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                              Tuesday, 23 November 2010
ASSENT TO BILLS ........................................................................................................................................................................ 4089
                Tabled paper: Letter, dated 5 November 2010, from Her Excellency the Governor to Mr Speaker
                regarding assent to bills.......................................................................................................................................... 4089
ABSENCE OF DEPUTY SPEAKER ............................................................................................................................................... 4089
REPORT ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4089
       Information Commissioner ................................................................................................................................................. 4089
                Tabled paper: Information Commissioner Report No. 1 titled ‘Disclosure of Personal Information—
                Review of TransLink’s disclosure of go card information to Queensland Police Service’. ..................................... 4089
PRIVILEGE ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4090
       Speaker’s Ruling, Alleged Deliberate Misleading of the House by a Member, Referral to Integrity, Ethics and
       Parliamentary Privileges Committee .................................................................................................................................. 4090
PRIVILEGE ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4090
       Speaker’s Ruling, Register of Members’ Interests, Referral to Integrity, Ethics and Parliamentary Privileges
       Committee .......................................................................................................................................................................... 4090
SPEAKER’S STATEMENTS .......................................................................................................................................................... 4090
       White Ribbon Day .............................................................................................................................................................. 4090
       Toowong State School, Signing Choir ................................................................................................................................ 4090
       Vietnamese Catholic Community, Nativity Display; Martin-Lefevre, Mr L .......................................................................... 4091
PETITIONS ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 4091
TABLED PAPERS .......................................................................................................................................................................... 4092
MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS ........................................................................................................................................................ 4096
       Pike River Coalmine ........................................................................................................................................................... 4096
       Smith Family Appeal .......................................................................................................................................................... 4096
       Jobs .................................................................................................................................................................................... 4097
       LNG Industry ...................................................................................................................................................................... 4097
                Tabled paper: Document titled ‘Queensland’s LNG Industry: A once in a generation opportunity for
                generation of employment’, November 2010.......................................................................................................... 4097
                Tabled paper: Document titled ‘Queensland’s LNG Industry: Snapshot’. .............................................................. 4097
       QR National ........................................................................................................................................................................ 4098

J MICKEL                                                                              N J LAURIE                                                                        L J OSMOND
SPEAKER                                                                        CLERK OF THE PARLIAMENT                                                     CHIEF HANSARD REPORTER
                                                          Table of Contents — Tuesday, 23 November 2010

      Queensland Health, Payroll System ................................................................................................................................... 4099
               Tabled paper: Report by Ernst & Young titled ‘Review of payroll and rostering solutions—
               Queensland Health’, September 2010. ................................................................................................................... 4099
               Tabled paper: Report by Ernst & Young titled ‘Review of Payroll and Rostering Solutions—
               Queensland Health—Addendum: Example Implementation Strategy, Queensland Health’, November 2010. ...... 4099
      Shared Services ................................................................................................................................................................. 4100
               Tabled paper: PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled, ‘Shared Services Review, Review of the Model
               for Queensland Government’, September 2010. .................................................................................................... 4100
      Wild River Rangers ............................................................................................................................................................. 4101
      Asbestos in Schools ........................................................................................................................................................... 4101
      Police Service, Statistical Review ....................................................................................................................................... 4102
      National Parks, Film Production .......................................................................................................................................... 4103
      Deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy ..................................................................................................................... 4103
      White Ribbon Day ............................................................................................................................................................... 4104
      Bus Services ....................................................................................................................................................................... 4104
SCRUTINY OF LEGISLATION COMMITTEE ................................................................................................................................ 4105
      Report ................................................................................................................................................................................. 4105
               Tabled paper: Scrutiny of Legislation Committee: Legislation Alert No. 14 of 2010. .............................................. 4105
NOTICES OF MOTION ................................................................................................................................................................... 4105
      Sale of Public Assets .......................................................................................................................................................... 4105
      CSG Industry ...................................................................................................................................................................... 4105
SPEAKER’S STATEMENT ............................................................................................................................................................. 4106
      School Group Tours ............................................................................................................................................................ 4106
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE ................................................................................................................................................... 4106
      Queensland Health, Payroll System ................................................................................................................................... 4106
      Queensland Health, Payroll System ................................................................................................................................... 4106
      Housing Affordability ........................................................................................................................................................... 4106
      Queensland Health, Payroll System ................................................................................................................................... 4107
      Infrastructure Program ........................................................................................................................................................ 4107
      Metro South Health Service District .................................................................................................................................... 4108
               Tabled paper: Bundle of memos from Queensland Health regarding deficit reduction strategies. ......................... 4108
      Economy ............................................................................................................................................................................. 4108
      Queensland Health, Payroll System ................................................................................................................................... 4109
      Gold Coast, Health Services ............................................................................................................................................... 4110
      Sale of Public Assets .......................................................................................................................................................... 4110
      Sunshine Coast, Roads ...................................................................................................................................................... 4111
      Port of Brisbane .................................................................................................................................................................. 4112
      Sport and Recreation, Funding ........................................................................................................................................... 4112
      Queensland Health, Alleged Gross Misconduct ................................................................................................................. 4113
               Tabled paper: Email to Ms Ros Bates MP, dated 29 October, regarding Queensland Health policy
               and processes......................................................................................................................................................... 4113
               Tabled paper: Letter, from claims representative, WorkCover Queensland, regarding a WorkCover
               Queensland claim enclosing reasons for WorkCover Queensland’s decision. ....................................................... 4113
      Autism ................................................................................................................................................................................. 4113
      Foster Care ......................................................................................................................................................................... 4114
      Public Transport, Seniors and Pensioners .......................................................................................................................... 4114
      Member for Mount Isa, Alleged Breach of Confidentiality ................................................................................................... 4115
      Regional Queensland, Homeownership ............................................................................................................................. 4115
      Queensland Racing, Directors’ Selection Process ............................................................................................................. 4116
MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST ................................................................................................................................................ 4116
      Bligh Labor Government ..................................................................................................................................................... 4116
      Toowoomba Electorate, Infrastructure ................................................................................................................................ 4118
      Early Childhood Initiatives .................................................................................................................................................. 4118
      Metro South Health Service District .................................................................................................................................... 4119
      Type 2 Diabetes .................................................................................................................................................................. 4120
      Economy ............................................................................................................................................................................. 4121
      Schoolies Week, Emergency Services ............................................................................................................................... 4122
      Education, Funding ............................................................................................................................................................. 4123
      One Punch Can Kill Campaign; Matthew Stanley Foundation ............................................................................................ 4124
      Discovery Coast, High School; Sellers, Ms G; Queensland Health .................................................................................... 4125
      Far North Queensland, Tourism Industry ............................................................................................................................ 4126
      Grandchester State School ................................................................................................................................................. 4127
               Tabled paper: Emails, dated 12 and 15 November 2010, between Lockyer electorate office and
               Ken Ogg, Moreton Region Project Co-ordinator, Department of Education and Training, in relation
               to BER programs at Grandchester State School. ................................................................................................... 4127
               Tabled paper: R&F Steel Buildings Quotation U200103, dated 15 November 2010. ............................................. 4127
               Tabled paper: Photographs of pump, shed and land. ............................................................................................. 4127
                                                    Table of Contents — Tuesday, 23 November 2010

      First Reading ...................................................................................................................................................................... 4127
                 Tabled paper: Aboriginal Land and Torres Strait Islander Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. .............. 4127
                 Tabled paper: Aboriginal Land and Torres Strait Islander Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill,
                 explanatory notes. .................................................................................................................................................. 4127
      Second Reading ................................................................................................................................................................. 4127
      First Reading ...................................................................................................................................................................... 4129
                 Tabled paper: Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill.................. 4129
                 Tabled paper: Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill,
                 explanatory notes. .................................................................................................................................................. 4129
      Second Reading ................................................................................................................................................................. 4129
LIQUOR AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL ......................................................................................................... 4130
      Second Reading ................................................................................................................................................................. 4130
                 Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 15 November 2008, from the Daily Telegraph, titled ‘From beer
                 to eternity’. .............................................................................................................................................................. 4145
                 Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 22 November 2010, titled ‘Demand up for alcohol rehab’. ........................... 4145
                 Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 13 August 2010, from Australian Doctor titled ‘One in five
                 abuses alcohol’....................................................................................................................................................... 4145
      Consideration in Detail ....................................................................................................................................................... 4183
                 Clauses 1 to 57— ................................................................................................................................................... 4183
                 Tabled paper: Explanatory notes for Hon. Lawlor’s amendments to the Liquor and Other Legislation
                 Amendment Bill. ..................................................................................................................................................... 4184
                 Clauses 1 to 57, as amended, agreed to................................................................................................................ 4184
                 Schedule, as read, agreed to. ................................................................................................................................ 4184
      Third Reading ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4184
      Long Title ............................................................................................................................................................................ 4184
NATURAL RESOURCES AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) ................................................................. 4184
      Second Reading ................................................................................................................................................................. 4184
MOTION .......................................................................................................................................................................................... 4193
      Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders .................................................................................................................. 4193
NATURAL RESOURCES AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 2) ................................................................. 4193
      Second Reading ................................................................................................................................................................. 4193
      Consideration in Detail ....................................................................................................................................................... 4196
                 Clauses 1 to 55— ................................................................................................................................................... 4196
                 Tabled paper: Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2), explanatory notes to
                 Mr Robertson’s amendments. ................................................................................................................................ 4198
                 Clauses 1 to 55, as amended, agreed to................................................................................................................ 4198
      Third Reading ..................................................................................................................................................................... 4198
      Long Title ............................................................................................................................................................................ 4198
ADJOURNMENT ............................................................................................................................................................................ 4199
      Aspley Achiever Awards ..................................................................................................................................................... 4199
      Bribie Island Bridge ............................................................................................................................................................ 4199
                 Tabled paper: Document, undated, titled ‘Bribie Today’......................................................................................... 4199
                 Tabled paper: Non-conforming petition. ................................................................................................................. 4200
      Gaven Electorate ................................................................................................................................................................ 4200
      Worklinks Work and Training Forum; Maxima Training Services; Godley, Mr B; Fuata, Mr F ........................................... 4201
      Lock the Gate Campaign .................................................................................................................................................... 4201
      Queensland Health, Alleged Gross Misconduct ................................................................................................................. 4202
      Brisbane Central Electorate, Awards ................................................................................................................................. 4202
      Flying Fox Rally; Queensland Government Agent Program .............................................................................................. 4203
      Fuata, Mr F ......................................................................................................................................................................... 4204
ATTENDANCE ............................................................................................................................................................................... 4204
23 Nov 2010                                          Legislative Assembly                                                       4089

                           TUESDAY, 23 NOVEMBER 2010

                                                         Legislative Assembly
        The Legislative Assembly met at 9.30 am.
        Mr Speaker (Hon. John Mickel, Logan) read prayers and took the chair.
      For the sitting week, Mr Speaker acknowledged the traditional owners of the land upon which this
parliament is assembled and the custodians of the sacred lands of our state.

                                                   ASSENT TO BILLS
      Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have to report that I have received from Her Excellency
the Governor a letter in respect of assent to certain bills, the contents of which will be incorporated in the
Record of Proceedings. I table the letter for the information of members.
The Honourable R.J. Mickel, MP
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly
Parliament House
George Street
I hereby acquaint the Legislative Assembly that the following Bills, having been passed by the Legislative Assembly and having
been presented for the Royal Assent, were assented to in the name of Her Majesty The Queen on the date shown:
Date of Assent: 5 November 2010
        “A Bill for an Act to amend the Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Act 2003”
        “A Bill for an Act to amend the Carers (Recognition) Act 2008 for particular purposes”
        “A Bill for an Act to amend the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 to establish a Sentencing Advisory Council, to provide
        for the making of guideline judgments by the Court of Appeal, and for other particular purposes”
        “A Bill for an Act to provide for a national law to regulate the licensing of particular occupations and for related purposes”
        “A Bill for an Act to amend the Child Care Act 2002, the Education (General Provisions) Act 2006 and the Vocational
        Education, Training and Employment Act 2000 for particular purposes”
        “A Bill for an Act to amend the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, Police Service Administration Act 1990,
        Prostitution Act 1999 and Prostitution Regulation 2000 for particular purposes”
These Bills are hereby transmitted to the Legislative Assembly, to be numbered and forwarded to the proper Officer for enrolment,
in the manner required by law.
Yours sincerely
5 November 2010
Tabled paper: Letter, dated 5 November 2010, from Her Excellency the Governor to Mr Speaker regarding assent to bills [3515].

                                      ABSENCE OF DEPUTY SPEAKER
        Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have to inform the House of the absence at this week’s
sitting of the Deputy Speaker, Mr Jason O’Brien. During his absence I nominate Mr Paul Hoolihan, the
member for Keppel, to be temporary speaker to act as Deputy Speaker.


                                              Information Commissioner
     Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have to report that I have received from the Information
Commissioner report No. 1 titled Disclosure of personal information—review of TransLink’s disclosure of
go card information to the Queensland Police Service. I table the report for the information of
honourable members.
Tabled paper: Information Commissioner Report No. 1 titled ‘Disclosure of Personal Information—Review of TransLink’s
disclosure of go card information to Queensland Police Service’ [3516].
4090                                                Speaker’s Statements                                           23 Nov 2010


Speaker’s Ruling, Alleged Deliberate Misleading of the House by a Member, Referral to
              Integrity, Ethics and Parliamentary Privileges Committee
       Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, on 6 October 2010 I received correspondence from the
member for Callide relating to statements made by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and
Energy and Minister for Trade in the House to the effect that the opposition had supported and voted for
the wild rivers legislation in 2005. The honourable member for Callide alleges that the minister is
deliberately misleading the House in relation to these statements.
       In accordance with standing order 269(5), I sought a response from the minister. The minister
denies deliberately misleading the House and points to various passages from the debate of the bill in
2005. I do not intend to canvass the details of the claims and counterclaims. Suffice to say that there is
considerable examination of fact required to determine the matter. Unfortunately, the debate of the bill
occurred prior to the archiving of audiovisual material by the House.
       In addition, there are important issues of policy at play and in this respect I point to my statement
in the House on 16 September 2009, where I stated—
I will also add a caution to all members about referring to how members have voted on previous occasions. Often members will
vote against measures ‘on the voices’ but will not insist upon their right to a division. This decision is often pragmatic and saves
the House countless hours counting divisions. Of course, because there is no division there is no definitive record of who voted for
or against a matter, even though members’ views are often discernible from their speeches in the matter.
If, however, members are misrepresented in subsequent debates as to their actions and votes on previous occasions, then I fear
that members will resort to divisions on all questions that they oppose so as to ensure a definitive record. This will result in the
House spending additional hours counting divisions. I ask all members, therefore, to be very careful about their representations as
to another member’s voting record.
       I reiterate to all honourable members the prudence urged in my statement on that occasion. With
regard to the current matter, I have decided to refer it to the Integrity, Ethics and Parliamentary
Privileges Committee. In doing so, I emphasise that I have formed no view as to whether there has, in
fact, been a breach of privilege but rather that there are sufficient issues in play to warrant that the
matter be determined by the committee.


    Speaker’s Ruling, Register of Members’ Interests, Referral to Integrity, Ethics and
                          Parliamentary Privileges Committee
       Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have been advised by the Registrar of Interests that a
further complaint by the Premier about a former member, Mr Gordon Nuttall, for a failure in a matter in
accordance with the requirements for the registration of interests was received in accordance with
schedule 2, section 14 of the standing rules and orders.
       A complaint in accordance with this section is required to be forwarded to the Integrity, Ethics and
Parliamentary Privileges Committee by the registrar. Standing order 271 now applies in respect of the
matter and it cannot be the subject of debate in this House.

                                           SPEAKER’S STATEMENTS

                                                    White Ribbon Day
       Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, to mark White Ribbon Day this week and to highlight the
campaign to eliminate violence against women, I am hosting a luncheon event today at 1 pm on the
Speaker’s Green. I remind all MPs that they are invited to attend and urge all male MPs in particular to
join with me in swearing the White Ribbon oath.
       I would encourage as many members who are able to join me on the Speaker’s Green for a
function to preview White Ribbon Day this coming Thursday, the United Nations declared International
Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and to hear an address from one of the co-founders
of the White Ribbon Campaign, Dr Michael Kaufman, who is visiting Australia from Canada.

                                     Toowong State School, Signing Choir
      Mr SPEAKER: Honourable members, this morning at 11.45 the signing choir from Toowong State
School in the electorate of Mount Coot-tha will be performing Christmas carols near the porte-cochere
entrance of Parliament House. I invite all honourable members to attend.
23 Nov 2010                                                  Petitions                                                          4091

            Vietnamese Catholic Community, Nativity Display; Martin-Lefevre, Mr L
       Mr SPEAKER: I would also like to thank the Vietnamese Catholic community of Brisbane who
have again, in this the last week of the parliament and leading up to Christmas, given us for loan their
nativity display for Parliament House. On behalf of the parliament, I thank Mr Louis Martin-Lefevre from
QBuild who erected the manger around the nativity display, which is in the foyer of the Parliamentary
Annexe. Mr Martin-Lefevre worked on the manger on his own time and supplied the materials at his own

The Clerk presented the following paper petitions, lodged by the honourable members indicated—

                                             Centenary Highway, Traffic Congestion
Mrs Attwood, from 243 petitioners, requesting the House to immediately plan and publicly consult for sustainable transport
solutions which will address traffic congestion on the Centenary Highway in a way which minimises further harmful air and carbon
pollution [3517].

                                                            Slade School
Mr Springborg, from 2,525 petitioners, requesting the House to purchase Slade School in its entirety for future educational
purposes in Warwick [3518].

                                                        Bribie Island Bridge
Mrs Sullivan, from 108 petitioners, requesting the House to urgently investigate, consult with the community, and consider fast
tracking the design and planning of a duplicate Bribie Island Bridge, including an appropriate pedestrian/cycle way [3519].

                                                        Bribie Island Bridge
Mrs Sullivan, from 1,583 petitioners, requesting the House to allocate adequate funding in the 2011-12 budget for an appropriate
design and construction of a cycle track and walkway on the Bribie Island Bridge [3520].

                                              Townsville City Council, Water Prices
Mr Wallace, from 2,292 petitioners, requesting the House to scrap the water tax, in the form of a separate utilities bill, to residents
of Townsville and to dismiss the Townsville City Council [3521].

                                              Townsville City Council, Water Prices
Mr Wallace, from 1,686 petitioners, requesting the House to direct the Townsville City Council to redirect the profits on water and
wastewater provisions back to the residents in the form of reduced rates or subsidies for water users [3522].

                                              Townsville City Council, Water Supply
Mr Wallace, from 150 petitioners, requesting the House to instruct the Townsville City Council to return to the previous water
allocation system and investigate the management of the Council [3523].

                                                       El Arish, Speed Limit
Mr Cripps, from 126 petitioners, requesting the House to reduce the speed limit on the Bruce Highway through the town of El
Arish from 80 km per hour to 60 km per hour [3524].

                                              Aged Care Facilities, Dental Services
Mr Crandon, from 490 petitioners, requesting the House to speed up the rollout of the super sized dental vans to provide basic
dental treatment for residents living in aged care facilities [3525].

                                             Centenary Highway, Traffic Congestion
Mrs Attwood, from 15 petitioners, requesting the House to immediately plan and publicly consult for the upgrade to improve the
Centenary Highway’s capacity and traffic flow [3526].

                                              Point Break Oceanfront Bar and Grill
Mrs Smith, a paper and an e-petition, from 263 petitioners in total, requesting the House to note their strenuous objections to the
application for an extension of the liquor licence for Point Break Oceanfront Bar and Grill [3527, 3531].

                                                    Mount Coot-tha, Ada Park
Mr Fraser, a paper and an e-petition, from 3,302 petitioners in total, from requesting the House to censure the proposed
development of Ada Park in Mount Coot-tha and ensure that it remains as parkland in perpetuity [3528, 3532].

                                                  Buderim, Pedestrian Crossing
Mr Dickson, a paper and an e-petition, from 1,699 petitioners in total requesting the House to urgently install a pedestrian
crossing in Burnett Street, Buderim, east of Townsend Road (adjacent to the Lions Park) [3529, 3533].

                                                  Centenary Motorway, Upgrade
Mrs Attwood, a paper and an e-petition from 1,086 petitioners in total, requesting the House to ensure that work to upgrade the
Centenary motorway is timely to complement the construction of the Northern Link tunnel at Toowong [3530, 3534].
4092                                                    Tabled Papers                                              23 Nov 2010

The Clerk presented the following e-petitions, sponsored by the honourable members indicated—

                                                       M1, Noise Barriers
Mrs Bates, from 13 petitioners, requesting the House to fast track the installation of sound barriers along The Glades residential
development of the M1 [3535].

                                      Baillie Henderson Hospital, Mental Health Services
Mr Gibson, from 70 petitioners, requesting the House to place a moratorium on moving the people with intellectual disabilities
from the Baillie Henderson mental health hospital in Toowoomba until a ‘vision for their life in the community’ is detailed and
explain how this treatment of people with intellectual disabilities satisfies the UN’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with
Disabilities [3536].

                                                  Gold Coast, Housing Project
Dr Douglas, from 849 petitioners, requesting the House to provide an alternative site for its housing project which will not
adversely impact on the Gold Coast and rob the community of the Parklands showgrounds [3537].

                                      Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve, Mining Applications
Ms Male, from 1,839 petitioners, requesting the House to ask the Minister for Mines and Energy to ensure that no mining
applications are granted on any part of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve [3538].

                                      Townsville City Council, Alleged Mismanagement
Mr Wallace, from 185 petitioners, requesting the House to note the mismanagement of public revenue by the Townsville City
Council and request the House to call in an administrator so that new elections can be held [3539].

                                            University of Queensland, Bus Service
Ms Jones, from 285 petitioners, requesting the House to introduce a new bus service enabling residents living in The Gap, Mt
Nebo, Ashgrove, Bardon, Rainworth, Keperra and Upper Keperra suburbs to travel directly to and from the University of
Queensland [3540].
Petitions received.

                                                   TABLED PAPERS
The Clerk informed the House that the following papers, received during the recess, were tabled on the dates indicated—
29 October 2010—
3470    Response from the Minister for Transport (Ms Nolan) to a paper petition (1512-10) presented Mr Finn, from 141
        petitioners, requesting the House to locate the cross river rail southern portal at Clapham rail yards, not in Yeerongpilly.
3471    Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman: Quarterly Report to the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial
        Relations (1 April to 30 June 2010)—Activities carried out by the Queensland Workplace Rights Office
3472    Dumaresq-Barwon Border Rivers Commission—Annual Report 2009-10
3473    Queensland’s Category 2 Water Authorities—Summary of Annual Reports and Financial Statements 2009-10
3474    Queensland’s River Improvement Trusts—Summary of Annual Reports and Financial Statements 2009-10
3475    WaterSecure—Annual Report 2009-10—Addendum titled ‘Summary of Financial Position and Performance’
3476    Mt Gravatt Showgrounds Trust—Annual Report for the period 1 May 2009-30 April 2010
3477    Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation—Annual Report 2009-10—Addendum
1 November 2010—
3478    Response from the Minister for Main Roads (Mr Wallace) to an ePetition (1513-10) sponsored by Mr Powell, from 151
        petitioners, requesting the House to secure funding to fast track the upgrade of the Bruce Highway to six lanes between
        the Caloundra and Sunshine Coast Motorway interchanges.
3479    Response from the Minister for Main Roads (Mr Wallace) to an ePetition (1488-10) sponsored by Mr Powell, from 160
        petitioners, requesting the House to call on the Government to abide by its own policy and actively develop dedicated
        cycling routes in the Sunshine Coast hinterland as the major lines between our communities are State controlled roads.
3480    Gold Coast Hospital Foundation—Annual Report 2009-10
3481    PA Research Foundation—Annual Report 2010
4 November 2010—
3482    Committee System Review Committee—Annual Report 2009-10
3483    Response from the Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships (Ms Boyle) to a
        paper petition (1534 10) presented by Mr Springborg, from 2175 petitioners, requesting the House to remove the existing
        Mayor, Councillors and CEO of the Southern Downs Regional Council; appoint auditors to review the financial statements
        of the council; and appoint administrators to manage the council until new council elections are held.
3484    Response from the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health (Mr Lucas) to a paper petition (1533-10) presented by Mr
        Bleijie, from 101 petitioners, requesting the House to adhere to the original promise that stage one of the Sunshine Coast
        Hospital project be completed by 2014.
23 Nov 2010                                            Tabled Papers                                                       4093

8 November 2010—
3485   Overseas travel report: Report—India—Official 2018 Commonwealth Games Bid and Trade Mission led by the
       Honourable Anna Bligh MP, Premier of Queensland, Minister for the Arts—30 September to 5 October 2010
9 November 2010—
3486   Auditor-General of Queensland: Report to Parliament No. 11 for 2010—Implementation and enforcement of local laws—A
       Performance Management Systems audit
10 November 2010—
3487   President of the Industrial Court of Queensland—Annual Report 2009-10 (in respect of the Industrial Court of
       Queensland, Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and Queensland Industrial Registry)
3488   Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal—Annual Report 2009-10
3489   Response from the Minister for Transport (Ms Nolan) to a paper petition (1535-10) presented by Mr Crandon, from 335
       petitioners, requesting the House to reconsider extending the existing bus services in the Eagleby area in the interests of
       the many residents of Lakeview, Pinetree and Palm Lake Over 50s Lifestyle Resort.
12 November 2010—
3490   Queensland Police Service—Annual Report 2009-10
3491   Queensland Police Service—Annual Statistical Review 2009-10
3492   Redcliffe Hospital Foundation—Annual Report 2009-10
3493   Land Court of Queensland—Annual Report 2009-10
3494   Legal Services Commission—Annual Report 2009-10
3495   Queensland Workplace Rights Ombudsman—Annual Report 2009-10
3496   Reports on the Operations of the Land Tribunals established under the Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and the Torres Strait
       Islander Land Act 1991—Annual Report 2009-10
3497   Queensland Law Reform Commission: A Review of Queensland’s Guardianship Laws—Report Volume 1
3498   Queensland Law Reform Commission: A Review of Queensland’s Guardianship Laws—Report Volume 2
3499   Queensland Law Reform Commission: A Review of Queensland’s Guardianship Laws—Report Volume 3
3500   Queensland Law Reform Commission: A Review of Queensland’s Guardianship Laws—Report Volume 4
3501   Response from the Minister for Main Roads (Mr Wallace) to a paper petition (1559-10) presented by Mr Powell, from 44
       petitioners, requesting the House to secure funding to fast track the upgrade of the Bruce Highway to six lanes between
       the Caloundra and Sunshine Coast Motorway interchanges.
16 November 2010—
3502   Response from the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade (Mr Robertson) to two paper
       petitions (1546-10 and 1547-10) presented by Mrs Keech, from 1745 and 117 petitioners respectively, requesting the
       House to direct Energex to not proceed with current plans to construct an overhead high-voltage powerline from Logan
       Lea to Jimboomba substations along the Logan River precinct and Camp Cable Road.
3503   Response from the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade (Mr Robertson) to a paper
       petition (1549-10) presented by Mr Wellington, from 204 petitioners, requesting the House to intervene and have
       Powerlink withdraw their EIS for the proposed Woolooga to Cooroy South (Eerwah Vale) until proper and adequate
       studies are performed and to genuinely investigate the lower cost, lower environmental and social impact alternative
       alignment along the Bruce Highway where a designated infrastructure corridor already exists and which is currently
       undergoing upgrade.
3504   Scrutiny of Legislation Committee: Report No. 42—Review of part 7 of the Statutory Instruments Act: Government
3505   Auditor-General of Queensland: Report to Parliament No. 12 for 2010—Follow up of 2009 Queensland Health audits—A
       Performance Management Systems audit
17 November 2010—
3506   Growth Management Queensland—Code of conduct for swimming pool safety inspectors, September 2010
3507   Response from the Minister for Transport (Ms Nolan) to a paper petition (1502-10) presented by Ms Farmer, from 425
       petitioners, requesting the House to arrange for Go Card top-up facilities to be made available to Carina News, Old
       Cleveland Road, Carina.
3508   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010: Erratum to the explanatory notes
3509   Committee System Review Committee: Letter, dated 5 October 2010, from The Clerk of the Parliament relating to a
       Supplementary Submission to the Committee System Review Committee and attachment titled ‘Commonwealth
       Parliament Agreement for a Better Parliament—Parliamentary Reform’.
18 November 2010—
3510   Auditor-General of Queensland: Report to Parliament No. 13 for 2010—Results of audits at 31 October 2010—Financial
       and Compliance audit
3511   Overseas travel report: Report on Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading Business Mission to the United Kingdom and
       China—12 to 17 October 2010
4094                                                  Tabled Papers                                             23 Nov 2010

19 November 2010—
3512   Response from the Minister for Infrastructure and Planning (Mr Hinchliffe) to a paper petition (1562-10) presented by Mrs
       Menkens, from 353 petitioners, requesting the House to conduct an appropriate enquiry to ensure that the Urban Land
       Development Authority complies with statutory duties and obligations and that the proposed Oonoonba Urban
       Development Area, Proposed Development Scheme does not affect existing residents.
22 November 2010—
3513   Response from the Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations (Mr C R Dick) to a paper petition (1545-10)
       presented by Mr Wettenhall, from 850 petitioners, requesting the House to recommend to the Queensland Police
       Commissioner and the Director of Public Prosecutions that the charges against the woman and her partner charged under
       section 225 and 226 of the Criminal Code be withdrawn; repeal sections 224, 225 and 226 of the Criminal Code and
       support funding for abortion services through the public health system will full Medicare coverage for terminations.
3514   Response from the Premier and Minister for the Arts (Ms Bligh) to an ePetition (1420-10) sponsored by Mr Sorensen from
       627 petitioners, requesting the House to abide by the will of the people and reinstate the Upper House into the Parliament
       of Queensland.
The following statutory instruments were tabled by the Clerk—
Geothermal Energy Act 2010—
3541   Proclamation commencing certain provisions, No. 296
Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004—
3542   Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Amendment Regulation (No. 4) 2010, No. 297
Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009—
3543   Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2010, No. 298
Disaster Management and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010—
3544   Proclamation commencing remaining provisions, No. 299
State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971—
3545   State Development and Public Works Organisation (State Development Areas) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2010, No.
Justice and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010—
3546   Proclamation commencing certain provisions, No. 301
Drug Court Act 2000—
3547   Drug Court Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2010, No. 302
Integrity Reform (Miscellaneous Amendments) Act 2010—
3548   Proclamation commencing remaining provisions, No. 303
Ministerial and Other Office Holder Staff Act 2010—
3549   Proclamation commencing remaining provisions, No. 304
Public Interest Disclosure Act 2010—
3550   Proclamation commencing remaining provisions, No. 305
Water Act 2000—
3551   Water Resource (Baffle Creek Basin) Plan 2010, No. 306
3552   Water Resource (Baffle Creek Basin) Plan 2010, No. 306—Explanatory Note
Building and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2010—
3553   Proclamation commencing certain provisions, No. 307
Building and Other Legislation Amendment Act (No. 2) 2010—
3554   Proclamation commencing remaining provisions, No. 308
Building Act 1975—
3555   Building Amendment Regulation (No. 5) 2010, No. 309
3556   Building Amendment Regulation (No. 5) 2010, No. 309—Regulatory Impact Statement
3557   Building Amendment Regulation (No. 5) 2010, No. 309—Explanatory Notes
Superannuation (State Public Sector) Act 1990—
23 Nov 2010                                            Tabled Papers                                                        4095

3558   Superannuation (State Public Sector) Amendment Notice (No. 4) 2010, No. 310
Health Services Act 1991—
3559   Health Services Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2010, No. 311
Superannuation (State Public Sector) Act 1990—
3560   Superannuation (State Public Sector) Amendment Regulation (No. 1) 2010, No. 312
Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009—
3561   Greenhouse Gas Storage Amendment Regulation (No. 2) 2010, No. 313
Manufactured Homes (Residential Parks) Amendment Act 2010—
3562   Proclamation commencing certain provisions, No. 314
Forestry Act 1959, Nature Conservation Act 1992—
3563   Forestry and Nature Conservation Legislation Amendment Regulation (No. 3) 2010, No. 315
Superannuation (State Public Sector) Act 1990—
3564   Superannuation (State Public Sector) Amendment Notice (No. 5) 2010, No. 316
The following ministerial papers were tabled by the Clerk—
Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services (Mr Roberts)—
3565   Queensland Police Service Surveillance Device Warrants—Annual Report 2009-10
3566   Public Interest Monitor—Thirteenth Annual Report for the period 1 July 2009 to 30 June 2010, pursuant to the Police
       Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000 and the Crime and Misconduct Act 2001
Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading (Mr Lawlor)—
3567   Non-conforming petition from 30 petitioners regarding the Gold Coast Parklands Showgrounds
Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic Development (Mr Fraser)—
3568   Overseas travel report: Report on an overseas visit by the Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic
       Development (Mr Fraser) to Asia, Europe and the United States of America from 11 to 21 October 2010 and the United
       Kingdom from 1 to 7 November 2010—Queensland Treasury Corporation: Annual Investor Engagement Program.
The following report was tabled by the Clerk—
3569   Report pursuant to Standing Order 158 (Clerical errors or formal changes to any bill) detailing amendments to certain Bills,
       made by the Clerk, prior to assent by Her Excellency the Governor, viz—
               Police Legislation Amendment Bill 2010
               Amendments made to Bill
                       Clause 16 (Replacement of s 28 (Starting disciplinary action))—
                       At page 14, line 25, ‘(a)’—
                       Omit, Insert—
                       Clause 16 (Replacement of s 28 (Starting disciplinary action))—
                       At page 16, line 9—
                       Omit ‘the’
                       Clause 16 (Replacement of s 28 (Starting disciplinary action))—
                       At page 17, line 20—
                       Omit ‘the’
                       Clause 20 (Replacement of s 54 (Starting disciplinary action))—
                       At page 24, line 14—
                       Omit ‘the’
                       Clause 20 (Replacement of s 54 (Starting disciplinary action))—
                       At page 25, line 25—
                       Omit ‘the’
4096                                      Ministerial Statements                             23 Nov 2010

                                  MINISTERIAL STATEMENTS

                                         Pike River Coalmine
      Hon. AM BLIGH (South Brisbane—ALP) (Premier and Minister for the Arts) (9.41 am): The
images that I know all members have seen over the past four days from Greymouth in New Zealand
have been confronting and desperately sad. I am sure all members, along with all Queenslanders, are
united in hoping for a successful rescue of the 29 miners, including two Queenslanders, trapped in the
Pike River coalmine. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of William Joynson and Josh Ufer,
two Queenslanders who are working in the mine and remain unaccounted for. This accident touches us
       Our government has despatched Queensland mine safety experts who are playing a lead role in
helping rescue authorities at the mine. Queensland is an international leader in mine safety technology,
particularly in mine gas-monitoring systems which we export to the world. That is why last Friday night I
deployed four government mine safety experts and equipment to New Zealand following a direct
request for assistance from the general manager of the Pike River mine. The Queensland team includes
two experienced gas chemists, an expert on mine gas-monitoring systems and a senior coalmine
inspector who is also a mine ventilation expert. They are carrying out very important work because
rescue teams cannot enter the mine until gas levels are declared safe.
       The team is using state-of-the-art mine gas-monitoring equipment developed here in Queensland
by the government’s Safety in Mines Testing and Research Station at Redbank. This equipment
samples the atmosphere inside a mine and breaks it down into individual gas components showing
levels of oxygen, nitrogen, methane, carbon monoxide, helium and other gases. Underground mines
use this type of equipment as an early-warning system to detect dangerous gases and minimise the risk
of fire and explosion. Gas-monitoring systems are also used to determine the extent of current risk
inside the mine following an explosion.
     I understand that, unfortunately, both a drill and a robot in use in the rescue effort in Greymouth
have this morning broken down. Neither of these pieces of equipment is part of Queensland’s
equipment. However, it has resulted in a very significant setback to the rescue effort.
        Queensland has one of the best mine safety records in the world and has not suffered a mine
disaster since 1994, but the memories of past disasters live on for many families and communities
around Queensland. Both government and mining companies have learned valuable lessons from these
terrible situations. We are committed to improving mine safety and we are committed to the goal that
every mineworker returns home safe at the end of every shift. That is why the Safety in Mines Testing
and Research Station invested over $1 million last year towards the development of new, innovative
tools to increase mining safety. The research station has also developed world-leading mine gas-
monitoring systems that are installed at over 40 sites in China, India, New Zealand, the United States,
Queensland and New South Wales.
        This testing and research station does excellent work. It is the sort of work that often goes under
the radar, but when a disaster like this happens one realises just how important that expertise is. The
facility is also currently developing the next generation of monitoring systems that will be web enabled
and utilise virtual reality visualisation tools to dramatically improve interactivity.
       On behalf of everyone in this House, I say to the men who are trapped in this mine, and to their
friends and families who wait anxiously on the surface: be assured that all Queenslanders are thinking
of you at this difficult time.

