• Surf club election pledge takes shape

    WORK to fulfill an election commitment to the Eimeo Surf Life Saving Club will soon get under way, with the end result of an upgraded premises with a dedicated first aid room and training facility. I was happy to make the commitment in June last year that a re-elected Liberal National Government would provide $100,000 for this upgrade. The club’s president Bill Landsbury and vice president Duncan Sanderson told me they hope to have it up and running by the end of April.
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  • Childcare centre boosts service with solar

    A Mackay childcare centre expects to halve its energy costs thanks to a boost from the Stronger Communities Programme. I congratulated C&K Mackay Children and Family Centre’s family support officer Lionel Hardiman, back, and director Tineke Philip on a successful grant of $14,877 for a newly-installed energy-saving solar panel system.
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  • Support for state action on sugar

    I congratulate the Queensland LNP on taking decisive action to end the impasse over sugar marketing which is crippling the sugar industry in the north. My Federal colleagues and I… read more →
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  • Defending free speech

    13 FEBRUARY 2017: I spoke in defence of free speech at a fundraiser on Friday night. You can read the speech here or link to the video.
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  • Native Title Act concerns will not halt Adani

    FEBRUARY 13, 2017: CHANGES to the Native Title Act will be introduced into the Federal Parliament this week to ensure there are no impacts on the Adani Carmichael Coal Project.… read more →
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  • Step closer to $30 million jobs package

    FEBRUARY 13, 2017: THE local committee which will identify the best priorities for a $30 million jobs and investment boost for the region has been announced by the Minister for Regional… read more →
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  • Support and ovarian cancer treatments needed

    8 FEBRUARY 2017: I want people diagnosed with ovarian cancer and their families to get the support they need and I will be advocating on their behalf for the funding that can improve quality of life and help to extend life. I will be facilitating meetings with the Primary Health Network and also the Mackay Hospitals and Health Service to see what funding might be available for a support network in North Queensland.
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  • Children given access to life-changing CF drug

    7 FEBRUARY 2017: From today, children aged two to five will have immediate and free access to Kalydeco® (ivacaftor) – a life-changing drug that addresses the causes of cystic fibrosis rather than just the symptoms. Previously, only children six years of age and older with the G551D or other class III gating mutations had subsidised access to Kalydeco.
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  • Time to bring Wilmar into line

    7 FEBRUARY 2017: IT’S time for the government to step in and resolve sugar marketing dispute with a mandatory code of practice for the sugar industry. Wilmar has had more than enough time to the right thing of their own free will and it’s time the government stepped in to stop the Singaporean-owned miller from bullying farmers.
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  • NQ jobs, cheaper power a step closer

    2 FEBRUARY 2017: New jobs and lower power prices could come to North Queensland as momentum builds for a low-emissions coal-fired power generator in the North. My call for a clean coal generator in North Queensland has received a boost with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull supporting the technology and emphasising the need for affordable and reliable electricity.
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  • Ovarian cancer drug subsidised

    1 FEBRUARY 2017: From today, Australians have subsidised access to new drugs for ovarian and lung cancer – which would otherwise cost more than $100,000 per course of treatment – but are now available for just $6.30 for concessional patients and $38.80 for general patients.
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  • Greens inciting flag-burners should be booted

    Members of the Greens who want to disrupt Australia Day celebrations and encourage people to “steal and burn aus rags” – an obvious reference to the Australian flag – should be expelled from their party. The far left faction of the NSW Greens are actively promoting disruption of our national day of celebration and I call on Greens leader Richard di Natalie to show some spine and expel party members who are encouraging theft and acts of desecration of our national flag. The Greens Left Renewal arm are sharing ideas for “7 days of Resistance” in the lead-up to Australia Day via their Facebook page, and the suggestions promoted include “interrupting aus day celebrations, paint images words/wording on walls and roads” and “steal and burn aus rags”.
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  • Apply now for round one of Building Better Regions Fund

    18 JANUARY 2017: Community groups and local councils are encouraged to apply for funding under the Building Better Regions Fund, which is available for community and infrastructure projects in North Queensland. Applications will be assessed in three categories depending on the size of the project – so small community projects are not competing against huge projects worth tens of millions.
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  • Thoughts on a republic

    DECEMBER 16, 2016: I have declared my support for an Australian republic, but only if the move was truly egalitarian, with a head of state who was elected by the people. My other… read more →
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  • Petition to stop abuse of legal system

    9 DECEMBER 2016: To the thousands of North Queenslanders who joined me in the push to get Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project over the line, I would like to offer sincere thanks and also to congratulate you on the successes we have achieved to date. Mr Adani’s visit to North Queensland this week brought with it a wave of confidence and a positive outlook for our region as we look forward to the jobs and economic boost that will follow.
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  • Right to clear land assured

