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Online ozbob

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Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« on: October 12, 2010, 05:42:09 AM »
From the Brisbanetimes click here!

Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work

Quote
Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
Daniel Hurst
October 12, 2010 - 5:16AM

One group constantly comes under attack over bungles, and the other is regularly branded “lazy”.

Queensland government ministers and their opposition shadows often trade blows and there’s no doubt the business of politics can be particularly brutal.

But what have key parliamentary figures really been up to over the past 18 months - at roughly the halfway point of the current parliamentary term - and what will they be focusing on in the lead up to the next election?
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brisbanetimes.com.au sought brief answers to these two questions from some of the state’s most important ministers and their opposition counterparts, letting them spell out their claimed achievements in their own words.

But old habits die hard. After receiving some waffly responses that included innovations such as paragraphs within a single dot point, we had to chop back a few of the answers for space reasons.

Once the ministers and shadow ministers have had their say, it’s your turn to have yours.

Check out their self-assessed report cards and leave your views in the comment box below. Does their hyperbole stack up? And what key issues should they be spending their energy pursuing?

 

    * Health
    * Treasury, Employment, Economic Development
    * Education and Training
    * Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services
    * Transport/Main Roads
    * Attorney-General/Industrial Relations
    * Climate Change/Sustainability

Health

Health Minister Paul Lucas

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Providing more services in regional areas so Queenslanders can access health care closer to home, such as a new cardiac catheter laboratory in Cairns.
    * Making significant inroads to reduce very 'long wait' elective surgery lists, with the latest quarterly report indicating the number of patients waiting longer than a year for surgery was just 137, down from 2,407 the year before.
    * Delivering on our $7.33 billion hospital infrastructure program, with work well underway on new and expanded hospitals.

Three key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Maximising the opportunities for Queensland through the National Broadband Network and expansion of our e-health initiatives, including telehealth, electronic discharge summaries, and electronic records.
    * Focusing on training and staffing, including encouraging the roll out of further nurse practitioners and more service training opportunities.
    * Maximising the opportunities for Queensland as we move forward with health reform.

Opposition health spokesman Mark McArdle

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Exposing problems with the health payroll system and Labor’s continued inability to pay health workers properly.
    * Revealing the Health Minister had failed to read and respond to hundreds of briefing notes and more than a thousand letters.
    * Conducting Right To Information searches and exposing the disastrous impact Labor’s failure to adequately increase bed numbers have had on emergency departments.

Key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Keeping the pressure on the Health Minister and the Labor government to fix the problems plaguing Queensland’s health system.

Treasury, Employment, Economic Development

Treasurer Andrew Fraser

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Creating 55,200 Queensland jobs since March 2009.
    * Easing cost-of living pressures by increasing electricity rebates for pensioners, introducing rebates for people with certain medical conditions, and lowering costs for motorists via cuts to CTP.
    * Strengthening the state's budget through reforming the balance sheet, maintaining the biggest building program in the country.

Three key issues over next 18 months:

    * Reaching 100,000 jobs target - deliver on a key election commitment by creating a further 44,800 jobs before the end of the term.
    * Improving the state's balance sheet by delivering on lower deficits and lower debt.
    * Continuing the development of the state's new LNG industry, with several companies on the verge of final investment decisions that could lead to $40 billion in new investment and 18,000 jobs.

Opposition treasury spokesman Tim Nicholls

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Highlighting the $85 billion debt the government is heading towards and the fact Labor has created a "structural deficit" that means budget deficits are expected for the next four years.
    * Holding the government to account on the "100,000 jobs for 100,000 breadwinners" promise.
    * Putting together the framework for the opposition’s response to Labor's privatisation - that is we oppose it because Queenslanders were lied to before the election, it is a fire sale, and asset sales will not fix the structural deficit created by Labor.

Three key issues over next 18 months:

    * Working on policies that will responsibly give relief to Queensland businesses and families from the rate of increase in Labor's taxes and charges and the burden of red tape.
    * Continuing to work on our long term plan to reduce the state's debt and regain the AAA credit rating squandered by Labor.
    * Continuing to meet with businesses of all sizes throughout the state to hear what they say about how government can help rather than hinder their business endeavours.