                                        Smith Family Appeal
       Hon. AM BLIGH (South Brisbane—ALP) (Premier and Minister for the Arts) (9.45 am): Today I
will be honoured to take part in the annual launch of the Smith Family Appeal. With the annual launch of
the Smith Family Appeal I think we can honestly all say that Christmas is upon us. I know that last night
saw Mr Speaker lighting up the parliamentary Christmas tree. Last year our government doubled our
contribution to the Smith Family Appeal, from the usual $50,000 to $100,000. That was in recognition of
the very difficult year being faced by many people who rely on the Smith Family for assistance. It was
also in recognition of the outstanding work that this charity does in making sure that every Queensland
family can have a Christmas to remember.
       In these difficult economic times that support has been particularly important. That is why this
year our government will once again contribute $100,000 to the Smith Family’s annual campaign. Last
Christmas this charity provided more than 1,800 Christmas hampers to disadvantaged families and
distributed 6,300 toy and gift packs to children across the state. The Smith Family also provides
priceless education programs that can help young people lift themselves out of the poverty and
disadvantage that they now endure.
23 Nov 2010                                     Ministerial Statements                                              4097

        I can also confirm our government’s ongoing support for a $500,000 Indigenous literacy program
for Far North Queensland’s Indigenous communities that we launched last year. This childhood literacy
program, called Let’s Read, uses the funding to extend its services across the cape and the Torres
Strait, delivering the program now to 14 communities in total. I encourage all Queenslanders, especially
those in this House, to recognise those who are doing it tough this Christmas and give generously to the
Smith Family Appeal.

        Hon. AM BLIGH (South Brisbane—ALP) (Premier and Minister for the Arts) (9.46 am): Our
government went to the last election with a commitment to drive and create jobs for Queenslanders and
to secure a strong economic future. We went with a four-point plan: to maintain our record building
program; to develop skills for the future; to support new industries like LNG and solar as well as our
traditional ones; and to develop new job creation programs. This plan has so far helped to deliver 15
straight months of jobs growth for Queensland. We stand here at the end of the parliamentary year on
track to meet our 100,000 jobs target, with 36,000 jobs to go. But there is more work to do.
       Mr Nicholls interjected.
       Mr Roberts interjected.
       Ms BLIGH: After the election we faced tough economic circumstances which required tough
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! Both sides. The Premier has the call. The member for Clayfield and the
Minister for Police will cease interjecting.
      Ms BLIGH: Our jobs plan is well known. We look forward to any opportunity the shadow
Treasurer wants to take to outline the LNP’s jobs plan.
        Yesterday’s public float of QR National reaffirms our commitment to build a stronger, brighter
future for all Queenslanders. It means that we can pay down debt and rebuild the budget bottom line in
the aftermath of the GFC, just as we promised we would do. It means that we can continue investing in
vital infrastructure such as schools, hospitals and roads through the nation’s biggest building program,
supporting more than 100,000 Queensland jobs this year alone, just as we promised we would do. It
means that we can launch new skills initiatives like Skills Queensland, a new independent skills
commission operational by 1 January 2011, to better meet industry needs, just as we promised we
would do. It means that we can continue our support for new and emerging industries such as LNG,
solar, biofuels, aviation and ICT, while keeping our commitment to Queensland’s traditional industries
such as mining, agriculture and tourism. We will create even more jobs through new initiatives such as
the Green Army, which has so far helped more than 2,000 Queenslanders gain work placements or
      We put in place a plan to build a stronger Queensland economy and create jobs for
Queenslanders, to realise our vision of a bigger, stronger, better Queensland. We are delivering on our
promises, exactly as we said we would do, and that is delivering for Queenslanders. We made tough
decisions in tough times. They were not easy and they were not always popular, but they were made
with Queensland’s long-term interests at heart and they are delivering.

                                                    LNG Industry
        Hon. AM BLIGH (South Brisbane—ALP) (Premier and Minister for the Arts) (9.50 am): We have
worked tirelessly on our plan to bring new industries to Queensland. Our support for new and emerging
industries like LNG is front and centre of our economic plan for a stronger Queensland. Why? Because
this industry potentially means 18,000 direct and indirect jobs, it could increase gross state product by
$3 billion and generate private sector investment of more than $40 billion. We have stayed ahead of the
game, putting in place a comprehensive plan to capture the enormous economic benefit to Queensland
from LNG while at the same time safeguarding the environment and the agricultural sector.
      It has been 12 months since we released our first LNG blueprint. Today we release the second
round, an update from last year, the Blueprint for Queensland’s LNG industry: a once in a generation
opportunity for a generation of employment. I table a copy of the new blueprint with a summary
Tabled paper: Document titled ‘Queensland’s LNG Industry: A once in a generation opportunity for generation of employment’,
November 2010 [3570].
Tabled paper: Document titled ‘Queensland’s LNG Industry: Snapshot’ [3571].
      The blueprint outlines the wide range of activities undertaken over the past 12 months in the LNG
space. Importantly, it charts a course for the government’s continued involvement over the next three
years and it focuses on three key priorities: (1) developing the industry, building a competitive world-
4098                                      Ministerial Statements                              23 Nov 2010

class industry that generates jobs for Queensland; (2) protecting our natural resources and
environment, implementing a strong regulatory system based on science and rigorously enforced; and
(3) making sure regional communities and local industries are prepared for growth and able to make the
most of the opportunities that this industry brings.
       What we will not be backing away from is our commitment to protecting landholder rights and
protecting our environment. Today I am pleased to announce that we are setting up an LNG
enforcement unit. This unit will act as a one-stop shop for any safety, land access or environmental
concerns. The new enforcement unit will consist of 36 staff. They will include environmental experts,
petroleum and gas safety specialists and land access staff. These staff will be based out on the ground,
on the industry front line to respond quickly to issues as they arise. It will be fully operational by early
next year.
      I can also inform the House that we will invest $3.5 million over the next three years in AgForce’s
AgForward program. This program will help landholders negotiate successful agreements with CSG
companies, including conduct and compensation agreements. This extra investment comes on top of
our commitment to stronger land access laws, more gas inspectors and protection of strategic cropping
       One year ago there was still doubt about whether this industry would get up and off the ground.
Today exploration has indicated hundreds of years of potential gas supply. We have one company that
has state and Commonwealth approval with an international financial sanction, another company that
has both state and Commonwealth approval looking to financial sanction in the next month or so and a
third company that has state approval and is now going through the process with the Commonwealth.
The LNG industry is up and running in Queensland and our focus now moves in a much more strategic
way to compliance and regulation to ensure that we manage this industry well.
       The Queensland Gas Co., QGC, has now planned $15 billion worth of investment in Queensland.
That is an extraordinary investment and much of it is over the next three to four years. Similar
investments are planned by the other companies. Much of that development will be in regional
Queensland, in our south-west and in Central Queensland. Realising the potential of this industry will
require a joint effort across all levels of government. I am pleased to say that we have been working
very actively with the mayors of the south-west to ensure that these issues can be managed.
       I am pleased to advise the House that this morning I have spoken to the newly elected Mayor of
Gladstone, Gail Sellers. A vacancy was created by the retirement of the former mayor, the election was
held on the weekend and I understand it will be officially declared tomorrow. Gail Sellers enjoys the
distinction of being the first woman to hold the position of Mayor of Gladstone and I was happy to
congratulate her. More importantly, the mayor elect and I agreed to meet as soon as possible to work
together and harness the remarkable opportunities for her city and her state. There are big opportunities
for Gladstone but some big challenges as we see this industry roll out.
       As we have seen, a lot can happen in a year. Nowhere is that more clear than in the LNG
industry. Without doubt, the Queensland economy has its challenges but, equally without doubt, the
future for Queensland is a very bright one.

                                              QR National
       Hon. AP FRASER (Mount Coot-tha—ALP) (Treasurer and Minister for Employment and
Economic Development) (9.54 am): Ahead of its listing on the boards yesterday, a lot was written and
spoken about the prospects for Australia’s newest top 50 company, QR National. As of yesterday, QR
National speaks for itself. The market reaction yesterday speaks volumes. A great Queensland
company was reborn yesterday into a truly great Australian company. Yesterday’s transaction was good
for taxpayers, for investors and, most importantly, for the workers of QR National. Their long-term future,
and the future of our economy and indeed the nation’s economy, was advanced by this reform.
       QR National is a story of fundamental strength and future opportunity. On the evidence, it is a
proposition many found compelling. When it mattered, investors spoke above the din of commentators
and the campaign of negativity, including that confected by those opposite. Just as political punditry
should be held up against election results, so too should we judge the success of QR National against
that other inarguable set of numbers: the market.
       It is not for anyone to declare the matter beyond debate. QR National, by definition, is a long-term
proposition. That has always been my view. It is why on behalf of taxpayers we are a cornerstone
investor with a hold of up to 40 per cent. I note for the record that our holding remains as announced at
34 per cent, with the six per cent market stabilisation mechanism authorised by ASIC not utilised. We
are committed to holding this investment—at a minimum—through the forecast period to the end of
financial year 2012. We are backing the performance forecast. We believe this will be an investment that
will provide a strong gain for taxpayers. That judgement is also one for down the track.
23 Nov 2010                                    Ministerial Statements                                              4099

        This transaction provides an immediate return of $4.6 billion to the people of Queensland to
strengthen our balance sheet. It also, most importantly, relieves the taxpayers of Queensland from the
obligation to fund future expansions of the coal network or the purchase of new train sets in Western
Australia or coal locos in the Hunter Valley. It is this which is the true dividend and it is this aspect which
will serve our state well into the future.
        While the state retains full public ownership of 7,800 kilometres of track, the 2,300 kilometres of
coal network will now be maintained, upgraded, expanded and extended by the private sector, as is
appropriate. While we maintain full public ownership of the public transport trains—the Citytrains and
Traveltrains—the coal fleet will now be maintained and expanded by private capital. This clear-eyed
distinction lies at the core of our reform program. I welcome the 9,027 employees of QR National who
are now shareholders in their company. As a Labor government, we wanted them to share directly in the
benefits of this reform and we wanted them to be given a direct stake in the future of QR National. More
than 97 per cent of employees took up the offer, along with more than 600 employees who took up the
opportunity to purchase additional shares in the offer. More than 98 per cent of the workers in QR
National voted for the EB which secured their future as employees of QR National. Again, these
numbers speak for themselves.
        Yesterday began a new chapter for QR. It is a new chapter for our state’s finances. It is a new
chapter for Queensland’s economy and, indeed, the nation’s economy. It will enhance export efficiency.
It will promote investment efficiency—investment undistorted by the gaming and posturing of the past
decade in particular. A new chapter has begun and, as I said yesterday, in time this decision of this
reforming government will be judged for what it is—the right decision.

                                    Queensland Health, Payroll System
      Hon. PT LUCAS (Lytton—ALP) (Deputy Premier and Minister for Health) (9.58 am): Our
hardworking staff were seriously let down by the implementation of the Queensland Health payroll
system. It has been a long road, and I thank them for their patience. We said that we would not abandon
them and that we would not rest until this is fixed. We are determined to do what is necessary to deliver
a 21st century payroll system. Our staff deserve nothing less.
      Today I can announce the government’s blueprint to finalise Queensland Health’s payroll system.
In June, the Auditor-General released his report into the Queensland Health payroll implementation. We
accepted all of the independent arbiter’s recommendations but said that we needed to go further. That is
why we engaged Ernst & Young to undertake a comprehensive review of the Queensland Health payroll
system. We received the report at the end of September and we committed to undertaking extensive
consultation with unions and staff before it was considered by cabinet. Last week the Premier and I
made it clear that our response to the Ernst & Young report, and the report itself, would be made public
before the House rises this year, and that is why today I am tabling the report.
Tabled paper: Report by Ernst & Young titled ‘Review of payroll and rostering solutions—Queensland Health’, September 2010
Tabled paper: Report by Ernst & Young titled ‘Review of Payroll and Rostering Solutions—Queensland Health—Addendum:
Example Implementation Strategy, Queensland Health’, November 2010 [3573].
       Queensland Health let down its employees by failing to properly consult with them before
implementing the new payroll system. We were not going to have that situation again. I take this
opportunity to thank unions and staff for their involvement in this consultation process, their feedback
and, ultimately, their contribution to the Queensland government’s response.
       Last week the Auditor-General identified that Queensland Health had made significant progress
to stabilise the payroll system. However, we have always said that we are not going to rest until we have
a system that our hardworking staff deserve. That is why we will adopt Ernst & Young’s
recommendations to deliver a blueprint for ensuring our hardworking staff are paid properly and on time
and to implement further measures to optimise the system.
       Today’s blueprint will deliver planned incremental payroll system improvements month by month
between now and June 2011. By that time it is expected that the fortnightly pay run will be operating as
accurately and efficiently as possible in its current form. At the same time, from January 2011 the
blueprint will deliver an 18-month reconfiguration of the whole system, which will fundamentally improve
the system’s performance and deliver new features that will make life easier for staff. By June 2011 the
payroll improvement program will have achieved significant improvements to the accuracy and
efficiency of the payroll system.
       Already major progress has been made to improve pay accuracy and effectiveness. For example,
the payment of allowances has been automated, solving problems with public holiday pay, work
allowances and deductions such as meal allowances, on-call allowances, acknowledgement of special
duties and advanced credentials; concurrent employees’ RDO accrual is now in place and operational
for entitled employees; the payroll systems have been improved to make data entry and inquiries
simpler and quicker; the automatic recovery of overpayments has been disabled, which has led to a
large decrease in staff complaints about low pays; payslips have been simplified so that staff can better
4100                                       Ministerial Statements                               23 Nov 2010

understand their fortnightly pay; local service links are being re-established between payroll hubs and
hospital districts, with two new payroll hubs established to service the Gold Coast and Mackay; and time
and wages reports were distributed in August 2010 so staff could check payroll records with their own
local records. As a result, the number of staff payroll inquiries has dropped by around 75 per cent, the
backlog of adjustments has been reduced by 90 per cent, and the number of staff seeking interim
payments to make up for low pays is down to 20 per cent of its peak in May.
        Ernst & Young recommended that over the first half of 2011 Queensland Health should complete
the payroll improvement program, which will deliver further improvements in payroll accuracy and
stability. These include fixes to shift arrangements and breaks, penalty rates and leave loading, system
speed enhancements, vendor patches, development of a payroll portal and the introduction of clearer
payslips. Further, in tandem, the 18-month reconfiguration, which will begin in January 2011, will mean
the introduction of innovations such as electronic forms processing, improvements to leave and
termination processing, enhanced reporting and a payroll portal to provide for future employee and
manager self-service capabilities. The changes will be delivered and thoroughly tested in a parallel copy
of the software before being introduced into the pay system. That will ensure changes can be made and
extensive testing conducted without impacting the performance of the current system. The changes will
include the reconfiguration of the system in regional parts in response to EY’s concern that the system is
not configured to be compliant with the new local health network environment.
       The decision to acquire Workbrain and SAP was made in November 2005, long before the Rudd
government was elected and even longer before the local health networks were announced as a policy.
In fact, I observe in passing that the legislation is yet to pass the federal parliament under the Gillard
government. In any event, this payroll optimisation project provides an opportunity to make it suitable for
the new LHNs.
       Overall, the entire body of work is expected to cost $209 million over three financial years. This
$209 million is comprised in part of $107 million towards additional payroll staff who are required to
deliver the fortnightly pay. We know that the pay system is now operating much more accurately than it
once was, but it remains labour intensive and inefficient. We will keep on the additional payroll staff we
have hired to keep the system running and eliminate the backlog until such time as that has been
achieved. The remaining costs include around $46 million to pay for software, contractors and experts to
deliver the payroll improvements over the first half of 2011 and another $55 million for contractors,
advisers and IT technicians to deliver the 18-month foundation project, which will see the system made
more efficient and add enhanced features.
      Today’s blueprint outlines an agenda to not only ensure that the system is performing to the level
that our hardworking staff deserve but also go further to deliver our staff a payroll system that will
fundamentally improve its performance and deliver new features that will make life easier for staff. We
always said that we wanted to see this fixed but, what is more, we said that we would pull out all stops to
see this fixed. This report and the Auditor-General’s report of last week show that we are on track to do

                                             Shared Services
       Hon. RE SCHWARTEN (Rockhampton—ALP) (Minister for Public Works and Information and
Communication Technology) (10.04 am): On 29 June this year, the Bligh government announced a
formal review of the shared services business model. The review was commissioned following the
Auditor-General’s Report No. 7, which addressed significant issues with the Queensland Health payroll
program implementation. PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Mr Roger McComiskie has now completed
the report, which has been considered by the government. I table a copy of the report.
Tabled paper: PricewaterhouseCoopers report titled, ‘Shared Services Review, Review of the Model for Queensland
Government’, September 2010 [3574].
       The government will adopt all of the recommendations relating to the shared services operating
model. The report states that the principles behind the current shared services model are sound, but it
states that larger agencies are able to independently fund and deliver internal corporate services
including payrolls. Therefore, we are abandoning the one-size-fits-all approach to shared services
across government and instead are adopting the recommended approach of creating three separate
shared services providers. They are Queensland Health, the Department of Education and Training and
a rest-of-government provider.
      In his review, Mr McComiskie also recommended that, once fully implemented, DET and
Queensland Health will be responsible for their own finance and HR payroll business applications. A
new rest-of-government shared service provider will continue to reside within the Department of Public
Works and provide shared human resources, payroll and finance services to all other agencies.
Agencies will have clear accountability for project delivery, with centralised portfolio management and
project support provided, as needed, to ensure consistency.
23 Nov 2010                              Ministerial Statements                                     4101

        We have drawn up a transition plan that will minimise disruption to agencies and the important
payroll and financial services delivered to government. The director-general of the Department of the
Premier and Cabinet will chair a newly formed shared services CEO subcommittee, which will be held
accountable for the delivery of shared services across the government. We will now consult with all staff
and unions regarding the government’s implementation of the PwC recommendations. The Department
of Public Works will work closely with the Department of Education and Training and Queensland Health
to ensure the smooth transition to the new operating model. We will work to ensure that the current level
of service provision is maintained. Staff affected by the review of the shared service model will be kept
fully informed and supported during the transition to the new model.

                                         Wild River Rangers
        Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (10.07 am): On Monday, 15 November the government marked Steve Irwin Day
commemorations with a significant partnership with Australia Zoo. The Premier joined Terri Irwin to sign
a memorandum of understanding that will offer wild river rangers an opportunity to broaden their
experience in wildlife handling and management issues under a new mentoring partnership. This
government has promised jobs, and we are delivering on that promise across every region of the state.
We have listened to feedback from Indigenous leaders and traditional owners including Murrandoo
Yanner, Gina Castelain and David Claudie, and we will be implementing measures to ensure that wild
river rangers have the certainty of permanent positions.
       To date the government has invested in excess of $8 million in the wild river rangers program,
and there will be 35 rangers employed by the end of the year. The experience gained in the ranger
positions is opening up opportunities for Indigenous people to move into other areas of employment,
with former rangers now employed with agencies such as Queensland Health and the department of
main roads.
       Today I am pleased to announce that the Department of Environment and Resource
Management will develop a junior ranger program, building on existing wild river ranger work in the
communities and integrated into the school curriculum. The junior wild river ranger program will be
integrated into the school curriculum for prep to year 12 students. The program will facilitate greater
skills and understanding by students for future natural resource management and related careers.
Students in the junior program would be mentored by rangers and older students would be able to attain
credit points towards certificates in conservation management.
        This new scheme is further proof that suggestions from Tony Abbott and the LNP that
Queensland’s wild river laws adversely affect Indigenous communities and restrict economic
development are wrong. Traditional owners have told Mr Abbott that they do not support his bill; they
support Queensland’s existing wild river laws. It is time that Tony Abbott respected the opinions of those
traditional owners rather than continue with the folly that is his private member’s bill.
      Mr Elmes interjected.
      Mr ROBERTSON: You supported wild rivers, so just take care.
      Opposition members interjected.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! Those on my left will cease interjecting. The minister has the call.
       Mr ROBERTSON: I was just checking that they were awake, Mr Speaker. Extending the wild
rivers program and preserving our pristine environment was promised by this government and is being
delivered by this government.

                                        Asbestos in Schools
       Hon. GJ WILSON (Ferny Grove—ALP) (Minister for Education and Training) (10.09 am): This
week is National Asbestos Awareness Week. With asbestos-containing materials found in around one-
third of all buildings, the management of asbestos is a challenge for the whole community. This includes
state schools, where the safety of staff and students is our highest priority.
      We take this issue very seriously. So seriously that earlier this year we engaged independent
expert John Gaskin to undertake a review of the Department of Education and Training’s asbestos
management policies and procedures. We did this to ensure the safest possible measures are in place
to protect the health and wellbeing of students, staff and volunteers. The report was then carefully
considered by a range of experts and stakeholders. All of the report’s recommendations were
considered and implemented, and guidelines for the management of asbestos in schools have been
4102                                      Ministerial Statements                              23 Nov 2010

       The Department of Education and Training’s asbestos policy and management plan is the
toughest and most transparent in Australia. The development of this framework and tough guidelines
was done in consultation with stakeholders including representatives from Queensland parents and
citizens associations, principal associations, unions such as the Queensland Teachers Union and
Queensland Public Sector Union, and industry recognised experts. The draft guidelines were published
online in June and, after further consultation with our expert panel and stakeholders, the tough new
guidelines will go online later today.
       We are continuing to strengthen our asbestos management program, with major reforms
undertaken in the last 12 months including the revised toughened asbestos guidelines; the appointment
of John Gaskin as Chief Asbestos Safety Adviser to provide continuing independent and expert advice;
the appointment of University of Queensland Associate Professor of Occupational Medicine, Dr Keith
Adams, as Chief Health Adviser to provide ongoing advice regarding health issues associated with
asbestos incidents and management to the department, state schools and parents; the formation of an
asbestos expert advisory panel and an asbestos stakeholders reference panel to help inform best
practice in ongoing asbestos management.
       Contractors found to have contravened asbestos regulations in our state schools are dealt with
severely, including the possibility of being banned from future work for the department. The asbestos
register, previously available in hard copy at schools up until last year, is now published online and
updated periodically online. Queensland is one of only two states to have done this. Here in Queensland
we have established Australian best practice on how to manage asbestos containing materials in state
schools. And we remain open to advice from our experts on further improvements in the future. In
addition to all of this, state school staff are receiving training to ensure that they understand the new
processes and are able to carry out the roles and responsibilities within them. This training will continue
in terms 1 and 2 next year.
       Unlike the opposition, we are committed to protecting our students and staff. This government did
not put the asbestos in our schools, but we are removing it. The Bligh government is cleaning up the
Liberals and Nationals’ mess with an annual building maintenance inspection and asbestos removal
program. This government spent $95 million replacing all roof sheeting in Queensland state schools.
Last financial year we dedicated $18 million to asbestos removal in addition to what was removed
through our infrastructure programs, and another $18 million has been allocated this year.
        Despite being told in the early 1970s that asbestos was a dangerous product, the Liberals and
Nationals continued for the next 15 years to pump asbestos products into state schools. It took a Labor
government to put a stop to this dangerous practice and end the use of asbestos products into state
schools. The Liberals and Nationals resisted the call from experts, unions and parents year after year to
set up a register. Again, it took Labor to set up a register and put it online. What we are dealing with now
is the legacy of 15 years of reckless neglect by the Liberals and Nationals pumping asbestos into state

                                 Police Service, Statistical Review
      Hon. NS ROBERTS (Nudgee—ALP) (Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency
Services) (10.14 am): The Bligh government is working hard to create safer Queensland communities.
Evidence of the government and Queensland Police Service’s success is highlighted in the 2009-10
Queensland Police Service annual report and statistical review, which I tabled on 12 November.
         The 2010 Queensland Police Service statistical review confirms that the overall rate of crime in
Queensland has fallen for the ninth consecutive year. When compared to the previous year, the overall
crime rate in Queensland decreased by another one per cent. This decrease comprised a two per cent
fall in the rate of property offences and a one per cent increase in offences against the person. The rate
of ‘other’ offences remained static.
       As with every year, there are fluctuations in crime trends across the state and across crime
categories. This volatility is part and parcel of operational policing. For example, in the central region,
the rate of property offences increased by four per cent in 2008-09 but decreased by one per cent in
2009-10. In the far northern region, offences against the person decreased by a massive 11 per cent in
2008-09 but increased slightly in 2009-10.
        The real story, however, is in the crime trends over time that takes into account the increase in
Queensland’s population. In the past 10 years, crime trends across Queensland have reduced
significantly, despite massive increases in population. The overall rate of crime in Queensland has
reduced by 28 per cent over the past decade. The rate of offences against the person has reduced by
20 per cent. Whereas the rate of assaults increased by three per cent this year, the rate has decreased
by over 12 per cent over the past 10 years. The rate of property offences has reduced by a massive
48 per cent—highlighted by the fact that there were around 33,000 fewer homes and businesses broken
into in 2009-10 compared to 2000-01.
23 Nov 2010                               Ministerial Statements                                     4103

        The statistical review also identifies areas where trends are of concern and where police and
other agencies need to continue focusing attention. For example, it highlights a steady increase in the
rate of offences against the person for offenders aged 10 to 19 years. The rate of good order offences
for this age group is also increasing. However, the total rate of offences against property has reduced.
The increase in fraud offences, especially credit card and identity theft fraud, is also of concern. Police
have renewed calls for the public to remain vigilant, listen to the warnings and be conscious of their
security in the ever-changing world of technology.
       The annual crime trend statistics are a valuable strategic tool for the Queensland Police Service
which support evidence based decisions and local policing strategies. I commend Police Commissioner
Bob Atkinson, his senior executive and all members of the Queensland Police Service for their success
in continuing to drive down crime rates in Queensland communities.

                                  National Parks, Film Production
       Hon. KJ JONES (Ashgrove—ALP) (Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability) (10.17 am):
Two of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful national parks are set to be broadcast to the world as they
feature in Steven Spielberg’s multimillion dollar television series Terra Nova. Filming has already taken
place at Natural Bridge in Springbrook National Park, and further filming is scheduled to start at Cedar
Creek in Tamborine National Park tomorrow. These iconic locations provide the ideal backdrop of lush
rainforest, waterfalls and warm climate sought by the Twentieth Century Fox producers.
        Our parks were chosen out of all the possible locations in the world to film this $150 million
blockbuster. This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our magnificent national parks and remind the
world why some of these unique areas are World Heritage listed—and why Queensland is where
Australia shines. The production is also great for our state’s bottom line, with filming of the 13 episodes
set to inject more than $54 million into the economy.
      Mr Rickuss interjected.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! The minister has the call.
      Ms JONES: It is creating hundreds of jobs, with 80 per cent of the crew, cast and extras from right
here in Queensland. The crew is very aware that they are working in a sensitive and special
environment and that they need to leave it in the pristine state in which they found it and filmed. Our
rangers will be on site to ensure this is the case.
      This is a real coup for Queensland, highlighting the importance of our national parks as iconic
symbols of our state. But we do not want future generations of Queenslanders to have to turn to the
small screen just to catch a glimpse of the beauty of our parks. That is why we are providing more
funding for national parks than ever before, with $56 million over five years announced in this year’s
budget for acquiring more land for protection, particularly our national parks. It is why we have almost
doubled our ranger numbers since we came into government to more than 800 in this year’s state
      Mr Rickuss interjected.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! Member for Lockyer, that is twice. The third time there will be a warning
and after that you will be out. The honourable minister has the call.
      Ms JONES: The LNP might not like the national parks in Queensland but Steven Spielberg does.
We have made a commitment to increase our national parks here in Queensland because we support
national parks. This morning the LNP has demonstrated that it does not.
      We do not need Steven Spielberg to tell us that Queensland is home to some of the world’s most
beautiful places. We are very pleased that he will be injecting jobs into Queensland and showcasing
Queensland’s national parks to the world.

                          Deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy
      Hon. CR DICK (Greenslopes—ALP) (Attorney-General and Minister for Industrial Relations)
(10.20 am): The deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy on the Atherton Tablelands in August
1991 have confounded family, friends and investigators for almost two decades. Police initially
determined that the deaths were the result of a murder-suicide, a conclusion supported by two
subsequent coronial inquests. Despite these findings, the case has been the subject of continued
speculation and query, with a chorus of voices questioning the conclusions of numerous investigations.
These voices have urged authorities to reopen investigations into the deaths and initiate a third coronial
inquest in the hope that further light can be shed on the circumstances of the deaths of the two women
4104                                      Ministerial Statements                             23 Nov 2010

       Most recently, the member for Mulgrave, Curtis Pitt, last month provided the House with a
detailed summary of his views on this case. He has also made detailed representations to me on behalf
of the Arnold family, who have long held the belief that Vicki Arnold was not capable of committing the
actions that had been ascribed to her. I also met with family members at the Innisfail community cabinet
in February this year and heard their concerns firsthand.
       This has been a complex case that has required significant deliberation on my part as I assessed
the public interest in directing the State Coroner to reopen a coronial inquiry. I can announce today that,
after giving proper consideration to all relevant matters, I have decided to refer the case to the State
Coroner. I have today written to the Queensland State Coroner to direct that an inquest be reopened into
the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Vicki Arnold and Julie-Anne Leahy. The timing of the
inquest will be a matter for the State Coroner.
      I have also notified family members of my decision, which may bring for them some end to the
conjecture and speculation surrounding the case. While the reopened inquest may not deliver a
conclusive finding, it may provide clarity and hopefully some closure for family members.

                                          White Ribbon Day
      Hon. KL STRUTHERS (Algester—ALP) (Minister for Community Services and Housing and
Minister for Women) (10.22 am): Mr Speaker, as you announced earlier, White Ribbon Day is 25
November. It is a national campaign specifically aimed at men to take responsibility to end violence
against women and girls. Members would have been horrified by a news story last week which outlined
that a woman had half of her tongue cut off and her cheeks slashed allegedly by a former partner.
Today, we see a story in Rockhampton’s Morning Bulletin about a 55-year-old Rockhampton man who
stalked and murdered his ex-partner.
       These acts of intimidation, harassment and horrific violence by men against women occur every
minute of every day. It is criminal and it is not on. While women are subjected to such disturbing
violations at the hands of men, we will never be equal. Until men and boys take action to improve
community attitudes towards women and girls, we will never be equal.
       At the lunch break today I will join you, Mr Speaker, at the White Ribbon Day reception on the
Speaker’s Green. This is an opportunity for men to take an oath to never commit, excuse or remain
silent about violence against women and girls. I call on all men on both sides of this House to show their
support by taking the oath.
       Domestic and family violence is not accepted in Queensland. That is why the Bligh government is
taking steps to strengthen current legislation and domestic violence services across the state. Since
July last year we have been implementing our plan, For Our Sons and Daughters, to reduce domestic
and family violence in Queensland. We are making sure perpetrators are held accountable for their
actions and victims are given the support they need.
      We are finalising a review of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act to see what can be
done to improve both support and protection options. We have a plan to reduce the number of domestic
and family violence incidents in Queensland, and that is what we are delivering.

                                             Bus Services
       Hon. RG NOLAN (Ipswich—ALP) (Minister for Transport) (10.24 am): I am delighted to inform
the House that from Monday, 13 December Brisbane’s newest high-frequency bus service—route 88—
will ease congestion in Brisbane’s southern and western suburbs by adding more than 41,000 seats per
week. Route 88 will run from Eight Mile Plains to Indooroopilly via the South East Busway, Captain Cook
Bridge, Coronation Drive and Moggill Road. It will significantly ease congestion on the South East
      This $4.8 million-a-year service will run every 10 minutes in peak and every 15 minutes off-peak
between 6 am and 7 pm every day. This high-frequency, prepaid route will give people a one-seat trip
between the south and west of Brisbane in about 45 minutes. It will service the Wesley Hospital, Griffith
University, the Milton business precinct and Brisbane Boys College, as well as shopping centres at
Garden City, Toowong and Indooroopilly.
      It will ease loading pressures on current popular routes, and by using the Captain Cook Bridge it
avoids adding traffic to busy busway stations including Mater Hill, South Bank and the Cultural Centre.
Route 88 will provide a faster trip for commuters as it will run express between the Buranda and King
George Square busway stations via the Captain Cook Bridge. It will cut up to 20 minutes travel time from
the west to the south using the Great Circle Line bus services.
       This is the third high-frequency bus route added to the network in a year. It follows the success of
the CityGlider, which is 50 per cent funded by the state, which carries about 35,000 people a week. As
part of the route 88 bus package we are also introducing 13 new buses and 23 new drivers.
23 Nov 2010                                             Notices of Motion                                                        4105

      Last year the Bligh government added over 165,000 weekly seats to Brisbane buses. Here today
I am announcing 41,000 additional weekly seats to make public transport a more attractive choice for
commuters. We have shown that we can deliver on our public transport and we are seeing the results
through increased patronage. Bus patronage has skyrocketed, from 48 million to 77 million in six years.
Route 88 will cater for the increased demand for faster and more direct services throughout the city.

                               SCRUTINY OF LEGISLATION COMMITTEE
      Mrs MILLER (Bundamba—ALP) (10.27 am): I table the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee’s
Legislation Alert No. 14 of 2010.
Tabled paper: Scrutiny of Legislation Committee: Legislation Alert No. 14 of 2010 [3575].

                                                 NOTICES OF MOTION
                                                   Sale of Public Assets
        Mr MESSENGER (Burnett—Ind) (10.27 am): I give notice that I will move—
That this House notes—
That leading barrister and former royal commissioner Tony Morris QC has written:
1.      ‘The unwinnable debate for Labor is whether the Bligh government has a mandate for the greatest sell-off of public
        property in the state’s history. Plainly, they don’t.’; and
2.      ‘... it is up to the LNP opposition to guarantee that the voters’ voices will eventually be heard. The opposition can do this by
        announcing ... that the next election will be a referendum on the asset sell-off ...’
And calls on the Leader of the Opposition to support a policy action as Morris QC suggests that, ‘if elected, they will ...
compulsorily reacquire the assets which Bligh Labor has sold, and that they will do so at no cost to the taxpayer’.

                                                         CSG Industry
        Mr McLINDON (Beaudesert—TQP) (10.28 am): I give notice that I will move—
That this House calls for an immediate moratorium on all new coal seam gas and underground coal gasification projects until:
a)      the development of land access laws that give landowners real protection in relation to the activities of resource
b)      the companies demonstrate they can safely and sustainably deal with the large volumes of water withdrawn from
        underground water systems;
c)      the companies demonstrate that their activities, including fracking, will not contaminate underground water;
d)      the health of local communities will not be adversely affected by the operations of these companies;
And that the government—
      An honourable member interjected.
      Mr McLINDON: I take that interjection. I am sticking up for the farmers, unlike anyone else in this
      Mr SPEAKER: You will not take the interjection; you will give notice of a motion—
      Mr McLINDON: It continues—
And that the government protect all good agricultural land from mining impacts including adequate buffer zones and aquifer
recharge areas.
      Mr STEVENS: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker.
      Mr McLINDON: Why do I need to put this motion up? Because I am sticking up for the farmers—
      Mr SPEAKER: Order!
      Mr McLINDON:—because no-one in this parliament has any backbone.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! You will not debate the motion now.
      Mr McLINDON: That is the problem.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for Beaudesert!
      Mr McLINDON: These farmers are crying out for some help. There is no opposition in this state
and that is the problem.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! I warn the member for Beaudesert—
      Mr McLINDON: Get a backbone!
4106                                    Questions Without Notice                             23 Nov 2010

     Mr SPEAKER: Order! I warn the member for Beaudesert under 253A. I therefore ask you to
remove yourself from the House for an hour.
     Whereupon the honourable member for Beaudesert withdrew from the chamber at 10.30 am.
     Mr SPEAKER: The honourable member for Mermaid Beach on a point of order.
     Mr STEVENS: The point of order has gone for an hour, Mr Speaker.