    ANY suggestion that the Federal Government will intervene and ban farmers from tree clearing is just utter nonsense. There have been media reports which gave the impression that Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg would “stop Queensland farmers clearing land in an effort to protect the Great Barrier Reef”. The Liberal National Coalition Government will not be stepping in and banning farmers from undertaking tree clearing on their own land. Any media reports which claim we will are overblown nonsense.
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  • Rail line to boost jobs & economy

    5 DECEMBER 2016: Construction of a rail line linking the Galilee Basin with the port at Abbot Point will open up jobs and economic opportunity far beyond Adani’s Carmichael Coal Project. I am supporting a Federal Government loan for construction of the multi-use rail line under the Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).
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  • Tax deal a win for backpackers and local workers

    28 NOVEMBER 2016: A 15 per cent tax rate for backpackers is a good outcome for North Queensland farmers, backpackers and Australian workers. The Liberal National Government announced today it had negotiated a deal with One Nation for the tax rate applying to working holiday visa holders.
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  • Regional funding better than ever

    23 NOVEMBER 2016: Regional funding takes a quantum leap forward with today’s launch of the Building Better Regions Fund. Most importantly, capital cities will no longer be eligible for regional funding because this is a fund for rural, regional and remote communities.
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  • Sugar tax will cut jobs, not kilos

    23 NOVEMBER 2016: A TAX on sugar will cut jobs but it won’t obesity – and it will hurt people on low incomes the most. The Nanny State today launched a report from left-wing think tank, the Grattan Institute, called: Taxing Sugary Drinks: Recovering the Community Cost of Obesity.
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  • Wilmar ‘forcing government to act’

    21 NOVEMBER 2016: Despite having crops already in the ground and the best prices for years, most cane farmers have not signed cane supply agreements with Wilmar because Wilmar’s proposed agreements deny farmers their right to choice in marketing.
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  • Call for sacked mine workers to speak up

    17 NOVEMBER 2016: Today, I am calling for any German Creek mine workers who believe they have been made redundant so their jobs could go to labour hire contractors to contact my office so I can take up their case with the Fair Work Ombudsman. I have had ongoing concerns about the rise of casualisation in the mining industry and particular concerns about what was happening at Anglo American’s German Creek coal mine near Middlemount.
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  • Shorten needs to back up his outlandish claim

    16 NOVEMBER 2016: Bill Shorten needs to back up his outlandish accusations today about 457 visa-related voting in parliament with fact. He claims I voted “no” to legislation that, according to Bill, Labor “proposed to help improve the governance, the regulation of the visa system to make sure that Australians were getting looked after and people weren’t getting ripped off and exploited”.
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  • Shorten fails to own up to issuing record 457 visas

    16 NOVEMBER 2016: Opposition Leader Bill Shorten missed a golden opportunity today to explain to North Queenslanders why he signed off on a record number of 457 visas when he was the Employment Minister. Although the purpose of Mr Shorten’s Mackay visit was to talk about 457 visas, he failed to mention that Labor oversaw the largest increase in 457 visas during their last term of government.
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  • Moratorium needed on foreign workers

    15 NOVEMBER 2016: I wrote to the Prime Minister this morning, calling for a complete ban on 457 visas being issued for jobs located in Central and North Queensland. I also wrote to the Deputy Prime Minister and the ministers for Employment and Immigration, requesting a moratorium on 457s in the region hardest hit by the mining downturn.
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  • 8 million visitors: Australia sets new tourism record

    14 NOVEMBER 2016: AUSTRALIA welcomed more than eight million international tourists over the past 12 months and the benefits have flowed to North Queensland, especially the Whitsundays. This year’s results from the Australian Bureau of Statistics is the first time Australia has broken the eight million visitor mark.
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  • Supplanting Australian law with Sharia should cost citizenship

    7 NOVEMBER 2016: Today I called for citizenship to be revoked from new residents who broke Australian law in order to comply with Sharia law during a speech in parliament on forced marriages. Political correctness should not stop Australia from upholding and enforcing Australian law, including for those who voluntarily came to Australia.
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  • Next step on $30 million jobs and investment boost

    I will meet with other Federal MPs who represent the Bowen Basin region next week to plan the next steps in delivering a $30 million jobs and investment package, bringing to fruition another Coalition Government election commitment. The aim of the Bowen Basin Regional Jobs and Investment Package is to help businesses diversify and to create more jobs on the ground. The next step in getting this $30 million investment out of Government coffers and into businesses and programmes that will provide jobs is to establish a local planning committee which will operate under the guidance of the Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash.
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  • Give local youth a go

    3 NOVEMBER 2016: An innovative Youth Jobs PaTH programme is getting young North Queenslanders ready and able to join the workforce. Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) will help increase young people’s job prospects by ensuring they are better prepared for the workplace and encouraging more businesses to open the door to them.
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  • Free shingles vaccine for over 70s

    2 NOVEMBER 2016: Good news today that 70-year-old Australians can get the shingles vaccine for free. The vaccine will be free to eligible people, with a catch-up program available for adults aged 71 to 79 years.
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