announced a $95m Federal contribution to the second stage of the light rail. Mr Turnbull arrived by tram with Mayor Tom Tate before facing a large media pack, where he said it was hard to imagine a better project to commence his commitment to funding public infrastructure based on merit instead of ideology.”: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will today announce federal funding for light rail stage 2.
  • Kim Stephens reported, “The long-awaited second stage of the Gold Coast light rail project will be completed in time for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull set to commit $95 million in federal cash on Sunday. In his first visit to Queensland since he toppled Tony Abbott as Australian prime minister, Mr Turnbull, an avid public transport user, will announce the funding for the second stage of the project, which will enable Games visitors and support staff to travel by rail from Brisbane to the main stadium. The 7.3 kilometre route will link Helensvale train station with the northern terminus of the project’s first stage at Gold Coast University Hospital in Southport.”: Malcolm Turnbull to commit $95 million to Gold Coast light rail. 

Lauren De Joux reported: Helensvale the next stop for the Gold Coast light rail as PM Turnbull pledges $95m in federal funding.

Lauren De Joux reported: Helensvale the next stop for the Gold Coast light rail as PM Turnbull pledges $95m in federal funding.

Politicians unite against domestic violence

  • Lexy Hamilton-Smith reported, “More than 100 people, many themselves victims of domestic violence, have marched through Brisbane in a show of solidarity. The numbers might have been down for the Brisbane rally on Sunday morning, but the message was still a powerful one; that family violence of any kind would not be tolerated.”: Family violence: Rallies held across 30 council regions in Queensland.
  • Amy Mitchell-Whittington reported, “Women, men and children joined local council and community leaders in solidarity today in Brisbane to rally against domestic violence, but for some the crowd numbers were just not enough. “In some ways I must say I am a little disappointed with the crowd,” Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart, who took part in the march, said.”: Domestic Violence rally in Brisbane ‘disappointing’: Qld Police Commissioner.


Taking away the votes