                                    SPEAKER’S STATEMENT
                                         School Group Tours
      Mr SPEAKER: Before I call question time, I advise that we will be visited by pupils, teachers and
parents of the Bundaberg East State School in the electorate of Bundaberg, the Sunnybank State
School in the electorate of Sunnybank, the Burnett Heads State School in the electorate of Burnett, and
the Northern Peninsula Area State College in the electorate of Cook.

                                QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE
                               Queensland Health, Payroll System
        Mr LANGBROEK (10.30 am): My first question without notice is to the Minister for Health. Given
that Labor has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on Queensland Health’s failed payroll system,
will the minister confirm that this is why some hospitals are now being forced to consider extreme
measures including cutting access to palliative care beds for the dying?
        Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for the question. I want to make it crystal clear, as the
government has made clear from day one, that none of the cost of rectifying this issue will come at the
expense of the operational budget of Queensland Health. I have made that crystal clear, as has the
Premier. The honourable member is quite right to seek that assurance, and that is the assurance that
the government has given. The payroll development costs are largely costs that are funded centrally as
part of the rolling out of a payroll system. We have made it crystal clear that those costs will be covered
from the general budget, not from service delivery.
        I might add that the budget of Queensland Health this year has gone up to $9.99 billion. That is
record expenditure and a quarter of the state’s budget, and we are increasing the number of services
and procedures we are doing every time. We are doing more and more and more and more operations.
We have increased the Health budget to $9.99 billion this year. That clearly gives proof to the argument
that I am making—that is, that we are in fact funding more, not less. Money for this payroll issue to be
fixed and sorted out will not come at the expense of operational services in Queensland Health.

                               Queensland Health, Payroll System
       Mr LANGBROEK: My second question without notice is also to the Minister for Health. Given
that Labor has squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on Queensland Health’s failed payroll system,
can the minister confirm that some hospitals are now being forced to consider extreme measures,
including cutting overtime and holding off on filling medical and nursing vacancies?
       Mr LUCAS: I made it clear to the honourable member in my answer to the previous question that
this will not be funded at the expense of the operational budget of Queensland Health. So the answer to
the honourable member’s question is no, no and no.

                                        Housing Affordability
       Ms FARMER: My question without notice is to the Premier. Can the Premier please inform the
House what the government is doing to make home ownership more affordable for more Queenslanders
in the future?
       Ms BLIGH: I thank the member for her question and for her commitment to our government’s
view that young Queenslanders particularly should be able to get into the housing market and aspire to
the great Australian dream of owning their own home and raising a family in a home they own. Earlier
this year in our Growth Management Summit one of the big issues that we confronted was the issue of
housing affordability as we saw Queensland, particularly the south-east corner, grow. We set up an
Infrastructure Charges Task Force out of that summit which involved a very strong partnership between
state government, local government and industry which has to apply these sorts of charges, and I want
to acknowledge the very strong role that local government, particularly the LGAQ, played in the task
force and its deliberations, because, ultimately, these are charges that go to assist councils to meet the
infrastructure that they are responsible for. For councils to consider a very significant mind shift is not
easy, and I thank them for their willingness to do so.
23 Nov 2010                             Questions Without Notice                                     4107

       The task force has recommended sweeping changes to the way that infrastructure charges are
paid and how they are calculated. What these sweeping changes will mean is a cap on infrastructure
charges—a cap of somewhere between $20,000 and $30,000 per house. This is a significant drop from
the $40,000 to $70,000 range that we have seen grow over the last couple of years. It also allows a
system where developers can pay the charge on settlement of the property rather than upfront so that
the holding costs can be reduced and they can have certainty. Further, the formula will only be
increased by an understood index every year, so it cannot be just changed randomly and them not have
any knowledge of it. The state government has agreed to waive for three years the Transport and Main
Roads local functions charges. We are doing all of this because we understand that the construction,
building and property industry is doing it tough and that is translating into higher prices for homebuyers.
       This is a significant reform from our government. What do we see from those opposite? Do we
see an economic plan? No. Do we see a budget strategy? No. Do we see a housing affordability
strategy? No. Do we see an infrastructure plan? No. We do not even see an infrastructure shadow
minister on the front bench. Where is the shadow minister for infrastructure? Of course that position has
been vacant for months because the Leader of the Opposition simply cannot risk appointing a new
shadow minister without a party room revolt. Mark my words: the reshuffle that we have heard talked
about all year will start the minute this parliament stops. As soon as everyone in the LNP goes back to
their electorates we will see the reshuffle that the Leader of the Opposition has talked about all year.
       (Time expired)

                               Queensland Health, Payroll System
        Mr SPRINGBORG: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health. Given Labor has
squandered hundreds of millions of dollars on Queensland Health’s failed payroll system, will the
minister confirm that some hospitals are now being forced to consider extreme measures such as
reducing access to vital pathology services?
        Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for the question because it just shows that,
regrettably, those opposite do not listen to answers to questions. So when members opposite get up,
particularly the member for Callide, and take points of orders about answers to questions, they never
actually mean it. I have made it crystal clear that Queensland Health’s budget has increased by almost
a billion dollars this year—thank you to the Treasurer and the Premier for that—to $9.99 billion.
Queensland Health is treating record numbers of people. The waiting list, for example, at the present
time for surgery is minuscule for ultra long waits compared to what it was when those opposite were last
in power and when they sat around the cabinet table. We see the delivery of services in a modern
environment as being a critical part of a modern health system. We are rolling out those services not just
in the south-east corner but up and down the state of Queensland in places such as Cairns, Townsville,
Mackay, Mount Isa, Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Toowoomba, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.
So the services and the facilities are being built everywhere, let alone South-East Queensland.
        In terms of a government that is providing a Gold Coast university tertiary hospital, a Robina
Hospital, a Sunshine Coast University Hospital, upgrades to Toowoomba, upgrades to Logan, a new
emergency department at Princess Alexandra Hospital, a Queensland Children’s Hospital, Prince
Charles Hospital upgrades and upgrades in Rockhampton, Bundaberg, Townsville, Mackay and Mount
Isa, how could that be in relation to a government that is not providing services for the future? We will
continue to provide those services. We have made it crystal clear that we do not expect and do not
permit districts to take any money in relation to this at the expense of operational services. They will be
financed centrally and from the budget.

                                       Infrastructure Program
       Mr WATT: My question without notice is to the Premier. Can the Premier please outline to the
House how the government is delivering on its plan to build a strong and bright future for
       Ms BLIGH: I thank the honourable member for the question. We began this year with a very
strong plan for Queensland’s economy and as we get to the end of the parliamentary year we can see
that that plan has been systematically delivered every month throughout this year. We promised to drive
and create jobs and, as I have said, we have now delivered 15 consecutive months of jobs growth.
       We promised to keep our nation building infrastructure program going and that is what we have
done. What is it doing? What is happening out there in our infrastructure program? The airport flyover:
delivered 12 months early and on budget. What has it done? It has eliminated the most hated
roundabout in Brisbane. Gone—and done a year early and on budget. The Gateway duplication:
delivered six months early and delivered on budget and cars are driving over it. We expect to see all of
the lanes open earlier than anticipated—
       Mr Lucas: No thanks to John Howard.
4108                                           Questions Without Notice                               23 Nov 2010

       Ms BLIGH: I take the interjection from the Deputy Premier—without one shred of thanks to John
Howard, who would not fund one kilometre of that National Highway.
       Stage 2 of the Eastern Busway: underway and ahead of schedule. Robina Hospital: ahead of
schedule. The Ted Smout bridge: built on time and on budget and making a huge difference to the
people of the Redcliffe peninsula and Sandgate. The Rockhampton-Yeppoon water pipeline: on time
and on budget.
       Mr Springborg: Was the water grid built on time and on budget as well?
       Ms BLIGH: I take the interjection from the member for Southern Downs. Was the water grid built
on time and on budget? Yes, it was.
       Of course, up in Central Queensland the Rockhampton-Yeppoon water pipeline: built on time and
on budget. The Cairns cruise ship terminal: built on time, on budget and ready for business. So
wherever you look—whether it is in health, in housing, in roads, in bridges—we are building in
Queensland and we are building on time or earlier and on budget. Whether you look in Cairns,
Townsville or Rockhampton or whether you look in the south-east corner or out west to Mount Isa, you
will see our government’s infrastructure program building a bigger, better, stronger Queensland.
       What do we see from those opposite? Twelve months in which they have ridiculed, knocked,
complained—not one idea. They have one week left to tell us their ideas for Queensland. They started
the year talking about a reshuffle and they are ending it that way.
       (Time expired)

                                     Metro South Health Service District
        Mr McARDLE: My question is to the Minister for Health. I table two Queensland Health memos
from last month for the metro south region that detail proposed cuts to critical palliative care beds for the
dying, cuts in medical staff and cuts to their overtime, a reduction in pathology services and even
deliberate delays to hospital maintenance. Is it not true that if Labor had not squandered hundreds
of millions of dollars on its failed health payroll system not one of these cuts—not one—to vital health
services would have to be considered?
Tabled paper: Bundle of memos from Queensland Health regarding deficit reduction strategies [3576].
        Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for his question. The budget for metro south in 2009-
10 was $1.312045 billion. This year, it is an 8.56 per cent increase to $1.424411 billion. One thing is for
sure: since the member for Toowoomba South was health minister, we have essentially doubled the
Queensland Health budget. It is crystal clear that the money that has been allocated to Queensland
Health this year from the budget is almost $1 billion more than was allocated last year. So how could
one possibly contend, even on a ridiculous assertion by the honourable member about a report that was
tabled today dealing with expenditure over a three-year period in the future, that it has anything to do
with this? It is patently not true.
        The issue in relation to metro south, I am advised, is how metro south is managing its own
budget. We expect Queensland Health departments to manage their own budgets. How could the
honourable member seriously contend that any organisation, whether it is Queensland Health or
anything else, would not want to manage its budget? How could he possibly contend that? In fact, if you
are in a particular health district and you overspend in your particular area then you do it at the expense
of someone else, even on a rising budget.
        As I said before, the budget for metro south has increased this year by 8.56 per cent. The 2009-
10 original budget for metro south was $1.312045 billion. It is $1.424411 billion. You have only to trot
down to the Princess Alexandra Hospital to see the massive expansion in the emergency department
that is happening there. What the honourable member is contending—that the issues in dealing with the
serious matters of payroll are the cause of an area looking at adjusting its internal expenditure—is
patently not correct.

        Ms STONE: My question is to the Treasurer and Minister for Employment and Economic
Development. Can the Treasurer update the House on investor interest in Queensland? Is there any
alternative plan to support the Queensland economy?
        Mr FRASER: I thank the member for Springwood for her support for the government’s reform
program to ensure that we can secure the future of the Queensland economy. Of course, since the last
sitting we have seen strong investor interest in Queensland, and the investor interest in QR National
over the past two days continues and it continues to underpin the proposition that we put forward that
this was a strong investment.
        Since the last parliamentary sitting we have also seen strong investor interest in the Port of
Brisbane, with a new consortium coming in to fund the future growth of the Port of Brisbane. That is a
return of $2.1 billion to the people of Queensland as well as a $200 million upgrade to the Port of
23 Nov 2010                             Questions Without Notice                                     4109

Brisbane Motorway—a total value of $2.3 billion to the people of Queensland to go with the investment
that was secured yesterday. That is money and investors speaking for themselves. Those are the
numbers that those opposite all of a sudden have gone mute on and cannot argue with.
       What we have seen in the past week also is a report from ABARE, which is the Australian Bureau
of Agricultural and Resource Economics, which says that committed investment in the resource sector
in Queensland has doubled in the last year—has doubled. What was the shadow Treasurer’s response
to this report on Sunday? He put out a carping, negative press release talking down the Queensland
economy, of course. He was out there looking for a flop on the weekend, but all we saw from the
shadow Treasurer was the year’s best belly flop.
       The reality, of course, is that we know what our plan is and our plan is working. What we do not
know after another year is what the Leader of the Opposition stands for, because it is just on a year
since we announced that, as a government, we would maintain a shareholding in QR National as a
cornerstone investor as it listed on the market. Nearly a year ago to the day we made that
announcement and so yesterday, after a year during which the Leader of the Opposition was asked
what he would do with that shareholding beyond 2012, what was his answer? After a year of protesting
that he opposed privatisation, his answer was that he did not know. This was the lowest, slowest ball
that ever got bowled. This was a Ray Bright special that bounced along twice. After 12 months what did
the Leader of the Opposition do? He missed it completely, because he has been standing in here for a
year pretending dishonestly that he opposes privatisation. He had a chance yesterday to say what he
stood for and he did not know, because he has always believed in privatisation. He has voted for
privatisation. He has introduced amendments for privatisation but he does not believe a single word he
says in here.
       This is a bankrupted Leader of the Opposition who no longer stands for anything. We saw him sell
himself out when it came to the fluoride vote in here and he has sold himself out to sit in that chair. The
question in this place is fast becoming no longer what does the Leader of the Opposition stand for and
what will he do but what will that gormless collection of floaters next to him do? What will they do about
it, because the opposition leader is going to do nothing.
      (Time expired)

                               Queensland Health, Payroll System
       Mrs STUCKEY: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health. I refer to the extra
$210 million that taxpayers will now be asked to fork out to fix Labor’s bungled Health payroll system.
Will the minister say what services will be cut to fund this extra $210 million or is it a fact that the
$210 million will come from the proceeds of the fire sale of Queensland Rail?
      Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for the question. The first part of her question is
based upon the false premise that we would reduce operational expenditure for Queensland Health.
The member for Callide should never ever take a point of order in the future on ministers answering
questions because I have made it crystal clear that that is not the case—crystal clear in every answer.
Similarly, the honourable member for Caloundra, I might add, might want to actually refer to the rest of
the documents he tabled where David Thiele made it clear that the money was not coming from payroll
issues. But he didn’t say that. He is lucky he is not before the privileges committee.
      In relation to the honourable member’s question about the financing of this, it will be financed
from the budget. The honourable member needs to understand the difference between capital and
recurrent expenditure. The honourable member also needs to understand that this government took a
decision a little while ago as to what we saw as the core business of governments. And we saw the core
business of governments as providing things like hospitals at Robina, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine
Coast, in Logan, in Toowoomba, in Cairns, in Mackay and Mount Isa and a Queensland Children’s
Hospital because that is what governments in the 21st century do.
       The honourable member has clearly nailed her colours to the mast in making it clear that,
because there is an opportunity cost to this, rather than finance hospitals and those people who work in
them, she believes that it is far more preferable that taxpayers’ funds are directed towards the
ownership and maintenance of a commercial freight railway. I tell members now, as we go into the 21st
century, that the future public servant that we will see increasingly will be a nurse, a doctor, a welfare
worker, a teacher or a police officer, not a freight railway employee. Because we know this: QR listed
today and guess what? This morning the trains were going to and from the Port of Brisbane carrying
coal. They are still there, people are still employed. But guess what as well? Because this Premier has
led from the front we are building an emergency department at Princess Alexandra Hospital; because
this Premier has led from the front we are building a Queensland Children’s Hospital; because this
Premier has led from the front we are building a Gold Coast University Hospital; because this Premier
has led from the front we are building hospitals in Cairns, Mackay, Townsville, Mount Isa, Rockhampton
and other parts of Queensland. We will take that choice and make no apology for it. We will do it.
4110                                     Questions Without Notice                               23 Nov 2010

                                     Gold Coast, Health Services
      Mrs KEECH: My question is to the Deputy Premier and Minister for Health. Can the Deputy
Premier and Minister for Health inform the House how the government’s $2 billion health infrastructure
program on the Gold Coast is delivering expanded health services and securing local jobs at Robina?
      Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for her question. Actually, quite interestingly, the
opposition was asking about budget issues and those sorts of things and, in fact, the Robina Hospital is
running not only ahead of time but ahead of budget. We have been able to finance the acquisition of a
car park.
       Ms Bates interjected.
       Mr LUCAS: Don’t you talk about what you didn’t achieve as a campaigner on the Pacific
Motorway. You and Mr Ciobo were spectacular failures in ever getting any money out of John Howard.
Last week I took the opportunity to inspect the $274.3 million Robina Hospital expansion along with the
member for Burleigh. We took tough decisions to maintain our $17 billion infrastructure program to build
a strong Queensland and lock in jobs, not just construction jobs, but also jobs for those people working
in these facilities.
      The honourable member for Clayfield likes quoting reports but he has not quoted too much from
the Access Economics report that came out recently where it talked about our health infrastructure
program dwarfing that of WA at $3.2 billion and New South Wales at $2.5 million. In fact, when one
looks at the Gold Coast, the infrastructure program on the Gold Coast alone is in excess of $2 billion,
which is more than many states. That is a decision that this Premier, this Treasurer and this government
have taken when it comes to financing that. When complete in mid 2012 it will deliver an additional 179
beds, going therefore from a 185-bed facility to a 364-bed teaching hospital. They are very excited there
about the teaching hospital aspect of it.
       The expansion will make a significant difference in meeting future health demand on the Gold
Coast, one of our fastest growing regions. It is predicted that the expansion will admit up to an extra
15,500 overnight patients and 47,000 extra outpatients annually. I was also pleased to have a look at the
Robina Hospital palliative care unit last week. It not only has all single bedrooms in the 20-bed unit but
additionally each of them has a pull down bed for a loved one to live there. They have a lovely outside
area, for when people are in a difficult situation in palliative care, that is fully grassed and provided with
all medical supplies so patients can go outside and still have gas, suction, an emergency call and the
various other treatments that are needed. That is happening in the Robina Hospital.
       Other features to be rolled out as part of the expansion are four additional operating theatres and
a Bond University education and research facility. For the first time it will provide orthopaedic wards, a
geriatric support unit, cardiology and an expanded coronary care unit. The expansion will employ 1,660
workers over the life of the project and at the peak of construction in September this year there were
more than 350 workers on site.
      We have made a very, very clear choice. The coal wagons are still running today; they are hauling
out coal. We are getting royalties and we are building things.

                                         Sale of Public Assets
        Mr NICHOLLS: My question is to the Premier. The government has claimed that the proceeds of
the asset sales will be used to pay off debt, used to pay for hospitals, for roads, for public transport
infrastructure, for community projects, and today the suggestion is they will be used to deliver cost of
living relief. Will the Premier finally concede that the proceeds from the QR National float are, in fact,
only equivalent to one year’s interest on Labor’s record debt of $83.5 billion?
     Ms BLIGH: I thank the member for the question. It is very simple, and I would have thought that
someone who aspires to the Treasury portfolio would understand at the most basic level—
       A government member: He wasn’t good at maths though.
      Ms BLIGH: I do take the interjection that the member did concede that he was not good at maths.
With the proceeds of the sale of Queensland Rail, as we committed to, we will pay down Queensland’s
debt. What effect will that have on our budget? Firstly, it will relieve the budget from some of the debt
payments, but, more importantly and in terms of the longer term legacy, it means that we will not have to
borrow for Queensland Rail’s commercial programs.
       Mr Springborg interjected.
      Mr SPEAKER: The honourable the Deputy Leader of the Opposition! The Premier is answering
the question. I cannot hear in that answer any offence to any member. The Premier has the call. I call
the Premier.
23 Nov 2010                                     Questions Without Notice                                  4111

        Ms BLIGH: We will use the proceeds to pay down debt. Everybody understands that if you
reduce debt then it frees up some of the funds that you are paying to pay off the debt and it also means
in this case that the long-term structural reform of this decision is that future Queensland governments
will not be borrowing $5 billion, $6 billion and $7 billion to expand the Queensland coal rail network.
Where will that money come from? It will come from the private sector. For the first time the commercial
assets of Queensland Rail will be able to do what commercial companies do: raise equity, raise funds
and grow the export chain.
       I am pleased to hear the shadow Treasurer ask a question this morning because he has spent
probably more time than anybody else in the last 12 months trying to talk Queensland down and trying
to talk down Queensland Rail. He is on the record more than any other commentator saying that the
workers should not get shares, talking down the shares that mum-and-dad investors would get, trying to
make sure that mum-and-dad Queenslanders and Queensland Rail workers got a bad deal.
       ‘Belly-flop boy’ was wrong. We saw investors voting with their feet. They came to this investment
and yesterday we saw it trade.
       Mr Nicholls interjected.
       Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for Clayfield will cease interjecting.
       Ms BLIGH: I am happy to quote some of the newspaper commentary. One such article states—
Amid all the negative talk—
take the member for Clayfield, for example—
an uncertain stockmarket and still volatile global economy, this was a great performance.
       Why? Because it is a great company and it will now become a greater company. The member for
Clayfield is the greatest champion of privatisation in this House.
       (Time expired)

                                               Sunshine Coast, Roads
       Mr RYAN: My question is to the very dapper and cosmopolitan looking Minister for Main Roads.
With the Sunshine Coast gearing up for a bumper tourist season over the next couple of months, can
the minister please update the House on road building in the region?
       Mr WALLACE: I thank the member for Morayfield for the question. He took up the challenge last
year. I have raised close to $2,000 so far with this bit of hair on top of the lip—all for men’s health. It is a
great cause.
       We have reached some major milestones in road building on the Sunshine Coast. We have
opened up a new two-kilometre section of the Bruce Highway on the Cooroy-Curra stretch. We are
planning to upgrade that entire 65-kilometre stretch of the highway. On top of road safety benefits, we
are delivering jobs: 1,700 jobs for roadworkers. It is a $600 million plus project. It is all Labor money—
every cent. That stretch of highway got zip, zero, zilch during 11 long years of neglect under the tories.
We are putting the finishing touches to a major upgrade of the Steve Irwin Way between Landsborough
and the Caloundra Road interchange. It is on track and on time. We have two major planning studies
underway—one on the Bruce Highway and one on the Nambour Connection Road—to manage future
       Those opposite are clueless when it comes to building better roads. A few weeks ago half a
dozen of them got together to launch the LNP’s policy for the region. The member for Caloundra said
that the policy was the starting point for planning of the Sunshine Coast’s future. If that is the starting
point, where does it end? They put their heads together that day to work out a policy, but there is no
policy for that policy. What a day for a daydream it must have been. ‘This policy,’ they said, ‘is our
promise to the Sunshine Coast.’ It is one big, empty promise. They might as well have been talking in
tongues. The member for Maroochydore had this to say about the LNP’s policy-free zone up there—
Residents will have great opportunities to work close to home.
        Why is that so? Why will they have greater opportunities to work closer to home? It is because the
tories will not be able to deliver the roads needed for people to get around. Labor is about delivering a
first-class road network on the Sunshine Coast. Our runs are on the board. The opposition spent half its
time scheming and the other half daydreaming. According to its policy for that policy, under the LNP
government Sunshine Coast residents will know what to expect and when they can expect it. Yes,
Queenslanders can expect plenty from the LNP: plenty of nothing.
        Government members interjected.
        Mr Hinchliffe interjected.
        Mr SPEAKER: Order! Those on my right, and especially the Minister for Infrastructure and
Planning. I know that you are excited: it is your 40th birthday. Celebrations later.
4112                                     Questions Without Notice                              23 Nov 2010

                                            Port of Brisbane
       Ms SIMPSON: My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to his statement that Labor’s
fire sale of the port of Brisbane would deliver $2.1 billion in cash. I also refer to reports that the cash
proceeds were over $100 million less and that the remaining amount may not come for another five
years as part of an earn-out arrangement. How much real cash was received from the fire sale and how
much is on the never-never?
       Mr FRASER: I thank the shadow transport minister for her question. I can confirm that the
consolidated fund will get the benefit of $2.1 billion at settlement date. The vast majority of those
proceeds will be paid upfront, and the arrangements will also include that there is an immediate
payment of the future revenue streams into the consolidated fund, as I foreshadowed in the press
release and in the press conference that I conducted on the day the transaction was concluded. All of
those details also will be included in the appropriate report to parliament when that is tabled in the near
        I thank the shadow transport minister for her question because it does provide the opportunity to
ask what her priorities would be as a future transport minister of the state. She would like to be the
transport minister who continued to submit to the Treasurer of the day a briefing asking for hundreds
of millions of dollars for train sets in Western Australia while people in Queensland could wait. She
would like to be the transport minister who sent the brief up to the Treasurer asking for hundreds
of millions of dollars for coal locomotives in the Hunter Valley while the people of Queensland could
wait. She would like to be the transport minister who sought to expand the coal network for the sake of
BHP and Rio, but she wants to put the balance sheet of BHP and Rio ahead of the balance sheet of the
Queensland taxpayer.
      Members opposite have been conducting a concerted campaign to talk down the share price of
QR National. They have not been out talking down the share price of the shares that the Leader of the
Opposition owns. Have they been out there talking down the share price of his holdings? No. However,
they want to talk down the share price on behalf of Queensland taxpayers. They want to talk down the
share price for those people investing and they want to talk down the share price for the employees of
QR National. If it is not good enough for them, why is it good enough for them to do it in this
      The reality, of course, is that after 12 months—another promise of 12 months—we are still no
closer to knowing what the Leader of the Opposition would do any differently. He was given the slow
bowl yesterday for the 12-month question.
       Ms Bligh interjected.
        Mr FRASER: It was coming for 12 months—the longest telegraph question in the history of
politics—and he stood there mute; he did not know. I wonder if the rest of the opposition are looking
forward to the election campaign, when the questions will come thick and fast. I wonder if they are
looking forward to the election debate when the questions will come. I wonder what sort of confidence
they have in the Leader of the Opposition being able to stand there and answer a question, because he
had 12 months to figure out an answer to this one. For 12 months he has been pretending that he had a
position, but when the question was put, when he was put to the acid test, when he was asked to stand
for something, what did he do? Once again, he stood for nothing. This Leader of the Opposition
supports privatisation. He always has; he always will. He has voted for it and he should finally do
something and tell the truth.

                                   Sport and Recreation, Funding
       Mr KILBURN: My question without notice is to the Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport.
Given that we are about to see the start of one of the world’s great sporting events—the Ashes—on
Thursday, could the minister outline for the House the state of sports funding in Queensland?
       Mr REEVES: I thank the member for the question as a great lover of sport himself. With the first
Ashes test getting underway at the Gabba on Thursday morning, the tourists have a strategy if they win
the toss: offcuts and leg cuts. Yes, the conservatives have rolled the wicket and they liked the look of the
Gabba green top just like in the UK when they had a strategy of physical education and sport for all. It
was working, too. What did the tories do to that strategy? Cut it, it is gone; got him, it is out. In the UK
they kept the elite program, of course, because that is what conservatives do: only care about the elite;
look after the elite and abandon the grassroots. It is gone, got him—a 24 per cent cut to sports funding.
What would they do here? Their skipper is in poor form. They have been promising to select the new
team all year, but the trouble is that the same old, tired, lazy faces who have not troubled the scoreboard
attendant at all are still there.
       What will they do? The local sport and recreation jobs plan will be gone. The active inclusion
program will be sent back to the pavilion. The sports infrastructure program will be plumbed. What about
support for state sporting organisations? Let us go to the third umpire. Wait for it—it is out! Dickie Bird’s
23 Nov 2010                                   Questions Without Notice                                               4113

finger is up and it is gone. Those programs are all about grassroots support, participation and jobs.
Every sport and policy program is on a sticky wicket under the LNP. If you ask them which programs
they will cut, they will tell you. You name it, they will send it back to the pavilion. Local sporting clubs will
be the losers, dragging their paddles on the long walk back to the pavilion.
       Sport delivers massive economic and health benefits to this state. I am very proud to say that we
invest more in sport and recreation than any other state in the Sheffield Shield competition. We have
made the tough economic decisions to keep the scoreboard ticking over. We have runs on the boards.
But while we are hitting boundaries, what do we hear from the other side? A big goose egg! A duck!
There is nothing out there at all. The Bligh government has stuck to its game plan despite the cynical
appeals from those on the other side who cannot even seem to settle on a skipper.

                            Queensland Health, Alleged Gross Misconduct
       Ms BATES: My question without notice is to the Minister for Health. I refer the minister to a case
of alleged serious sexual misconduct by a doctor in Queensland Health, previously raised in this House.
I ask: will the minister explain why it is Queensland Health practice to bully its nurses and rule against a
WorkCover claim, when WorkCover itself admits an injury actually occurred? I table documents.
Tabled paper: Email to Ms Ros Bates MP, dated 29 October, regarding Queensland Health policy and processes [3577].
Tabled paper: Letter, from claims representative, WorkCover Queensland, regarding a WorkCover Queensland claim enclosing
reasons for WorkCover Queensland’s decision [3578].
      Will the minister correct the situation by giving a guarantee that Queensland Health will take
responsibility for this injury caused by its own senior management?
       Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for the question. I take it that the honourable member
is referring to the alleged incident, which is still before the courts, that happened outside a Health
environment. It happened at a social function. Is that the one the honourable member is referring to?
       Ms Bates: Yes, I am.
       Mr LUCAS: Obviously I will not comment on the particular incident. If I heard her correctly, the
honourable member indicated that WorkCover was going to accept the claim but Queensland Health
rejected it. As an employer, Queensland Health does not have the capability of rejecting a WorkCover
claim. That is quite appropriately a matter for WorkCover to decide in accordance with the appropriate
principles of law. Indeed, if there is a dissatisfaction with that, people have certain appeal rights in
relation to decisions of WorkCover. If someone has a grievance with a process, as a legal practitioner I
would always endorse and strongly support that they seek the appropriate advice. I understand that the
person concerned is a nurse. Most nurses are members of the Queensland Nurses Union, which has a
very active internal process for supporting its members through these things. I make that point in
relation to the issue raised by the honourable member because I think it is important.
       I will speak about the more general issue that the honourable member averted to in relation to
alleged bullying in the workplace. There is no place for bullying in any workplace and Queensland
Health takes those allegations very seriously. I would make this point: I am advised that the majority of
bullying allegations in relation to organisations such as Queensland Health do not involve senior
management. In fact, typically in a hospital—and hospitals are very large places—nurses or doctors, for
that matter, would very rarely interact with very senior management. Most claims are against either work
colleagues at the same level, that is, a nurse against a nurse, or immediate supervisors, for example, a
doctor against a doctor, Indeed, that is precisely what happened at the Townsville cardiac unit. It was a
dispute about the internal nature of the cardiac unit in Townsville. Therefore, we need to be very careful
that we understand that this is not a situation of the director-general or the head of the hospital telling a
nurse what they should or should not do. That would be very rare. In fact, that is not how you run any
sort of organisation.
       Having said that, one of the concerns that I have in relation to this, bearing in mind that I have
mentioned issues at a supervisory and work colleague level, is our need to roll out more—and we are
doing it—training at that level. Senior managers are trained managers. They undergo management
training. For example, in my own profession of law or the honourable member’s profession of nursing or
that of the honourable member sitting next to her of medicine, there is no automatic management
training and you have to pick up skills for that. I thank the honourable member for her question.
       (Time expired)

      Mrs SCOTT: My question is to the Minister for Disability Services and Multicultural Affairs. Can
the minister inform the House of the government’s efforts to help Queenslanders who have a child with
autism cope with financial pressures?
4114                                    Questions Without Notice                              23 Nov 2010

        Ms PALASZCZUK: I thank the member for Woodridge for this very important question. As
members of the House will know, early intervention for children with a disability is one of my key
priorities. I have also mentioned in this House many times that each year around 350 children are
diagnosed with autism. We know that puts added pressure onto families when looking at locating their
children where they can get the best supports. We are committed to doing that.
       Earlier this month I made a very significant announcement that I want to share with the House. I
announced an extra $360,000 for AEIOU. That is very significant. What will that money do? Basically, if
a family’s combined income was $60,000, they would have to pay gap funding of $3,500 to send their
child to an AEIOU centre. Under this Labor government, that family will now pay zero out-of-pocket
expenses. A family with a combined income of up to $80,000 were out of pocket $5,000. Under this
Labor government, what will they pay? $233! This Labor government delivers. It delivers to people and
to families in low socioeconomic areas and it delivers to middle-class families to ensure that their
children can get the very best start in life.
        However, not only are we delivering in Brisbane and metropolitan areas; we are committed to
delivering in rural and regional areas as well. Earlier this year I announced an extra $460,000 for the
Sunshine Coast centre, which will assist 25 families to access autism services from AEIOU. I can now
tell the House that families in Emerald can now access an autism service for the first time ever. I have
received a letter from James Morton from the AEIOU Foundation. He said, ‘Minister, for the first time we
are very pleased that this service is being accessed by families.’ A Labor government is delivering this.
This is a fundamental change in the way that we deliver services. We will continue to deliver and we will
continue to expand autism services. In the last budget I announced that funding will be available for a
new service in Bundaberg and a new service in Mackay. By the end of next year, I want to see autism
early intervention centres in every regional centre from Cairns to Coolangatta, and expanding into rural
and regional areas. A Labor government delivers, but they have no policies on the other side.

                                              Foster Care
       Mr MESSENGER: My question without notice is to the Minister for Child Safety and Minister for
Sport. I refer the minister to his government’s policy of using same-sex couples and transvestites as
foster carers for children who are in the care of his department. Can the minister explain why his
government has failed to ask the parents and grandparents of children subject to protection orders
whether they agree to same-sex couples or transvestites being allowed to provide foster care to their
children and their grandchildren?
       Mr REEVES: Not content with throwing wild accusations at child safety officers, recently the
member saw fit to criticise foster carers who open their hearts and homes to deal with and care for
children who have suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of their parents or guardians. The Bligh
government assesses foster and kinship care on the ability to provide safe and loving homes to children
and young people, and that is the way it should be. It is a sad fact that in Queensland 7,800 children are
not able to live at home because they would not be safe there. The reality is that in Queensland we need
more foster carers. We need more people to put up their hands to offer care to children and young
people. I would like to thank each and every one of our foster and kinship carers who have gone the
extra mile to help our children.
      I call on members to stop criticising and start supporting these great volunteers. Without them it
would be more difficult to protect our most vulnerable children and young people. We will continue to
support our wonderful foster and kinship carers, particularly in the month leading up to Christmas,
because they do a great job.