Education and Training

Education and Training Minister Geoff Wilson

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Completing eight new schools, with the planning or construction of nine more underway in the south-east corner.
    * Establishing the Queensland Schools Alliance Against Violence, a taskforce set to tackle bullying head-on.
    * Creating Skills Queensland – an industry-led commission to develop the skills and workforce needed in Queensland.

Three key issues over next 18 months:

    * The development of a national curriculum.
    * The raft of Flying Start for Queensland Children reforms, such as the proposal to move Year 7 to secondary school.
    * Continuing the roll-out of the Bligh Government’s $321 million commitment to universal access to kindergarten.

Opposition education and training spokesman Bruce Flegg

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Raising the profile of education issues, issuing positive policy on middle schooling, cyberbullying and Masters Review recommendations.
    * Forcing a government backdown on the closure of another 15 small schools and declaration of a moratorium on closures.
    * Focusing on a kindy funding method that would have meant massive funding cuts to community kindergartens, subsequently securing a funding guarantee from government.

Three key issues over next 18 months:

    * Education standards, particularly the need to lift in science and maths.
    * The need for major improvement in education of the disengaged, the disadvantaged and children with disabilities.
    * Queensland’s appalling record in skills training that threatens future economic prospects.

Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services

Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services Minister Neil Roberts:

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Delivering more frontline police and emergency services workers in difficult economic times.
    * Strengthening our disaster management arrangements.
    * Ongoing strong performance of the Queensland Ambulance Service since the Service Audit.

Three key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Continued improvement and focus on frontline service delivery.
    * Rollout of our jobs-generating capital works program.
    * Continued focus on strengthening and sustaining the volunteers who support our emergency services.

Opposition police and corrective services spokesman Vaughan Johnson

Top issues highlighted:

    * The need for better wages for the police so they aren’t treated like second-class citizens, and the lack of staff and resources to back up the increased telephone tapping powers finally granted to police.
    * The LNP's proposed laws that would ensure thugs who assault police go to jail.
    * The need for a police helicopter to act as a flying patrol car and crack down on highway hoons.

Opposition emergency services spokesman Ted Malone

Top issues highlighted:

    * Ambulance ramping at hospitals and the huge overtime budget in the Queensland Ambulance Service.
    * The ongoing issue of communication black spots and Emergency Services Computer Aided Dispatch failures.
    * The reduction in the ratio of firefighters per head of population.

Transport/Main Roads

Transport Minister Rachel Nolan

Top three claimed achievements:

    * The continued delivery of a Go Card system that was recently lauded as the best integrated ticketing system in the country by the Tourism Transport Forum.
    * Delivering an additional 301,000 seats per week across the public transport network as promised prior to the 2009 election.
    * Road safety reforms that are continuing to drive down the state’s road toll.


Main Roads Minister Craig Wallace

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Delivering the Sir Leo Hielscher Bridge project.
    * Delivering the Ted Smout Memorial Bridge to Redcliffe.
    * Delivering the Wacol to Darra section of the Ipswich Motorway upgrade.

Three key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Easing congestion and slashing travel times for motorists.
    * Building stronger economies in regional Queensland.
    * Keeping the pressure on the federal government to fund vital road projects such as Warrego Highway.

Opposition transport and main roads spokeswoman Fiona Simpson:

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Introducing alcohol ignition interlock laws to Parliament for repeat and high-level drink drivers, forcing the government to introduce its own legislation.
    * Exposing the state government last year over its plans to sell Queensland Rail before the government formally announced its plans.
    * Exposing congestion tax plans in leaked planning documents from the Connecting Queensland 2031 draft and forcing the government to rule it out.

Three key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Holding the Labor government to account for hiking taxes while cutting services.
    * Exposing the Labor government’s asset sale plans to “sell the house to pay the grocery bill” by selling income-earning assets.
    * Planning for better public transport services which deliver greater accessibility and affordability.


