The week that was in Queensland politics.
(June 20, 2015) – Abbott’s cuts to Queensland
Legal services suffer
- Amy Remeikis reported, “More than 80,000 people were turned away from Queensland’s community legal centres last year– more than half the national total. And with federal government cuts on the table, there are fears the number of vulnerable Queenslanders sent away without help will grow exponentially. Director of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services, James Farrell, said the proposed Commonwealth budget savings would see funding to free legal centres cut by 23 per cent. Those cuts are expected to kick in from July 1, 2017.”: Community legal centres facing more turn aways.
The week in politics with Professor Anne Tiernan
Ode to Winton, Qld
- Amy Remeikis wrote, “To truly understand Queensland, you must understand the outback. Queensland, the land the legend, was not born in the big smoke. It was birthed on the back of the sheep’s back in the west, under skies that reveal life’s mysteries, in soil as red as the blood which toiled it. To truly understand all that makes Queensland ‘true’, you must journey to the never-never.”: Winton: A true survivor of the Qld outback.
(June 19, 2015) – Media frenzy over Carmody
Governor leaves Carmody as Deputy, media melts down
The media went into a spin this week as Queensland Governor Paul de Jersey left the state and in his place Chief Justice Tim Carmody took on the acting role. As Carmody was still on sick leave as Chief Justice caused speculation and consternation. Yet, the Constitution of Queensland is clear on whom should fill in for the Governor when he’s away. Carmody also performed this role when Former Premier Campbell Newman called the snap January election.
The Governor departed #Queensland & the Chief Justice commenced duty as Acting Governor
— Governor of Queensland (@QldGovernor) June 19, 2015
Police whistleblower stood down
- Joshua Robertson reported, “A Gold Coast police sergeant faces a possible jail term of up to seven years after being charged over allegedly leaking footage that showed colleagues bashing a man in handcuffs under Surfers Paradise station. Rick Flori, 44, was stood down and charged on Friday with one count of misconduct in public office after he allegedly released CCTV footage to the Courier-Mail newspaper of the police assault on chef Noa Begic in 2012. Flori, who is due to appear in Southport magistrates court on 15 July, will fight the charge with representation from Queensland police union solicitor Calvin Gnech, a union spokesman said. The two officers who assaulted Begic were disciplined but faced no charges.”: Gold Coast police officer faces jail for allegedly leaking film of police assault.
Toondah marina project
Judith Kerr reported, “Construction of a $1.3billion 300-berth marina and retail precinct at Toondah Harbour is set to start in 2017. The date was unveiled when construction firm Walker Group met with deputy premier Jackie Trad at the ferry terminal on Friday.”: Environmental study next step in Toondah project.
— Ebony Cavallaro (@ebonycavallaro) June 19, 2015
Premier push for more films
— Geoff Breusch (@gbreusch) June 19, 2015
Gold Coast City Council budget 2015
- Tony Moore reported, “Gold Coast ratepayers will save about $30 a year on average after Gold Coast Council made a “surprising trim”, Mayor Tom Tate said on Friday. The council reduced its rates increase from 1.4 per cent to 1 per cent. But the city’s water bills will rise despite the council freezing all its levies because the Queensland government’s cost of water increases to the Gold Coast lifted 9.23 per cent.”: Gold Coast Council budget delivers ‘surprising trim’ to rates increase.
No police breathalyzing of patrons
The LNP attempted to make mileage out of a fabricated News Corporation story that the Palaszczuk Government was planning to breathalyze patrons at clubs and pubs with a case being built against venues. The article featured two doe-eyed lovers peering into each others eyes and contemplating what this could mean to their lives. As the report was splashed all over Friday night news bulletins, Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek Tweeted that the government had backed down due to public pressure. Even Crikey journalist Bernard Keane reacted violently to the report.
However, Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath confirmed that there was never a plan to do this. “There is no plan to random breath test drinkers and there never has been,” Ms D’Ath said in a statement on Friday.
— John-Paul Langbroek (@JPLangbroek) June 19, 2015
— David Marler (@Qldaah) June 20, 2015
(June 18, 2015) – No investigation into Police Minister
LNP’s smear of Jo-Ann Miller fails
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland’s corruption watchdog has cleared the state police minister Jo-Ann Miller of any wrongdoing over her phone call to a man who made criminal allegations against her fellow Labor MP Rick Williams.”: Queensland police minister Jo-Ann Miller cleared by corruption watchdog.
Springborg visits museum, catch fire
— Deb Frecklington MP (@DebFrecklington) June 17, 2015
News Corp clears Billy Gordon but not the police
In a front page exclusive in The Cairns Post, News Corp raced to clear Labor MP Billy Gordon of domestic violence allegations but Queensland police are yet to conclude their investigation. Get the latest at NoFibs blog, Get your house in order – The media trial of Billy Gordon.