                            Public Transport, Seniors and Pensioners
      Ms GRACE: My question is to the Minister for Transport. Can the minister outline what the
government is doing to make it easier for seniors and pensioners to use public transport?
       Ms NOLAN: This government has made some tough decisions because our priorities lie with
people—they lie with providing the best services for Queenslanders. Among those priorities is our
desire to provide good, accessible public transport for Queensland seniors. We have obviously done
that for a long time through a longstanding 50 per cent concession so that seniors and pensioners travel
on public transport at half price. But since we moved to go card, we have done much, much more.
      Over the course of this year the Queensland government has given away around 30,000 free go
cards to seniors through our hugely popular ‘go ready’ sessions whereby staff from TransLink, often
organised through both non-government and government MPs, have put on community information
sessions to make the transition from paper tickets to go card easier for seniors. At those sessions we
have given seniors free go cards and answered their questions about how that go card works. What we
have seen as a result is a significant shift of older people for the first time using go card and finding it
easy and accessible to use. But giving away 30,000 go cards was not the point at which we stopped.
23 Nov 2010                              Questions Without Notice                                       4115

        Last week, along with the member for Brisbane Central, who has been enormously active in this
field, I launched the new Seniors Card and go card which are combined into one product. Everybody
knows that seniors very much like their Seniors Card and very much benefit from the world of discounts
that it provides. Everybody knows that seniors rarely do not have that card in their pockets. What we
have now done is make a dual card that is a Seniors Card on one side and a go card on the other to
make it much easier for older people to always have that card with them. Again, that is not all there is. In
addition, we have recently announced that, as we move to a greater extent to go card, for seniors and
seniors alone the first two trips will be paid for on the public transport network on any given day and after
that seniors will travel free. This is in recognition of the kind of travel that older people tend to do—often
a number of short trips throughout the day—and this makes it cheaper again for seniors to move
        We are committed to seeing people of all ages being involved in a vibrant and active community
life. That is why as we have rolled out go card we have gone to great lengths, including a combined
Seniors Card and go card, to make it easier for older people to travel.
      (Time expired)

                   Member for Mount Isa, Alleged Breach of Confidentiality
      Mr POWELL: My question is to the Minister for Health. I refer the minister to today’s report that
the member for Mount Isa has once again been breaching basic confidentiality rules—this time in her
role as chair of the Living with Lead Alliance. Can the minister give a guarantee that the member for
Mount Isa did not breach patient confidentiality by releasing the health records of a patient?
      Mr LUCAS: I thank the honourable member for the question. I am not an investigator of the
member for Mount Isa. My function in this House is not to give guarantees about allegations about the
member for Mount Isa. In fact, if the honourable member has a question for the member for Mount Isa,
he might want to ask her himself.
       I just say this about the member for Mount Isa. I have had the singular pleasure of knowing the
member for Mount Isa very well in the time that she has represented her electorate in this place. I have
travelled extensively within her electorate. I have met people from all walks of life—from the community
sector, from the highest end of the business sector, from Indigenous organisations and from health
organisations to educational organisations—with the member for Mount Isa. I have observed at close
hand the member for Mount Isa in those interactions. I have had the opportunity, as a member of
parliament who has been here for a lengthy period of time, to observe the member for Mount Isa in her
interactions with those people and, indeed, frankly to compare them to those I have observed of what I
would call an average member of parliament from both sides of politics. I have no hesitation in saying
that the member for Mount Isa is outstanding in the manner in which she represents people. She has the
typical Mount Isa directness that we have grown to know and love from the north-west. She has the no-
nonsense attitude that we have grown to love from the north-west.
      Mr Springborg: You don’t accept that from Bob Katter and Ron McCullough.
       Mr LUCAS: I do not think you are any great fan of Bob Katter. What she has done over that time
is prosecute the arguments in favour of people in her electorate without fear or favour, without regard to
their politics I might add, and without regard to their station in life. If only all members of this Assembly
were like her in terms of the way in which she assiduously represents people. The honourable member,
as a new person here, might want to take a leaf out of the member for Mount Isa’s book and learn about
someone who stands up for her electorate and speaks in no-nonsense terms.

                              Regional Queensland, Homeownership
      Mr WETTENHALL: My question without notice is to the Minister for Community Services and
Housing and Minister for Women. Would the minister please advise the House how the Bligh
government is helping Queenslanders in regional areas to buy their own home?
       Ms STRUTHERS: The member for Barron River knows that every dollar counts for families in his
region. The Bligh government is absolutely committed to creating a fairer Queensland for all
Queenslanders. Mayors in regional councils continuously tell us that homeownership is vital to keeping
their communities prosperous. I am pleased to say that we are doing what we can to help.
       This government is helping regional Queenslanders own their own homes where mortgage
insurance and even home loans themselves are often not readily available. Through the Bligh
government’s Queensland housing finance loan, eligible low-income homebuyers can access finance at
market rates with a five per cent deposit. No mortgage insurance is needed and buyers can choose a
fixed or variable loan. The Department of Communities staff will be out actively promoting the loan in the
Diamantina, Flinders and Bulloo shires before rolling it out to other regional areas.
4116                                            Matters of Public Interest                                     23 Nov 2010

      Combined with the $11,000 regional first home owner grant for people buying or building new
homes, we are helping young regional families to get off to a good start. We have helped more than 270
Queensland families to get their first home through a Queensland housing finance loan. In one
example—and this was an older woman—a widowed pensioner had a large deposit but was unable to
secure a loan from a bank to purchase a home. With the help of a Queensland housing finance loan,
she has bought a home in North Queensland and is repaying the loan at an affordable rate.
       We have a plan to help regional and rural Queensland communities. We have a plan to build a
fairer Queensland for all Queenslanders now and into the future. In stark contrast, what we see from
those opposite is no policies and an unpredictable leader who is paralysed with fear, a leader who has
no spine. Their plan is to reassess our $15 billion infrastructure investment and that is bad news for
regional Queensland.
       Mr Cripps interjected.
       Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable member for Hinchinbrook will cease interjecting.
        Ms STRUTHERS: In my portfolio that means fewer social housing dwellings and fewer jobs for
builders and tradies. I am talking about 70 jobs gone in Mackay if those opposite ever held the reins of
power in Queensland. Seven hundred jobs in Cairns and 500 jobs on the Gold Coast would all be gone
just in our housing program alone if the LNP ever had its way. This government will not let that happen
to Queenslanders. We are getting on with delivering our election commitments and delivering our
infrastructure plan.

                           Queensland Racing, Directors’ Selection Process
        Mr STEVENS: My question is to the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading. The minister would be
aware that $530,000 was spent by Queensland Racing on the selection process for new directors, as
identified in the 2010 annual report. How can the minister responsible for racing sit idly by and watch
over half a million dollars of racing money wasted on a directors’ selection process?
       Mr LAWLOR: The member for Mermaid Beach is well aware that Racing Queensland runs racing
in Queensland. It is as simple as that. It was the subject of legislation that went through this House in
2002. Instead of ranting and raving about things that happened years ago, maybe he could get a few
policies. It is a policy-free zone. During the recent LNP conference in Cairns the member for Mermaid
Beach said—
I think we’ll see some fairly major announcements in relation to business and fair trading, consumer possibilities to have their
concerns addressed. All will come forward from the floor of the conference.
      What did we get from the floor of the conference? Nothing; not a thing from the floor of the
conference in Cairns.
       (Time expired)
       Mr SPEAKER: Order! The time for question time has ended.

                                     MATTERS OF PUBLIC INTEREST

                                             Bligh Labor Government
       Mr LANGBROEK (Surfers Paradise—LNP) (Leader of the Opposition) (11.30 am): We have
heard today that hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent to fix the Health payroll fiasco. Leaked
documents reveal that hospitals are being cut back in terms of overtime for doctors and nurses,
pathology for the sick and even beds for the dying. The dying, the sick and our health professionals are
suffering at the hands of an incompetent, uncaring and heartless Labor government. As the health
minister’s incompetence grows, the cuts to vital services get deeper.
      Let us focus on what is proposed to be cut. The list includes palliative care beds and beds for the
dying—beds where patients spend their last days of life. Labor plans to cut access to beds for the dying.
What has this Labor government become? Members opposite should ask themselves this question: how
low has the government sunk that it has arrived at the position where it reduces the number of beds for
the dying? How on earth is it proposing to cut back on pathology? Which patients will be denied
pathology tests?
      On top of that is the brilliant idea to not fill vacancies—in other words, employ fewer doctors and
nurses. As doctors and nurses leave, they will not be replaced. It is pure genius from the members
opposite! Yes, employing fewer doctors and nurses will save money, but I have one question: what
about the patients? Labor’s incompetent and inept financial management is impacting directly on
patients and their health.
23 Nov 2010                             Matters of Public Interest                                    4117

      It is obvious that the cost of fixing the bungled payroll system has also been partly funded by cuts
to Queensland health services. Patients pay the price for Labor’s bungling. Wasn’t it interesting to see
the Treasurer, ‘Captain Smug’, at his arrogant best this morning proclaiming victory after disposing of
one of Queensland’s great assets? Let us not forget that Labor has flogged off Queensland Rail in a fire
sale so it can pay the interest on its massive debt for just 18 months.
       However, Labor’s debt just keeps climbing. There is more debt today than when it announced the
sale of Queensland Rail. The debt rises faster than Labor can sell assets. The sale of Queensland Rail
is an historic low point for Labor in this state. Anyone watching the smug performance of the Treasurer
yesterday would be entitled to think that he was rejoicing in his own financial mismanagement. It seems
to have escaped him—
      Mr FRASER: I rise to a point of order, Mr Speaker.
      Mr LANGBROEK: Beautiful.
      Opposition members interjected.
       Mr FRASER: I find the remarks, especially from the Leader of the Opposition, offensive and I ask
for them to be withdrawn.
       Mr LANGBROEK: I withdraw, Mr Speaker. It seems to have escaped him that he is flogging off
assets because he cannot balance a budget. Asset fire sales are nothing to be proud of. Ongoing
structural deficits will not be solved by selling off the family jewels. Labor goes on spending more than it
earns and selling assets to pay the interest bill on the ever-increasing debt. That is no way to run a
household budget. That is no way to run a business. More importantly, that is no way to run a
        What we have opposite is a decomposing government—a government slowly rotting away; a
government that is compost in the making. Government members know that, too. Half of the cabinet are
planning to walk away before the next poll. They are secretly plotting and planning an escape route to
life after politics.
       The Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading cannot wait for defeat at the next election to get away
from a job that he now hates. The Minister for Local Government is on the verge of a tropical retirement.
The minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries has his sights set on fishing. The Minister for Child
Safety and Sport, ‘Ferdy Free’, is planning a career in sports administration. The Minister for Natural
Resources reckons he has a future as a consultant to the mining industry. The Minister for Public Works
is planning a retirement making furniture in his shed. The Minister for Community Services and Housing
is thinking of a quieter life as a mother. The Minister for Police and Emergency Services is apparently
warming to the ideal of a less stressful existence away from the 24th floor of the State Law Building.
Even the Deputy Premier has his bags packed. So keen is he to be rid of the health ministry that he is
already touting his replacement—Cheverton is his name and Lytton is his game. Queenslanders will be
glad to see the back of him. The Deputy Premier is but a seat warmer.
       Nine ministers in all—half the cabinet—are eyeing off retirement. That is not a front bench; it is a
departure lounge. Add to that another 10 parliamentary secretaries and MPs who want to avoid the
voters’ baseball bats. They are the members for Mount Ommaney, Broadwater, Whitsunday, Albert,
Pine Rivers, Mundingburra, Woodridge, Burleigh, Sunnybank and Pumicestone. They are not waiting
for the people of Queensland to sack them; they are going to fire themselves. It is a sizeable list of
      Mr Fraser interjected.
      Mr SPEAKER: Order! The honourable the Treasurer will cease interjecting.
        Mr LANGBROEK: These members are doing the decent thing. They do not have the hide to ask
their electors to vote Labor again. These soon-to-be retirees know that Labor has sold out its
constituents and the voters want revenge. They cannot defend Labor’s fire sales. They cannot defend
Labor’s waste. They cannot defend Labor’s debt. They cannot defend Labor’s massive price rises on
fuel, water, rego and electricity. This is now a lethargic government led by a listless Premier. Labor is
indifferent to the plight of Queenslanders and out of touch with the impact its financial mismanagement
is having on their household budgets.
       The cost of living in Queensland has soared. We were once the low-tax state. Now, many of our
taxes and charges are the highest in the country. Where once southerners flocked to Queensland for
our strong economy and low taxes and charges, the reverse is now happening. Queenslanders are
leaving and heading out of Queensland to where the employment is and where there are lower taxes.
They are economic refugees. Many of them are employed in the building industry. This is an industry
that has been stifled almost out of existence by a government that has put unreasonable red tape in the
way of property developers, forcing up the cost of land. This is yet another example of this toxic Labor
government’s detrimental impact on Queensland’s economy.
4118                                     Matters of Public Interest                             23 Nov 2010

       In contrast, in the lead-up to the next election the LNP will put before Queenslanders an agenda
and a number of visionary plans for our state’s future—plans that will ensure we get our state from the
bottom of the ladder in terms of economic performance, service delivery, education standards and
cultural facilities back where we should be: right at the top. The Labor government is out of puff and is
limping its way to the next election.
      An LNP government will restore our state’s reputation. An LNP government will rebuild our
economy. An LNP government will re-establish the integrity and accountability of government. An LNP
government will strengthen government services, not cut them because of financial mismanagement.
Queensland cannot afford another three years of Labor incompetence.

                               Toowoomba Electorate, Infrastructure
         Mr SHINE (Toowoomba North—ALP) (11.38 am): It is a pleasure to rise today to talk about some
initiatives that this government has put into place in my electorate and in Toowoomba generally. The
government is continuing its policy of capital expenditure. The $17 billion capital expenditure program is
working throughout the state preserving jobs and indeed creating jobs, no less in Toowoomba than
elsewhere. Some examples of this occurred between now and the previous parliament.
       On the 16th of this month I had the pleasure of attending the Toowoomba Christian College on
behalf of the Minister for Child Safety and Minister for Sport at the sod turning of a new $400,000 three-
field multisport project. Towards this cost of $400,000, the state government contributed $300,000 to the
project and construction of the multipurpose sports field is expected to be completed by March of next
year. The use of the fields will be for greater purpose than just the Toowoomba Christian College itself; it
will be for other schools and also for the wider sporting community of Highfields. The new fields will
support a variety of sports including touch football, rugby league, rugby union, AFL, soccer, cricket and
athletics. The program will create much needed jobs and supports the local suppliers in the area. I
commend the principal of the Toowoomba Christian College, Richard Brown, for making representations
to the minister and to the director-general to enable the sport infrastructure scheme to be extended to
non-government schools. This is an example of the success of those representations.
       Also recently announced was a $3 million boost to the project at the Toowoomba Hospital with
respect to the emergency department. In the last budget and indeed in the election campaign it was
promised that an emergency department revamp would take place at the hospital. An amount of
$2 million was promised. As a result of the Minister for Health approaching the Commonwealth
government, this has now turned into a $5 million project, providing additional well-needed services for
the people of Toowoomba. As well as a 12-person-space emergency transit centre, the hospital will now
benefit from a four short-stay beds initiative. I congratulate the minister on this initiative of approaching
the Commonwealth government. There was some criticism from the member for Toowoomba South that
the project had not been completed some time ago. However, because of the representations made to
the Commonwealth, the people of Toowoomba will now benefit from a much improved project—a
$5 million one as opposed to a $2 million one. This was a further example of an election promise met.
       I also mention the opening last week of the new Kitchener Street fire station by the Hon. Neil
Roberts. This was a $2.486 million injection into the economy of Toowoomba. It is a first-class fire
station which will meet the needs of Toowoomba for years to come. Of course, this is on top of the
ambulance station opened only in 2008 at Highfields, and I am pleased to commend the minister for the
attention that he has given to my electorate, particularly the area of Highfields.
       Last week the Treasurer also attended Toowoomba to open a further stage of the USQ testing
centre with respect to fibre composites. This is a $7.425 million project which started in 2003 and initially
opened in 2006 and is now proceeding to a further level. The centre’s new director is Professor Alan KT
Lau from Hong Kong, and I wish him well in what is a brand-new industry for Queensland of which
Toowoomba is the centre. We are all very proud of what is being done. I commend the government for
its carrying out of these much needed projects in Toowoomba. They are evidence of the working of the
$17 billion program.
       (Time expired)

                                      Early Childhood Initiatives
       Ms FARMER (Bulimba—ALP) (11.43 am): The Bligh Labor government knows that if we give our
children a good start in life they are more likely to be happy and fulfilled as adults. One of our most
important tasks as a government is to make sure that every child has access to the opportunity to be the
best that they can possibly be. That is why it was so important for the government to roll out the prep
year across the state, with Queensland students now having an extra year of schooling, providing them
with 13 years in total, as is available to every other child in Australia. That is why it has been so
important in this last year to develop a set of initiatives to help children at an even earlier age to be well
prepared for school and later life.
23 Nov 2010                               Matters of Public Interest                                      4119

       At the moment only around 32 per cent of Queensland children attend kindergarten, yet we know
that if children take part in a quality early childhood program it lays excellent foundations for their
learning in later years. The government’s $321 million kindergarten program will help to achieve just
that. Following on from the success of the introduction of the prep year, the government is in the process
of rolling out 240 new kindergartens across the state, marking the single largest investment in
kindergarten ever made in Queensland’s history. By 2014 all Queensland children will have access to a
quality early education program. The government is literally doubling our kindergarten services not only
through the provision of the new kindergartens but also through the introduction of kindergarten
programs into long-day-care services.
       The recognition of the role of long-day-care centres is particularly important and is evidence of the
responsiveness of the Queensland government to the way families live their lives now. The government
has recognised that there is no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to kindergarten. For
example, around 29,000 kindy-age children attended long-day-care services in 2009. However, only
about seven per cent of Queensland children access an education program delivered by a qualified
teacher in a long-day-care centre. Many families with both parents working simply cannot manage
around the hours of a traditional kindy program. Long day care is the only option for them when it comes
to the care of their children, and that is why the government is providing funding to these centres to help
make it more affordable for parents to have qualified early childhood education teachers available. It is
also why the government has established a scholarship program for people already working in early
childhood to upgrade their skills so they can teach a kindergarten program. I know interest in this
scholarship program has been high.
       The Bulimba electorate has already benefited significantly from the government’s kindergarten
program, and I know local families are very excited about the opportunities that will be available to them
in the future. In fact, the response I received from Seven Hills and Morningside locals when I wrote to
them to tell them about the new kindergarten to be built at Seven Hills State School was the strongest
response I have yet received on any issue. It clearly and most definitely met a need in the community.
This double-unit kindergarten will be open for business from 2012 and I congratulate principal Michelle
Morrissey and the P&C of the school, led by President Cameron Boon, on their enthusiastic welcome of
the announcement and their excitement about how they can maximise the siting of the kindergarten to
provide a seamless transition into the Seven Hills school community in future years for our young kids.
This is exactly what the kindergarten program should be all about.
      I also congratulate local child-care centres ABC Hawthorne, The Avenues at Norman Park and
Okeedokee for being some of the 324 long-day-care centre services to receive funding to support the
employment of qualified early education teachers. I know these centres are committed to providing a
high-quality service to families, and this is another step in the process of doing that. Representatives
from Okeedokee, Hawthorne Limited Hours Early Childhood Centre, Cannon Hill C&K, Bulimba C&K,
Mother Duck and Bulimba Child Care Centre attended an early childhood forum I held last month to
hear more about the state and federal governments’ early childhood reforms, including the rollout of the
national kindergarten curriculum. It was very exciting to hear about not only their interest in what is
about to happen but also the excellent services they are already providing.
       It is these sorts of initiatives which are the real, in-your-face and practical outcomes of the Bligh
Labor government’s economic management program. This is not just theoretical. It is not just about a
set of figures on a piece of paper. It is not about smoke and mirrors and political spin. These are the
things I as the local member want to hear about in a budget and what I want to see delivered in my local
area, and I believe it is also what Queensland families want to hear about. While the opposition finds it
easy to criticise the government, it is just plain lazy and in fact derelict of it to attack an economic
management program which is delivering such important outcomes for our children’s future while at the
same time having no constructive plans or policies of its own at all to propose. I am very excited about
the government’s education reforms, not just about the early childhood reforms but also about the other
Flying Start initiatives. The government is delivering for families, and there is so much more to come.

                                 Metro South Health Service District
        Mr McARDLE (Caloundra—LNP) (11.48 am): The Metro South Health Service District covers
hospitals including Beaudesert, Logan, PA, QEII, Redlands and Wynnum. As of October this year this
district will have a budget shortfall of $90 million—$90 million. In particular, the documents I table today
indicate that the government will cut funding for between seven and 10 palliative care beds at Canossa
Private Hospital.
       The cost of these beds until June 2011 is only $1.8 million—a very small portion of the
$90 million—but that cut will have a significant impact upon the ability of people who are dying to access
a palliative care bed and for their families to be with them in those last few days of their lives. It will also
mean that people who would have used those beds will now occupy the acute beds across our hospital
system in metro south, adding greater weight and greater pressure to the bed usage in this state.
4120                                     Matters of Public Interest                            23 Nov 2010

        Canossa hospital is also part of the largest training program in Queensland for specialists in
palliative care. This is a training course that has been endorsed by the Royal Australasian College of
Physicians. In 2006, the then health minister, Mr Stephen Robertson, committed $1 million to a new
palliative care unit at QE II Hospital. That funding never came about and those beds were never put into
QE II Hospital. In the last federal election campaign Nicola Roxon spoke of putting the same funding into
QE II Hospital but, to my knowledge, this money has still not been forthcoming.
        Slashing palliative care beds at a time of increasing chronic disease and an ageing population
must be rated as one of the lowest acts that any government could do. Of that $90 million, $1.8 million
relates to palliative care beds and that funding will end in June of next year. It is an indictment on this
government that it has allowed that cut in funding to occur and the health minister must intervene to
ensure that those funds are put back in place and that the beds at Canossa get funding on an ongoing
        In addition, other services to be slashed across the metro south district are in repairs and
maintenance. Non-imperative maintenance will not be undertaken. That means that anything that goes
wrong will need to be assessed to see whether or not it is imperative. That means that, as time goes by,
what would have been a minor problem can become a major issue. We are also going to have a
reduction in medical overtime. It is intriguing to look at some of the statistics for the Logan, PA and QE II
hospitals. In the September quarter to 2009, access block was 50 per cent. In September 2010, it was
58 per cent. In September 2009, access block for the PA was 41 per cent. In September 2010, it was
56 per cent. In 2009 ramping at Logan was 25 per cent. In September 2010, it was 27 per cent. In 2009,
ramping at the PA was 16 per cent. In 2010, it was 27 per cent. It goes on and on. At a time when we
need every doctor and every clinician on deck, we are going to have a reduction in medical overtime to
treat patients who are in desperate need of assistance.
        Finally, the government is looking at a reduction in the use of pathology. So who is going to be cut
from the loop? Who is not going to get the pathology they need and, therefore, who is not going to get
the treatment they need or the assistance they need on a daily basis because their pathology cannot be
        Very clearly, the other point to be made—and it relates to the Ernst & Young report which was
tabled today—is that we have been told that it is going to cost this state $210 million to fix the payroll
system. That is $210 million over a three-year period. The initial payroll system for Queensland Health
cost $65 million. We are paying almost three times the cost of the payroll system to fix a problem that
should simply never have occurred. The fact that it did occur and the fact that we are paying so much
money in addition to the initial cost of the payroll system is symptomatic of a health system in decay and
it highlights the arrogance of this government.
        It is difficult to see how spending this money can be spun as a positive, as the health minister is
trying to do. Can anyone imagine buying a house for $400,000 and then spending $1.2 million fixing it
up and claiming that that was a bonus? It is simply idiotic to sit in this House and claim that this
government is moving forward. At the end of the day, government members caused the problem. They
did not do their homework and they did not do the work that they were required to do and doctors and
nurses are still suffering because of that.

                                            Type 2 Diabetes
       Mr WATT (Everton—ALP) (11.53 am): Diabetes poses a massive threat to Queenslanders’ health
and to the health of our state budget. Type 2 diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in Australia.
It can lead to serious complications such as blindness, kidney failure and amputation and it increases
the risk of heart disease and stroke. By 2016, it is predicted that there will be a 17 per cent increase in
the burden of type 2 diabetes. Of course, that increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes poses a
massive threat to our state budget.
       Twenty years ago, type 2 diabetes accounted for only two per cent of new dialysis patients in
Australia. Now, diabetes accounts for 30 per cent of new dialysis patients. When we consider that full
hospital dialysis costs the Queensland taxpayer up to $75,000 per patient per year, we can see the
potential threat that increasing rates of diabetes pose to our state’s budget. To combat this threat, earlier
this year the Premier convened a round table of leading diabetes clinicians, advocates and educators.
This round table developed a number of new initiatives and I was pleased to help prepare them in my
role as Parliamentary Secretary for Healthy Living. The package includes free diabetes risk
assessments at Queensland pharmacies from March 2011; a recall system for women who develop
gestational diabetes; an Innisfail based trial of a community based approach to diabetes prevention,
early intervention and management —
       Mr Pitt: Hear, hear!
       Mr WATT: I hear the member for Mulgrave welcome that initiative. I am sure it will be welcome in
his community. The package also includes specialised training for general practitioners so that they can
better identify and treat the disease and better Indigenous chronic disease care in Far North
23 Nov 2010                                       Matters of Public Interest                                                   4121

       Given the government’s announcements on diabetes, it is timely that the winner of my inaugural
speechwriting competition for Everton secondary school students addresses this issue and its causes. I
ran this competition to encourage interest in parliament among local students and students responded
to the challenge well. The winning entry was from Ms Fruzsi Fozo of Everton Park State High School.
Last week, I presented Ms Fozo with the award as school dux and I am pleased to again recognise her
     One of the most frustrating aspects of the growth in type 2 diabetes is that it is largely preventable
and Ms Fozo addresses one of the main causes of diabetes, which is obesity. I will now read Ms Fozo’s
speech and I emphasise that these views are her own, not those of the Queensland government—
Mr Speaker, the obesity rates in Australia have continued to rise in recent years. A large percentage of the population is above the
recommended Body Mass Index of 25. The ABS National Health Survey revealed that in 2007-08 the obesity rate increased,
when compared to the 1995 National Nutrition Survey. The survey also indicates that 25% of Australians, aged 18 and over, are
obese and 37% are overweight.
The costs associated with obesity and illness resulting from obesity include the financial costs to the Australian health system, lost
days of employment, carers’ pensions as well as non-financial costs such as disability, loss of wellbeing and premature death
caused by obesity. The total cost of obesity has been estimated to be $58.2 billion in 2008. The obesity rate has been rising
rapidly during the past 10 years and the impact of rising obesity has put pressure on the economic cost to our society.
A ‘fat tax’ was considered by the Australian Government to reduce the evidently rising obesity crisis in Australia. The 2009 Henry
Tax Review considered this proposal, to encourage the consumption of healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle by the Australian
public. The fat tax would be used to reduce obesity by targeting the contributing factors of unhealthy, fatty foods such as junk
foods, snacks and soft drinks.

       Ms Fozo argues that a similar ‘fat tax’ has been considered in the UK as an additional tax on food
groups or on the percentage of fat content in foods. The system that Ms Fozo argues should be
imposed in Australia would be to target a particular food group that is high in fat that adds unwanted
calories to a person’s diet. Thus, Ms Fozo says, a ‘fat tax’ would be desirable as it would benefit the
health of Australians and reduce the obesity rate and the consequent rising costs to all of society.
       Ms Fozo concludes her essay by urging the state parliament to support what she sees as an
important initiative to counter the effects of rising obesity in our state. Again, I emphasise that these
views are those of Ms Fozo, not of the Queensland government. At this point, the Queensland
government does not support the introduction of a ‘fat tax’ and its introduction would be a matter for the
federal government, not the Queensland government. I also note that this suggestion was not taken up
by the federal government in its Henry review of the taxation system. But the size of the diabetes
challenge means that we need to consider all ideas and it is great to see young people coming up with
ideas to tackle this challenge. So I congratulate Ms Fozo on her excellent writing.
        The Bligh government’s recent announcements about diabetes will help tackle the challenge that
this insidious disease poses to the health of Queenslanders and the health of our state budget. I would
also like to commend the runner-up in my speechwriting competition, Kasey Smith, also of Everton Park
State High School, who wrote about the importance of the work that is performed by our hardworking
police officers. This speechwriting competition has again demonstrated the depth of talent throughout
the Everton electorate of our great school students.

       Mr NICHOLLS (Clayfield—LNP) (11.58 am): Yesterday saw another day of infamy in the long list
of shame that will be this long-term, lazy Labor government’s legacy. The Treasurer says that history will
judge him kindly. Similar claims are made by all of those who know they have done the wrong thing and
have tried to foist it onto the people as the right thing. To see this, one needs look no further than to the
history of the great appeasers such as Neville Chamberlain. No doubt this government will be judged in
the same way. As he declared ‘peace for our time’, this government declares that we have solved the
problems of the finances of the state of Queensland in our time. Those who seek to write history in
advance are surely going to be condemned by it when it is finally written.
       As one of the jewels in the crown of Queensland hit the Stock Exchange boards yesterday, there
were muted claims of success and no doubt some slight slapping of backs in government offices that,
after an initial wobble, the price stabilised at around $2.64 following a low-ball price of $2.55 based on a
lack of demand by Australian institutions and Australian retail investors. If it was not for the overseas
investors buying up, this float would be a complete catastrophe.
       After a massive 30 per cent of non-government owned shares were traded, there are still many
unanswered questions about the QR National float. Was it simply a case yesterday of hedge funds
taking their profits and getting out of it while index funds were buying to get their necessary quota? How
many retail investors are there going to be left and how many from Queensland? Was the so-called
green shoe or price stabilisation agreement referred to by the Treasurer this morning exercised? Will it
need to be exercised over the next 29 days in order to support the price for the sale of Queensland
Rail—this massively unpopular sale?
4122                                        Matters of Public Interest                          23 Nov 2010

       In relation to the prelisting figures the Treasurer released on Sunday, he says that nearly 30 per
cent of the nearly 80,000 retail investors were in Queensland. That is 29,500. But how many actually
bought in—paid their own way? That number—and that does not include the 9,000 shares that were
given to employees—is actually only 20,000, and less than one in 10 of the one million plus
preregistrations turned into investors.
       Mr Wallace: $2.69.
       Mr NICHOLLS: I hear the genius from Thuringowa, the minister over there, saying ‘$2.69’. He
has just managed to click it up on his laptop there. It is still at the low end—still not even over half what
the government hoped to get, and certainly nowhere near paying off the up to $80 billion worth of debt
that this government is foisting on Queenslanders and much less than the $5 billion originally forecast.
       While we are debating the issue about the sale of Queensland Rail—the discussion about prices
and green shoes, earnings and yields—the central issue is being deliberately obscured by this long-
term, lazy Labor government. The issue is quite simply debt and deficits. As I stand here this morning
I am reminded of the old song by Tennessee Ernie Ford—
You load 16 tons, what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
        That is what is happening here in Queensland. It is Labor that was $65 billion in debt before the
GFC. It is Labor that has budgeted for nearly $84 billion worth of debt in this year’s budget. It is Labor
that is running four years of budget deficits, including almost $1.8 billion this year alone and totalling
$6 billion over the forward estimates. It is Labor that sent Queensland broke in a boom, that wasted the
good times and had nothing left for the bad times, and it is Labor that lost the AAA credit rating because
it lacked any policy to control spending and manage products.
        Queensland’s state debt is forecast to continue to rise each year over the next three years,
despite the asset sales that were forced on Queenslanders. Labor mismanaged the state’s finances
causing us to lose the credit rating and incur massive debt. It hikes up taxes and charges; it abandons
the fuel subsidy, in effect putting a fuel tax on despite promising not to; it makes a complete mess of
water pricing in the water grid; and it increases electricity prices to unaffordable levels. It then says that
it has the solution after having caused the problem: it will flog off the assets at a cut-rate price to people
who do not even really want to buy it. This is a shameful indictment of a hopeless government.

                                     Schoolies Week, Emergency Services
       Mr WENDT (Ipswich West—ALP) (12.03 pm): This morning I want to advise the House about the
Queensland’s government’s commitment to and support for the annual schoolies event. For those who
are not aware, the Gold Coast schoolies event is currently being held in Surfers Paradise and runs from
last Saturday to this Saturday, 27 November. I understand that a number of members of this chamber,
including myself, have young ones who are attending. I also think the Deputy Speaker has a child
       With this in mind, I took the opportunity last Saturday to accompany the police minister, Neil
Roberts, and his commissioner, Bob Atkinson, with a number of other senior police, on their visit to the
schoolies site at Surfers Paradise. As you can imagine, from a police perspective schoolies week
represents one of the year’s major events and the operation is the result of months of planning. As such,
during the visit I was able to view the dedicated joint command centre, where representatives from all
emergency services and relevant agencies are established annually to coordinate our response to the
event. I can report that the police take this event very seriously and, as such, extra resources are
assigned to the area as necessary. These include staff from the Public Safety Response Team, the
Mounted Unit, State Crime Operations Command and, of course, general duties police officers.
However, I should emphasise that the aim of the policing operation is, of course, public safety. With this
in mind, I can advise that all officers will be easy to spot in their bright fluoro vests.
       I can report that, in addition to the activities of the Police Service, the Queensland Ambulance
Service will be well represented due to the fact that they are the responsible authority for the overall
delivery of prehospital medical services during the schoolies event. What this means is that the QAS
and Emergency Management Queensland, or EMQ, are members of the Schoolies Regional Managers
Coordination Network Subcommittee and the Department of Communities and Emergency Services
Organising Committee. As well, the assistant commissioners of the Queensland Police Service, the
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service and the QAS and respective services personnel have attended
planning briefings at QPS headquarters to ensure the event was scrutinised carefully.
       I can report that the QPS data as at 13 October confirmed that around 27,000 accommodation
bookings had been received, with forecasting of possibly the highest attendance to a schoolies event
held to date. This forecasting, I am advised, has in fact proven to be correct. As members know, as is
normal, interstate schoolies will also attend this year during the same week as Queensland schoolies.
However, the general consensus is that the majority from New South Wales and Victoria will try to hold
off until after the Queensland event. As such, it is considered that this will not pose a huge problem.
23 Nov 2010                              Matters of Public Interest                                     4123

       To ensure that our young people are kept safe and well while they are enjoying themselves, an
ambulance treatment centre has been established for each night of the event. The centre is being
staffed by QAS and Queensland Health personnel in an effort to reduce the requirement for normal
rostered crews to attend incidents in the defined area, as well as reduce the impact on the Gold Coast
Hospital emergency department. I can report that the ATC staff have the ability to rapidly intervene and
manage any patient that is considered to require care and, further, that EMQ and the State Emergency
Service also provide a number of advanced first aiders to assist logistically and provide the all-important
communication with the schoolies precinct. In addition, EMQ will provide liaison between the State
Disaster Coordination Centre, the Bureau of Meteorology and the schoolies organising committee for
potential adverse weather events.
       For those who are unaware, the ATC is located at the eastern side of the footpath at the northern
end of the schoolies precinct and is operating between the hours of 5 pm and 3 am each night. I can
report that it is conveniently located adjacent to the main entrance at the northern stage area, where the
majority of our young people will congregate. While I am on this issue, I think it is important to
understand just how many resources are being dedicated to the ATC. These include one commander
and one officer in charge overseeing the operations of the ATC; four paramedics; one ambulance
vehicle with two paramedics—this vehicle will also rove in the precinct area as required, I understand;
one doctor from Queensland Health; and two registered nurses from Queensland Health. In addition to
these medical people, a number of SES volunteers will assist and provide communications, stretcher
teams, welfare advice and, of course, administrative support.
       While speaking about the QAS, it is worth noting that an additional ambulance vehicle with two
paramedics will be located at the southern end of the schoolies precinct, at Hanlan Street. There will
also be 17 SES volunteers and one EMQ staff member rostered to assist the QAS. However, additional
EMQ staff are on standby during the event to assist when required. As well, recharge stations have
been established at various locations within the precinct to provide welfare support and minor first aid to
assist people located within the precinct. Both QAS and SES officers will assist with the support of the
recharge stations, along with EMQ. I take this opportunity to pass on my thanks as a parent. I have a
student who is attending. I wish them all very well.

