Tuesday, 10 December 2013 15:43
Koala safety is an issue very near to the hearts of many in our community, living as we do in a leafy pocket of Brisbane.
The State Government is committed to protecting our local koala populations through real and practical action.
We have introduced a $26.5 million policy—Investing to protect our koalas—that encompasses a suite of initiatives tackling the issues crucial to maintaining and protecting our koala population.
For example, over the next three years, $22.5 million will go towards establishing new koala habitat and linking it to existing mature habitat across South East Queensland.
A further $3.2 million will fund research aimed at combating koala-related disease and other preventable causes of death, including injury. The first round of the Koala Research Grant Program has seen funding provided for eight high-quality research projects investigating these issues in Queensland koala populations.
An additional grant program, the Koala Rescue and Rehabilitation Grant Program, has been established to increase both the capacity and capabilities of koala rescue and rehabilitation services.
Individual landowners can also work with the government to restore and manage koala habitat on their own land. 227 hectares of koala habitat have already been restored under this Koala Nature Refuges Program.
Through such measures, the Newman Government is developing strong foundations for informed and sustainable koala management in our state.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 11:32
Buying a property or car in Queensland has been made whole lot easier thanks to new laws recently introduced by the Newman Government.
The overhaul of the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act (PAMDA) will allow people to make big purchases without the unnecessary burden of red tape and regulation that existed under the previous Labor government.
Buying a house or car is one of the biggest decisions we can make in our life time and the simpler we can make the process, the greater people are protected.
Measures such as incorporating warning statements into contracts and reducing the number of government forms can make a big difference.
Changes to the Act include:
· Remove the requirement for agents to disclose to a buyer the commission the agent is receiving from the seller
· Streamline the claim fund processes to reduce red tape for government and reduce the time taken to assess, decide and pay claims
· Deregulate agents’ commissions aligning Queensland with other states
· Extend the statutory limit on lengths of appointments for a sole or exclusive agency from 60 days to 90 days
· Reduce the number of forms required for motor vehicle transactions
Friday, 06 December 2013 10:00
The Parliamentary transport committee brought down a landmark report on cycle safety.
Queensland currently loses around one cyclist a month, but many many more suffer serious injuries and permanent disability.
I think all of us want to see people’s children, husbands or wives come home safely each day.
There is however, one recommendation in the report with which I have strongly disagreed and I am pleased that the Transport Minister, Scott Emerson, appears to have taken the same view.
This area is the relaxing of the requirements to wear bicycle helmets. We have established a safety culture around bicycle helmets and it would be a retrograde step to lose this.
The proposal to remove the compulsory wearing of helmets for adults only on roads up to 60kmph and bikeways received very little support from the cycling community or elsewhere.
There is a common saying, “There are only two types of cyclists: those who have had a crash, and those who will have a crash.”
We have seen over the years, many tragedies involving both children and adults who have died as a result of head injuries, often incurred at low-speeds or on bikeways. Those who do survive frequently suffer acquired brain injury, with terrible consequences for them and their carers.
Whilst in many respects we may be over-regulated, this is one regulation that should remain in place for the benefit of all.
Thursday, 05 December 2013 09:25
With Christmas just around the corner, it is a good time to stop and consider those children who will not be enjoying the festivities with their own families this year for reasons such as abuse or neglect.
The Kids in Care Christmas Appeal is run by the Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services each year and aims to provide a Christmas present for every child and young person in care, from newborn to 17 years of age.
More than 11,000 gift donations were received in 2012, brightening the holidays for children all around the state.
If you would like to help put a smile on a child’s face this Christmas, my electorate office (located at Level 1, Kenmore Village) is a donation point and you will be able to drop your gift in for collection up until 13 December.
The Department does ask that presents are not wrapped to make it easier for them to be matched to each child’s age and gender.
Further information on the Appeal, including gift ideas and a tally (by age) of gifts already received, can be found on the Department’s website.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
The Parliamentary Committee which has been conducting an inquiry into cycle safety issues for the past five months has now released their report.
The Committee has done an excellent and very thorough job resulting in a report containing 68 recommendations for improving cycle safety in Queensland.
They took their task extremely seriously and consulted with a wide range of individuals and organisations including cyclists, motorists and road safety experts as well as conducting public hearings throughout Queensland and I congratulate the Chair Howard Hobbs and the committee members for a well-thought out result.
I also commend the Minister for Transport and Main Roads, Hon Scott Emerson for instigating the inquiry after my appealsin Parliament to improve road safety following an accident that tragically claimed the life of talented young musician Richard Pollett on Moggill Road at Kenmore.
Following the accident, I sponsored a petition calling for motorists to be required to keep a minimum safe distance from cyclists. Over 6000 people had signed the petition by the time I tabled it in the Queensland Parliament last month.
When I was asked to sponsor the petition by Mr David Sharp from Safe Cycling Australia, I did not hesitate to do so. I appealed to the government to support minimum passing distance in legislation.
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