Attorney-General/Industrial Relations

Attorney-General and Industrial Relations Minister Cameron Dick:

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Cracking down on crime by toughening up laws for dangerous sex offenders, introducing anti-bikie legislation and passing laws to allow phone-tapping.
    * Supporting victims of crime by establishing the new Victim Assist Queensland service, which makes it easier for victims to get support and assistance sooner.
    * Making the justice system better and more efficient by overhauling the criminal and civil jurisdictions of the courts and establishing the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, a low-cost one-stop tribunal for solving civil disputes.

Three key issues over next 18 months:

    * Establishing the state’s first Sentencing Advisory Council to look at issues relating to the sentencing of offenders in our courts.
    * Completing construction of the new $600 million Supreme and District Court complex in Brisbane.
    * Finalising new laws that will provide a clear framework for resolving neighbourhood disputes over trees and fences.

Opposition attorney-general and industrial relations spokesman Lawrence Springborg

Three key claimed achievements:

    * Introducing three private members bills and a draft fourth bill to come up with real solutions to Labor’s failed policies, including bills to close sentencing loopholes, ensure respect for police and emergency workers and ensure the defence of the family unit regarding surrogacy.
    * Holding the union movement to account for bankrolling the re-election of the Bligh Labor government that allowed Labor to proceed with selling-out workers with its privatisation agenda.
    * Proudest achievement in the last 18 months, as the founding leader of the LNP, was witnessing the federal election result which saw Queensland’s LNP become the most successful state political organisation anywhere in Australia.

Key issues over the next 18 months:

    * To expose and stop, all the way to the ballot box, any attempt by unions to once again sell out their rank and file members by bankrolling the pro-privatisation Labor party either directly or indirectly.
    * To force the government to appeal inexplicably lenient sentences, and advocate to change the laws where necessary, to ensure the sense is put into sentencing.
    * Clean up government by continuing to uncover and expose where Labor MPs and ministers have rorted public funds and to make them repay it; and continue to pressure Anna Bligh to sack, rather than sanction, her ministerial rorters.

 

Climate change/sustainability

Climate Change and Sustainability Minister Kate Jones

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Delivering landmark protection legislation to protect the Great Barrier Reef and improve its water quality.
    * Delivering a major milestone in the expansion of our national park estate, with more than 8 million hectares of national park now declared in Queensland.
    * Introducing the strongest legislation to protect koala habitat, as well as delivering record funding to continue to bolster and create more koala nature refuges in South East Queensland.

Key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Working hard to deliver a greener, more sustainable North Stradbroke Island, as we develop and implement our vision for 80 per cent of the island to be protected and all sand mining phased out.
    * Delivering the Queensland Biodiversity Strategy, to provide a statewide approach to conservation that will ensure our unique landscapes and incredible wildlife are protected for future generations.
    * Implementing our major waste management reforms announced at this year’s budget – which aim to put an end to Queensland’s title as one of Australia’s biggest waste generators.

Opposition climate change and sustainability spokesman Glen Elmes

Top three claimed achievements:

    * Compiling a Fraser Island report which sets out a better management plan for this World Heritage-listed island.
    * Raising the plight of protected dugong and turtle species that are being hunted indiscriminately in north Queensland.
    * Highlighting problems with the state government's Great Barrier Reef protection legislation, which resulted in every farmer in the three catchment areas being branded a criminal until they could prove otherwise.

Key issues over the next 18 months:

    * Continuing to work with interested groups to develop a comprehensive koala strategy for south-east Queensland.
    * Addressing the amount of green waste going into landfill, e-waste, and disposal of large-scale building rubble.
    * Scrutinising the current government’s management of national parks, stressing the need for an emphasis on caring for the national park estate while providing, in some parks, for very low impact eco-tourism opportunities.
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
  Bob's Blog

Online ozbob

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2010, 05:43:55 AM »
Blog comment:

Quote
Sorry, guys but the promised rail services were not delivered.  It was obfuscated in spin, which you seem to have fallen for as well.