                                          Education, Funding
       Dr FLEGG (Moggill—LNP) (12.08 pm): The federal government in Australia is conducting a
review of funding for education, although I note that its review failed to produce the promised discussion
paper by the end of October. In association with this review, we have seen this bizarre campaign by the
ACTU affiliated Australian Education Union come out of the woodwork that seeks to propagate a myth
that somehow private school funding is taking money away from government schools. It seeks to distort
the argument by considering only federal government money, not public or taxpayer money being
applied to education. I would call for an end to this ideologically based deception. There is no place for
this sort of politics of envy when it comes to the educating of our children. It is little more than vilifying
parents who make the choice to pay and send their children to a private or Catholic school. We should
be proud of parents who make that choice and we should be proud of the fact that we have set up in this
country a system that makes it a realistic, affordable option for so many. It is about choice for parents
and that is a principle of education that the LNP stands strongly behind. It is also about maintaining
standards, not starving private schools of funds or resources that would impact.
       We should be proud of the fact that in Australia private and Catholic education is available to a big
slab of the population compared to a country like England, where private education is made available
only to a small elite. It would be a dreadful thing to see the federal Green-Labor alliance try to make
private education something available only to the elite. In fact, Catholic and independent schools service
many of this state’s most disadvantaged communities and also many of its non-metropolitan
      Let us have a look at public funding of private schools. A student in a government school is
funded by the taxpayer to the tune of $12,639 a year. The same student, were he to attend an
independent school, would be funded only to the tune of $6,076.
      Mr Ryan: Are you going to cut public education?
       Dr FLEGG: So in choosing an independent school, the parent chooses to fund 50 per cent of that
from their own after-tax dollars.
      Mr Wettenhall interjected.
      Dr FLEGG: I note the amount of support given to Catholic schools—
      Government members interjected.
       Dr FLEGG: Don’t they hate the fact that parents have a choice of education? Listen to them out
there interjecting.
4124                                    Matters of Public Interest                           23 Nov 2010

         The majority of that funding, 36 per cent, comes from the Australian government and 14 per cent
comes from the Queensland government. In the Catholic sector, funding from government sources is a
little higher, reflecting the fact that the Catholic sector frequently services disadvantaged communities.
We have a system of weighting money to private schools based on the socioeconomic status of those
schools. Some of these schools receive as little as 13 per cent of their funding from the taxpayer while
other schools servicing disadvantaged areas can receive up to about 70 per cent.
       Billions of dollars is contributed to education in this country from the after-tax income of parents
who are making the choice to send their kids private. In fact, that amounts to $4 billion to independent
schools alone. That is a saving to the Queensland government of $570 million each and every year,
which allows extra money to go into public education. Catholic schools are educating 132,000
Queenslanders and independent schools, 110,000 Queenslanders. The total funding of fees for a
student in a Catholic school in Queensland is only $10,838—87 per cent of the funding of a student in a
state school. Yet the Catholic education sector in Queensland has been able to produce solid outcomes.
I would encourage members to compare the outcomes in the Catholic and private sector. I would appeal
to members of this parliament and the federal parliament not to—
       (Time expired)

                One Punch Can Kill Campaign; Matthew Stanley Foundation
       Mr CHOI (Capalaba—ALP) (12.13 pm): As we all know, this week is schoolies week. I am sure
the absolute majority of students currently enjoying their special week are well behaved. It is an exciting
time for them and I do wish them all the very best.
       There is no doubt that this week of celebration brings to the fore all of our concerns about alcohol
related youth violence. This government is working hard to tackle a very complex problem. To date, the
state government has provided $1.2 million towards the One Punch Can Kill campaign. So far this
widely successful campaign has reached tens of thousands of Queensland’s youth and that number
continues to grow.
      The Queensland Police Service works closely with the community, including representatives of
the Matthew Stanley Foundation, to deliver the One Punch Can Kill initiative. The foundation was
formed in 2006 by Paul Stanley after the tragic death of his son, Matthew, a young man from Redland
City who died after being punched at a party. The One Punch Can Kill campaign was a key
recommendation of the government’s Youth Violence Task Force, established in 2006 after his tragic
death. Matthew’s life was lost in a circumstance that would give every parent nightmares. But his father,
Paul, is to be commended for turning the most horrific circumstances around to create a positive
organisation that is saving the lives of our children.
       The first phase of the One Punch Can Kill campaign was launched in December 2007 with
$500 million in support from this government. The campaign featured radio, television, billboard and
internet advertisements as well as posters, wristbands and display signs that were erected at major
youth events. The dedicated website has received more than 130,000 visits since going live in February
2008. More than 20,000 posters, 80,000 coasters, 50,000 wristbands and 50,000 button badges have
been distributed state-wide.
      In September this year the government announced that concepts created by four Queensland
young people would be incorporated into the next phase of the One Punch Can Kill advertising
campaign. The ideas of four young people were used as part of the campaign and can be viewed on the
One Punch Can Kill website. These young people have drawn on their experiences with youth violence
and their entries are very moving. I am sure their efforts will speak to young people and send the
message that it only takes one punch to destroy a life.
       Youth violence is a serious issue for the Queensland community and as a government we
recognise the need to educate young people about the dangers and consequences of engaging in this
type of antisocial behaviour. However, the government cannot act alone. There is no doubt that the most
active community advocate group related to this issue is the Matthew Stanley Foundation.
       Paul Stanley has now spoken with more than 100,000 students at schools and events across the
state, helping to drive the state government’s One Punch Can Kill campaign. Very often he has done so
at his own expense—to live through the tragic death of Matthew over and over again hundreds of times.
I am pleased to say that the foundation is expanding on this work and reached another milestone
recently, launching its new Walk Away Chill Out program and raising $19,000 at its inaugural gala
dinner. I had the pleasure of attending the dinner along with the Queensland Police Commissioner,
Mr Atkinson, who said that it is difficult to measure the extent of the tragedies that have been prevented
because of the work of the foundation, but to prevent even one death makes all the hard work they do
worthwhile. These are words that ring true and the foundation’s work—and, in particular, Paul’s hard
work—is invaluable.
23 Nov 2010                               Matters of Public Interest                                      4125

       The Walk Away Chill Out program is about interrupting the sequence that leads to youth violence.
If you are watching a YouTube clip that led to a young person being hit, you are able to press a rewind
button. It is about finding that point where a dangerous situation gets out of hand and stopping it. The
program is aimed at making it cool to walk away. In its words, the foundation’s Walk Away Chill Out is
that tool; it is the pause button. It encourages personal and group responsibility and offers a way to
ensure that a good night out is, in fact, remembered as a good night out and not for the destruction that
comes from violence.
         The program will be rolled out to participating schools. I encourage the community to get behind
this program. A community program is one that drives change, and the Matthew Stanley Foundation is
calling for support from people who believe that every person has a right to feel safe in all aspects of
their life. I would like to especially acknowledge the Easts League Club, which has given $22,000 to get
this campaign off the ground. I continue to support the Matthew Stanley Foundation—
      (Time expired)

              Discovery Coast, High School; Sellers, Ms G; Queensland Health
       Mr MESSENGER (Burnett—Ind) (12.18 pm): The Agnes Water and 1770 communities have well
and truly proved their case for the immediate establishment of at least a P-9 school. Currently, 200 high
school aged children live on the Discovery Coast. Each day for two to three hours, 100 children travel by
bus on unsafe country roads to the nearest state high school. Each day for four to five hours, 50 children
travel by bus on unsafe country roads to the nearest private high school. Fifty children live away from
their families, attending boarding schools for five years and soon to be six years. Of the population of
Agnes Water and 1770, 15.7 per cent are aged five to 14 years, and the national average is 13.5 per
cent. Between the 2001 and 2006 census dates, there was an 85.5 per cent growth in the Agnes Water
population and that is expected to triple within the next 20 years. Those figures will be given a boost by
the recent announcement of the $15 billion LNG investment for the Gladstone and regional area. In
simple words, the place is about to boom. Because of the beaches and the natural beauty of the
Discovery Coast, and the very friendly people who live there, many LNG workers will choose to live in
Agnes Water and the Town of 1770, which of course is the birthplace of Queensland. Those workers will
want their children to attend a local high school rather than travel on a bus for three hours each day.
        There is enough existing land at the primary school site for the extension and establishment of a
P-9 school. The government already owns land nearby. The community is very puzzled as to why the
minister says that they need to buy more land in order to build a high school. The state government
must now admit that the $40 million desal plant that it placed in the community, like all the other
desalination plants in the state, is a dud. It is not too late to cancel the project and pay the $2 million fine
for terminating the contract, which would easily leave $3 million for the extension of the school to a P-9
facility, while saving ratepayers and taxpayers $35 million for a white elephant that they do not need.
The community of Agnes Water will not run out of water. There is ample underground water. The people
of Agnes Water know how to use rainwater tanks and how to recycle. I pay tribute to Dr Ali Black, who is
devastated at the news that this government will not provide a high school for the Discovery Coast. It is
now time for all governments to come together and do the right thing by the townships of 1770 and
Agnes Water.
      I also pay tribute to the mayor of Gladstone, Gail Sellers, on her recent election win. I urge her
council to rely on the democratic conventions to ensure that the runner-up in the mayoral race is
awarded the spare council position that Councillor Sellers has vacated. I understand that convention is
being held because there will not be an election for that council position.
      Dr Gino Pecoraro, the President of AMA Queensland, has called for a moratorium on the hiring of
bureaucrats and I support his call. Dr Pecoraro said he wanted to ensure Queensland Health was
spending money in the right way. We know that Queensland Health has seven bureaucrats for every
person who touches a patient.
      Mr Lawlor: That’s wrong.
        Mr MESSENGER: I remind this House that the royal commission into health found that 80 per
cent of the staff at Queensland Health were nonclinical and 20 per cent were clinical. If the minister who
interrupted might like to provide evidence to prove us wrong, I would gladly take it. Have we really learnt
some very hard-won lessons? There is obvious waste, inefficiencies and corruption in Health spending.
If they are not identified and addressed, places like the Bundaberg Base Hospital will remain
underfunded and underresourced. In 1989, there were 217 beds at the Bundaberg Base Hospital.
Today, even with the deceptive figure put out by the Health bureaucrats, there are 189 with-bed
equivalents, but we need 300 beds at the Bundaberg Base Hospital to cater for the growing region and
its increasing population. Of course, those beds must be fully staffed with appropriate doctors, nurses
and specialists attached to the Burnett-Bundaberg region. We also need proper health transport for
people from the regions.
4126                                    Matters of Public Interest                           23 Nov 2010

                            Far North Queensland, Tourism Industry
       Mr WETTENHALL (Barron River—ALP) (12.24 pm): 2010 has been an exciting and busy year
for the tourism industry across Queensland, but the Bligh government also knows that it has been a
particularly tough one for the industry, especially in Far North Queensland. The effects of the global
financial crisis, swine flu and severe weather events have been felt across the region. We understand
that and we have a plan for tourism in the tropical north.
        Over 2010, the Bligh government has been actively supporting and encouraging the tourism
industry across the region. On 28 September, Tourism Queensland’s first global tourism brand was
unveiled: Queensland, Where Australia Shines. This was followed by the launch of Tropical North
Queensland’s new regional marketing brand, Adventurous by Nature. This year we have been involved
in a number of fantastic marketing campaigns. Right now, Tourism Queensland, in conjunction with
Tiger Airways, is running a $50,000 three-week marketing campaign from 7 to 28 November, targeting
Melbourne visitors following the launch of the new Melbourne-Cairns flights. This year, campaigns run
by Qantas Holidays, Sunlover Holidays and Virgin Blue have targeted residents in Brisbane, regional
Queensland, Sydney and Melbourne. All have encouraged visitors to travel to Tropical North
Queensland with some great results. A May winter campaign, targeting Sydney, Melbourne and
Brisbane residents, attracted 28,000 visitors to the campaign website. In April, Sunlover Holidays ran a
retail campaign targeting the same markets that saw an eight per cent increase in sales on the previous
year and a 17 per cent increase in room nights.
        This year we have also announced some great new flights. Jetstar reinstated the Osaka to Cairns
service with four flights and over 1,200 seats per week from 1 April 2010. Pacific Blue commenced a
twice weekly service from Auckland, providing the region with over 450 additional seats. Domestically, in
March Jetstar commenced an additional two flights per week to Cairns each from Perth and Adelaide,
and from April an additional daily flight departing each from Sydney and Melbourne. Those changes
have provided 3,000 additional seats into Cairns every week. Next year Jetstar will provide additional
flights from the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, adding more than 44,400 seats into
Cairns, beginning in January. Of course, in September 2010 Tiger Airways commenced services into
Cairns from Melbourne, adding 1,260 seats to the region’s domestic capacity.
       The Bligh government is also supporting the tourism industry through a range of grant funding
programs. In September this year, $450,000 in funding was announced for the tourism projects pre-
feasibility grants program that supports planning for priority regional tourism projects that demonstrate a
good opportunity for investment in and the enhancement of a destination. During the 2000 election
campaign, the Bligh government committed $1.8 million to support the development of minor tourism
infrastructure on Queensland’s strategic drive tourism routes. To date, over $1 million in funding under
that program has been allocated to projects to support Queensland’s drive tourism market.
      This year, I have also had the pleasure of representing Minister Lawlor at the two most recent
tourism ministers’ council meetings. We have signed off on actions to progress the national long-term
tourism strategy, including improving labour mobility by providing support for national uniformity for
responsible service of alcohol qualifications and enhancing Indigenous employment, identifying tourism
program gaps and scoping out opportunities for inclusion of tourism in existing programs across
       The Bligh government is also supporting investment in new tourism product. A World Heritage
centre, an adventure cycle trail and a culinary tourism precinct were among 18 tourism investment
projects and 30 regional projects considered a high priority for Tropical North Queensland as part of the
region’s tourism opportunity plan released in July. In addition, Tourism Queensland has committed funds
over three years to provide international and domestic marketing support for the Cairns Indigenous Art
Fair, Challenge Cairns and the Cairns Adventure Festival.
       I take this opportunity to acknowledge the seven Tropical North Queensland businesses that won
awards at the Queensland Tourism Awards last Friday night. Skyrail Rainforest Cableway was inducted
into the Hall of Fame and Charles Woodward won the Marie Watson Blake Award for an outstanding
contribution by an individual.
       Mr Stevens: And it was a good night, too.
      Mr WETTENHALL: It was a good night. With 2010 coming to a close, it is time to look ahead to
2011, when Tourism Queensland will continue with its hard-hitting domestic and international marketing
and promotional activities, including emphasis on the big five international markets, New Zealand, the
UK, Japan, the USA and China. The Bligh government will continue to support and encourage the
tourism industry in Tropical North Queensland. We have a plan and we are sticking to that plan.
       (Time expired)
23 Nov 2010 Aboriginal Land & Torres Strait Islander Land & Other Legislation A’ment Bill                               4127

                                                Grandchester State School
        Mr RICKUSS (Lockyer—LNP) (12.29 pm): I table some documents and some photographs.
Tabled paper: Emails, dated 12 and 15 November 2010, between Lockyer electorate office and Ken Ogg, Moreton Region Project
Co-ordinator, Department of Education and Training, in relation to BER programs at Grandchester State School [3579].
Tabled paper: R&F Steel Buildings Quotation U200103, dated 15 November 2010 [3580].
Tabled paper: Photographs of pump, shed and land [3581].
      I am glad to see that the Minister for Education is here, because I want to raise the issue of
Grandchester State School. I was out there with the member for Ipswich West the other day for the
opening of one of the BER projects. Unfortunately, the bad design of this BER project has let the
Grandchester community down. The run-off from the school playing fields runs straight through the
sheds, so as soon as it rains water and mud washes straight through the shed. Unfortunately, the
battered bank was not turfed at all because the project coordinators did not allow for that in the budget.
They did not put a swale drain in to drain the water away from the buildings. I have contacted facilities in
Ipswich to try to get this sorted out, but the email responses I have received, which I have tabled, are
almost farcical. It sounds like something out of a bad Erin Brockovich movie.
       They are blaming the P&C and the principal for the fact that the design was not done properly.
The design was done by Paynter Dixon and quantity surveyors—all these people who are building
experts. They have water pouring through this shed that virtually makes it unusable. They have
uncovered electrical pumps. They have uncovered sharp objects about a metre high with a bit of hose
cut in half and slipped on it as a safety measure. I could not believe what a disaster it is, and this mob
are trying to blame the P&C and the principal for it. This was a $250,000 BER project.
       I have also tabled a quote for the construction of a shed of the same size—$70,000. That is
ridiculous. I do not mind projects being overmanaged, but to rip off a community like Grandchester,
which is in a low socioeconomic area anyway, is just bad form.
        (Time expired)
        Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Ryan): Order! The time for matters of public interest has expired.

                                                           First Reading
                                 Aboriginal Land & Torres Strait Islander Land & Other Legislation A’ment Bill
       Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (12.31 pm): I present a bill for an act to amend the Aboriginal and Torres Strait
Islander Communities (Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984, the Aboriginal Land Act 1991, the
Liquor Act 1992, the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act 1978, the Local Government Act 2009,
the Nature Conservation Act 1992, the Petroleum Act 1923, the Petroleum and Gas (Production and
Safety) Act 2004, the Residential Tenancies and Rooming Accommodation Act 2008, the Right to
Information Act 2009 and the Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 for particular purposes, and to make
minor and consequential amendments to the Auditor-General Act 2009, the Environmental Protection
Act 1994, the Greenhouse Gas Storage Act 2009, the Information Privacy Act 2009, the Mineral
Resources Act 1989, the Police Powers and Responsibilities Act 2000, the Survey and Mapping
Infrastructure Act 2003 and the Vegetation Management Act 1999 for purposes related to those
particular purposes. I present the explanatory notes, and I move—
That the bill be now read a first time.
        Question put—That the bill be now read a first time.
        Motion agreed to.
        Bill read a first time.
Tabled paper: Aboriginal Land and Torres Strait Islander Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill [3582].
Tabled paper: Aboriginal Land and Torres Strait Islander Land and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, explanatory notes [3583].

                                                         Second Reading
      Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (12.31 pm): I move—
That the bill be now read a second time.
      The Aboriginal Land Act 1991 and the Torres Strait Islander Land Act 1991 were introduced 19
years ago. There have been significant changes since then, including the High Court’s decision on
Mabo and the Australian government’s response to that historic decision—the Native Title Act 1993. Yet
4128          Aboriginal Land & Torres Strait Islander Land & Other Legislation A’ment Bill 23 Nov 2010

the intent of the two acts from 1991 remains just as relevant today. That intent is to foster the capacity
for the self-development and cultural integrity of the Aboriginal people and the Torres Strait Islanders of
        This bill I am introducing today aims to improve the workability of the legislation. Its broad
objectives are to provide more options when it comes to transferring land, to reduce the need to create
new entities to hold land and to improve the governance arrangements for existing land trusts. It also
seeks to enable the recognition of the rights of the Aboriginal traditional owners of land subject to Torres
Strait Islander deeds of grant in trust at Seisia, Bamaga and Hammond Island. Each community has
different needs and faces different challenges. This necessitates a range of options to transfer land as
no single solution will suit all communities.
       This bill includes the option of a perpetual town lease. This option was presented to the
government by a number of communities. These communities desired to have the town areas
transferred to them but recognised that the continued good governance and administration of the town
area was a major factor for their communities and for the government. To resolve this, they presented
the option that the land be returned to them but on the condition that they in turn grant a perpetual lease
over the township area. The government responded to this request. Under new provisions in the acts,
perpetual leases for townships will be granted by the trustees and can only be granted to the existing
Indigenous local government.
      The full range of leasing can occur under these perpetual leases, importantly including 99-year
homeownership leases. Councils are well placed to administer 99-year homeownership leases, which
are designed to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander homeownership. These options achieve
the balance between the need to recognise the ownership of the land through the transfer process on
one hand with the practical need for ensuring the continuing needs of town administration on the other.
       The changes are necessary because there is an increasing number of community groups
registered under the Australian government’s Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) Act
2006. These groups include prescribed bodies corporate which hold native title following a
        To create a new entity to hold the land can put further strains on the community. Often it involves
the same people who are involved in other positions within the community. Therefore, it makes sense to
grant land to appropriate existing entities. This ensures existing resources are maximised and
community members are not required to meet differing reporting and governance requirements. This
means that use of existing resources can be maximised and that community members are not required
to meet differing reporting and governance requirements. These amendments will provide that land is
granted to bodies registered under the Australian government’s Corporations (Aboriginal and Torres
Strait Islander) Act.
        This bill also amends the Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act 1978. Amendments to this act
will clarify, simplify and update the legislative framework applying to Aurukun and Mornington shires.
The Local Government Act 2009, which commenced on 1 July 2010, applies to all local governments
across Queensland, including Aboriginal shire and Indigenous regional councils. As a consequence, the
Local Government (Community Government Areas) Act 2004, which provided for the 14 Aboriginal shire
and Indigenous regional councils other than Aurukun and Mornington shire councils, was repealed as
        Unlike other Indigenous local governments, the Aurukun and Mornington shire councils were
established under the Local Government Aboriginal Lands Act. The bill will firstly repeal redundant local
government and other outdated provisions in the Local Government Aboriginal Lands Act. Secondly, the
bill will ensure greater consistency between the powers and functions of the Aurukun and Mornington
shires and those of all other Aboriginal shire and Indigenous regional councils in relation to entry and
residence in their areas.
       This bill also includes amendments to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities
(Justice, Land and Other Matters) Act 1984 and the Local Government Act. Amendment of the Local
Government Act will ensure that a specific revenue-raising provision applicable to all other Aboriginal
shire and Indigenous regional councils continues to be applicable to the Aurukun and Mornington
shires. Amendments to the justice, land and other matters act will ensure that its provisions relating to
law and order in community government and Indigenous regional council areas also apply to Aurukun
and Mornington shires. The amendments reduce existing duplication and do not represent any shift in
current policy.
       The provisions which establish the shire leases for both Aurukun and Mornington will be retained.
The existing power of these shire councils to make laws to exclude persons from, or restrict access to,
their shire areas will be removed. The amendments will allow only for local laws to extend access to the
shire lease area, not to restrict it. For example, local laws might authorise access to all or part of the
area by guests of residents or persons with a permit for camping, recreational fishing or scientific
23 Nov 2010 Body Corporate & Community Management & Other Legislation A’ment Bill                                 4129

       The Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act will be renamed as the Aurukun and Mornington
Shire Leases Act 1978 and be administered by the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy
and the Minister for Trade. The Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
Partnerships wrote to the Aurukun and Mornington shire councils advising them of the review of the
Local Government (Aboriginal Lands) Act and invited them to identify any issues of concern.
       The Department of Infrastructure and Planning consulted directly with each of the Aurukun and
Mornington shire councils on the issues under review and proposed changes to the legislation, including
the removal of their power to summarily evict persons from their area. Both local governments advised
their support in principle for the proposed amendments. As a result, I commend the bill to the House.
       Debate, on motion of Mr Stevens, adjourned.

                      LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL
                                                          First Reading
                                  Body Corporate & Community Management & Other Legislation A’ment Bill
      Hon. PJ LAWLOR (Southport—ALP) (Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading) (12.39 pm): I
present a bill for an act to amend the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997, the
Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal Regulation 2009 and the Queensland Civil and
Administrative Tribunal Rules 2009 for particular purposes. I present the explanatory notes, and I
That the bill be now read a first time.
        Question put—That the bill be now read a first time.
        Motion agreed to.
        Bill read a first time.
Tabled paper: Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill [3584].
Tabled paper: Body Corporate and Community Management and Other Legislation Amendment Bill, explanatory notes [3585].

                                                       Second Reading
    Hon. PJ LAWLOR (Southport—ALP) (Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading) (12.39 pm): I
That the bill be now read a second time.
       The objective of the bill is to amend the Body Corporate and Community Management Act 1997
to do two things. Firstly, it provides a new lot entitlements system for community titles schemes across
Queensland. Secondly, the bill provides for a new regulation module designed to meet the needs of
people living in schemes with only two lots. There are more than 39,000 community titles schemes
across Queensland comprising more than 364,000 lots.
       The BCCM Act requires there to be two types of lot entitlement schedules for each scheme—a
contribution schedule and an interest schedule. Most community interest has been about contribution
schedules, as most costs associated with living in a community titles scheme are proportioned by a lot
owner’s allocated contribution schedule lot entitlement.
       To date, there have been about 120 applications to the Queensland Civil and Administrative
Tribunal and its predecessors seeking contribution schedule adjustment orders for schemes right across
Queensland. These decisions have affected thousands of lot owners and many more applications are
pending. There are thousands of schemes potentially subject to contribution schedule adjustment
orders which could impact upon tens of thousands of lot owners.
       We have a problem in the marketplace. It needs to be fixed. That is what this bill is about. The
problem is that a lot owner can make an application to QCAT or a specialist adjudicator to seek
adjustment of a scheme’s contribution schedule. If successful, an adjustment order can significantly
change the relativities between the contribution schedule lot entitlements and drastically increase the
amount a lot owner must pay for their annual body corporate fees. This can then have a negative flow-
on effect, reducing the capital value of a lot.
       A lot owner can then find himself or herself locked into an untenable situation. They cannot afford
the increased fees but cannot afford to sell at fire sale rates. Regrettably and typically, contribution
schedule adjustment orders tend to have the most adverse consequences for the many lot owners on
low and fixed incomes. There has been no single cause of the problem. A chain of events and decisions
over time, including a failure in 1997 to fully appreciate the transitional implications arising from the
enactment of the BCCM Act, have combined to give rise to the current problem.
4130                                Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill              23 Nov 2010

         The predecessor to the current body corporate legislation, the Building Units and Group Titles Act
1980, provided a single schedule of lot entitlements for community titles schemes. Lot entitlements for
lots in standard format plans, typically townhouse type developments, were to be set in proportion to the
unimproved value of the lots and lot entitlements for building format lots, typically units in multistorey
developments, were to be set at the developer’s discretion.
         Then in 1997 the BCCM Act introduced two types of lot entitlement schedules—a contribution
schedule and an interest schedule—and provided the ability for lot owners in all schemes to apply for an
adjustment of a scheme’s contribution schedule and interest schedule lot entitlements. The current
principle for setting and adjusting contribution schedule lot entitlements is that they should be equal,
except to the extent it is just and equitable in the circumstances for them to not be equal. Interest
schedule lot entitlements are not required to be set according to any principle at the establishment of a
scheme, but they can be adjusted to reflect the respective market values of the lots included in the
scheme, except to the extent to which it is just and equitable in the circumstances for them to reflect
other than the respective market values of the lots.
         The now well-known Court of Appeal decision, sometimes known as the Centrepoint or Fischer
case, which was handed down on 25 June 2004, has subsequently led to cases of contribution schedule
adjustment orders being towards equal which, while equitable, have sometimes had devastating
consequences for lot owners who may have had the same contribution schedule lot entitlements for up
to or exceeding 20 years and did not expect their contribution schedule lot entitlements to change. The
bill will address this inequity.
         Those lot owners who owned a lot at the time a scheme was subject to an adjustment order and
who were adversely affected by that adjustment order will be able to submit a motion to the scheme’s
body corporate or body corporate committee to revert a scheme’s contribution schedule lot entitlements
to their preadjustment lot entitlements. The body corporate is then required to revert the contribution
schedule lot entitlements to their original settings, subject to any subdivisions, amalgamations,
boundary changes or material changes.
         The bill also recognises that the existing regulation modules do not cater to the needs of
residential schemes which only have two lots. People who live in duplexes do not want to be burdened
by formal processes such as calling a meeting to make a decision or setting an annual budget. The bill
makes it easier for people living in residential schemes with only two lots by removing the formal
processes and substituting much simpler arrangements.
         The new module is currently being progressed and I expect it to be operational in 2011. Once
operational, the new module will potentially affect 12,000 community titles schemes in Queensland,
which represents almost one-third of community titles schemes in Queensland.
         The bill will introduce a new and more flexible system of contribution schedule lot entitlements,
including a new relativity principle aimed at promoting more affordable housing solutions in a difficult
housing market. The bill enhances the disclosure requirements by requiring developers to explain the
deciding principle for contribution and interest schedule lot entitlements; to have the explanation form
part of the community management statement; and to attach the community management statement to
contracts of sale.
         The bill limits adjustments of contribution schedule lot entitlements to very particular
circumstances and provides for reversions for those schemes which have been the subject of
contribution schedule adjustment orders. Lastly, the bill establishes a new regulation module tailored to
the specific needs of residential schemes consisting of only two lots.
         At the outset, I acknowledge some of the proposed amendments will not receive universal
acclaim. There are many who will decry the rationale and policy intent behind this bill. I am not entirely
unsympathetic to those views, but difficult problems sometimes require difficult solutions. If we do
nothing, then the community titles sector will become increasingly unstable. This bill provides certainty
for the marketplace which will ensure that medium- and high-density living remains an attractive and
affordable option for many Queenslanders. I commend the bill to the House.
         Debate, on motion of Mr Stevens, adjourned.

                                                Second Reading
       Resumed from 28 October (see p. 4020), on motion of Mr Lawlor—
That the bill be now read a second time.
       Mr STEVENS (Mermaid Beach—LNP) (12.47 pm): I rise today to speak on the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. I state at the outset that the opposition has reservations regarding the
effectiveness of this bill, but, on the whole, agrees with the intent and legislative direction of the
proposed amendments to the Liquor Act which are a minuscule movement to address alcohol related
23 Nov 2010                   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4131

violence in our community. Yes, it is a movement in the right direction, but the only analogy I can readily
think of is of a painfully constipated Labor government constricted by haemorrhoids, rejoicing at the
passing of a small motion to relieve the political pressure of being seen to be doing something about
alcohol related violence. Certainly the Labor government’s initial attempts at controlling alcohol related
violence by attacking the providers of this government condoned social experience seem to have failed
miserably through the judicial system as evidenced by the courts’ rejection of government imposed
discriminatory designations such as high-risk venues.
       The opposition is seriously concerned about the culture of binge drinking and alcohol related
violence in our community. Any thought-out and targeted legislative changes are welcomed by me, as
the shadow minister responsible, and by my colleagues in the Liberal National Party. There has to be a
change in the culture of our young people. I know it will not be just legislative changes that will help curb
this behaviour but the actions of community groups, government and non-government organisations,
parents, the education system, youth groups and associations together that will be able to guide and
eventually modify the behaviour of our young people.
       Organisations such as Drug Arm are very important in getting the message out on the harmful
effects of drinking to excess. Initiatives such as education programs where police visit schools and talk
to schoolchildren about responsible drinking represent another very good idea. One of the problems
with young people is that they drink to excess even before they go out and they drink more when they hit
the nightclubs. This means that they are heavily intoxicated early in the evening and, unfortunately, in
some cases this leads to antisocial and aggressive behaviour. For example, just last Friday at a pub on
the Gold Coast a girl smashed a bottle in a guy’s face and then the girlfriend of the guy started fighting
with the girl. This sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable in our society and must be eradicated at all
costs. The legislation being debated today should have addressed these matters. It should have
addressed other issues that were raised in the Law, Justice and Safety Committee report into alcohol
related violence, yet we are dealing with some minor issues to satisfy the minister’s claim that he is
addressing alcohol related violence within our community. We all know the physical effects of drinking—
      Mr Lawlor: What’s your plan?
       Mr STEVENS: I take the interjection from the minister in relation to our plan. Our plan will be
clearly to address the issue once we are in government and have the legislative powers to do so. We all
know that drinking to excess can cause liver damage and reduce brain function—and I think some
members opposite might have experienced that firsthand—and in certain circumstances can lead to
antisocial behaviour that has major and sometimes dire consequences on the people involved—the
recipient and the perpetrator of that bad behaviour.
       Unfortunately, things that have occurred previous to this legislation have seen the government
concentrate on those providers of this government sanctioned and condoned experience in our
community. No-one is arguing that drinking is not an acceptable experience in our community. Drinking
is part of our culture. Excessive drinking is not part of our culture, and alcohol related violence as a
result of that excessive drinking is certainly not part of our culture. Neither side of the House would ever
condone that, and certainly the providers of the entertainment do not condone that behaviour either. I
cannot believe that efforts to relieve alcohol related violence to this point in time have concentrated
almost solely on providers of this entertainment to the great ignorance of the perpetrators of this
        There are probably 60,000 people out on a Friday or Saturday night enjoying alcohol related
activity with no problems whatsoever to society, to their friends or to other people they are in the venue
with. Unfortunately, out of that 60,000 people there might be a handful who believe that aggressive
behaviour—taking out their pent-up frustrations—is a way for them to exert their presence within that
community of people who are basically out there to enjoy themselves. This cannot be tolerated. These
are individuals in most cases. On the odd occasion it might be a gang, but in most cases they are
individuals. We should be directing the legislation very much at the individuals involved in this bad
behaviour and unacceptable activity.
        What can be done? Previous to this bill and these moves—I agree that they are a move in the
right direction, albeit a small one—we looked at those people at those venues and tried to curb the
occurrence of those matters, and rightly so. There is coverage—rightly so—by the media of these
terrible glassings which leave people disfigured and all of the issues in terms of problems of drunken
behaviour and the wilful damage that is caused. The media have highlighted these matters which we in
this society do not accept and ask what the government is going to do about it. They do not ask what the
opposition is going to do about it, as some members opposite like to say. The media ask what the
government is going to do about it. To this point in time the media have received ineffectual direction
from the minister responsible, who is sitting on the other side of the House. Premier Bligh has failed to
address these matters and, quite correctly, the media are saying that people are sick of this and it has to
be addressed.
4132                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

        The Law, Justice and Safety Committee has done extensive work on this issue. I point out that I
was a late addition to the Law, Justice and Safety Committee in February and had some input into the
report but mostly appreciated the great lengths that other members of that committee went to in
undertaking a very comprehensive study. They put an extremely large amount of work into the report.
They canvassed all of these issues around alcohol related violence and released a very responsible
report—a report that, in the main, received support from both sides of politics and addressed a lot of the
issues that would go a long way to combating the bad behaviour of perpetrators.
        In fact, one of the main recommendations being dealt with today in this legislation is for drink-safe
precincts—a recommendation that the minister has adopted and moved forward on in a very gentle
manner. Members of that committee believe that drink-safe precincts would be a major step towards
combining the resources necessary to control this activity. Drink-safe precincts would enable the
government to channel appropriate police resources, which it has agreed to through financial support of
drink-safe precincts in this legislation. The committee believes that drink-safe precincts would also give
operators in those precincts some degree of comfort in knowing that they were identified as being in an
area of high risk. They were identified as being in an area destined to attract thousands and thousands
of people participating in drinking as part of their social intercourse, and operators in those drink-safe
precincts would be monitored and controlled more than those in other areas. The drink-safe precinct is a
good recommendation, and later I will go into shortcomings that I believe could have been addressed in
this legislation.
        For some reason known only to the minister and his advisers, this legislation falls short in terms of
delivering a comprehensive drink-safe precinct for the people of Queensland so that we would hopefully
see fewer and fewer of these vicious attacks and less wilful damage of property emanating out of
extended or excessive drinking sessions. We could have hoped for a better community as a result. We
could have hoped to see fewer young men and women with slashes down their faces, their eyes gouged
out and other things that are totally unacceptable in our society today. We could have hoped, as
contained in the recommendations, that perpetrators in these drink-safe precincts would be hit with
much larger fines and penalties in relation to their activity to make sure the message is loud and clear—
that is, that the ones who caused the damage and who are involved in the damage are the ones who are
going to do the time, as they say, whether it be penal time or the penalty of being banned from an area.
I will deal with that issue later, given that that is a matter that would be determined by the courts—a
matter which we totally support.
        Sitting suspended from 1.00 pm to 2.30 pm.
        Mr STEVENS: The objectives of this bill are to amend the Liquor Act 2010, the Gaming Machine
Act 1991, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Bail Act 1980 and the Adult Proof of Age Card Act
2008. The Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 is a direct result of the Law, Justice and
Safety Committee’s inquiry into alcohol related violence in Queensland.
        The amendments to the Liquor Act 2010 are to increase community safety and to improve public
amenity to include, as I mentioned earlier, the creation of drink-safe precincts, giving the courts the
power to ban people from those precincts and limiting the trading hours of new bottle shops. The report
of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee recommended that the trading hours of bottle shops be
limited to 9 pm. Quite clearly, that closing time was to try to control the afterthoughts of many young
people of buying another carton of alcohol or another truckload of scotch, bourbon, or whatever, to fuel
their ongoing alcohol related activities. I thought that was a very reasonable conclusion for the
committee to reach. Yet, in this legislation, like a Clayton’s drink, that recommendation has been
watered down. The minister might like to clarify why those hours have been changed from 10 am until
10 at night but, on application, the government may consider extending those hours. As I have said, that
provision certainly waters down the recommendation from the committee. Unfortunately, there is a
grandfathering of the opening hours of all of those existing bottle shops, which clearly defeats the
recommendation of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee. As I understand it—and the minister might
like to elucidate further in his summing-up—the idea was to gradually bring in restricted hours. However,
what we have here in this legislation is a trial of all of these matters for two years. I am sure that licences
will not be turning over to give effect to these changed hours in the short term. So, unfortunately, the
committee’s recommendation has gone nowhere, although we will be supporting the recommendation
of these trading hours.
        The legislation also includes the committee’s recommendation to extend the moratorium on
extended trading hours, which the Premier brought in late last year and which went until September of
this year and then was extended to the maximum period of December. This legislation will extend that
moratorium to 2013. I think that is a very appropriate move as it will stop a lot of pubs, particularly in
residential areas, from going in for the big kill and turning themselves into late-night precincts in
suburban areas. The committee considered this matter very carefully. It wanted to direct the resources
to those areas that catered for late-night entertainment. Certainly, pubs and entertainment venues in the
suburbs do not have the capacity, once a patron is tipped out the door, to provide the appropriate
amenities, transport and policing that can be provided in an area of focus such as a drink-safe precinct.
So we support wholeheartedly the extension of the moratorium on extended trading hours to 2013.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                               4133

