July 20, 2016: My view on the government’s latest superannuation policies is that they must change because they attack the hard workers who do the right thing. I made these views clear at the… read more →
JULY 19, 2016: There has been a public and politically correct furore over TV identity Sonia Kruger’s statements on further Islamic immigration, but she has every right to express her views. In April, I… read more →
A small business incubator, a school and a long day care centre were all given a boost today with the announcement by Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen that almost $55,000 in Stronger Communities Programme grants had been approved.
I joined Split Spaces general manager Jarryd Townson to congratulate him on his successful application.
Jarryd is creating a business incubator here in Mackay called Split Spaces which will provide support services and collaboration for start-ups and small businesses, and I was happy to recommend his project for funding of $19,800 under the Stronger Communities Programme.
This funding is just the beginning of the project for Mr Townson, but it will allow for the renovation and fit-out of a co-working space as well as provide some office equipment and kitchen facilities.
I joined the Minister for Northern Australia Matt Canavan at today’s launch of an Occupational Health and Safety Research Centre focusing on work-related health issues.
The Centre aims to reduce the incidence of death, illness and injury, including black lung disease.
The Occupational Health and Safety Research Centre will provide cutting edge research and innovation capacity which will focus on illnesses, injuries and deaths in key regional industries, like the resources and agriculture industry.
Mackay, as a coal mining centre, and as a hub for the mining services industry, is the right location for such an endeavour.
I’ve made the pledge today that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide $150,000 to Aqua Fun Park Mackay – which is a tourism attraction which also provides jobs for young people.
The enterprising operation, which will be auspiced under the Not For Profit Trinity Youth and Community Services group, will now be able to purchase their own inflatable fun park equipment so they can keep operating.
Operators Amanda Pelagalli and Kirk Langford approached me some months back because they were having trouble keeping their great tourism venture afloat, literally.
A small club which undertakes the big job of patrolling one of our region’s favourite beaches, Eimeo, was on the receiving end of some financial ‘first aid’ today with the announcement that a re-elected Liberal National Government will commit $100,000 for an to their facility.
Everyone understands that our life saving clubs provide a vital service, and I salute their huge volunteer effort of training up young people who make sure our beaches are safe places to be.
I MET with representatives of the marine tourism industry in Airlie Beach this morning to announce that a re-elected Liberal National Government will invest $300,000 towards a walking track at Whitehaven beach.
The construction of a hardened circuit walking track and a lookout deck at the southern end of the famous Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays would help to address issues of overcrowding at the popular tourist destination.
JUNE 21, 2016: Sporting families in the Whitsundays are the big winners today with the announcement that a re-elected Coalition Government will provide $1.9 million for the Whitsunday Sportspark Precinct Redevelopment at… read more →
Mackay, Townsville and North Queensland will receive $11.6 million for local drug and alcohol rehabilitation services as part of the Government’s plan to combat the scourge of ice in communities across the country.
The funding will help to reduce demand for ice and reduce addict-based crime by supporting local rehabilitation services to help get addicts off ice and out of the drug market.
The clear feedback from families dealing with ice addiction is that more rehabilitation facilities are needed.
At the two Ice Forums conducted in my electorate last year, family members were certainly crying out for more treatment and rehab facilities and today’s announcement of $11.6 million for such services is welcome news.
THE Bowen Christian Outreach Centre has been undergoing a progressive transformation as the pastor and parishioners work to repair their aging building and I was happy to present them with a grant to help with that process.
I had the pleasure of presenting Pastor Phillip Watego with a $9,398 Stronger Communities Programme grant which will be used to replace a section of the roof which is rusting and beyond repair.
The Bowen Christian Outreach Centre is utilised for far more than weekly worship, with people gathering for ladies meetings, family activity nights, mens’ breakfasts and community barbeques.
A $75 million investment by a re-elected Coalition Government will support the development of the Walkerston Bypass, following construction of the $565 million Mackay Ring Road (Stage One) project.
I joined the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Darren Chester and LNP Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry for the announcement today in Walkerston.
This is a fantastic outcome for our region because it will provide the thing we need most and that’s jobs.
There will be jobs during construction, but the project will also boost freight productivity, which provides flow-on efficiency benefits and secures jobs in the local resource industry for the future.
AFTER learning of the need for some major improvements at the Mackay Netball Association courts, I was happy to announce today that a re-elected Liberal National Government will provide $250,000 for upgrades and new courts.
I met with Lyn Law and members of her committee on a couple of occasions and also conducted an inspection of the netball courts which are cracking up, literally.
The club is struggling to cater for their large membership base on the eight courts they have, and they have plans in place to build another eight courts, as well as completely resurface the existing courts.
A lack of commitment from Labor could lead to a net gain of zero for the region if the unthinkable happens and a Shorten Labor Government is elected.