Win for Dr Bruce Flegg
— Tessa Hardy (@Tessa_Hardy_) June 18, 2015
State of Origin San Fran time
— Shane Doherty (@ShaneDoherty9) June 17, 2015
(June 17, 2015) – Remembering Ravenshoe
In the wake of the cafe blast
- Amy Remeikis reported, “Just a few millimetres did it. “A stunt driver couldn’t hit it if they tried,” Ravenshoe local Johnno says. He still can’t talk about it without shaking his head and clearing his throat. It’s been a week and a day since an out-of-control utility slammed into a gas tank at the back of the Serves You Right Cafe, sparking an explosion that cost two locals their lives and left another 18 seriously or critically injured.”: Ravenshoe cafe explosion in the words of locals.
- ABC News Queensland report, “Acting Premier Jackie Trad has met with residents and emergency services personnel at Ravenshoe in far north Queensland and laid flowers at the cafe where 20 people were injured in a gas explosion. Two women later died from their injuries and 18 people remain in hospitals in Brisbane and Cairns, after a ute crashed into a gas bottle at the Serves You Right cafe, triggering the blast.”: Ravenshoe cafe explosion: Community coming to grips with ‘deep trauma’, Acting Premier Jackie Trad says on visit to blast site.
First meeting of community recovery committee in Ravenshoe. Minute's silence observed for those killed and injured pic.twitter.com/I6JZ8n1cUl
— Melinda Howells (@MelindaHowells) June 17, 2015
It is hard to comprehend the devastation this event has caused in Ravenshoe pic.twitter.com/Sve7ECj1Vz
— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) June 17, 2015
— Jackie Trad (@jackietrad) June 17, 2015
LNP MP Mark Robinson doesn’t want marriage equality
- Amy Remeikis reported, “A Queensland LNP MP has accused some of his federal counterparts of attempting to force the same-sex marriage issue, describing homosexuality as a choice and gay marriage a potential pathway to legalising polygamy, and that polls showing most Australians supported the change were wrong.”: Federal politicians grandstanding for gay ‘choice’ – Queensland MP.
LNP walk out of PCCC meeting
Brisbane City Council budget 2015
- Cameron Atfield reported, “Brisbane ratepayers will have an average 2.5 per cent rise in their rates bill in 2015-16, Lord Mayor Graham Quirk said on the eve of handing down his $2.6 billion Brisbane City Council budget. With the rates rise, the average annual Brisbane rates bill would increase by about $32.20 to $1322 in the next financial year. Cr Quirk said the budget would retain its 40 per cent remission for full pensioners, capped at $924.”: BCC Budget: Brisbane rates to rise 2.5 per cent.
Council opposition warns of pain come the post-election budget. Mayoral hope @Rod4Bris promises Kangaroo Pt Bridge pic.twitter.com/S8cXIm18xs
— KAT FEENEY💃🚲🤪 (@katherinefeeney) June 17, 2015
(June 16, 2015) – Newman’s destruction halted
Olive Grove project suspended
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Queensland’s largest tree clearing project, which was approved by the former Newman government without any assessment of environmental impact by the commonwealth, has ground to a halt. Bulldozers stopped work at Olive Vale in Cape York last Friday after the cattle operators who owned the property agreed to belatedly refer the project to the commonwealth for any impact on threatened species.”: Queensland land clearing project halted amid concerns over threatened species.
— Geoff Breusch (@gbreusch) June 17, 2015
Newman’s Tower of Power
- Amy Remeikis reported, “Queensland’s Tower of Power just got a boost – its tenants will now consist entirely of public servants. With the Labor Government encountering the same problem as the previous LNP Government, which contracted the 1 William Street premises – a lack of interest from the private sector – Treasurer Curtis Pitt said he was left with no other options, other than to move more public servants into the building. It means the lower seven floors, which had been set aside for the private sector , will now house government departments.”: 1 William Street to be entirely filled by public servants.
Wildlife in danger from Carmichael coalmine
- Joshua Robertson reported, “The federal environment minister, Greg Hunt, has been accused of ignoring his department’s advice on two vulnerable species when approving what would be Australia’s largest coal project, Queensland’s Carmichael mine.”: Greg Hunt ‘ignoring advice’ on danger to wildlife from Carmichael coalmine.
(June 15, 2015) – Making medicine in Queensland
- Joshua Robertson reported, “The mining lobby’s tax deductible status costs taxpayers more than that of environmental groups which are under the microscope of a federal senate inquiry, according to research by the Australia institute.”: Deductions for mining company lobbying cost taxpayers $20m a year.
(June 14, 2015) – Newman’s lavish plans axed
The furnishings for Tower of Power