        However, I would bring to the attention of the House and also to the public at large that other
areas that are operating under the current Liquor Act may have their hours extended. Those 10
extended trading hour precincts include the Brisbane CBD, which includes the Valley and Caxton Street,
and the Broadbeach CBD. I can speak personally of the Broadbeach area. We are seeing this area
being turned into a night entertainment precinct to the detriment of Broadbeach. I used to represent the
Broadbeach area, but now that area is represented by the member for Surfers Paradise. I still have an
interest in maintaining the fact that Broadbeach is a very family orientated area and, through this
legislation, it loses the capacity to access the extra resourcing of $3 million for policing and $1 million for
the SES. Although this area is still experiencing all of the pressures arising out of these five o’clock
closes, quite clearly the resources are not there and the police readily accept the fact that they are
underresourced in this area. They would like the precinct extended from Surfers Paradise. However, I
would not like to see that happen because, clearly, if you extend the precinct from Surfers Paradise,
down to Broadbeach you are opening the gates to turn Broadbeach into another Surfers Paradise and
that is not what the residents of my constituency would like to see.
        The extended trading hour areas also include Bundaberg, Cairns, the Ipswich CBD, the Mackay
CBD, the Rockhampton CBD, Surfers Paradise, the Toowoomba CBD and the Townsville CBD. Those
areas can make extended hours applications, which will be dealt with by the new Liquor and Gaming
Commission, which will make decisions on recommendations from the chief executive as from the date
of the adoption of this legislation. I think that is very important to a lot of communities in that they do not
realise that the moratorium that is in place is more for those areas that are out in the suburbs rather than
those quite clearly identified areas. However, I am pleased to see that Coolangatta in my backyard is
not entitled to an extended hours licence.
        The amendments to the Gaming Machine Act 1991 are to rename the Queensland Gaming
Commission to the Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission. This is a very appropriate move,
which we support. These days the gaming and liquor industries are intertwined. The commission will
have the capacity to deal with these combined issues in a manner that has the interests of both areas of
endeavour in its consideration, and I think that is a very appropriate move for the government to make at
this point.
        The amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 are to allow courts to impose a
banning order on offenders which prohibits an offender from entering licensed premises or the vicinity of
licensed premises. They also contain amendments to the Bail Act 1980 to facilitate the banning of
certain individuals from precincts or identified premises as a result of behavioural matters that are not
appropriate for those identified areas.
        One of the main issues that I have in relation to this banning order is the fact that the banning is
limited to 12 months. Again, it is a slap on the wrist with a feather. Quite clearly, the folk who are
involved in this sort of behaviour are a major problem. They are in the great minority and yet
unfortunately we are putting in what I consider to be—and what I am sure the committee would consider
to be—a very light sentence as a maximum to go with their unacceptable behaviour. The banning order
in relation to bail is obviously so that when a person is charged and they have applied for bail, the police
officer can have them banned from certain areas or certain precincts until their court case is heard.
        I am led to believe, through the officers of liquor and gaming, that the banning of these people can
be achieved through two processes: firstly, through the criminal process where they may be charged
with an offence such as wilful damage or violence and, as part of the bail process, a ban from certain
areas may be included in the conditions of that bail. Further to that, there are civil proceedings available
to implement this banning. The police will be able to impose a ban on people through a civil court such
as where a magistrate makes a declaration. The difference, of course, is that through the criminal
process the application for banning has to be proven beyond reasonable doubt and that this person is
appropriately sentenced to a banning from a certain area for a certain period. The alternative to that is
the civil process where the prosecuting officer would only have to prove that it is on the basis of
probability that they would reoffend or it was inappropriate that they be allowed back into these areas.
Quite clearly, it is far more difficult through the criminal process. Some of these acts are quite violent and
contain a very heavy penalty under the Criminal Code. Through the civil process it has to be proven that
it is most probable that it would be to society’s benefit for these people to be banned from the premise.
        My submission to the minister, and I would like his clarification on the matter, is that I believe the
civil process will be the process that will have the most appeal to people such as police rather than
having to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a person has committed the crime. It would be a much
easier process to go to the civil court and get a magistrate’s order. There are very wise solicitors
involved in this decision making. I see the Attorney-General is going to give the former solicitor some
appropriate legal advice as the advising solicitor on the matter. That will again put further demand on the
Magistrates Court and make it a far longer and more difficult call on our judicial system to provide a
quick and expedient answer to the banning of these people where it is required.
        The amendments to the Adult Proof of Age Card Act 2008 are really more of a clearing matter to
allow persons who want to start driving or who want to have their card to enter venues on the day of
their birthday at 18 or whatever to apply at 17 years and 11 months. Also, it has overcome the situation
4134                                 Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                  23 Nov 2010

where one could virtually buy an 18-plus card over the counter and then distribute it to a few mates. This
might hopefully address some of the issues of these 18-plus cards being used by under-age folk to gain
entry to prohibited nightclubs et cetera and hopefully put a further restraint on under-age drinking. The
difference, of course, is the fact that it will not be delivered across the counter at your local transport
office; it will be sent out at a later date from a central posting facility once a person applies for it after
they are 17 years and 11 months. The trick, of course, is that it will not be $26, or a similar sum, as it
currently is and has been since May 2010; it will be rising to a figure in a couple of years time
approaching $52. It is another increase in taxes in Queensland, another increase in the cost of an 18-
plus proof of age card, and this cost will again be borne by the public of Queensland.
        These proof of age cards are not just for young people. There are many people who do not have
a driver’s licence. Some of them have pensioner cards to identify themselves, of course. But if we see
things come in such as proof of your identity at voting in elections around the state, as is proposed by
the LNP to avoid the voting early, voting often syndrome that has been perfected by the Labor Party
over years, then we will need an 18-plus card and it should be available at our current prices rather than
an inflated price to pay off the fabulous debt that the Labor Party has racked up over 10 years of
bankrupt governance.
        Government members interjected.
       Mr STEVENS: There we go. I thought there was a deathly quiet in the place for a while. I am glad
to see those opposite are paying attention. One of the problems that I found when I had a briefing
yesterday on this bill—and which almost precluded me from providing amendments to the bill through
the drafting office down the hall—was the fact that, surprisingly, there was no public consultation on this
banning issue with organisations which should have been approached—bodies such as the Law
Society, for instance. I thought they would have liked to have had some input. The Queensland Council
for Civil Liberties might have liked to have had some input into the matter. I thought that even the liquor
industry, which I am told is involved with this banning process to a certain extent, would also have been
consulted in the matter, but no.
        A complaint that I hear from the hotel and liquor industry all the time is that this government runs
off and makes a total change without any consultation with the industry whatsoever. That is not
acceptable. In my consultation as the opposition spokesperson on this matter I have found that the hotel
industry does not have any problem with these proposed amendments. In fact, it is supportive of them in
that it is finally a swing away from putting the blame for these incidents on the providers and putting it
where it should be, that is, on the perpetrators, which the LNP has been supporting the whole way
through. The industry really would have liked to have had some consultation on this process.
Unfortunately, again, the decisions have come from above and it becomes a case of like it or lump it. In
fact, we are very lucky in this case that the industry actually likes it.
      In many countries liquor laws have sparked fiery debate. In New Zealand recent liquor reforms
have been hotly debated in that country’s parliament. Earlier this year a former Prime Minister, Malcolm
Fraser, co-authored an article that appeared in the National Times. The article in part said—
Along with thousands of other proud Melburnians, we are increasingly disturbed by the escalation of antisocial behaviour, hostility
and violence in the CBD, where reports of serious assaults and injuries are commonplace and show little sign of abating. The
overriding contributing factor is the growing abuse of alcohol and drugs.
At the outset, we must stress that our concerns are not an attack on the liquor industry, and we are not advocating a return to the
‘dark ages’, when draconian licensing laws limited the quality of hospitality and recreation in Melbourne.

Late last year we met Premier John Brumby to discuss how the problem could be tackled.

What we are suggesting is an independent public inquiry, with the broad objective of minimising the impact of alcohol abuse, and
the associated social, health and financial costs ...

This is a community problem which will not simply disappear.
        That is consultation. That is a proposed model that our government in Queensland could well
have adopted. I even congratulate the minister on his recent trip to London. If honourable members read
his report—and it is hard going, it will send you to sleep late at night and Bundaberg is spelt incorrectly
in it, which I find very disappointing to the folk of Bundaberg—they will see that it showed that the
minister consulted and the problems are exactly the same as, and in some cases worse than, in
London. It is a worldwide problem, a worldwide phenomenon, and we as Australians are probably at the
top of the tree. We certainly hold a few world records. I think the former Labor Prime Minister, Mr Bob
Hawke, held the chug-a-lug record for a few years. I do not know if it still stands, but it was a great
example to set for the rest of the community!
        Mr Watt interjected.
23 Nov 2010                      Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                     4135

      Mr STEVENS: I would have been a close second, anyway. I take the interjection of the member
for Everton.
        In relation to the Law, Justice and Safety Committee inquiry into alcohol related violence in
Queensland, which resulted in this legislation coming before the House, I was disappointed to see that
68 recommendations could have been adopted by this minister and this government in this legislation,
yet, quite clearly, they ran away from those recommendations as they were too hard, too costly or not in
their political interests. For instance, one of the committee’s recommendations was for a department of
child safety liaison officer to be available to assist in these drink-safe precincts, especially during the
peak demand times of 11 pm to 4 am on Fridays and Saturdays. Yes, that is a cost to the community,
but large licensing fees are paid and large taxes go into the government’s coffers. The police are sick
and tired of being babysitters for drunk juveniles. That is the reason for that recommendation. The
committee was unanimous on this particular recommendation that a better way to address these young
kids who are off their tree, to use the colloquial language, is for a child safety worker, a liaison officer, to
deal with those matters. This would let the police get on with dealing with police matters such as serious
fights, glassings, wilful damage and all the other matters that police deal with. Rather than having police
performing babysitting duties, a child safety liaison officer could better deal with them—and they would
have better contacts to deal with them. Was that recommendation adopted? No. Perhaps the minister
could explain why he does not believe that it is appropriate for this amending legislation to include those
matters. If he does believe it is appropriate, will it be coming forward in future liquor licensing legislation?
        Another great recommendation of that committee was that the Criminal Code be amended so that
the use of glass as a weapon be considered a circumstance of aggravation in assault offences. We had
great legal advice on that committee. I think there are four solicitors on that committee—and a fireman
to put out the fires. The idea of that recommendation was to institute a much harsher penalty that the
courts could deal out. Glassings are gaining notoriety and that recommendation alerts people in an
obviously abnormal state, whether it be fuelled by drugs or alcohol, that, ‘Hey, this glass in my hand is a
weapon.’ It is not normally a premeditated thing. In fact, very rarely is a glassing a premeditated matter.
It is a spontaneous reaction, a reaction of anger, a reaction of a mind that is out of control. People think,
‘Oh yes, I read it somewhere or I heard somewhere that I can go bang with this glass and create a lot of
damage,’ which is exactly what a glassing does. To address that issue and to try to take a glassing off
the front page of the newspaper as an event that happens regularly—and it should be reported and I am
pleased that the media does so extensively—the committee wisely considered that the penal code
should be changed. I ask the minister: why was that not addressed in this legislation and will it be
addressed at a later date?
       Also, there was a clear direction from that committee that the penalties for alcohol related
offences be increased. Again, the committee identified the perpetrators as the ones we should be
attacking in this legislation. Has that occurred? No. A 12-month feather smack is the maximum increase
in penalty in this amending legislation. It says that the penalty should be increased and that a decision
as to the appropriate range of penalties for alcohol related offences should be referred to the
Sentencing Advisory Council.
       Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Wendt): Order! I would like to acknowledge the presence in the
gallery of students and teachers from the Northern Peninsula Area State College in the electorate of
Cook, represented in this House by Jason O’Brien. Welcome.
      Mr STEVENS: Mr O’Brien apologises for not being in the House today as he is absent from the
       The recommendation that the penalty be referred to the Sentencing Advisory Council was a very
reasonable and appropriate measure to take. However, that was ignored by the minister in formulating
his amending legislation, as was the recommendation that the community be involved in establishing
the appropriate penalties for crimes involving alcohol related violence. That is a matter of getting the
community, the victims, the people who are damaged by these incidents, to have input. I am not the sort
of politician who says, ‘I know everything out there.’ I love to have community input behind the words
that I mouth in this House because it is very important to not be one of those politicians who says, ‘I
know it all. I’ll give you the sentence. I’ll give you the legislation. I’ll run it all for you.’ It is very appropriate
that we go out to our community for feedback. We can then come back with confidence to this House
when this legislation comes through to make sure that the recommendations, the penalties and
sentences that we are recommending be enshrined in law in this state have the concurrence and the
general agreement of our community. I ask the minister: why was that not addressed? Perhaps the
minister could explain whether it will be coming in later amending legislation? I ask the minister to state
whether he feels that that is an important issue that should be addressed.
       A very appropriate recommendation, which is not addressed in this amending legislation, is that
licensees of venues trading after midnight be encouraged to install ID-scanning systems. This is
supported quite clearly by the police, it is supported by venue operators and it is supported by most
people involved in eradicating alcohol related violence. Why is it not supported by the government
through this legislation? That is a very curly question. I cannot see where the minister has included it as
4136                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

a part of identifying problem makers in situations that arise at venues that stay open after midnight. It
would advantage both sides. A victim can say, ‘It wasn’t me. Have a look at the scanner.’ That will help
victims, as they would not have to take the word of a bouncer or some other person involved in a
situation that has got out of hand. It can also provide great evidence for the prosecution if a person is
identified through an ID-scanning machine. The same could be said of CCTV monitoring systems.
        In addition to those recommendations is the fact that venue operators, the ones providing the
entertainment, should be encouraged to install facilities that would aid in the control of alcohol related
violence. You can use a big stick to bash people with, but a far better approach to achieve results is to
use a carrot. For instance, the committee recommended reduced licence fees to encourage that sort of
activity. If that happened the venue operators would jump on board, because it is in their interests to
have trouble-free environments. It is not in their interests to have major incidents occurring such as
people having their faces slashed, losing eyes and those sorts of things. They do not want that
happening in their venues, but a lot of those matters are way out of their control. You cannot see when
such a thing is about to happen. You cannot predict it. It is rarely premeditated. It happens as the result
of a moment of madness. It will be the response by someone who is heavily affected by drugs or alcohol
or who is enraged by some matter. That person loses control of their brain and commits a dastardly
attack which they will later regret, as will the victim of their attack. These measures would go a long way
to helping reduce the number of alcohol related violent incidents. However, have they been adopted in
this legislation? No, they have not.
       As I have said, the government seems to have adopted the Clayton’s approach to this legislation,
which gives the minister the capacity to say, ‘Yes, I have addressed this by providing drink-safe
precincts.’ For instance, a committee is to be set up to give directions as to what should happen in the
drink-safe precinct to ameliorate some of the problems in those areas. The committee will come up with
ideas associated with improving access to taxis, bus services and trains and all the issues that will go
towards making a better environment. However, I would like the minister to quantify the guarantees and
the costings involved in the three drink-safe precincts—the Valley, the Townsville CBD and Surfers
Paradise. What guarantees will he give to the people of Queensland that the recommendations of the
committee will be adopted? Who will be funding them? Departmental officers, who have done a great
job in answering my queries, have said that they would be directed by the relevant department. For
instance, if there are taxi rank issues then the transport minister will deal with the matter. However, what
compunction is there for the transport minister to accept the recommendations of the committee,
bearing in mind that it may cost quite a bit of money for those three precincts to address the issues of
alcohol related violence?
       We know that $3.141 million has been committed for additional police resources over 12 months.
We know that $1.126 million has been committed for the Department of Communities to fund other NGO
operations. That covers 12 months. We do not know what funding will be provided for the next 12
months of the two-year trial period. According to the member for Murrumba, we have just finished an 18-
year trial period of our voting system. We do not know how long will be the trial period set up to address
the issues of alcohol related violence.
       We support the legislation, but we feel that it does not go anywhere near far enough to introduce
substantial amendments that could make a difference to alcohol related violence across this state. We
are not looking for a bandaid fix. I reiterate that nearly all of the work of the committee was done before
I arrived in February, with about six weeks to go. I congratulate the committee members and the
wonderful chair of that committee, which did excellent work and came up with these excellent
       Mr Watt: We want Aidan back.
       Mr STEVENS: He has left the House. The government is responsible for making a fair-dinkum
attempt to address alcohol related violence in this state. Quite clearly, it has more work to do on these
recommendations. Quite clearly, more funding has to be committed. That is vital if we are to have any
decent resolution to these problems. We must take glassing issues, fights and so on off Facebook, off
the TV and out of the newspapers. None of it is good for our young in society, which is where most of
this activity occurs. As law-makers and providers in the state of Queensland, we have a responsibility to
give those people a safe environment in which to party.
       As everybody knows, at the moment schoolies week is taking place on the coast. For the benefit
of the member for Everton I mention that I was the mayor of the Gold Coast when we first decided to
financially support schoolies week. It was not about supporting them getting on the booze and taking
drugs or anything like that. Before there was any state government commitment to schoolies week,
which lasted for three weeks back then, the Gold Coast City Council decided to try to look after the kids.
We put on entertainment. We tried to keep them busy. We had action happening all over the beach. In
1996 we committed what now sounds like a very meagre amount of about $24,000 to protect the kids
and hopefully allow them to have an enjoyable stay in Queensland. Our objective was to protect the kids
from interstate as well as those from across Queensland. I believe that schoolies week is a good thing. I
have always believed that. I believe that kids have a lot of fun together. I believe that they can be
23 Nov 2010                         Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                           4137

protected. The small number of problems are brought about by ‘toolies’ or older people who they tell me
are called ‘droolies’, which means that they are old enough to dribble. The idea of the schoolies event is
that young people from families across Australia—including the Premier’s child and the opposition
leader’s child—are protected when they are having fun with their peers on the fabulous Gold Coast and
the brilliant, internationally recognised area of Surfers Paradise.
       At every opportunity we have to take forward the recommendations of the committee. I mentioned
only a few of them, but there are others that have not been adopted such as in relation to trading hours
and ensuring that we address the issue of premises with restaurant licences trading as nightclubs,
which happens in certain areas. That problem has arisen in Broadbeach, and the committee noted it on
its tours. People are using the restaurant licensing regime to run nightclubs, which is totally
unacceptable to the community. It can turn a very peaceful and family-friendly area into something more
akin to the drink-safe precincts of Surfers Paradise, the Valley and the Townsville CBD.
      I do think we have made a small, positive step in addressing issues of alcohol related violence in
Queensland. I would like to hear the minister make a commitment in his summing-up to go further on the
matter and address other issues of the committee report. If there are reasons those committee
recommendations should not be adopted, I would like him to announce those so that the public is aware
where the committee got some of its recommendations wrong. I would also like to make sure that the
minister commits appropriate funding to addressing this important social issue, because if we never see
glassing on the pages of the newspaper or in the news in Queensland it will be a great day.
      Mr DICKSON (Buderim—LNP) (3.10 pm): I rise to contribute to the debate on the Liquor and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill. This bill is in response to the Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s
report on alcohol related violence in Queensland which is focused on community safety and
preventative measures to reduce the levels of alcohol related violence and its ramifications.
       The final report of the committee’s inquiry into alcohol related violence was tabled on 18 March
2010, with 68 recommendations to reduce the incidence and impacts, both social and economic, of
alcohol related violence in Queensland. The report was very disturbing reading indeed. I will quote
directly in part from the foreword of the report as stated by the chair of the committee, Barbara
Stone MP. Her foreword states—
Mates would look after mates and take them home when getting to a point of inappropriate social behaviour. Today the research
indicates binge drinking has become a prominent part of our drinking culture and with that has come some changes to our drinking
Throughout the inquiry we observed a growing culture of drinking to harmful levels, without any pride or self-respect. Vomiting,
falling over, and creating a nuisance in public are not seen as shameful but to some are badges of honour. A lack of self-respect
and respect for others seems entrenched.

Committee members on precinct tours witnessed a range of violence and abuse towards police officers. We were told by front line
emergency workers and health workers about the violence they endure in performing their jobs.
      Distasteful as it was for the member for Springwood and other committee members to witness
those levels of abuse and violence towards our police officers, I am pleased that the member for
Springwood got to see firsthand what our police have to put up with in just doing their job. I would
encourage the member for Springwood to call a roundtable with her colleagues, the Premier, the police
minister and the Treasurer to fight vigorously for a pay rise for the police instead of the 2.5 per cent
currently on the table. Ms Stone’s foreword in the report continues—
We also heard from others in the community affected by alcohol-related violence including family members of assault victims,
community workers, staff in the liquor industry and young people who frequent entertainment precincts.
This Committee agrees that the majority of law abiding citizens should not have to suffer for the actions of a few and strongly
supports the need for a greater emphasis on individual responsibility. The report calls for greater enforcement and increased
       Hear, hear to that. I could not agree more with the ‘need for a greater emphasis on individual
responsibility’. Hopefully some of the measures outlined in this bill will result in people taking greater
responsibility for their actions. But when some men, or women for that matter, get a skinful and start
physically or verbally assaulting other ‘law-abiding citizens’, as Ms Stone referred to, swift action is
needed by the police to remove them from that situation. I do not believe we should have to engineer
social gatherings to accommodate drunks. And for those who cannot take the hint, it is then up to our
courts to appropriately sanction them as a lesson along the road to accepting greater personal
        The government’s response to the committee report was tabled in parliament in August. Within
this bill it is claimed that the policy principle central to the government’s response is a commitment to the
development of a place based management approach, with a primary focus on community safety. The
government announced the piloting of drink-safe precincts, DSPs, in key late-night entertainment areas
across the state to deliver practical solutions to reduce alcohol related violence. The explanatory notes
indicate that increased police presence, more support services provided by community groups, better
4138                                  Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                     23 Nov 2010

public transport information and special safe zones will be features of the new DSPs. However, I can
see nowhere within the bill what is meant by ‘better public transport information’. There is certainly no
detail within this bill or the explanatory notes as to what this information will be or how it will be made
available to the public. I hope the minister takes that on board and explains that in his response. Also,
what form will special safe zones take? Again, there is no detail within the bill or the explanatory notes
as to their make-up or how they will be policed or protected from drunks. Who will provide the security
measures around these zones? Will this responsibility be given also to our overworked police force?
        I understand that drink-safe precincts will be piloted in three locations from next month. Those
locations are Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville. The pilot will be for two years, with
Cabinet Budget Review Committee approval of $4.267 million in funding for the first year of the pilot. I
certainly do not believe that the community would think there is a need for this pilot to run for two years.
Surely a one-year trial would provide sufficient data to allow law enforcement exports and other
stakeholders to assess the worth of the government’s DSPs initiative. It seems to me that the
government is stalling the introduction of this initiative on a state-wide basis probably as a result of its
inability to properly fund this initiative across the state on an ongoing basis. But before the trial has even
begun, the government through this bill is floating the idea of an alternative to legislation. Its flip-flop
considers that an alternative could be not to prescribe DSPs in legislation but rather declare them
administratively. Then the government backflips again contending—
... given the high level of commitment required from stakeholders as part of DSP committees and financial support by the state
government to policing and non-government organisation activities within pilot DSPs, it is important that DSPs be as clearly
defined as possible. Prescribing them in a regulation provides for a clear and publicly available demarcation of DSP boundaries.
In addition, the prescribing of DSPs is necessary in order to allow for the application of civil banning orders under the Liquor Act ...
Further, a civil banning order represents a significant infringement on the freedom of an individual adult to do certain things. This
infringement is justified on the need to protect the public and ensure their safety. However, such orders should be confined to
areas identified as requiring them, that is the DSPs.

       There we go again. As with any bill this current Labor government brings to this House which
pretends to talk tough on social misfits, it has included within it an escape clause. If it is serious enough
to apply a civil banning order within a drink-safe precinct, let us bring the precinct in line across the
state—and do it now. It is clear that this issue of alcohol fuelled violence is an issue for all but particularly
for young people in Queensland. We are told that, during the consultation on the committee’s report, an
online survey received approximately 16,000 responses from community members, with a particularly
high response from young Queenslanders. The committee report went on to state—
While alcoholism or alcohol dependence is often cited as the most serious alcohol problem, in Australia it is excessive single
occasion drinking that produces far greater and wider-reaching impacts on the health, safety and wellbeing of individuals and

      Within that statement alone, there is a very clear message for the younger members of our
community: do not think that it is okay to go out occasionally and write yourself off on drink. It is bad for
your health, it is bad for your friends and your family, and it could even cost you your life. There are
elements of this bill that will over time be put to the test. I sincerely hope that the initiatives being put
forward result in a safer community for us all.
      Ms GRACE (Brisbane Central—ALP) (3.19 pm): I rise to support the Liquor and Other Legislation
Amendment Bill. The electorate of Brisbane Central has many licensees in it, particularly in one of the
dedicated drink-safe precincts—that being Fortitude Valley—and it is fantastic to see some real action
and work towards harm minimisation when it comes to alcohol induced violence.
       I pay tribute to the work of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee—in particular the chair,
Barbara Stone, the member for Springwood, who I believe did an excellent job. The parliamentary
inquiry made a number of recommendations which have now been picked up by the government. The
committee did a very thorough job in visiting many of these precincts. I think they got some fantastic
information when they visited the Fortitude Valley precinct.
      I heard the member for Mermaid Beach talk about there not being enough consultation. I do not
know what happened in his electorate, but I can tell members that in my electorate there was ample
consultation by the committee. I do not believe that licensees in the Fortitude Valley area can complain
about not having their concerns or issues raised, understood and fully evaluated. I believe that they
thought they got a very good hearing. They certainly were very eager participants in the process that
was undertaken.
       I welcome the central policy principle of the government’s response—that is, the commitment to a
place based management approach. Since being elected I have witnessed in the Valley in particular and
also in the CBD, which are in my electorate, numbers of people equal to those at any sporting event in
the Valley entertainment precinct on a Friday and Saturday night. When I go to a sporting event I see the
management that takes place in controlling those crowds. It is great to see that we have now picked up
that basic principle that these are huge numbers and we need to manage them. I believe that a place
based management approach is the best way to go forward.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4139

      These precincts are going to be known as drink-safe precincts. They will be piloted in the Valley,
in Townsville and on the Gold Coast. It will be fantastic when they are set up and running effectively. The
committees have been meeting. I believe that we will see a great change in those areas.
       The government is committed to ensuring community safety while still allowing people to enjoy
alcohol responsibly and to retain a vibrant night-life in Queensland. In a state as large and diverse as
Queensland, one size does not fit all. Responses to alcohol related harm and the potential for harm
must be scalable and appropriate within a risk based regulatory framework. That is what this bill will
      The central policy principle of the government’s response to the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee’s final report into alcohol related violence is a commitment to the development of a place
based management approach with a primary focus on community safety. That is definitely the way to
go. A place based management approach ensures practical solutions to local problems. I know that the
committee is vehemently working towards solving those problems.
        As part of this place based management approach, the government will pilot drink-safe precincts
in key late-night entertainment areas across the state where issues such as crowding, queuing, traffic
and inadequate amenities, such as poor lighting, impact upon safety. In this regard, the bill allows for the
pilot drink-safe precincts to be prescribed in a regulation. I think that is most appropriate.
       Drink-safe precincts have a community safety objective. That will become their main purpose. To
this end, the bill provides for a drink-safe precinct to be prescribed for the purposes of minimising harm
and the potential for harm from alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence and minimising
alcohol related disturbances or public disorder in a locality. Drink-safe precincts will be managed similar
to a major sporting event, with coordinated use of police and other state and local government
resources. That is such a welcome change that this bill is providing. I put on the record how much I
appreciate the goodwill and cooperation of the Brisbane City Council in coming together with the state
government to look at these problems and try to find solutions. I think together we can do a great job.
      I will put in a pitch. We need to get the federal government involved. I think it has a role to play. If
there is some money available in relation to harm minimisation from alcohol related violence or
education programs, we should use these drink-safe precincts as a catalyst to trial any projects that the
federal government would like to put funds into.
      Increased police response, more support services provided by community groups, better public
transport information and special safe zones will be features of the new drink-safe precincts. I have
been to the meetings held so far, and these issues are very high on the agenda. Other local issues such
as crowding, queuing, traffic and toilet amenities will also be addressed by drink-safe precinct
committees in the pilot areas. I can assure the House that those issues are currently being developed
and discussed. There are some quite good ideas coming forward to be implemented in a very short
        The drink-safe precincts will be piloted in Fortitude Valley, which is in my electorate, Surfers
Paradise and Townsville for two years from December. The government has committed some good
funding to this for the first year. I wholeheartedly welcome the $4.267 million that has been allocated
towards ensuring that this pilot is a success. Some of this funding will go towards providing 24 additional
police for Fortitude Valley. Can I say how welcome they are by the local licensees and the community in
general. There will be 20 additional police for Surfers Paradise and 12 additional police for Townsville
during the pilots. Additional police numbers are a welcome feature of this pilot project. Everyone has
recognised the fantastic job the police do. I have witnessed firsthand what they do in the Valley mall and
around the Valley precinct. They do an outstanding job. I know that they can do with extra bodies. This
pilot is delivering those extra bodies.
      An additional Public Safety Response Team will also be available. It will comprise two teams of
four police officers. That is eight in total. They will be provided in Fortitude Valley and Surfers Paradise
during the pilots. They are fantastic numbers. The other side of the House has nothing to whinge about.
These greater numbers are much needed in these precincts.
       Drink-safe precinct committees have been established in each of the pilot areas to draw together
the combined resources of state and local government agencies and industry and community
organisations. I thank the organisations that have taken part in these committees. When I have walked
into these committee meetings the room has been full. Everyone is very keen to get on with the job. I
thank in particular Danny Blair from the Valley Liquor Accord and Louis Bickle and Carol Gordon from
the Valley Chamber of Commerce. We have had representatives from the taxi council, security
providers, the union movement—the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union—a number
of government and local government departments and committees present at these meetings. They are
working together for the first time to deliver a great outcome for those who enjoy these precincts,
particularly on a Friday and Saturday night.
4140                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

     Each committee has met three times since they were established in mid-September 2010. Each
committee has made substantial progress in developing drink-safe precinct management plans with
common visions established for improving patron behaviour, community amenity and community safety.
       A number of localised initiatives have been developed to reduce alcohol related violence in these
communities. For example, initiatives being progressed in the Fortitude Valley drink-safe precinct
include installing TV screens outside the Fortitude Valley train station to show real-time information for
commuters wanting to use NightLink train services and setting up a public transport hub in the Valley
closer to the mall and in a much better location to provide information on all available transport options
including taxis, NightLink buses and NightLink trains. It is fantastic the way they have come together and
already provided a great solution to all of those public transport and available transport options.
        It is intended that drink-safe precinct committees will continue with the implementation and
monitoring of initiatives during the two-year drink-safe precinct pilots and I welcome the committee
being chaired so far by the Deputy Premier, who, I have to admit, has done an outstanding job in pulling
all of these ideas together and keeping the committee on track. Paul Lucas has done a great job and
everyone who attends those meetings welcomes the excellent way in which he is chairing them. It is
intended that the drink-safe precinct pilots will inform the development of any future regulatory
framework. Therefore, we have that option of saying what has worked and what has not worked and
what can be done in the future. That is a fantastic outcome and one I very much welcome. In this regard
existing trading hours and lockout times will remain to provide certainty to licensees—and I support
that—and to patrons and give the new approach a chance to work. If the pilots are successful, there is
the potential to implement them in other areas throughout Queensland as required. I know that
everyone involved in this process is certainly keen to ensure that it is successful and that these
precincts deliver what they are set up to deliver. Everyone is charged with going forward and wanting to
find the best solutions.
       In closing, I also welcome the new powers to ban people from specific areas. This was a power
that was called for by licensees in the Fortitude Valley area. If Louis Bickle mentioned it to me a hundred
times, he would have mentioned it to me a thousand times. I am sure that the minister would agree that
this was one thing that licensees were very keen on. They seem to be able to identify those
troublemakers and they wanted to ensure that the police had the powers to ban these troublemakers
who have been clearly identified from the precincts so that those elements are removed and we can
stop some very unsavoury behaviour from continuing. That is a great step in the right direction. I once
again thank the committee for its work and thank the minister and his department for their work. I believe
that any area can work extremely well if it is well managed. This bill is about bringing together all of the
groups that can well manage these precincts. I support the bill wholeheartedly and commend the bill to
the House.
       Ms STONE (Springwood—ALP) (3.32 pm): As chair of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee
inquiry into alcohol related violence, it gives me great pleasure to rise to speak on the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill before the House today. If someone had suggested that I would be
nightclubing in my middle age some years ago, I would have thought that they were quite mad. But for
nine months that is exactly what the committee has been doing. We have been nightclubing and
witnessing firsthand the incidents—the good and the bad incidents—of our nightclub precincts, and I am
very thankful for that experience.
       Mr Lawlor: Did you dance?
       Ms STONE: I try not to dance when I am working.
       Mr Lawlor: I think that’s very considerate.
       Ms STONE: At other times in the Valley I cannot say I have refused to dance.
       Ms Grace: And we didn’t drink either, did we?
       Ms STONE: No, none of us had a drink either. I am certainly thankful for that experience because
some of the results contained in this legislation are definitely going to make a huge difference to the
safety of patrons in our late-night trading venues and without that experience we would not have these
solutions being put forward. I want to thank the committee members and research staff for their hard
work and inform the House about some of the activities undertaken. We generally would start at 11 pm
at the precincts and go through until about 3 am. We visited pubs and clubs. We had police briefings.
       Mr Watt: Highlight of my career.
      Ms STONE: Yes, highlight of the career of all of us I think. We had many police briefings and
venue tours, Liquor Licensing meetings and tours of venues with Liquor Licensing officers. We met with
emergency services personnel. We had meetings and tours with owners and managers of clubs and
pubs. We met with liquor industry action groups and many more people involved in the liquor industry.
Generally between the hours of 2 am to 3 am we would turn up at emergency departments and speak
with Queensland Health staff and hear about what they had to deal with—not just the consequences of
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                 4141

