Andrew Powell MP
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Parliamentary News

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

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

 

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.

 

 

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13 February 2017 

This week the LNP Opposition will introduce tough new laws to State Parliament to tackle the growing scourge of domestic violence in Glass House and across the state.

Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, said the Private Members Bill would include reversing the onus of proof for bail, establishing a DV alert system, GPS monitoring for high-risk offenders on bail and introducing immediate appeal rights against bail.

“While the Palaszczuk Government has been sitting on their hands saying they will ‘look into’ strong domestic violence laws, the LNP has actually gone ahead and done it,” Mr Powell said.

“By introducing a DV alert system, victims will be notified when the alleged offender is applying for bail or having their parole reviewed.

“We will also introduce GPS monitoring as an option for bail to ensure an alleged attacker can’t go near the victim,” Mr Powell added.

Mr Powell said Queensland accounted for a quarter of all domestic-violence related deaths in Australia in 2016.

“In 2015-16 there were more than 22,000 domestic violence orders breached across the state – up 39 per cent from the year before,” Mr Powell said.

“Despite this alarming surge, the Palaszczuk Government still hasn’t implemented even half of the recommendations from the Not Now, Not Ever report from two years ago.

“I hope Members from all sides can look past the politics and support these strong laws because the longer we wait, the longer vulnerable women and children will be put at risk,” Mr Powell concluded.

Bail (Domestic Violence) and Another Act Amendment Bill 2017

• Reversing the onus of proof for bail – Making it harder for bail to be granted for alleged offenders charged with domestic violence-related crimes
• Establishing a DV alert system – The LNP Bill allows for automatic notification when anyone the subject of a domestic violence order is being considered for either bail or parole, giving time for victims to prepare mentally and physically for their potential release
• GPS monitoring for high-risk offenders on bail – Allowing the police to apply for GPS monitoring as part of a bail condition to ensure the safety of victims and their families
• Introducing immediate appeal rights against bail – Providing an urgent review of a granted bail application to a higher court.
Ends – 13 February 2017

#Powell4GlassHouse

The last week of Parliament sitting last week brought some late nights with a lot to be finalised before the end of the year.

Highlights of the week were:
•The LNP announcing that a future LNP government will implement ‘No Body, No Parole’ laws in Queensland.  This means that convicted killers who fail to tell authorities where they have dumped a body will be refused parole under a tough new LNP policy aimed at empowering victims not offenders.  The news was welcomed by Bruce and Denise Morcombe who said it was a huge win for victims and their families!
•The turning on of the Parliamentary Christmas Tree lights!
•Standing up against violence against women with my parliamentary colleagues – White Ribbon Day 2016.
•Debate on the Taxi Industry Assistance Package.  This bill is flawed and botched and is a real kick in the guts to taxi and limo operators.  The LNP also welcomes competition but there must be fair compensation and a fair and level playing field for the personalised transport industry and I am working with providers for a fairer go.

On returning to the electorate on Friday morning, I attended the Elimbah Excellence Parade and was honoured to present the award for Dux of the school to Emelia from year 6.  Then it was off to Beerburrum State School for a pizza party with the year two class.  The winner of my Christmas Artwork Competition this year was Andre De Clara who not only won a prize for himself, but he also won a pizza party for his whole class.  Well done Andre and thanks kids for the fun at lunch.

The Glasshouse Country RSL recently picked up $12,500 through the Gambling Community Benefit Fund to install solar panels so it was great to catch up with them and discuss their plans.

Another school event to finish off my Friday and it was a huge night, full of brilliant kids, dance, drama and carols at the Peachester State School Awards Night.

Ironically on Saturday night a storm took out the power at the official turning on of the WoW – Windows of Woodford illuminated art boxes. Regardless, it’s a brilliant project and brain child of the Woodford Lions, ably supported by the Woodford Folk Festival and Cr Adrian Raedel.  If you haven’t seen them yet, go and take it look.  They look great.

Not even an almighty storm could stop Crystal and Fred Peters and the Stoney Creek Rural Fire Brigade from holding their Christmas bash on Saturday night too!

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5 October 2016

D’Aguilar Highway – One Project Completed, Another Set to Start
As promised, the D’Aguilar Highway between Caboolture and Kilcoy is set to become even safer and more efficient with another major project about to begin, right on the back of the recent upgrades being completed.

D’Aguilar Highway residents came together yesterday to celebrate with State Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP, the completion of the new eastbound overtaking lane between the Gamgee Road Intersections west of Wamuran.

“In true Aussie style we threw a sausage on the BBQ to salute the safer Gamgee Road intersections and the first ever eastbound overtaking lane east of Woodford,” Mr Powell said.

“But the party became even sweeter when Federal Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester, announced on the weekend that another new overtaking lane would be built at Woodford between Chambers and Petersen roads.

This project is fully funded as part of the Australian Government’s $16 million Road Safety Improvement project designed to benefit all users of the D’Aguilar Highway and was the direct result of lobbying by then Federal Member for Longman Wyatt Roy and State Member for Glass House Andrew Powell MP.

“Wyatt and I had worked tirelessly to maximise the benefit for our local road users from this $16 million investment. We were confident, through smarter design and project management, we could also fund this second overtaking lane so I thank Minister Chester and the Federal Coalition Government for following through on our original plans,” Mr Powell continued.

“I am advised the upcoming works near Woodford will include upgrades to the Ironbark Drive and Chambers Road intersections. A tender process will commence shortly and I will keep the community advised as to when construction will commence,” Mr Powell concluded.

#Powell4GlassHouse

[ENDS] 5 October 2016

 

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