Secondly, the go card presently has the worst fare structure of any smart public transport system in the world.  It is a failure to to use our investment properly to drive public transport uptake to achieve the real economic benefit.  The Tourist forum is not representative of commuters.  Have a look at the fare structure s for the Perth and Melbourne cards.  Melbourne's myki runs rings around the go card, fares, easy to use equipment.  Myki has daily capping, periodical options anywhere from 7 days to a year essentially, as well as a fare structure similar to the go card.  Both fare approaches, myki money and myki pass can operate concurrently on the myki card.  Go card is primitive by comparison.
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Online ozbob

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2010, 06:45:08 AM »
And the actuality ..

From Translink Media http://www.translink.com.au/mediarelease.php?id=159

301,000 seat target reached with a Southern Brisbane service boost

Quote
The Queensland Government has added 301,000 additional seats per week to South East Queensland's transport network.

Minister Rachel Nolan announced the milestone has been reached as promised with a new $1.2 million bus package for Park Ridge.

"A new service will be introduced - P546 - a pre-paid only route delivered by Park Ridge Transit, when services return to peak demand following the school and university holidays," Ms Nolan said.

"Seven new low-floor air-conditioned buses will operate 14 services each weekday - seven inbound in the morning peak and seven outbound in the afternoon peak - with capacity for more than 3,600 customers a week."

Minister Nolan announced that the new bus package would be put in place to service the new Park Ridge and upgraded Greenbank RSL park 'n' rides when they open to customers on July 26.

"The services will be express services to and from the city using the South East Busway, servicing both the Greenbank RSL and Park Ridge park 'n' ride facilities," Ms Nolan said.

"The P546 will also stop at Griffith University and Buranda busway stations, allowing Griffith University and University of Queensland students and staff a faster trip to campus.

"The existing route 540 (Beaudesert to City) will also service both park 'n' rides, providing off-peak services to customers.

"Both the new $4 million carpark facility near Mount Lindesay Highway, Park Ridge and the upgraded $1.4 million carpark facility at the Greenbank RSL at Corporate Place, Hillcrest will be serviced by these two routes from Monday July 26.

"These new services are the final component of our commitment to add 301,000 new seats a week to the TransLink network," Ms Nolan said.

"That's seated capacity for 15 million additional public transport trips across next financial year."

The breakdown consists of:

•30,000 additional weekly seats on the Gold Coast, Cleveland, Ipswich, Doomben and Rosewood lines
•215,000 weekly bus seats across Brisbane
•40,000 weekly bus seats across the Gold Coast
•10,000 additional seats for school services and buses in the Logan/Park Ridge area
•8000 additional seats on Brisbane's CityCat services.

For more details about public transport, please visit www.translink.com.au or phone 13 12 30, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

83,400 was the rail target ...  http://railbotforum.org/mbs/index.php?topic=3241.0

http://download.translink.com.au/ticketing/100104_fares.pdf
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 08:08:27 AM by ozbob »
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2010, 08:23:44 AM »
Seriously, you know the government is in its death throes when stunts and gimmicks start to flood the newspapers...
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Offline Golliwog

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2010, 08:26:19 AM »
Honestly, why can't government ministers follow what the departments and even the opposition has done? We should not have two ministers, one for transport and one for main roads. They should be one and the same!
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Offline #Metro

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2010, 08:37:59 AM »
That's what I was thinking too.
The department of transport and main roads were merged were they not?

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Offline mufreight

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2010, 08:44:44 AM »
Beyond the ability of these "Ministers" to administer one portfolio much less two, the pathetic failures of the current incompetent administration tells it all

colinw

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2010, 08:58:52 AM »
So to summarise the achievements of Transport & Main Roads, it was delivering a bunch of extra motorway capacity, providing a few more seats on trains & buses while doing sod all for frequency, and winning a dubious award for a smartcard ticketing system that has serious problems with its fare structure and doesn't cater for visitors well.

Pathetic!

somebody

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2010, 12:57:20 PM »
a smartcard ticketing system that has serious problems with its fare structure
What's your view of the problems with the fare structure?

colinw

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2010, 01:24:08 PM »
My major issue is the lack of incentive to uptake by regular commuters, and the punitive increases of ticket prices (go card & paper) over the last year or so, with 15% to come in 2011.  I believe the additional cost for using Go Card for some longer commutes (e.g. Gold Coast) as opposed to a long term paper ticket is over $1000 in some cases.