the injuries of the victims but also violence from patients towards them and towards other hospital staff,
and we heard the same story from ambulance officers. The actual violence is not just contained to the
vicinity of the club or the pub, nor is it contained just to those drinking alcohol; it flows over to other areas
such as our emergency personnel and hospital staff. We had many witnesses appear at public hearings
and the committee received 160 submissions. Today I have a lot of people to thank and today many
people are going to be really pleased to see some of their solutions come into place.
       This bill will not be the answer to alcohol related violence but it is a start to minimising the risk. I
also think it is fitting we are debating this bill this week, with schoolies activities occurring in Surfers
Paradise, which is only a short drive on the M1 from Brisbane, and other areas in the state where school
leavers are celebrating. But it is not just school leavers or young people that alcohol related violence
affects. In fact, this week the Gabba will host the first of the Ashes tests. For those of us who are cricket
fans, we will remember the memories of David Hookes representing our country in the sport of cricket
and we also remember the tragic alcohol related incident that resulted in his death. If we only focus on
young people and the places they attend for entertainment we will be making a huge mistake because,
like domestic violence, this type of violence knows no boundaries.
       Drink-safe precincts as established under this bill will go a long way to addressing public safety. In
its report the committee said that, with a view to enhancing the safety of patrons and minimising
violence, the committee supports a process of declaration of precincts for late-night venues. These
precincts would be developed by local authorities in conjunction with the state government, the industry,
OLGR, the Queensland Police Service and other relevant stakeholders and must develop a
management plan which outlines how support services, transport, security and other public amenities
will be provided. The advantage is that these areas can be better controlled, managed and policed and
be safe for large numbers of patrons.
        I am aware that planning for these precincts has been taking place in Surfers Paradise,
Townsville and Fortitude Valley—the trial areas—and I have heard from people on the ground in these
areas that planning is coming along very well and they are extremely happy with this part of the trial. I
have had venue owners call me to thank the committee for the work that we did, as they believe these
trials will be successful and eventually will flow throughout the industry in many regions and throughout
the state. I am told that venues in other regions are already asking how they can become a drink-safe
precinct. It is important to note that this concept of a drink-safe precinct need not only apply to those
areas with a group of venues but in fact could easily apply to a single venue with late-night trading
hours. I ask the minister for this to be considered during the trial perhaps in 12 months time when some
feedback and evaluation has been done on the trial and a stand-alone venue could be included as part
of the final 12 months of the trial.
       In Logan not all patrons who attend a late-night venue want to travel into the Valley or to the Gold
Coast. In Logan West we have the Greenbank RSL which is well patronised, especially late on a Friday
night and early Saturday morning, and it could easily apply a management plan for its drink-safe
precinct. In my own electorate Fitzy’s Loganholme, Gilhooleys in the Hyperdome piazza area and the
Springwood Hotel are all places that are well patronised in the late hours of trading, and they too could
easily apply for a drink-safe precinct if necessary. Other venues such as the Alexandra Hills Hotel, the
Normanby Hotel and other numerous venues throughout the state could easily start up a management
plan working alongside major stakeholders to minimise the risk of alcohol related violence, and it should
not only be the precincts of group venues that are considered for these precincts.
       I am extremely happy with the government’s response to extending the extended trading hours
application moratorium as it applies to persons or licensees outside the prescribed extended trading
hour precincts until December 2013. As a member of parliament I am inundated with objections when
local pubs within residential areas apply for extended late-night trading hours. In the community there is
a distinct expectation of the local suburban pub, which offers a good-value meal and the opportunity to
play the pokies or have a bet on the TAB in the sports bar. There is a clear expectation that those types
of venues will be closed at an earlier hour than those outside residential areas, which are usually
located in business and service areas or located in high tourist destinations which supply late-night
      I do have to say that I was a little disappointed that the trial had a 5 am close and not a 4 am close
as I believe the hour difference would make a huge difference to the changeover from the night
economy to the day economy. The committee heard firsthand that the mix of intoxicated patrons on train
services with early morning workers, or in the case of the Valley the stall operators setting up for
markets having to deal with intoxicated patrons, or in tourist areas tourists going for walks along
beaches or leaving early for tours added to the complex nature of this problem and can sometimes
increase the risk of violence between those groups.
        I also think the one-hour time difference would make a world of difference to the councils that are
left with a huge mess to clean up after many patrons have been into places such as Fortitude Valley for
late night/early morning alcohol consumption and to have a good time. Often it is the pizza boxes and
the other fast-food wrappers that are left lying around that create such a mess for the daytime economy
4142                                  Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                   23 Nov 2010

to have to deal with. So this one hour would make a difference. If I am correct, I think the trial will bring
this issue to the forefront. But if I am not correct, it means that we are successful in providing better
safety for patrons right up to 5 am, and that is not a bad thing either. So whatever the outcome, the trial
will certainly be the way to sort out the issue.
      It has been suggested by the liquor and gaming industry that the issue of late-night licences in
residential areas particularly is more about gaming than drinking, and the committee made comments
on gaming in its report. I want to take this opportunity to welcome the Brisbane Lions social club to
Logan. This club will be located in my electorate on the border of Rochedale South and Springwood.
The Brisbane Lions had to fight the attitude of the Logan City Council towards pokie gambling along with
a range of other challenges. I particularly thank the former CEO, Michael Bowers, for his commitment to
ensuring that the Brisbane Lions worked with the local community through schools. Some of the
students at John Paul College received hospitality training in the corporate boxes at the Gabba and I
enjoyed the time I spent with the students showing me the skills that they were obtaining. Michael
Bowers also made sure that a range of sports clubs in the area were assisted. He was extremely
supportive of the Springwood Suns Cricket Club and assisted them with a number of matters.
       I hope the Brisbane Lions’ relationship with sports clubs in the area continues. I especially thank
Michael Bowers for working with and supporting the Logan East Community Neighbourhood
Association. This organisation receives very little government funding, yet no doubt will pick up the
pieces for those locals who have a gambling problem. That association is located near the venue and it
is therefore expected that it will be stretched to provide its services. Michael Bowers was working with
and supporting the wonderful work of the volunteers and staff at that centre. I hope that relationship will
continue, even though Michael Bowers has moved on to another area and he is not with the Brisbane
Lions anymore.
        My only disappointment is that the concerns about the number of pokies in the community were
not listened to. I support the Lions coming to Springwood and I have never wavered from this support.
But I do not support the huge flashing lights advertising 200 pokies on their iconic building—not once,
but twice. Although I believe in individual responsibility when it comes to pokies and alcohol, I do not
support having that pushed in the faces of members of a community who made it clear that there were
concerns about a small number of people who are addicted to pokie gambling. I ask the minister to at
some stage consider having an advertising ban on pokies. I believe the community knows very well that
the only place you can go to play the pokies is a club or a pub and that there really is no need to have
this advertising in your face. I hope the minister will take this matter on board and consider it at some
time during the rest of this term.
       I now want to talk about my favourite subject, which is bottle shops and takeaway outlets. I have
had a lot to say about this matter. I am very pleased to say that the bill restricts the availability of the sale
and supply of liquor by limiting trading hours for new bottle shops and other takeaway outlets. On 19
March of this year—the day after the committee tabled its report—I noticed a media article from Michael
Livingston of Eastern Health’s Turning Point Alcohol and Drug Centre. That article stated that the growth
of bottle shops in the suburbs of Australia is resulting in an increase in violence according to research
undertaken by the alcohol and drug centre. The article stated further—
... younger people ‘loading up’ with cheaper alcohol bought from a local outlet before heading out drunk for the night was another
situation that could lead to violence.

‘You sell more booze, you get more violence, it could be as simple as that,’ he said.
His research showed there was mounting evidence that the growth of bottle shops and violence were strongly linked.
He said policies focusing on freeing up the alcohol market had been carried out with little consideration for public health.

Mr Livingston, in an address to a public forum in Melbourne on alcohol and violence, said he was surprised by his findings.
‘Packaged outlets are probably no worse than pubs, but they are worse than I expected them to be.’
      In the article Mr Livingston stated further that he believed that the Victorian government was
slowly stepping back from complete liberalisation and—
‘At the moment there is nothing much in place in managing the number of bottle shops—it’s an area that’s been overlooked in the
inner-city late-night debate,’ he said.
‘It’s gone under the radar in policy terms.

Since 1987, the number of packaged-liquor outlets has almost doubled to just under 2000 in Victoria.
Woolworths and Coles dominate the bottle shop landscape.
Woolworths owns Dan Murphy’s, Woolworths Liquor and BWS, while Coles has Liquorland, Vintage Cellars and 1st Choice
23 Nov 2010                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                           4143

      I am not aware of how many bottle shops and takeaway outlets there are in Queensland, but I
know you have only to look around your own area to see the growth in the number of bottle shops and
takeaway liquor outlets. In Springwood alone there is a pub with a large liquor barn next door to a
shopping centre with a bottle shop, which is across the road from another shopping centre with bottle
shops, and next week we can add that across the road will be the Lions social club, which I assume will
have a takeaway liquor outlet. It goes on and on. I can say that parents stop me in the shopping centre
and speak to me about this issue when it comes to their children and how they choose what alcohol they
are buying to take away to events like schoolies or to take to parties. The pressure is really put on
parents—and they said that in the public hearings that we held—and they feel very pressured. The
parents are very well aware of the preloading situation that was raised with us on many occasions
during our inquiry and how that has affected the violence that is happening in our entertainment
        On 16 March an article in the Sunshine Coast Daily titled ‘Far too many bottleshops’ stated—
Reducing the number of outlets selling alcohol would have a far more significant impact on cutting our road toll than dropping the
limit to .02%.
In the past few years, the number of liquor outlets on the Coast—and many other regions across Queensland—has soared.

‘We should also be putting more emphasis on cutting back on the availability of our favourite drug.
‘There are too many outlets and the outlets have too liberal conditions.’
Given the government’s reliance on booze revenue, you have to wonder whether that’s likely. But it is certainly a debate that we
need to have at a national level.

       I totally agree that we need to have this debate. The committee heard constantly from all sectors
of the industry that the preloading of drinks was of particular concern and a contributing factor to alcohol
related violence, yet this issue would not be taken into consideration because of the flaws in our data
reporting. If members look at our data reporting on alcohol related violence and other incidents they
would notice that the data is only about ‘Where did you have your last drink?’ rather than having a whole
approach to the data. So while ever we do not have the full data we will never be able to tackle the
complexity of this problem.
       The issue of drugs was raised often with the committee from all sectors of the industry. In
particular, the Townsville hearing enlightened the committee very much when one of the nightclub
owners there told us that he ran a nightclub that was full of people taking drugs. In fact, he felt that
100 per cent of his patrons were on drugs and that the alcohol he served in his nightclub had nothing to
do with violence. I would like to say that the member for Chatsworth certainly questioned him very well. I
would like to know what the parents of those young adults who are frequenting this nightclub, which we
went to have a look at, felt about him talking about their children in that manner—that they were all on
drugs. These are patrons of his own club, I might add. I also have to say that one would have to wonder
what sort of patrons he is trying to attract by making such comments. When we had a look at all of the
premises, it was his premises that best portrayed what you should not have in a nightclub. It was dark
and dingy, next door to a strip club, and at a certain time he just opened it up. I am not too sure whether
he was proud of his statement of having a drug-filled nightclub and was hoping that it would attract more
people from that, as he called it, gentlemen’s bar, but I do wonder about that.
       Inspector Brian Connor was at that hearing in Townsville and he was able to tell us about all of the
police operations that had been undertaken. I want to thank him and his team up there, but I also want
to congratulate him as he has just been promoted to superintendent for the Cairns region. I know that
the Chief Superintendent up there, Paul Taylor, will welcome Brian. More importantly, the members who
represent the Townsville area have told me just how well Brian Connor has worked with them over the
years and how much they are really going to miss him as their police inspector, and we wish him well in
his career. There were not very many places that had nightclub owners like the one that Townsville had.
I have to say that the rest were very good and during the public hearings that we held they were quite
willing to help the committee and look for proper solutions to the problem and also to work with other
people in the community.
       Today we see in the paper that pub operators are saying that they should not have to provide
tempered glass to prevent glassings. Many of the clubs and pubs are already providing tempered glass
and many people have probably already drunk out of tempered glass and do not even know it. I know
the committee tried to really push this issue with the media, because most people thought that they
would be getting 20c plastic glasses from Woolworths. Unfortunately, the media did not really want to
take on this issue. I thank those who did. The reality is that they are not 20c plastic glasses from
Woolies. The next time people have a drink at a place they should ask what they are drinking out of and
I think they would be quite surprised to know. The clubs and pubs talk to their patrons and I have had
parents stop me at sporting events in particular to talk to me about this issue. They are worried that
4144                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                    23 Nov 2010

when their children grow up and go out nightclubbing they could get glassed and could get injured.
Parents do not mind having these glasses replaced by tempered glass or some other form of plastic.
They know that in the future it will keep their kids safe.
      There are many issues that I could speak about on this bill. The banning powers would have to be
one of the most important issues. Every nightclub owner and manager was very keen to see this
happen. They felt that if the consequence was that a person could not go and drink with their mates on
a Friday night in a particular area that would be a very good punishment. They thought that this could
stop someone from doing something stupid and make them think a bit harder.
       I thank everyone who assisted the committee but most of all the police. Night after night, hour
after hour, it did not matter what size or rank they were, they were treated with absolute disgust. They
were treated so badly. They were spat on, punched and sworn at constantly. Even the committee was
recognised and sworn at—in Townsville in particular. Our police officers go out there and do a really
hard job. To see this firsthand is quite embarrassing and shameful. I think if many people knew that their
young adult kids were out there treating the police like this they would be ashamed. We should thank
the police, because I do not know if I would turn up the next day to a job where I have been treated in
that manner.
        I also thank our emergency personnel—our ambos and our firies—who are even copping this
now, and our Queensland Health staff. We tend to forget that the staff of these nightclubs and pubs who
witness this violence are just as much victims as those involved in the violence. Not only do we have to
keep our public safe; we have to remember to keep the staff safe. I thank the minister for bringing this
bill before the House.
       Mr WENDT (Ipswich West—ALP) (3.51 pm): As everyone knows, this government is committed
to improving the transparency and efficiency of the decision-making process for liquor licence
applications, specifically those that have a significant community impact. As such, the government
supports the recommendations of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee in its report into alcohol
related violence which surmises that there should be greater emphasis on community consultation in
the liquor licensing application process. As a result of this, members heard that the government intends
to create a new Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission by renaming and expanding the role of the
independent Queensland Gaming Commission. This is due to the fact that the government considers
the Queensland Gaming Commission has done an effective job in ensuring community opinions and
community impacts are taken into consideration when previously granting gaming machine licences and
ensuring an appropriate balance in the provision of gambling services.
        In view of this, the new Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission is proposed to be
established through this bill and will be given the power to make key liquor licensing decisions of
significant community impact, including decisions on new hotel licences, community club licences,
nightclubs and extended liquor trading hours. Other decisions of a significant community impact which it
is proposed the new commission be given the power to decide include the imposition of a condition on a
licence, a variation to a licence, or a cancellation, suspension or variation of a licence as disciplinary
action, amongst other matters, for the nominated licence types.
        In view of this announcement, the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has already
undertaken some significant work to integrate liquor and gaming licensing processes in order to help
eliminate duplication and further reduce the regulatory burden on industry. As such, it is considered that
the creation of the Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission will build on this work. It is also
anticipated that having the new commission consider liquor and gambling licence applications of
significant community impact together may overall streamline the time taken to consider some
applications. This is supportive of the government’s broader regulatory simplification objective to give
time and money back to businesses and the community to invest in pursuits that promote productivity,
foster innovation and increase competitiveness.
      This bill proposes to amend the purposes and underlying principle provisions of the Liquor Act to
provide a main purpose that the liquor industry, and areas in the vicinity of licensed premises, is
regulated in a way to minimise harm and the potential for harm from alcohol abuse and misuse and
associated violence, adverse impacts on the safety or health of members of the public and adverse
impacts on the amenity of the community. This is intended to strengthen the ability of the new
commission in assessing the merits of a liquor application to afford significant weight to these matters in
making a decision.
        The bill also provides the commission with the power to delegate its powers to the chief
executive. For example, the commission may wish to delegate temporary, one-off applications to extend
a licensed area, increase trading hours or vary the conditions of a licence to allow amplified music for a
special event or function, for example on Australia Day or New Year’s Eve. It is considered that the
ability to delegate some of its powers will allow the commission to focus on higher risk applications and
ensure efficient decision making. As such, it is intended that the commission will specify minor decisions
to be delegated to the chief executive in an instrument of delegation made by the commission.
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        To ensure commission decisions take into account the concerns of the whole community, the bill
also provides an amendment to the Liquor Act that allows the minister responsible for the regulation of
liquor to make a direct objection to an application of significant community impact. The commission
must have regard to any ministerial objection when it considers that application. The minister will also be
permitted to request that the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal review a decision of the
commission if the minister has made an objection to the application in question. As such, I support the
bill before the House.
         Dr DOUGLAS (Gaven—LNP) (3.55 pm): We are currently swimming upstream against a wall of
water flowing against us here in Australia, as alcohol excess and the consequence of its misuse make
ordinary Australian life a bit more miserable. The evidence for this lies in two recent major statements.
Initially, Odyssey House has publicly stated that now 40 per cent of all presentations and treatments are
for alcoholism and, secondly, alcohol both as a percentage and in total cost of sales has increased year
on year since 2006. That was an eight per cent increase last year on a total sales volume amount of
$16.3 billion, beer having gone down to $7.9 billion but wine going up considerably. I table the
Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 15 November 2008, from the Daily Telegraph, titled ‘From beer to eternity’ [3586].
        Odyssey House figures show a 30 per cent increase in alcohol related admissions in 2008-09
and, similarly, 30 per cent on the previous year as well. Generally it is accepted that in times of stress
and difficulties in the financial circumstances of society both alcohol and cigarette sales increase. What
has happened on this occasion is that Australians have taken more alcohol, less cigarettes and
gambled far more. It is uncertain whether overall drug taking rose, but anecdotal evidence suggests that
it did.
       What is known is that we are seeing the consequences of cheap alcohol in our detox and
rehabilitation services. This has occurred at a time when governments have cut back on detox services
widely throughout Australia. What is not being stated is that, whilst amphetamine and heroin addiction
presentations at these sites are down between five and seven per cent across Australia, presentations
to accident and emergency centres in our hospitals have seen a 100 per cent increase in the last 12
months, with Indigenous areas being three to four times the non-Indigenous percentage of
presentations. There were 70,000 Australians who were victims of alcohol related violence last year. I
table that document as well.
Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 22 November 2010, titled ‘Demand up for alcohol rehab’ [3587].
       That is effectively in this current year. We have one of the highest rates of alcohol abuse in the
world. In their lifetime, 22 per cent of all Australians will have an alcohol use disorder. That is reported in
Australian Doctor, and I table that document as well.
Tabled paper: Copy of article, dated 13 August 2010, from Australian Doctor titled ‘One in five abuses alcohol’ [3588].
        This is a serious matter that the public are demanding answers for from their representatives.
They want solutions, too. Societies, communities and families are all really struggling. This is an
intergenerational problem that is compounding with each following generation. This bill is the Bligh
Labor government’s first steps in what it believes should flow from the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee’s findings and its recommendations. Only a few have been followed. Like others, I will look at
those and discuss those not included and question the priorities. I will address the 18-plus cards and the
Bail Act changes separately. The primary changes to the Liquor Act are overwhelmingly where the
critical changes are to be made.
        There is no magical way to save the community from themselves, because we have both the
great privilege of democracy and the ability to have free choice. Throughout history, every plan
implemented that embraced near-total temperance or gross excess failed. The USA had prohibition in
the late twenties and thirties of the 20th century. That was utterly a failure. In the early 1800s Australia
had the Rum Corps, which severely hampered our national progress. Absolutism never works. The way
forward in the day-to-day management of responsible alcohol consumption must be practical and
reflective of the times.
       What we do know in Australia is that teenage binge drinking has massively increased. Alcohol is
directly proportionate to violence and social problems. Alcohol is a significant contributor to road trauma,
hospital admissions and death. Too many of these are young people and, increasingly, too much of our
chronic disease burden is alcohol induced. An article in the Australian states—
A recent study commissioned by the AERF found the cost of alcohol’s harm to others—
in Australia—
totalled more than $20 billion annually.
Ross Fitzgerald, writing in the Australian on the 20th of this month, stated—
Alcoholism and drug addiction among the young is much more prevalent than most people in Australia realise.
4146                                Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                    23 Nov 2010

      Therefore, our current efforts in alcohol management must be focused on youth, absolute
amounts consumed, availability and venue management. They should all be responsible for their own
actions, but legislative changes must be driven by outcome rather than process. As much as possible it
must be cost neutral, with a heavy emphasis on user pays, or nothing we do will change current trends.
       Just as in any other area of life, market forces will and must be allowed to apply their own control
mechanisms. Alcohol is now too cheap in Australia. Our excise, GST and tax control mechanisms have
been defeated by the combined effects of mass marketing in our shopping centres by our two major
supermarkets, which are not only vertically integrated in sales and distribution but increasingly in
production, too. The great fear is that if Fosters divests the massive Southcorp Mildara Blass
conglomerate the potential buyers may be our major supermarket retailers—either one or both. The
current best evidence about the effect change can have directly is that a one Euro increase in price
leads to a one to two per cent reduction in overall consumption. That is the most recent finding in
Europe. That is nothing like this ridiculous alcopop tax proposed by Kevin Rudd in the federal sphere
three years ago. That did nothing other than drive young people back to greater consumption of hard
liquor and less soft drink. This was a dreadful outcome that has not been reversed, with vodka and
bourbon sales increasing by 10 per cent annually since that decision.
       So what has been offered by virtue of legislation? Three new designated precincts in Flinders
Street in Townsville, Fortitude Valley in Brisbane and Surfers Paradise. The specific changes have been
listed as drink-safe precincts from December 2010 for a two-year trial. Existing trading hours and
lockouts will remain. New laws will allow for the banning of specific individuals from the new precincts.
What is missing is the action taken by London Lord Mayor Boris Johnson and Clover Moore, Lord Mayor
of Sydney. They have temporarily suspended the issuing of licences in specific areas where their
biggest problems are occurring, that being Soho and Kings Cross respectively. Unashamedly, they have
done so both in an environment of strong litigation by would-be entrants into already very heavily
provided for areas and, conversely, the massive increase in serious alcohol fuelled violence. In London,
it is knifings and murder; in Sydney, it is largely physical assault and a lifetime of tragedy. There is
incontrovertible evidence that for each hour that clubs and pubs stay open after midnight, the number of
assaults increases exponentially. Ross Fitzgerald in that article I quoted earlier states—
There is incontrovertible evidence that for each hour clubs and pubs stay open after midnight, the number of assaults increases

       Ross Fitzgerald is actually on the drugs reference committee in New South Wales. Additionally,
the increased number of outlets annually in specific areas is directly proportionate to increased levels of
violence, yet the government here with 10 million plus tourists annually—in a bad year, last year—on the
Gold Coast alone last year will not support a temporary moratorium on new licensees in these specific
areas. The bill proposes to increase compliance costs on existing owners, give greater powers to the
public to complain, a provision for motherhood—community impact statements—and renaming the
Queensland Gaming Commission as the Queensland Liquor and Gaming Commission. Tragically, the
government appears to have taken the weakest of nearly all options and divested responsibility—read
blame—to the rebranded proxy. This is a victory for process over outcome and the public will be the
ones who suffer the dreadful consequences of this decision.
      Actions speak louder than words. If the government were really serious here, it would have not
only copied what happens in Sydney and Melbourne but it would have gone further; it would also have
addressed the issue of opening hours.
        The New South Wales review of drugs and alcohol found—
... restrictions on the opening hours of licensed premises produce a corresponding decrease in injury and crime.

      Equally, we as a parliament have a responsibility to protect our young people to be allowed to
develop into mature adults and to be able to make choices. Sure, it has to be balanced against freedom
of assembly, but if the actions of alcohol and drug fuelled groups impede that group then there is no
freedom to choose.
       The Labor government, via this bill, thinks that banning specific individuals and implementing all
sorts of new penalties and Magistrates Court directions will deliver change. I accept change is
incremental, but most offenders do not bother turning up in court, and I accept that. The changes are far
too small, too far removed from the critical problem sites and far too heavy on all sorts of provisions to
provide procedural fairness, balance of probability defences and reasonable explanations and
provisions for what is a hard core of repeat, violent, serious offenders. One would hope that CCTV,
which was mentioned here today by the shadow minister, master listed ID scanning and control systems
and better security officer training can really do what the legislation will not do. It is hoped that the new
proof of age 18-plus card will link into these existing systems and help us rid ourselves of under-age
drinkers and reported known offenders, and give us an idea of what demographic is moving through our
pubs and clubs.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4147

      On the Gold Coast the LICA, which is the licensed clubs association—and the minister regularly
comes to the meetings—has for many years engaged in resolving problems at the coalface as a self-
regulatory organisation. Under the current president, Wayne Thompson, they have proactively
addressed nearly all of the problems confronting them well in advance of legislative change. I
congratulate them. We are very lucky to have such members.

      In my electorate of Gaven, the Nerang RSL goes one further and has funded many programs that
encourage alternative avenues for community participation in sport, study tours and research groups to
make our lives better. I say to the president, Terry McDonald, the manager, Andrew McInnes, and the
board that our community is very lucky that you care.
       I, too, would like to thank the Law, Justice and Safety Committee for its efforts. I think the
members of that committee did make an effort to find out what was going on. I do hope that they
carefully considered my submission, which also involved a detailed research paper into alcohol and
public disturbance on the Gold Coast undertaken by Dr Gillian McIlwain that was commissioned by
former Premier Beattie. I remain very concerned that too much of that detailed information has been
politely ignored or possibly even disregarded. If these critical parts of those major recommendations
were included, we would have seen changes to the allowed sites of licensed venues matched with
temporary caps, a fixed charge on alcohol that is directed totally to detox and rehabilitation facilities, and
a much greater emphasis on takeaway licensing and opening times thereof. The last one is casually
addressed in the legislation in a mishmash of assessments due to community concerns when the
evidence absolutely confirms that if takeaways cease before 9 pm on ordinary trading days, violent
crimes, social problems and domestic violence fall exponentially. I think 70,000 injured Australians is
70,000 too many.
       Whilst we in the opposition support these very minor changes to very major community problems
and we support the three outcomes of the Liquor Act—those being harm minimisation, adverse other
impacts minimisation and community adverse outcome minimisation—these legislative changes just do
not do enough to bring about significant change that is measurable. There seems to be far too short-
sighted an approach when the public was calling for substantive change. There is far too much
government emphasis on protecting state revenue over protecting Queenslanders. There is far too
much sidestepping so as to avoid the wrath of both our major supermarket retailers and liquor giants
over the legitimate freedoms of our young people, who are our future. The government could not have
done worse than copping what has happened in New Zealand, with its 126 changes implemented in
August of this year. This bill should have been a step into a brave new world when all that is being
offered is a window-dressing on existing failing policies. It is an opportunity wasted.
      Mrs STUCKEY (Currumbin—LNP) (4.09 pm): I rise to join the debate on the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2010, introduced on 28 October by the Minister for Tourism and Fair
Trading, the honourable member for Southport. The primary aim of the bill is to amend the Liquor Act
1992 to enable the government’s long awaited liquor reforms for Queensland by adopting a number of
recommendations from the inquiry into alcohol related violence by the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee in 2009. Specifically, amendments to the Liquor Act propose to create drink-safe precincts to
be known as DSPs, provide court based banning powers for DSPs and allow for standard conditions to
be prescribed for certain licence types, limit trading hours of new applications for bottle shops and other
takeaway liquor outlets, extend the moratorium on applications for extended trading hours outside the
prescribed extended trading hours precincts until December 2013, and prescribe the definition of
‘amenity’ to provide further clarity in decision making by the commission or chief executive. The bill will
also amend the Gaming Machine Act 1991, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, the Bail Act 1980
and the Adult Proof of Age Card Act 2008.
      As honourable members have heard from the shadow minister and honourable member for
Mermaid Beach, the LNP is supporting the government on this bill. However, as honourable members
have heard, we have considerable reservations as we believe it to be a minimalist response when one
considers the serious implications of binge drinking and similar activities. The opposition is also
concerned at the lack of education and funding this Bligh Labor government has directed to this ever-
growing problem permeating our society.
       The legislation has been introduced in response to the parliament’s request in 2009 for the Law,
Justice and Safety Committee to conduct an inquiry and report on alcohol related violence in
Queensland. Specifically, the committee was tasked to focus on community safety and preventive
measures to reduce levels of alcohol related violence, including its ramifications. Best practice harm
minimisation, the impact of late opening hours, education campaigns, and the flow-on issues affecting
emergency and health workers were some of the key areas to be examined during the inquiry. Over 155
submissions were received and consultation took place through the form of public hearings, a student
forum, a youth summit, a youth parliament and precinct inspections. Thankfully, someone had the sense
to realise that the allocated period for the inquiry needed to be extended beyond the unrealistic four-
month time frame initially given to the inquiry.
4148                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

        The committee’s final report was handed down on 18 March 2010. The government’s response,
dated 27 August 2010, was tabled on 30 August, albeit one month later than the required deadline. I
congratulate those involved in the creation of the report, as it was a cumbersome task and there was
very little data already available. However, it appears that the extra time did not transpire into any extra
substance, as what we have before us today, albeit with some good initiatives, is best described as a
lame attempt to resolve a sobering issue. Commentators labelled the government’s long awaited
response as follows: ‘underwhelming’ by the Gold Coast Bulletin, ‘weak’ by Gary Baildon, ‘disappointing’
by the Courier-Mail and ‘nothing more than a glossy brochure’ by the editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin.
        This Bligh Labor government has failed to implement any of the committee’s hard-hitting
recommendations, which could have made significant changes and discouraged the culture of alcohol
abuse and alcohol related violence. Opposition members on the Law, Justice and Safety Committee
commented in a statement of reservation that they ‘seriously question the integrity and robustness of the
government’s public policy making process when it appears to be based on ad hoc approaches rather
than on proper planning and evaluation of initiatives.’ They say that statements of the Premier before the
referral pre-empted the inquiry when she stated that her government would ban glass from problem and
high-risk venues. This placed the sincerity of the government’s attitude to this committee’s
recommendations under question.
        Given the shocking neglect this Labor government has shown over the past decade, allowing the
culture of binge drinking to escalate without adequate interventions and our licensed premises to
become avenues for uncontrolled violence, today my contribution will focus on the amendments relating
to liquor reform. There is no doubt that alcohol related violence has become an increasing problem in
our society in recent years. Data published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health
in June 2008 revealed an upward trend in alcohol related harm among young people aged 16 and
        A total of 68 recommendations were made by the committee in the final report released in March,
with the government providing a positive response to 58. However, the government made it clear that its
support of many of the recommendations was based on already existing policies and legislation, and
few changes would indeed be introduced. Those not supported by the government included
recommendation 5, which is the banning of advertising of bottle shop discounted liquor prices,
recommendations 20 and 22 calling for a reduction in licence fees as an incentive for implementing ID
scanners and CCTV at licensed venues, recommendations 23 to 25 mandating the phasing out of
regular glass, recommendations 43, 44 and 46 to wind back late-night trading hours and lockout times,
and recommendation 47 to undertake a police/ambulance unit trial in entertainment precinct areas with
a high concentration of licensed venues and at major events.
        The government’s support of place based management has seen the proposed creation of drink-
safe precincts to be trialled for two years in three locations, being Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and
Townsville, from December 2010. The cost to the Queensland taxpayer will be $4.267 million for the first
year, with $3.141 million going to the Police Service for overtime police resources and $1.126 million to
the Department of Communities to fund NGO operations. A share of the cost is expected to be
shouldered by the industry after December 2011.
        In light of this funding announcement, the Gold Coast Bulletin revealed that the new measures for
the DSPs are largely already implemented, especially in Surfers Paradise, such as the provision of
services from community groups in special safe zones—the Chill Out Zone has been operating in
Surfers for years—and better public transport information. Queensland Police Union President Ian
Leavers summed up the Bligh government’s plan for Surfers Paradise in the Gold Coast Bulletin on 30
August by saying, ‘Other than asking hotels to hand out free water, there is not one single new initiative
in the Premier’s announcement.’
        No-one will be fooled by the trickery of this government in announcing a boost to police resources
during peak times in the precincts, supposedly up 39 per cent. Instead of putting new police on the beat,
the numbers will be made up by existing officers doing overtime. While some officers will be keen to
earn extra dollars, and I think everyone in this House would agree that that is fair, this approach does
not address the issue of police numbers or the issue of police pay.
        Earlier in the year reports confirmed that Surfers Paradise was the worst place in Queensland a
police officer could be stationed. Only last week the assistant commissioner revealed that there is low
interest in policing jobs in Surfers when they are advertised, causing him to rotate first- or second-year
officers through the precinct. Violence and abuse dished out on Friday and Saturday nights in particular
is highly damaging and the accumulation of working under stressful conditions affects a number of our
overworked officers. Consequences can be measured in attrition rates, sick leave, stress leave and so
on. Representing an electorate such as Currumbin with a busy entertainment precinct, I am all too
aware of the tragedies caused by alcohol related violence.
        This legislation also provides for new powers to ban people from specified areas. It establishes a
civil banning order regime under the Liquor Act 1992 to ban an individual from entering or remaining in a
stated premises or stated classes of premises or from attending a stated event for up to 12 months for
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engaging in certain violent behaviour within a drink-safe precinct. Applying a civil ban to a person who
has not been charged with an offence does present issues concerning the rights and liberties of
individuals. It is important to note that licensees already have existing powers to ban a person within a
venue for a period when appropriate. Just how this new system will be enacted and enforced remains to
be seen. Perhaps the minister would be kind enough to elaborate on that point in his summation.
      According to the Queensland Hotels Association, the introduction of ID scanners has proven to
be an effective deterrent for inappropriate behaviour within licensed premises. Indeed, the Police Union,
the QHA and the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union all support the use of ID scanners in pubs
and clubs. The government has shown a reluctance to enforce ID scanners and CCTV as security
measures due to the implications this has for personal privacy and security of information. As such, it
has indicated it will not support the committee’s recommendation to reduce fees for licensees who install
ID scanner technology and CCTV cameras at their venues. The shadow minister gave a strong
argument in favour of supporting licensees to protect patrons with those security measures.
        Alarmingly, the November 2009 interim report by the committee stated, under the section headed
‘Lack of data’, that there is an ‘apparent lack of comprehensive, reliable data relating to alcohol related
violence, indicating that further research uniform collection of data may be required to fully assess the
prevalence and impact of, and possible solutions to, alcohol related violence’. This is an appalling
admission of successive state Labor governments to prioritise community safety and harm minimisation.
It is inexcusable considering this government has ruled for over a decade and undergone task forces,
talkfests, forums and all manner of other diversionary tactics which it has boasted about in the media yet
failed to collate vital statistics that could be used in a variety of ways.
       As a former nurse and being married to a GP, I am particularly concerned by the lack of data
collected in hospital emergency departments. Why is there no measure of the number of alcohol related
injuries or intoxicated persons presenting for medical treatment in public hospital ERs across
Queensland, taking up the beds of other seriously ill patients? Why has there been a reluctance by
Queensland Health to collect these figures? Surely they cannot all be doctor bashers, like so many
members in here.
      I note in the November 2009 report reference to the Drug and Alcohol Brief Intervention Team.
This is a pilot program conducted at the Cairns Base Hospital emergency department, collecting
information from individuals such as the last venue they attended, how much alcohol they had
consumed and so on. While reliance on self-reported data is not always the most favourable option, it is
a step towards some form of data collection.
        The rate of nurses and other health workers being assaulted is disgusting. Paul Williams in the
Courier-Mail on 5 October stated that ‘52 per cent of nurses ... report being physically assaulted by a
drunk while on the job’. In its submission to the committee, the LHMU stated the following statistics
following a survey of its members. Of the respondents that are ambulance workers, 94.37 per cent
reported being assaulted or verbally abused by an intoxicated person in the course of their work.
Additionally, 92.25 per cent noticed an increase in the intensity of alcohol related violence; 92.96 per
cent noticed an increase in the frequency of alcohol related violence; and 87.32 per cent reported
feeling unsafe as a result of intoxicated persons they have been required to treat or persons in the
vicinity of the area in which ambulance workers are providing emergency care.
       The issue of drink promotions was discussed this year at a Gold Coast LICA meeting. LICA has
been mentioned by the honourable member for Gaven and I think also by the shadow minister.
Licensees said that happy hours and all-you-can-drink-for-two-hours-for-$30 deals cannot make venues
a profit, which is not beneficial to anyone. They concurred that drink promotions are causing grief and
that no licensee should be inviting patrons to all-you-can-drink sessions.
       The rejection of recommendations on trading hours and lockout times certainly gives the
impression that the government has sided with those who stand to profit from no-one tinkering with their
trading hours and ability to supply alcohol. The Courier-Mail revealed that out of approximately 42,500
complaints and investigations into licensed venues in Queensland only 75 received disciplinary action,
suggesting the state Labor government is not doing its job.
       What has our society come to when governments are having to legislate to remove drinking
glasses from a venue to stop patrons using them as assault weapons? For a state government to be
forced into this position, an alarmingly high number of such incidents must occur, which has
unfortunately been the case in Queensland.
      Calls for tougher sentences have surfaced again in the last month. In sentencing a perpetrator of
a Gold Coast glassing attack, even the judge voiced his frustration with Labor’s weak sentencing
mandate. Southport District Court judge Clive Wall QC said that, while the maximum sentence for
unlawful wounding was seven years imprisonment, the average glassing sentence upheld by the Court
of Appeal ranged from only 18 months to two years, which is not a strong enough deterrent.
4150                                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                             23 Nov 2010

