Andrew Powell MP
Glass House Issues

Business Title

I spent a good part of last week traveling to the regions that were effected by Tropical Cyclone Debbie in my capacity as Shadow Minister for Local Government, Transport and Main Roads.  Queenslanders are a resilient lot and we are used to experiencing more than our fair share of natural disasters each and every year and Cyclone Debbie was no exception. Not only did she cause considerably damage in the north crossing the coast, she then continued to track south leaving further destruction and flooding in her wake. I visited Airlie Beach and Mackay and then south to Logan, Beaudesert and the Gold Coast. Restoring essential services, clearing debris and reopening roads are critical to communities getting back on their feet and I applaud the coordinated work of the Councils and other support services to provide such swift responses.

It was great to finish off the week by attending a morning tea in honour of Joyce Newton who was recently awarded an Honorary Life Membership of the LNP.

 

With Jon Krause With Taryn and Joyce

Some of my activities from last week included:

  • hosting Tracy Davis, Shadow Minister for Education, in the Glass House electorate.  Tracy and I held a Principals’ Round Table and toured the Woodford P-10 school
  • attending the Woodford Swimming Club end of season breakup and trophy presentation
  • representing the Leader of the Opposition at the Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Official Opening breakfast
  • constituent and stakeholder meetings
  • attending the QBIC Gala Dinner and Industry Awards in Toowoomba

It was great to start a Parliamentary sitting week by attending the Parliamentary Friends of Rugby League launch and to get within touching distance of the impressive State of Origin Shield.  It was also wonderful to celebration the eighth anniversary of my swearing in as a Member of Parliament and it continues to be an honour and a privilege to represent the amazing people of Glass House.

There were also some very late nights (or early mornings depending on how you look at it) in Parliament last week, however it was all worthwhile when groundbreaking Domestic Violence reforms were passed due to the LNP’s Private Member’s Bill.

Key reforms which were passed in the Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2017 included:

•Reversing the presumption for bail in domestic violence-related crimes such as assault, grievous bodily harm, deprivation of liberty, strangulation and kidnapping.
•DV Alert system to notify victims and families when someone with a DVO is being considered for parole, even if the reason they are in prison is not related to domestic violence.
•Introducing urgent appeal rights to the bail application process, meaning bail decisions will be stayed for up to three business days and referred to a higher court for urgent review.
•Allowing GPS trackers to be fitted to an alleged offender as a bail condition by the court to ensure that victims of crime are better protected throughout the trial process, which can be lengthy.

Our Bill also sought to introduce a DV Alert system to ensure victims and families are notified when someone charged with domestic violence crimes is being considered for or has been granted bail. Unfortunately, Labor Members voted against this provision so it did not pass.

After returning to the electorate on Friday, I held constituent meetings and then on Saturday attended the Woodford P-10 State School dual celebrations of 135 years of schooling and 50 years of senior schooling. My father, uncles and aunt actually attended Woodford school back in the 1960’s so it was an extra special celebration.

AP swearing in 8 years ago AP with State of Origin Shield Woodford School 135 year anniversary

Some of last week’s activities……

  • As Patron of the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre – QLD it was great to attend a committee meeting and check out the progress on the Beaufort Bomber restoration.
  • Met with Caboolture Community Adult Literacy Group Inc
  • Caught up with Rachel Fentiman who was our sponsor on the Maleny-Montville/Maleny-Landsborough Roads intersection petition. Huge thanks to Rachel and everyone who took the time to sign the petition.  We have correlated the signatures and the petition is now tabled and waiting for a response from the Minister.
  • It was great to make it to the Maleny Commerce breakfast at Spicers Tamarind Retreat. Wonderful bunch of small business operators – the economic powerhouse of the Sunny Coast Hinterland.
  • I caught up with a couple of Local Heroes Grant recipients.  Slade North was selected to play in the Softball Queensland Team having represented our region through the Redcliffe Leagues Softball Association and Sandy and Yvonne at the Elimbah Uniting Church who will be buying a new zip water boiler out of their Local Heroes Grant.
  • Meetings with constituents and Shadow portfolio stakeholders
  • Travelled to Cairns and caught up with Mayor Tom Gilmore of the Shire of Mareeba. Tom is also the Chair of the Far North Queensland Regional Organisation of Councils so fantastic opportunity to discuss the north’s priorities.

To conclude the week I would like to pay tribute to someone who has had a great impact on me as a Member of Parliament.  Many people have influenced who I am and how I serve as the Member for Glass House, but Joyce Newton is someone very special. Her friendship and support of me over the past decade, her service to the electorate of Glass House and the people of Maleny for the past 43 years and her unending commitment to the values of the LNP – Liberal National Party has led to her receiving an Honorary Life Membership and I was privileged to be present and see Joyce receive her award.  From the depths of my heart, thank you Joyce.

Some of my activities during the last week included:

•  Presenting an Australian Flag to the Maleny Historical Society on behalf of Senator James McGrath and a Queensland flag to Gail at the Maleny Swimming Club
•  Presenting Justice of the Peace Service Certificates to Maleny local Lyn Edwards for 36 years of service and to Vivienne Nelson of Palmwoods for 29 years of service.  Thank you ladies for your service to Queensland
•  Catching up with Cr Jenny McKay at one of our regular brekky catch ups to ensure the two tiers of government continue working together
•  Speaking to students at Mt Mee State School about all things “Government”
•  Constituent meetings
•  Attending a Women in Road Transport breakfast on International Women’s Day
•  Presenting a Local Heroes Grant to the Palmwoods Netball Club
•  Doorknocking in Glasshouse Mountains
•  Getting behind the BBQ at the Palmwoods Warriors Football Club on Saturday morning
•  Co-hosting the Woodford Pool Party to raise funds for the local Chappys

I was back in parliament last week where we were due to debate two abortion bills that were introduced by the Member for Cairns Rob Pyne and were being strongly pushed by Labor’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad.  The LNP made a public commitment to oppose both of these Bills after allowing Members a conscience vote, given the well-established convention for conscience votes for matters that go to the start and end of life.  It was a unanimous resolution that every member of the LNP indicated that they could not, in good conscience, support either of the Bills.  The Bills have now been withdrawn from the Queensland Parliament and referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission for further advice and analysis.