This region will miss out unless Labor stumps up and puts some commitments on the table for the people of this region.
Labor needs to commit to at least the same funding that the Liberal National Government has committed to.
The Coalition has a number of election commitments on the table already.
Glencore’s decision to close its Coke Works facility in Bowen is devastating news and it further highlights the dire need for other projects to get off the ground to provide desperately needed jobs.
I have been informed by Glencore today that the Bowen Coke Works will transition to closure over the next few months.
Glencore have said that the Coke Works, which have historically provided feedstock for Mount Isa Mines’ lead smelter, is no longer able to operate competitively.
18 people are employed at the facility and many have worked there for many years.
I joined with Assistant Minister for Defence Michael McCormack and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop in Townsville today to discuss how Defence investment and international partnerships were contributing to our national security while generating growth and creating local jobs.
National security is the Government’s number one priority, and it was great to meet with locals to discuss how the Government’s investment in Defence infrastructure and equipment is supporting our troops.
Not only is our region contributing to Australia’s national security through bases such as RAAF Townsville and Lavarack Barracks, but the capital investment by Defence in the area is giving local businesses a boost through building and equipment supply contracts, and most importantly, it is creating jobs for local people.
THE cracks are showing at the Mackay Netball courts in South Mackay as the aging surface deteriorates, and I have pledged to work with the club to seek funding for improvements if I am re-elected as the Member for Dawson.
I heard the concerns of Mackay Netball Association president Lyn Law and secretary Jenny Moohin during an inspection of the courts this week.
Mackay Netball has a large and active membership base, and the club could grow even further if it had more courts to accommodate the 1400 plus players.
The other issue for them is that the courts are cracking up, and the surfaces on some of the current courts are pretty sub-standard; they’re aging and they need to be completely redone.
Mackay Football Park will be thrown a lifeline by a re-elected Coalition Government, as I have announced today that $350,000 would be provided to get all soccer fields to an acceptable playing standard.
It was always going to be a work in progress for Mackay Regional Football Zone to have a fully functioning football facility with a series of green turfed fields, and the hardworking volunteers who keep the sport going in Mackay have copped some unfair criticism over the state of those fields.
I’m happy to announce that a re-elected Liberal National Coalition Government will step in to help more than 1700 junior players and their families by providing $350,000 which will be adequate to turf and irrigate five full-size playing pitches, and start the process of providing lighting at Mackay Football Park at Glenella.
THE long held vision of creating a Drop In Centre for the homeless in Mackay took another step forward today with the presentation of a grant for $20,000 under the Stronger Communities Programme.
Mackay Drop In Centre (MDIC) will construct a purpose-built building in partnership with Salvation Army Mackay to provide a day service for homeless people of Mackay.
I recommended this project for the maximum funding available under the Liberal National Government’s Stronger Communities Programme, and I’m thrilled to see that it’s been approved.
FUNDING is set to flow to create jobs, provide water security and open up vast tracts of agricultural land with Federal Member for Dawson George Christensen welcoming announcements this morning that pre-construction planning work will begin for the Urannah Dam, the raising of the Burdekin Dam Wall, the Burdekin Haughton Channel upgrade, Hell’s Gate Dam and to upgrade water infrastructure for Clermont.
Today’s announcement makes all the hard work fighting for local jobs worthwhile.
Today I had the pleasure of announcing more than $725,000 from Round Two of the Coalition’s Safer Streets Programme to fund closed-circuit television (CCTV) at Airlie Beach.
The Safer Streets Programme supports communities at the grass roots to help address crime and anti-social behaviour, and boost crime prevention initiatives to keep our streets safe.
I was joined by the Minister for Justice Michael Keenan at Airlie Beach today to make the announcement.
It has been great to see so many volunteer groups in my electorate benefit from the last round of Volunteer Grants and I congratulate all of those involved, and I thank you for your service.
Across my electorate of Dawson, 40 organisations have received a total of $166,946 and this will benefit 1055 volunteers as well as the wider community they serve.
The regional breakdown is as follows:
Mackay region – 13 groups received a total of $58,496
Whitsunday/Bowen region – 8 groups received a total of $35,303
Burdekin region – 14 groups received a total of $53,655
South Townsville and Alligator Creek – 5 groups received a total of $19,492
The backpacker tax is gone.
The Federal Liberal National government is deferring the tax for six months pending a review which is expected to come up with a lower, more competitive tax rate.
I met with Bowen Gumlu Growers Association president Carl Walker in Bowen this morning to share the news, which will provide fruit and vegetable growers with greater workforce certainty.
The backpackers I spoke to were also happy to hear about it.
We definitely need to ensure that our growers have the workers they need to harvest their crops, but we also need to ensure that as many Australians as possible have the opportunity to take up work on farms.