If you use it for your regular 10 trips a week to & from work, you don't get any kind of "frequent use" benefit the way the paper weeklies & monthlies give, i.e. there needs to be a product equivalent to the unlimited use available for the paper weekly, monthly & seasonal tickets between two set destinations, with additional charges for trips outside that route.

Nobody should be worse off as a result of adopting Go card.  For people who were using a monthly or longer ticket, that is not the case. (Not sure about weeklies, suspect they are adversely impacted as well?)

It also doesn't help that there's not good products for casual / one off users, the system is unapproachable to tourists.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 01:28:39 PM by colinw »

Online ozbob

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2010, 01:50:01 PM »
One of the reasons why I strongly support capping and periodical options for the go card is that encourages maximum public transport utilisation.

Many public transport commuters (around 90% or so in Brisbane) will do the equivalent of 10 journeys a week or less. Some cohorts, eg. university students and seniors have a higher rate of daily multiple journeys above 2.  If there are capping and periodical options there is a real driver to do more journeys in day or a week say.  A weekly periodical holder says I can use my ticket to go to the cinema tonight, and on Sunday to head to Church, rather than drive.  The sum of these effects is that there are economic benefits generated in terms of road use savings - lessened environmental impacts and road trauma is reduced.  Road congestion is also eased, fast becoming a consideration 7 days a week now.  Face it, users doing those extra journeys are doing it at times outside the peaks generally (they already do those) at times when there is plenty of capacity.  This in turn means better utilisation of the public transport, more pax, security is improved.  All in all excellent outcomes.  Fare-box is increased.

I think most public transport jurisdictions apart from SEQ  recognise these overall benefits for capping and periodical options.  The 50% reduction after 10 journeys in a week on the go doesn't resonate in the same way.  It is not a driver in the same way capping and periodical options would be.

I would be happy with a daily cap set at highest zone journey in a 24 h period x 2 +30%.  This would be accessible and equitable for all

Periodical for a week period set at 10 journeys for a nominated zone + 30%.  Travel outside zones is just normal pay as you go fare.   Travel within the zones unrestricted.  This is only useful for some but presents an attractive product for the regular commuter and encourages more use of public transport outside their normal commutes.

Off peak increased from 15% (January 2011 projection, presently 10%) to 30%.

Just some ideas ...





« Last Edit: October 12, 2010, 01:59:21 PM by ozbob »
Half baked projects, have long term consequences ...
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somebody

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2010, 02:19:48 PM »
If you use it for your regular 10 trips a week to & from work, you don't get any kind of "frequent use" benefit the way the paper weeklies & monthlies give,
I actually think this is inappropriate.  If you are a workaday commuter using the rail network, you are responsible for a large portion of the costs of providing the PT service.  Even if you are using bus, there is still costs caused due to bus ownership costs.  These people should NOT be given discounts.  The only reason I can see which they ever were was that selling tickets is actually quite expensive in the manual system days, and even the ticket machines are far from free.

Nobody should be worse off as a result of adopting Go card. 
Definitely.  But this anomaly will soon be gone.  It was also mitigated to some degree by putting up the paper ticket's price.  The regrettable aspect was that the Go Card went up quite a bit too.

Face it, users doing those extra journeys are doing it at times outside the peaks generally (they already do those) at times when there is plenty of capacity.  This in turn means better utilisation of the public transport, more pax, security is improved.  All in all excellent outcomes.  Fare-box is increased.
This argument works out for the rail system, but holds less well for the bus system, where drivers' wages are the major cost.

Besides, the far far more important issue is getting a reasonable frequency rather than changing the fare structure.

Offline #Metro

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Re: Article: Out of the shadow: ministers, rivals mark their work
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2010, 02:23:47 PM »
Simplicity.
Don't overcook it.
Negative people... have a problem for every solution.
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