Mr McEACHAN (Redlands—LNP) (11.34 am): I rise today to speak to the Appropriation Bill and state budget 2017-18. This budget that is proudly lauded by those opposite as a good Labor budget is an insult to the people of Redlands. It is nothing more than a con. Worse, this budget is the cause of injury to the people of Redlands. Let me spell it out for those opposite in the clearest possible terms. The Redlands electorate is in the top five fastest growing electorates in Queensland. The Redlands electorate is part of Redland City—the fifth largest urban population in the state.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Members in the House, I ask you to please keep your conversations down. Those conversations are interrupting the member for Redlands.
Mr McEACHAN: This budget does nothing to address the needs of not only the 55,000 people in Redlands but also the some 165,000 people who make up the city. Redland Hospital, under Labor’s watch, now has one of the worst rates of ambulance ramping in the state. Proud, hardworking ambos and hospital staff are stretched to the limit. How many more beds, nurses, doctors and services at the Redland Hospital have been funded in this budget? None, but that is okay says Labor: you will get Cross River Rail! Alcohol and substance abuse is taking a terrible toll in the Redlands. It is a big factor in home invasions, assaults, theft, child neglect and antisocial behaviour. How many more police on the beat for Redland Bay, Cleveland, Russell Island and Macleay Island police stations are budgeted for? None, but that is okay says Labor: you will get Cross River Rail! Victoria Point State School, Redland Bay State School, Mount Cotton State School and Carbrook State School are using enrolment management plans. They are overflowing with students. Notwithstanding the very welcome but reannounced $668,000 in funding for a new administration facility at Redland Bay State School, Redlands got no investment in local schools. The department knows we need to start work on a new school in the southern Redlands. What did we get? Nothing, but that is okay says Labor: you will get Cross River Rail! Russell Island State School and Macleay Island State School are both situated on central spine roads that traverse the length of each island. These roads are the principal access roads for people getting to barges and ferries—people on time constraints. The reality is that we do see people exceeding the speed limit. They see people exceeding the speed limit while students are arriving or leaving the schools. There has been a tragic fatality on one of these roads. A child was struck while riding his bike. Crossing attendants regularly report near misses.
We heard earlier last night that the electorate of Pine Rivers has school zone flashing lights for every school. We should all applaud that, but what do we get on the islands? Nothing. The Deputy Premier said yesterday that that is okay Redlands: you are getting Cross River Rail! The electorate of Redlands is home to vast mangrove forests, internationally important Ramsar sites, the world-famous Moreton Bay Marine Park, endangered koala populations and creeks with remnant rainforests that are in desperate need of remediation to improve water quality. What did we get for our precious environment in Redlands? Nothing, but that is okay says Labor: you are getting Cross River Rail! I have some important news for the Deputy Premier and it pertains to Cross River Rail: there is no railway in Redlands! Residents from Redland Bay, Victoria Point, Coochiemudlo and the Southern Moreton Bay Islands can drive 45 minutes at peak hour to get to the Cleveland station—a single line— often to find that the service has been cancelled. Deputy Premier, it is time to climb on board the reality train. Your Cross River Rail con job will not fly in Redlands. We need investments in roads, schools, emergency services, our hospital, environment and local jobs, not the cheap tricks of a cheap charlatan. Apart from being a con job, I believe there is a fundamental problem with the budget process for Redlands. The Redlands electorate is a proud part of a proud independent city. We have gone from a rural shire just 11 years ago to a major Queensland city today. It is time for Redland City to get its own place in the budget—a snapshot in the same way that cities like Cairns, Townsville, Toowoomba and Logan get, to name a few. Redland City needs this so it is not subsumed by Brisbane’s budget figures. Redlands need this so a clear light can shine on our needs and they can then be properly addressed. I make this commitment. I will fight for Redlands to have its own place in a budget brought down by an LNP government. In order to demonstrate the importance of this, I turn to the Far North Queensland action plan and compare it to the Brisbane action plan. The Brisbane action plan includes Redland City in the map only—the only major population area and independent city not subject to this state budget process. Let me say from the outset that I do not begrudge funding to the good people of Cairns. This serves purely for comparison purposes. In this budget the Cairns urban area receives up to $97 million out of a total spend of $897 million in the forward estimates. Redland City, with an almost identical population, be it slightly larger and growing faster, in this budget receives up to $15 million—$15 million compared to $97 million—out of a spend of $30 million in the forward estimates. It bears repeating: in this budget the Cairns urban area