I would like to provide some insight into my consideration of the Bills.

These Bills were unsatisfactory and the withdrawal of these Bills vindicates this position.  The first Bill left the entire area of abortion unregulated and this was clearly untenable.  The second Bill attempted to correct the failures of the first Bill but fell well short. It created further risk and uncertainty as shown in the Parliamentary Committee report. In fact, the second Bill sought to make it legal for a woman to secure her own abortion without medical supervision – including by the use of illicitly obtained drugs.  It also created additional legal uncertainty and an ongoing legislative conflict between the Criminal Code and the Health Act.

This is often a very personal issue and people have strong views on both sides of the argument and I thank Glass House constituents for passing on their comments.

Parliament can sometimes be fun and there was plenty to smile about at the launch of the Queensland Parliamentary Friends of the AFL.

It is always good to return to the electorate and on Friday I met with representatives from the Department of Transport and Main roads to be briefed about projects in Glass House and met with constituents.  I also dropped in to the new Maleny Police Station.

The weekend was taken up with Shadow Cabinet in Bundaberg.

Looking forward to spending the coming week in the beautiful Glass House electorate.

AP with AFL mascots Shadow Cabinet in Bundaberg

 

Great to be back in the electorate this week and to also travel to other regions as part of my Shadow Ministry role.

Here is the week that was:

  • meetings with constituents and transport industry representatives in the Glass House electorate
  • attended school leadership ceremony at Woodford State School
  • attended Celebrate Glasshouse Country Tourism Launch
  • attended Maleny Hospital Auxiliary AGM
  • attended Glasshouse Chamber of Commerce meeting
  • attended Maleny Lions Youth of the Year event
  • attended school leadership ceremony at Chevallum State School
  • along with Opposition Leader, Tim Nicholls, announced our Get Queensland Working policy – incentives for businesses that take on apprentices and job-seekers (including Work Cover premium discounts) and Tools for Tradies vouchers
  • attended Montville Village Association information session on the South East Queensland Regional Plan
  • meetings with residents, stakeholders and council representatives in my capacity as Shadow Minister for Transport, Main Roads and Local Government in the Condamine, Toowoomba North and Toowoomba South electorates
  • attended the presentation of Queen’s Scout Award to Alex Colvin
  • presented certificate and cheque to Peachester State School P & C as a recipient of a Local Heroes Grant

 

It was back to Parliament this week where the LNP has put into the Parliament strong reforms to tackle the growing scourge of domestic violence in Queensland.

These include:

1.     Bail is not a right – Reversing the onus of proof for bail, forcing those charged with domestic violence crimes to prove why they deserve bail.

2.     DV Alert System – Issuing a notification if an offender has applied or been granted bail or parole to give victims and their families time to mentally and physically prepare.

3.     GPS Monitoring – Monitoring high-risk offenders by GPS tracking to ensure the safety of victims and their families through the court process, which can often be lengthy.

4.     Urgent Appeal Rights – Introducing an urgent appeal right for bail decisions​ and ensure they are finalised within three business days. The alleged offender will stay in custody during the appeal – not out in the community – giving police the tools they need to better protect the community through the bail process.

Help make these laws a reality by taking the pledge to end domestic and family violence at the link on my homepage.
On returning to the electorate it was an honour to join the amazing team at Act for Mason, and some of my colleagues along with hundreds of others as we ‘Walked for Mason’ to call on the Government to ensure no other child has to go through what 21 month old Mason Jet Lee endured.

On Saturday I went to the Big Pineapple Renewal Open Day to see the plans the new owners have to renew and sustain the future of this famous icon.  There are exciting times ahead and more information is available on their website at www.bigpineapple.com.au.

On Sunday I finished off the week by attending the Peachester Community Church Service of Celebration.  After 95 years, the much loved and utilised Peachester Uniting Church transitions to community ownership, managed by the Peachester Hall Committee.

 

 

Last week’s activities included:

•Visiting the new Pumicestone State School where I had the pleasure of donating a reading chair to the school and I was thrilled to be asked to come along and read a book to the kids

•Attending the Delaneys Creek State School Leader’s ceremony.  Great to meet the 2017 leaders

•Attended a breakfast with Scott Emerson at the Maleny Hotel where Scott spoke about the economy and small business

•Received a briefing with Tim Nicholls from Commissioner Phillip Strachan on the state of Queensland Rail

•Presented a JP service certificate to Ruth Osberger for 36 years of service as a JP in Queensland

•Attended the Maleny Singers AGM

After concluding last year attending lots of school graduation celebrations, the beginning of the school year now brings many leadership ceremonies which I have great pleasure in attending.  It’s exciting to meet our new leaders of the future and I wish all the kids well for a great year.

During this past week my movements included:

  • constituent appointments
  • on site meetings regarding road concerns
  • mobile offices in Glasshouse and Conondale
  • briefing by Maleny Bowls Club on their 80th year celebrations
  • meetings with Transport and Main Roads stakeholders and groups
  • attending Maleny State School leadership ceremony
  • launching a petition for improvements at the Landsborough-Maleny Road and Maleny-Montville Road intersection
  • meeting with Local Government representatives
  • attending the Maleny RSL Annual Reunion Luncheon
  • being special guest at an LNP meeting in Nanango

 

 

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