Qld budget estimates July 20, 2016

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But we’re back to back-and-forths and circular debates, so we might leave it here for today. Dr Lynham is almost all finished.  Grilling factor: Creme bruleed

MVP: Jo-Ann Miller, backing it up from yesterday’s strong performance, followed closely by Jim Pearce, who did just suggest that it might be time for members to take their dispute out the back and think about it, if they don’t settle down.

Theme of the day – Your government was/is worse than our government.  On repeat and from both sides

Up next – Public Works Minister Mick de Brenni.  We’ll keep an ear on it for you, so you don’t have to – check back on Brisbane Times for updates.  You know, just in case you are having trouble sleeping or something.
We’ll be back tomorrow morning with more estimates cheer – where Yvette D’Ath and Bill Byrne will step up for their grilling.  WON’T THAT BE FUN!



There will be trains for the cross river rail tunnel

The maximum Jackie Trad can behave is two hours.  After that – the winks come out and the gloves come off.

Jo-Ann Miller is not satisfied with the government’s  – her own party’s – infrastructure plan.

A levy can not be referred to as a tax when it is commercial-in-confidence

Developments next to heritage listed properties will need State approvals

Councils will be able to index developer charges

The Opposition has slowly realised Labor MP Jo-Ann Miller may be their best asset

Jim Pearce’s mind seems like a pretty fun place

Jo-Ann Miller has joined the committee and spoken of her grandfather, who has black lung, and told Dr Lynham she will not stop fighting for a royal commission, because she, the families of coal miners, and coal miners, working now and retired, deserve answers.

“Who is responsible,” she asks.

Dr Lynham takes a moment.  He says everyone is responsible. Everyone.  From the medical profession, of which he is part, to politicians, which he is also part of.  He says he will dedicate his resources to finding out how to fix it.  Dr Lynham is absolutely sincere while he speaks on this.  As is Ms Miller.  It is an emotional and terrible issue which has no easy fix.  There will be a lot more on this before we even get close to answers.

While we were fighting internet demons, Andrew Cripps and Anthony Lynham were engaged in a debate over black lung.

Queensland has had 11 cases confirmed.  A recent report into the issue found there will most likely be more.  It was one of the big issues Jo-Ann Miller, who’s father and grandfather were both coal miners, raised in estimates on Tuesday.

Mr Cripps picked up Ms Miller’s questioning and asked if the government was going to follow through with the Member for Bundamba’s request for a royal commission.  Speaking on ABC radio this morning, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said no.

When asked, Dr Lynham said he agreed with the Premier – because he needs answers nows and believes a royal commission would be a costly option which would take too long.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t taking it seriously. Dr Lynham said the government was monitoring the situation “extremely closely” and was following through with the reports recommendations.  It’s been one of the only issues both sides have been absolutely sincere and serious.

And so they should be.

Queen’s Wharf.  It is happening.  And will create jobs.  IT’S GOOD FOR QUEENSLAND.  Even if Labor inherited it.

So far, the LNP haven’t managed to score any points against Dr Lynham.  And they don’t have Jo-Ann Miller asking questions, and she has been the LNP’s greatest asset so far these estimates.

Committee chair Jim Pearce calls for a break.  That actually wakes some people up.

Dr Lynham has just given a passionate defence of the public service and public servants, attacking the LNP for ‘demonising’ them, given the work they do.  He says he knows – he was one, when he was a practicing doctor.

It’s been a back and forth between the LNP and Labor for the past year.  The government’s problem is that it has been unable to point to concrete measures which show how the increase has led to real world improvements.

We have now reached the point where committee members are referring to the DSD instead of SDS – which stands for Service Delivery Statement, and is the document which forms the basis for why we are here.

Dr Lynham is referring to pre-prepared answers on biofuels, the resources sector and infrastructure regardless of what the question is.

Labor remains committed to the resources sector – check.  Labor wants to build its biofuel sector – check.  Labor wants to build more infrastructure – check.

Labor is being allowed to lead the estimates committee hearing – check.

Dixers!  We all know what that means.

Labor and the Opposition have engaged in a circular debate over unemployment – and who was worse.  Which is dangerous territory, given Queensland is hovering just under 6.6 per cent, which is where unemployment sat when the Newman Government departed – and barring a miracle, it’ll hit that again.

We are back!

Anthony Lynham looks thrilled to be here.  Aren’t we all, Dr Lynham.  Aren’t we all.

We have made it!  Jackie Trad has left the hot seat and the committee breaks for lunch.

Grill factor – Lightly seared

Up next – Anthony Lynham.  We’ll be back just after 2.30

Deb Frecklington and Jackie Trad are facing off over which government had the worst capital underspend.

Mr Pearce says it “sounds like a couple of people having a chat over a coffee at the moment”.  We would love to go for an excursion into Mr Pearce’s head. It seems like a fun place.

With the clock ticking down, Ms Trad is starting to loosen up.  She has kept a pretty tight lid on her general Trad-ness, but as 1.30 and freedom approaches, so does Ms Trad’s smart-arseness.

She asks for a crayon so she can explain something to Ms Frecklington, rolls her eyes Michelle Obama style and sighs that “she tried”.

JAM wants Ms Trad to give an analysis of how much return the state has received for the trade missions she has been on.

Ms Trad looks like she is over turning a table in her head, but smiles and essentially takes it on notice.

That was quick – the love fest is over.

Mr Pearce says he can feel the love slipping from the room.  DP Trad has just suggested LNP MP Mark Robinson step outside for a cup of tea.  Ladies and gentlemen – your elected representatives.

Awwwwww Committee Chair Jim Pearce says he has felt “a lot of love” around the room today.

In other news, fairies are real and Kim Kardashian is the greatest mind of our generation

The Queensland Government has announced it will “index the maximum infrastructure charges on new developments”, a move which will be welcomed by local councils, but not so welcomed by developers.

Here is what Ms Trad had to say on the announcement.

“Since the maximum charges were first set in 2011 they have not increased and these charges no longer reflect the real cost of construction and building, which is starting to hit the bottom line of council budgets.

“The Local Government Association of Queensland has estimated that councils would have missed out on $26 million in revenue for delivering trunk infrastructure if these charges were not indexed for another year.”

Under the current Sustainable Planning Act 2009 charges can be indexed by applying an increase based on an average of the previous three years of increases to the cost of building roads and bridges.

“Under the newly indexed amounts, councils will be able to charge developers up to $2 more per m2gfa for retail premises, $1.55 more per m2gfa for office premises, or a total $311.20 extra per house with three or more bedrooms,” Ms Trad said.

“Although this may not seem like much, when you multiply the amount by all newly approved developments in a local government area, it adds up and will go a long way in supporting councils’ bottom line.”

The DP is now talking about her trade missions which is like the worst ever travel show and tell you could imagine.

It’s like when your annoying friend takes a Contiki Tour and then insists on bringing everyone over for a dinner party where they can do a show and tell involving private jokes with people you don’t know and will never meet, blurry selfies and tales of how seeing the Eiffel Tower in person changed them on a spiritual level while simultaneously complaining how expensive it was/didn’t live up to expectations, but the political version.

Add in a dash of sanctimonious “it’s very important”-ness and you’re there.

JAM has another question – the member for Bundamba follows on from a query she had yesterday about council controlled entities.  She is pleased with the government’s moves to improve transparency around local governments – but she would like to see that extended to those entities.

Ms Trad says it is something that could be looked at.  Basically.

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