receives up to $97 million out of a total spend of $897 million in the forward estimates. Redland City, with an almost identical population, be it slightly larger and growing faster, in this budget receives up to $15 million out of a $30 million spend in the forward estimates. It is also worth pointing out that of the $15 million for Redlands in the 2017-18 budget nearly $10 million is for the Stradbroke Island transition. Stradbroke Island has an economy that under this incompetent Labor government is rapidly going from a vibrant, diversified economy to a singular one totally dependent on tourism and in doing so has trashed more than 100 local jobs and amplified sovereign risk. From the mayor to the Redland City Chamber of Commerce, to Straddie residents, they know that this transition strategy is hopelessly inadequate. With my friend and colleague the member for Cleveland, soon to be Oodgeroo, we are standing up for Straddie locals and those on the mainland impacted by this ill-considered decision and we will fight for a transition plan that better meets the need. It is reasonable to say that the Redlands electorate and the City of Redlands is actually going backwards under this utterly incompetent Labor Palaszczuk government. It must have escaped the Treasurer’s attention but two of his own Labor members represent the City of Redlands as well. I will happily say on behalf of those Labor members that locals in Mount Cotton, Sheldon, Capalaba, Alexandra Hills, Birkdale and Thorneside in this year’s budget receive—wait for it—nothing. That is okay they say, because we are getting Cross River Rail! I am sure great candidates Julie Talty and Cameron Leafe will have a differing view, a view that actually represents the concerns of local people. A Tim Nicholls LNP government will tackle the cost-of-living pressures to help build stronger Redlands families. An LNP government will freeze family car registration for three years, saving Redlands families and pensioners hundreds of dollars—the first of many policies to help ease cost-of-living pressures. The LNP will get the state’s finances back on track so we can build not only a better Redlands but a better Queensland. The LNP plan to create more jobs, stronger families, lower crime rates and build fair dinkum roads. An LNP government will commit $100 million to fund the Get Queensland Working plan to help tackle unemployment—so important for the Southern Moreton Bay Islands, an area of persistent disadvantage where youth unemployment is north of 30 per cent.
I am pleased to say to Redlands locals that asset sales are ruled out completely, as are forced redundancies in the Public Service. Contrast this with the Palaszczuk Labor government, who sold the Mount Cotton driver training centre, a world-class facility and an income-generating asset. Not only did they break a promise to Redlanders; but they spent the proceeds on government advertising, putting the lie to the ridiculous assertions of the hyperbolic member for Yeerongpilly.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Stewart): Member, that was unparliamentary language. I ask you to withdraw.
Mr McEACHAN: I withdraw. I would like to acknowledge the speech given earlier by the member for Southern Downs. It was a fantastic speech and demonstrated what a person of conviction and integrity in the position of health minister can do in three years. It was a proper schooling for those opposite, particularly the member for Maryborough.
Mr Pegg interjected.
Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Stretton, your interjections are not being taken.
Mr McEACHAN: Speaking of schools, the member for Maryborough commented last night that Maryborough State High School had not had any new buildings since 1955 which I found quite interesting given that Maryborough State High School did not exist in 1955. There were in fact two schools—a boys school and a girls school. In fact, my mother went to the girls school and I went to the high school some years later. I do recall going to school and attending the computer classes in a newly built building which also housed our music and art. I am pretty sure that was not around circa 1955. An opposition member: So did he mislead the House?
Mr McEACHAN: He may have misled the House, but I am not going to go down that path because I have no faith in him whatsoever in restoring the record. I am happy to restore it on his behalf. There have been several other buildings built since 1955 at Maryborough State High. I would like to continue with my speech. In closing, only an LNP government is committed to building a better Redlands— building the roads we need such as upgrading Cleveland-Redland Bay Road, tackling the cost-of-living pressures, creating the environment for small business to thrive, creating jobs, creating stronger families, tackling local crime, tackling ambulance ramping and protecting our environment. During the Bligh years when my daughter broke her leg—her tibia and fibula below the knee— and I held her in my arms at Redland Hospital and as we waited for more than three hours to be seen, with no pain relief for that little girl and no emergency beds available to lie her down, and ambulances ramped down the road, I made a promise to her. I promised to devote my life to get rid of the Labor government responsible, and I saw it through. I look across the chamber at an even worse Labor government and I reaffirm my promise to her and to the people of Redlands. Only an LNP government can build a better Redlands and a better Queensland.