      The Gold Coast faces a real problem with a high level of glassing attacks. In a statement to
parliament on 4 August 2009, the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading revealed that in the previous 12
months 36 out of the 47 recorded glassing attacks were committed on the Gold Coast. A recent poll
published in the Gold Coast Bulletin revealed that 95 per cent of respondents thought jail should be
mandatory for glassing offences.
      Tougher sentences for glassing attacks were in fact one of the recommendations made by the
committee in its final report. Yet, while offering ‘support in principle’, the government ruled out
implementing any changes based on existing provisions within the Criminal Code and the Penalties and
Sentences Act 1992 and their application by the courts, advising that no amendment is required. This
contradicts the sentiment of the statement by Judge Wall, who said—
If I had my way, the sentences which would be imposed on offenders would be heavier than the Court of Appeal appears to
mandate. However, I am bound by what the Court of Appeal says, whether I agree with them or not.
       That is a frightening admission. Who are these laws really designed for? I will be interested to see
what the newly formed Sentencing Advisory Council will have to say on this pressing matter.
       The most important change the Police Union pushed for with these recommendations was
winding back closure times of hotels and clubs and differentiation between licences for nightclubs/
cabarets and general permit hotels. As it stands there is no differentiation, which means that the same
trading hours apply and patrons are not dispersed throughout the night by different closing times. The
union said—
There is a need to distribute hours so that patrons leave in an orderly fashion throughout the night as opposed to all leaving at
3 am.
       Currently, all patrons from multiple venues leave at 3 am—thousands of patrons spilling onto the
streets, filled up to the brim with alcohol and other party drugs, causing risk to safety of community and
police. They said—
It is a lot easier for police to deal with patrons if they are distributed over the night.
       Police want hours wound back to cease trading at midnight at large general permit hotels. The
Coolangatta Hotel can have a patronage of almost 2,000 patrons. It caters for 1,148 upstairs and 700
downstairs. All of these people disperse at 3 am. Police do not want more extended-trading permits.
Their argument is that extended trading means an increase in sales of alcohol for the benefit of
licensees. The police want closures brought back to the time that their permit states—which, as they
say, is midnight for general permit hotels.
       Nothing in this legislation provides any direct or indirect benefit to improve the situation in my
electorate of Currumbin, which sits on the New South Wales border. The culture of binge drinking in
Australia has reached an unprecedented level. Coolangatta is an established entertainment and tourism
precinct within my electorate that unfortunately cops its fair share of alcohol fuelled violence. The
government’s failure to implement the recommendations of the committee will be to the detriment of
police and the community of Coolangatta and the surrounding area. In the words of the Gold Coast
Police Union Secretary Bill Kaz, this legislation is ‘as weak as water’ and will do nothing to see the
situation improve.
       Before I close, I would like to congratulate Senior Constable Tony Unicomb, who was awarded
the stature of Adopt-a-Cop for the Year on the Gold Coast. Tony is an invaluable member of our police
beat at Elanora and has been working very successfully with youth in our primary and senior schools.
       As has been stated by the shadow minister, the LNP supports this legislation but we would like to
see it contain more of the recommendations from the Law, Justice and Safety Committee.
       Mr FOLEY (Maryborough—Ind) (4.28 pm): I rise to participate in the debate on the Liquor and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. I think one of the great responsibilities of a democratic
parliament is to provide advice and debate on legislation which affects the lives of ordinary, everyday
       On 4 August 2009 this parliament requested that the Law, Justice and Safety Committee conduct
an inquiry into alcohol related violence in Queensland which, as anyone who has children or anyone, for
that matter, who reads a newspaper will know, is a massive problem. One of the big issues is the focus
on community safety and preventative measures that might reduce incidents of alcohol related violence.
The final report of the parliamentary inquiry, which was tabled on 18 March 2010, came up with 68
recommendations to reduce the incidence and impacts, both social and economic, of alcohol related
violence in Queensland.
       It strikes me that when we discuss alcohol abuse and the resultant violence and other social
issues, we should look at the root cause of the problem—that is, why alcohol abuse exists in the first
place. Sadly, I believe that in Australia, especially amongst some very irresponsible parents, there is a
certain glorification of alcohol abuse. Some people think it is manly or tough to go out and get plastered
on the weekend and put everyone at risk with very dangerous driving behaviour, fights and things that
cause people a lifetime of misery. What we need in this exercise is a change in culture, not just a
change in legislation.
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       I am not going to be cynical about this bill. Some may say that this is only tinkering around the
edges—I think that is true—whilst the underlying cultural problems are not addressed. That is a very
long term change that is required. In the interim we have to manage the problem before we can sort out
the root causes of the problem.
       For healthy men and women, drinking no more than two standard drinks on any day can reduce
harm from alcohol related disease or injury over their life. I am absolutely appalled at the levels of binge
drinking that I see. We are not just talking about drinking among the schoolies from different states; it is
the case for the overall preponderance of kids. If a parent is on Facebook and watching their kids’
friends and reading some of the comments, they will see many young people boasting openly about the
amount of alcohol they drink. I am talking about 14-year-olds.
      Obviously there are massive health risks associated with drinking such as liver damage, brain
damage, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, road trauma, violence, falls and accidental death.
That is only a short summary. Clearly, binge drinking is an out-of-control problem that we face in
       Today in our parliament we celebrate White Ribbon Day. One of the focuses of that is domestic
violence and other forms of violence that women in our society face. I would proffer to this parliament
that a tremendous amount of that violence is fuelled by alcohol and substance abuse. People drink too
much, get out of control and the norms that govern their thinking go out the window. People get
obnoxious and stupid. Ask any taxidriver what it is like to have a taxi full of drunks and they will tell you.
        I turn to under-age drinking—and that is not necessarily the gambit of this bill; I will return to the
bill. Some 9.8 per cent of females aged 14 to 19 consume alcohol in a manner that is classified as risky.
Six per cent of women aged 14 to 19 consume alcohol at a level classified as high risk. Some 14.4 per
cent in the 20-29 age bracket consume alcohol at a risky level. Some 3.5 per cent of women in
Queensland aged 20 to 29 drink at what is called a high-risk level. I am absolutely appalled when I see
delightful young ladies going out and putting themselves at risk by getting drunk. That together with
predatory males is a terrible combination.
       During the 2004-05 financial year Australians under 30 years of age engaged in 13,808 treatment
episodes for alcohol use disorders. Compared to men with alcohol addictions, females with alcohol
addictions have a higher death rate, a higher suicide rate, more alcohol related incidents, suffer more
severe brain damage as a result of alcohol abuse, have greater circulatory deficits and are more likely to
develop cirrhosis of the liver.
       We have a very compelling picture of the potential health disadvantages to both men and women
in Queensland of alcohol abuse. I am not a wowser. I do not have any problem at all with people having
a few drinks when they are out or at home, but I have an issue with the constant abuse of alcohol and
the pressure that puts on our emergency services workers and the subsequent road deaths and fights
and bashings in the streets. Anyone who has ever been down to the Valley on a Friday night—and that
is an area I would stay away from—knows the truth of that.
        This morning I, along with the member for Gladstone, had the privilege of attending a briefing on
this bill. One of things that I do like about this bill is that the new trading hours for takeaway liquor are
pretty much across-the-board 10 in the morning until 10 at night unless people apply for either an early-
morning extension to nine from 10—which may be the case in a shopping centre or something like
that—or a late-night extension from 10 to midnight. Those extensions have to be applied for separately
and reasons of justification given. Any steps that any government takes towards placing tighter
regulations on the abuse of alcohol and its subsequent social nightmares are good steps. I want to
remain positive about that.
       The bill sets out to provide a number of drink-safe precincts. The pilots of those are in Townsville,
Fortitude Valley and Surfers Paradise. I would certainly urge the minister to include in that areas like
Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast which has serious problems in terms of alcohol related violence.
       This bill also makes changes to the Bail Act and bail provisions. That is a pretty substantial area.
The bill provides for new powers to ban people from specified areas. I raised the question this morning
in the briefing: how does this differ from what is happening in a number of places? Maryborough and
Hervey Bay already have a number of very switched on and responsible publicans who have banded
together to form a voluntary liquor accord. Put simply, people who play up will be banned from all of the
venues that participate in that accord. The police that I speak to say that that is having a very good effect
in our area.
       This bill establishes a civil banning order regime as opposed to a criminal one under the Liquor
Act which enables the court to issue a banning order upon adults who engage in prescribed behaviour
within a drink-safe precinct and where the order is necessary to ensure the safety, welfare and good
order of licensed premises and their surrounding areas within a drink-safe precinct. That may be up to
12 months in duration.
4152                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                       23 Nov 2010

       In the briefing this morning the minister’s staff advised us about this. I guess I drew the analogy of
a DVO here. To have a DVO taken out against you is not an offence but to breach it is a criminal offence.
In the same way, if an order is breached then a person can face six months in jail or be fined 40 penalty
       One of the issues here is that for far too long people have been able to get away with this. Under-
age drinkers have been able to turn up with fake IDs. All of these regulations that seek to provide an
overlay of safety that seek to say to people who want to abuse the system, in good English vernacular,
‘You’re nicked, buddy,’ are good. We have to do that more and more. We have to say to people who
want to play up and have scant regard for the rules that their deleterious behaviour will not be put up
         One of the things I alluded to before is the culture. I will never forget as long as I live—this is one
of those moments as a father that almost becomes nightmarish—when my eldest daughter, who is now
married and lives in England, went to a year 10 party. She was telling me after the event—she came
home rather shaken up—that a 14-year-old boy got as drunk as a lord and fell into a bonfire. They had a
party at a rural property and this boy was drunk and stumbled and fell into the fire and was disfigured for
life. I remember being so angry thinking, ‘What on earth are parents doing giving kids at 14 alcohol to
get themselves plastered?’ I know 20-year-olds who do not have the maturity to cope with getting drunk,
let alone 14-year-olds. When we see kids starting so young thinking it is a cool thing to get plastered,
that is the start of the very problems we are seeing played out in the nightclubs and pubs around
Queensland and the bashings and the violence and everything else that goes along with it. That starts
with this culture that it is cool to drink and not to worry about the particular consequences of it.
       I would ask the minister to clarify—I did not get a chance to ask this this morning in the briefing—
damage to property. Is that, for instance, breaking windows? Is it graffiti? I ask the minister to enlarge on
some of those things and, more importantly, the things that would be regarded as trivial enough not to
be included.
      Why do some individuals become violent offenders after consuming alcohol? What are the
medical or psychological factors that come into play? And we have all heard people say that many
people who drink rum get violent and so forth as opposed to other spirits. But addressing these
questions and teaching young people as they grow up to use alcohol reasonably would help prevent a
whole tsunami of alcohol related violence that we have seen at a grassroots level in Australia.
       As I said before, the proportion of people drinking at risky or high-risk levels has actually
increased from 8.2 per cent in 1995 to 13.4 per cent in 2004-05, and that is sourced from an Australian
Bureau of Statistics Alcohol Consumption in Australia report. The Law, Justice and Safety Committee of
this parliament has observed a growing culture of drinking to harmful levels without any pride or self-
respect, and we need to ask ourselves the question: how can we imbue in our teenagers a much more
healthy level of self-respect that says, ‘I am not going to put myself in a situation where I can be bashed
or in any other way abused just because someone else thinks it’s cool, funny or an impressive idea.’?
       One of the things that we need to look at is the whole entry point. If we ban people and they are
banned for one night, what is to stop them coming back? They will not be wearing a T-shirt saying, ‘I’ve
been banned from the pub’. As I said before, venues obviously get very frustrated at kids fronting up
with fake IDs, and successive governments right across Australia have been taking that on as a very
serious issue and problem, even though that is not specifically the thrust of this bill. The problem, of
course, needs to be addressed very sternly and I believe that this bill goes some way towards picking up
some of the areas that have not been touched on previously.
        As I said, I would like to see more of those drink-safe precincts, especially for the Sunshine
Coast. Any members from the Sunshine Coast area know full well the terrible reputation the Mooloolaba
district has of alcohol and violence. The interests of the community and industry have been taken into
consideration in this bill and I look for a time when Queenslanders can keep enjoying a night out and the
liquor and hospitality industry can keep employing people and creating their turnover. Only a minority of
publicans these days have scant disregard for the safety of their customers and their clientele. More and
more people are saying that this really is a problem and the whole regime of responsible service of
alcohol, probity checks with ID and so forth has really come a long way.
       This is very much a philosophical statement—and philosophy is an almost impossible thing to
legislate—but I would encourage the minister to keep going down the road he is taking and to ensure
that things are looked at properly and things are put in place. Years and years ago at schoolies it was a
free-for-all—people just turned up—and now they are pretty much locked up in an area. All of those
things are responses to abuses that were being carried out. I feel sorry for police and emergency
services personnel in that in some respects we are always playing catch-up to try to legislate and put
new things in place to stop some of these tragic incidents occurring. But any step in this direction from
my perspective is a good thing.
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       One area that I quickly want to touch on in closing is the real problem with Indigenous young
people and substance abuse and drinking. If we think that there is a culture that says it is cool amongst
mainstream young people to get plastered and play up and get injured, it is really a very serious problem
amongst our Indigenous people. We need to put as much as we can into education and family support
in order to try to break that cultural stranglehold that deems it appropriate to abuse alcohol and go on a
rampage. Having said that, I commend the bill to the House. The minister has done a good job of that
and I encourage him to continue to do more.
       Mrs CUNNINGHAM (Gladstone—Ind) (4.46 pm): I rise to speak to the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 and in so doing thank the minister for the briefing this morning. There
are a number of issues addressed in this bill, most of which have been touched on by previous
speakers. In particular, there is a change to the main purpose of the act to state—
The main purposes of this Act are—

(a)    to regulate the liquor industry, and areas in the vicinity of licensed premises, in a way compatible with—
       (i)     minimising harm, and the potential for harm, from alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence;

       (ii)    minimising adverse effects on the health or safety of members of the public; and
       (iii)   minimising adverse effects on the amenity of the community ...
        They are laudable aims, but I would have to say that they are aims that have been the goal of
legislation in relation to liquor management—liquor licensing—for many years and we still do not seem
to be able to get a handle on this misuse. That is not a criticism of the current minister but rather an
observation of ministers of both sides and all of us, I guess, in this parliament.
        The bill also deals with drink-safe precincts, and a previous speaker talked about problems with
people going out to nightclubs et cetera and, because of the price of alcohol, preloading before they go
out. I have an issue that I am going to raise in this debate that is precisely related to the matters covered
by this legislation that rang in my mind and was reinforced in my mind during the briefing today—that is,
there has been a huge amount of effort by this minister and previous ministers, by departmental officers
and by the liquor and alcohol industry in relation to responsible service of alcohol. However, many of the
problems that we appear to be endeavouring to address in this and previous legislation are symptomatic
of the irresponsible service of alcohol.
        If somebody is preloading, when they front up to a premises that sells alcohol and they are not in
a fit state to consume more, it was always my understanding that that was part of the code that is
enshrined for the responsible service of alcohol. We have staff at licensed premises who have to go
through training, and it always struck me as very welcome that staff who were dealing with somebody
who had probably consumed enough could point to the very visible signs in all licensed premises that
state that it is illegal for them to serve alcohol and that there are significant fines for the server of alcohol
and the licensed premises owner or operator. Although the person who wants the drink may become a
bit toey when they do not get what they want, there is certainly plenty of defence for those people
operating licensed premises to not give them alcohol.
        So many of the issues that we are again addressing in this legislation go back to that fundamental
principle of the responsible service of alcohol not being adhered to. I would be interested in the
minister’s response, because that appears to me to be one of the core issues. I certainly am not
pretending that I have all the answers, but it just appears to be a difficulty that we need to address.
Rather than putting in a lot of other requirements or options—all very good in themselves—
fundamentally it comes back to the irresponsible service of alcohol.
        There is a trial of three drink-safe precincts. The purpose of this part of the legislation that
prescribes drink-safe precincts is to minimise harm and the potential for harm from alcohol abuse and
misuse and associated violence and to minimise alcohol related disturbances of public disorder in a
locality. Again, the issue stems from the irresponsible service of alcohol, where people who should not
be receiving more drinks are receiving more drinks. I note that there are three trial areas—Fortitude
Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville—and I wish those precincts every success. If these drink-safe
precincts are successful they should be applied across-the-board. But, again, it is the responsibility of
not only the consumers of the alcohol because, sadly, by the time they are asking for drinks when they
should not be they are past the point of acknowledging that they should not be, and it has always been
incumbent on a third party to point out to them that they probably need to have a lie down.
        The bill also deals with banning orders and some sentencing options in relation to bail conditions.
I welcome those provisions, because I think they will drive home to those people who are before a court,
whether there is a conviction recorded or not, that there are people who want to safeguard their
wellbeing and that the conditions placed in that order, although punitive, are intended to be curative as
much as punitive. I note that the order itself is not an offence but breaching the order is. Again, there has
to be teeth to make those kinds of processes effective.
4154                                   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                       23 Nov 2010

        The issue of operating hours for bottle shops has already been touched on in relation to the
standard hours being from 10 am to 10 pm. This legislation recognises that detached bottle shops in
shopping centres are the ones that are most likely to apply for a 9 am opening time, just so that they are
consistent with the opening times of the other shops in the shopping centre—but those applicants will
still have to demonstrate the community need—and those applicants for an extension of trading hours
from 10 pm to midnight are most likely, as we found in the briefing, to be attached to hotels, particularly
in inner-city areas.
      Excessive drinking and the behaviours that attach to excessive drinking are a problem in most
places. I would like to place on record the concerns of a relatively large group of people in my electorate
about breaches of the Liquor Act and their quiet enjoyment of both their homes and their businesses. I
would like to read out a letter that I received from Peter Peterson. I thank the minister as I am having a
meeting with him in relation to this matter tomorrow, when I will give more information. Peter’s letter
Over the past 18 months we have been in constant contact with Liquor Licensing, local police and the local council regarding the
deteriorating state of the Gladstone CBD at night. At the centre of this problem is the operation of the nightclubs.

We have only a couple—we do not have a lot—but it is those nightclubs that he is concerned about. His
letter continues—
Over this period of time we have made several attempts to have all key stakeholders involved in a face-to-face meeting to discuss
the problems but to date this has not eventuated. In summary, our meetings and discussions with the local police have focused on
an increased police presence and the introduction of on-the-spot fines for offences.

      I note that during the last sitting week we introduced on-the-spot fines for behaviours that are
unacceptable to the community. Hopefully with police intervention the incidence of those offences will
reduce. The letter states further—
The police also requested that we start a local residents petition, obtain written feedback from locals and tenants, improve security
lighting at our establishments and establish a signal system on our premises which would make police aware of trespass on to our
property. We were also encouraged to continue with our surveillance and video recording.

      Peter runs a motel that is situated geographically between the two nightclubs. I think rather
onerous requirements are being placed on these people to try to get some measure of acceptability in
the behaviours of not all but some patrons who are covered by the Liquor Act. The letter states further—
In relation to Liquor Licensing, our discussions have focused on a tightening up of responsible service of alcohol and a noise
reduction program. We also discussed a reduction in trading hours through the removal of 5 am trading, a relocation of smoking
decks outside the clubs and removal of alcohol from these smoking decks to keep patrons inside. Liquor Licensing will also
attempt to increase the number of taxis in the local area to assist with dispersal of patrons at closing time.

In his letter Peter goes on to talk about the letters that they have written to the council and then states—
The message I have been trying to get across to everybody is that the deteriorating CBD situation is simply trying to be managed.
It is a reactive attempt to control the situation. I continually ask the question: at what point does responsibility for the situation pass
to the nightclub operators? Alcohol is the major issue and this is not just isolated to Gladstone. It is in the papers and on the news
every day. The video footage that I have taken clearly shows that alcohol is at the centre of this problem. Patrons in these
nightclubs are simply being served far too much alcohol.
I also believe there is some short-sightedness in what is about to happen. The pending rapid expansion of Gladstone is going to
mean many more young people moving to Gladstone for work. They are also going to want to be entertained. We understand that
nightclubs are a part of social behaviour but they are not an excuse for antisocial behaviour. This includes fighting in the streets,
urinating and defecating in our streets, vomiting, loud and abusive language, damage to properties and vehicles, disrespect for
police and consumption of alcohol in our streets, just to name a few. These offences, which are not limited to Gladstone, are all
clearly outlined in the CMC review of policing public order, May 2008. In addition to what is going on in our CBD, it is also a poor
reflection on our town.
At this point in time and after months of emails, meetings and discussions we have made little progress. My request to meet with
the council was so that I could get the message across to the extent of the problem and to simply seek support when discussing
the problem with the police and Liquor Licensing. It was also an opportunity for me to put forward some short-term solutions and
some longer-term proposals. This was to include a review of nightclub trading hours pending an improvement in the CBD
situation, a review of trading days pending an improvement in the CBD situation, a requirement that nightclubs comply with all
noise limiting requirements immediately, a requirement that nightclubs operate with sufficient air conditioning to ensure that the
premises can be operated with doors and windows closed to confine noise levels and removal of speaker systems from smoking
decks, a requirement that smoking decks be allocated for smoking only, not the consumption of alcohol, the possible introduction
of police foot patrols on the nights that clubs operate with wages for these police paid by nightclub operators under police special

       He goes on to talk about a requirement that nightclub operators pay for wages associated with
council street clean-ups on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, introduction of specially convened
local resident feedback meetings, introduction of CCTV cameras that also record sound, and possible
location of such cameras along Yarroon Street and Goondoon Street and the introduction of speed
reducing systems in Goondoon Street. Can I say that I have met with Peter and he is not an
unreasonable person. He is a man who is extremely frustrated, as are many of the people who live in
that area—
        Mr Lawlor: As are many people.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                               4155

       Mrs CUNNINGHAM: That is right—in relation to noise, in relation to language, in relation to
behaviours. I am sure none of us want to get up and have to wash our cars because someone has
decided to toilet near them. Peter has the video surveillance that shows that it stems from
overindulgence in relation to drinking and what appears to me to be—and perhaps I am being
simplistic—irresponsible service of alcohol. I know that this minister and previous ministers have worked
very hard to try to impress on hotel and licence owners that responsible service of alcohol is part of their
charter and part of their obligation. That appears to be where much of the process is falling down.
       I wish the minister well in the application of these changes and I look forward to talking to him
more specifically about the Gladstone situation. As Peter so aptly put it in his letter, this problem is not
isolated to Gladstone; it is a problem in all areas, three of which have been recognised in this legislation
as safe drinking precincts. I also agree with Peter that we do have to give some attention to the
Gladstone situation with the number of workers that are predicted to come to Gladstone. I know some of
the companies have a nice, tidy package on the way the workers are going to behave, but it will not
happen like that. Aussie blokes are very inventive when it comes to getting a drink, so I think there is
going to have to be more attention given to the implementation of safe drinking of alcohol, alcohol
service, the time for that service and the appropriate behaviours that are associated with young men
and women and older men and women going out and having a good time together, having a social time
together, without causing harm.
        Mr WATT (Everton—ALP) (5.02 pm): One of the undesirable parts of life in Queensland before
the Fitzgerald inquiry was the corrupt and secretive nature of the liquor industry in our state.
Queensland was the laughing-stock of Australia for many reasons, including its lack of culture and the
impossibility of getting a drink at night. Fortunately, this primitive lifestyle is a thing of the past. In the
aftermath of the Fitzgerald inquiry, the Goss Labor government and council administrations such as that
led by Jim Soorley in Brisbane brought in a number of reforms to free up Queensland’s liquor regime
and modernise Queensland in a number of other ways. These changes have brought many benefits to
Queensland: a better entertainment scene, a more vibrant cultural life, not to mention the economic
benefits and jobs created in our entertainment industry. However, these changes have also had some
negative consequences. All of us have been alarmed by the increasing reports of glassings and the
horrific injuries that have resulted from alcohol related violence. The Bligh government has already
taken strong action against this behaviour, including a crackdown on early openings and on the use of
glass in high-risk venues. However, the problem remains and this led to the government tasking the
Law, Justice and Safety Committee with examining measures to reduce alcohol related violence.
       I am a member of that committee and am pleased to speak on this bill, which implements a
number of the committee’s recommendations. In doing so, this bill brings in a number of important
reforms to Queensland’s liquor licensing regime designed to improve the safety of patrons of pubs and
clubs. The major aspect of the bill I want to speak on is trading hours for pubs and clubs. This issue has
prompted a lot of debate in the electorate of Everton, along with many other parts of the state. Poor
planning decisions in days gone by have resulted in pubs being located too close to homes, schools and
other businesses. One downside of this is the impact that some pub patrons have when heading home
from a big night at the pub.
      I have spoken in the House about this issue before and I have pointed out that I am no wowser. I
enjoy a night out, although they are pretty few and far between these days. However, I feel for the mums
who I have met with who cannot get their kids to sleep till an hour after pub closing time because of the
noise and misbehaviour of patrons on their way home. This issue reached a flashpoint about 18 months
ago when a number of Queensland pubs, including the Albany Creek Tavern and the Brook Hotel at
Mitchelton, attempted to extend their trading hours to 5 am. I ran a community campaign against this
proposal and over 1,500 local residents signed petitions to stop the extension of trading hours. I was
pleased that this, and similar efforts by other government MPs, led to the government freezing trading
hours for 12 months until the end of the committee’s inquiry.
      I am even more pleased that, as a result of this bill, trading hours at the Albany Creek Tavern and
the Brook Hotel will be frozen for another three years. This move will give locals some peace while the
government’s other measures to reduce alcohol related violence are given some time to work. Some of
those measures are also put in place by this bill. They include the creation of special drink-safe
precincts in Fortitude Valley, Gold Coast and Townsville, with increased police numbers during peak
times and safe zones for those needing a place to clear their heads; banning violent drunks from drink-
safe precincts; and requiring pubs and clubs to offer free drinking water to patrons.
       I have mentioned to the minister that I would have preferred to see a reduction in the maximum
trading hours for pubs and clubs close to homes. I am, however, willing to give the government’s other
measures a chance to work to see if they do reduce the alcohol related violence they are intended to
combat. But if there is no reduction in that violence, I do believe the government will need to consider
reducing trading hours, at least in suburban areas. I will also continue to oppose any attempt by the
Albany Creek Tavern and the Brook Hotel to extend their trading hours.
4156                               Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                 23 Nov 2010

        I thank my fellow members and staff of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee for participating in
what was an arduous inquiry. I also want to thank all of those involved in keeping our drinking scene
safe. I again congratulate the 1,500 local residents who signed my petitions against extended trading
hours. This bill responds to your concerns. It shows that sometimes people power works. I commend
the bill to the House.
        Mr KILBURN (Chatsworth—ALP) (5.06 pm): I rise to contribute to the debate on the Liquor and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. I was very privileged to be part of the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee, the committee that produced the report that has provided the impetus for this bill before the
House today. I commend the work that was done by all members of the committee and the bipartisan
way in which that work was carried out. I also commend the chair, Barbara Stone, for her chairing of the
       As part of the committee’s inquiry, committee members travelled throughout the state. We visited
entertainment precincts and hospitals and spoke with emergency services workers, hospital workers
and community workers. I echo the sentiments of the chair, Barbara Stone. I think that to a person all of
us were impressed by the great work that was done by members of the Queensland Police Service. We
saw what they have to put up with day in, day out, particularly in Townsville. It was quite a difficult night
for the police on that night. It might have just been the night we were there, but it highlighted to us that
police do have a difficult job and I commend them for doing the work that they do.
       I also commend the government and particularly the minister for fair trading for working to
implement many of the recommendations of the committee. I also thank the minister and his department
for the briefings that he has held to clarify issues with us and to speak with members of the committee
about the recommendations in the bill that is before us today.
        It was interesting as we travelled around the state that on the whole most owners and managers
of licensed premises that we visited were actually committed to doing the right thing. I also commend
the different liquor industry action groups that we spoke to around the state for the innovative and
constructive way that they collaborated to try to improve safety around the premises. In fact, a number
of the recommendations in the report come directly from actions that were already being implemented
by the local liquor industry action groups. There really was a commitment on the part of those groups to
try to improve safety around their licensed premises.
       Throughout the process we saw a range of government and non-government organisations
working together to make our entertainment precincts fun and safe places to be. However, as we can
see from the bill before the House today, there is always room for improvement and opportunities for the
government to legislate to ensure there is consistency and fairness across-the-board. Governments
cannot and should not legislate to control all behaviour. We must continue to emphasise the fact that
what is really needed is for all patrons of licensed premises, whomever they may be and wherever they
are, to take responsibility for their own behaviour and to understand the devastating effect that alcohol
fuelled violence has on our community.
        This bill introduces drink-safe precincts in Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville for a
period of two years from December 2010. These precincts will be managed similarly to the way that we
currently manage major sporting events, with coordinated responses from police and other state and
local government resources. The Queensland government has committed funding of $4.267 million for
the first year. This bill allows for those drink-safe precincts to be prescribed in a regulation.
       One of the things that came through clearly to members of the committee as we spoke to people
was that the definition of ‘amenity’ in the old bill was simply not satisfactory. It was very limited in scope
and made it very difficult for the liquor licensing officers to take into account community concern. I am
very pleased to see that the recommendation of the committee was taken up and that we have a much
better definition of ‘amenity’ in the bill. The new definition states—
amenity, of a community or locality, means—
(a)    the atmosphere, ambience, character and pleasantness of the community or locality; and
(b)    the comfort or enjoyment derived from the community or locality by persons who live in, work in or visit the community or
       The committee heard that it was difficult for Liquor Licensing staff to respond to community
concerns due to the previous narrow definition. This change will give local communities more power to
have action taken against licensed premises that do not take satisfactory steps to limit their impact on
the local community.
      The other important change in this bill is the ability to ban offenders from licensed premises. By
and large, when we were out and about we saw that a vast majority of the people who go out each night
go out to have fun, enjoy a social drink and enjoy themselves and have a good time with their friends.
However, there is a small number of people who will continuously cause trouble. The ability to remove
these people will have two effects. The first is to act as a deterrent. We saw that quite clearly in
Rockhampton, where they have a ‘ban from one, ban from all’ policy. It was mentioned to us that, once
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                               4157

people became aware of that policy, quite often a person’s mates would calm them down and say,
‘Listen, you don’t want to be banned from everywhere. Take it easy.’ So there is evidence that that does
work. The second effect of this part of the policy is that those people who just do not get the message
and do not understand that their behaviour is not acceptable will be able to be removed from the
premises, removed from the area, to ensure the safety of all the other people using the entertainment
      The committee made a total of 68 recommendations. I am pleased that the government has taken
up a number of these recommendations in this bill. I hope that some of the other recommendations that
may not be directly quoted in this bill will actually be acted upon by the different departments that are
mentioned in the report and that they will become part of their policies. Those who have read the report
would know that they are departments such as QR, Child Safety, Transport, Queensland Health and the
Department of Community Safety. This is an issue of great importance to the community and it is
incumbent upon all levels of government to work together to reduce the damage done by alcohol in our
       I would like to pass on my thanks to the parliamentary staff who worked on the Law, Justice and
Safety Committee, particularly Steve Finnimore and Amanda Honeyman, for the work they did in
producing the report into alcohol fuelled violence. The staff were required to travel around the state and
work throughout the night in often quite trying circumstances to ensure that we were all able to witness
firsthand the problems caused by excessive alcohol consumption and its absolute link to violence in our
community. I would also like to acknowledge the bipartisan way in which all members of the committee
worked together in the best interests of the Queensland community. I commend the bill to the House.
       Ms JOHNSTONE (Townsville—ALP) (5.14 pm): Australians are proud of and renowned for our
laid-back attitudes and our distinct way of ‘she’ll be right, mate’. For some time there has been an
alarming and growing impact on our communities, families and individuals from the overuse and abuse
of alcohol. We cannot continue to say, ‘She’ll be right,’ in relation to alcohol abuse any longer.
      The growing body of evidence from across Australia shows that all state governments are
grappling with the impacts of alcohol right across our communities. Whether it is trying to mitigate
against the impact of alcohol fuelled violence in our clubs and pubs or understanding how to treat and
care for those poor souls who are in the grip of chronic alcoholism, all governments should be
concerned about this problem.
      I am committed to improving community safety in Townsville. I want people who want to drink to
enjoy alcohol responsibly and I want to retain the vibrant night-life in Townsville and across Queensland.
One size does not fit all, and responses to alcohol related harm and the potential for harm must be
scalable and appropriate within a risk based regulatory framework.
       The central policy principle of the government’s response to the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee’s final report into alcohol related violence is a commitment to the development of a place
based management approach with a primary focus on community safety. A place based management
approach ensures practical solutions for local problems. For the past 18 months, I have been working
hard to develop such a place based solution for another alcohol related problem in Townsville, that of
chronic alcoholism in our public places. I am pleased to report that this effort is starting to have a
positive impact on those people whose lives have been destroyed by years and years of serious alcohol
and substance abuse in Townsville. Not only have their lives been destroyed; the impact from antisocial
and sometimes illegal behaviour from those people on visitors and inner-city residents has been huge. I
have given a commitment to the inner-city residents of Townsville that the focus has now shifted
squarely away from supporting alcoholics who want to live in our public places to doing everything we
can to get people out of this degrading and unsafe lifestyle.
       It is also important for all Queenslanders to know that antisocial and illegal behaviour is not to be
excused just because the offender is intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol. We must be
committed to getting to the cause of offending behaviour. If people cannot handle drink then they must
either abstain or take steps to get the help they need, or I believe that we should enforce treatment on
people who cannot make good decisions for themselves due to alcohol addictions.
      This bill before us provides a drink-safe precinct to be prescribed for the purpose of minimising
harm and the potential for harm from alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence and minimising
alcohol related disturbances or public disorder in a locality. Townsville will be one of the three pilot drink-
safe precincts across the state set to commence from 1 December and be in place for two years.
       A drink-safe precinct committee has been established for each precinct to develop and implement
a management plan. The Townsville drink-safe precinct committee consists of local, state and federal
government agencies including the Queensland Police Service, Transport and Main Roads, officers of
Liquor and Gaming Regulation, the Department of Communities, the Australian Defence Force’s military
police, Townsville City Council, industry groups including the chamber of commerce and the Late Night
Traders, Sunbus, the Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union, taxis and security as well as
community groups such as the combined churches. The inaugural meeting of the committee was held
4158                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

on 10 September 2010, and it has been meeting regularly since that time to develop a management
plan with strategies specifically tailored to the local conditions in Townsville and to finalise the
boundaries of the drink-safe precinct.
        The Townsville drink-safe precinct covers a wide area of the central business district and
adjoining commercial, recreational and residential areas. The precinct has several distinct areas of
activity including Flinders Street East as the main entertainment or nightclub hub as well as Palmer
Street, which is principally a restaurant area interspersed with numerous high-rise residential units. In
addition to these, there are peripheral entertainment venues located to the western end of Flinders
Street and in the east to The Strand. Based on three key objectives of safety, amenity and improved
behaviour, the committee established some priority action areas. These are: managing the physical
environment, security measures, crowd control and queuing issues, public transport, crime prevention,
enforcement measures, support services, public services and local communication campaigns.
       Elements of the Townsville drink-safe precinct pilot, including the increased policing measures,
will commence on 3 December. Community group support services are set to commence on 10
December. It is my intention to be actively involved in assessing the impact of the Townsville drink-safe
precinct and on Friday, 17 December I will be doing a night shift with the Queensland Police Service in
the Townsville nightclub precinct. An element of the Townsville drink-safe committee management plan
is to place an emphasis on patrons’ personal responsibility. This emphasis will be supported by
legislative amendments in the bill that provide new powers for patrons to be banned from premises and
their vicinities as a result of alcohol related violence.
        New civil banning orders to be introduced in this bill are to ensure that people who perpetrate or
threaten to perpetrate violence in drink-safe precincts can be banned from licensed premises and their
vicinities within drink-safe precincts. A civil banning order will be made by a magistrate on application by
the chief executive under the Liquor Act or a police officer. The magistrate may issue a civil banning
order on a person if the person committed an act of violence to person or property that would cause
other persons to reasonably fear harm or damage to property; and the person had no reasonable
excuse for committing the act; and the person’s act of violence occurred in a licensed premises, or in an
area of the vicinity of a licensed premises, within a drink-safe precinct; and unless the order is made, the
person would pose an unacceptable risk to the good order of licensed premises and areas in the vicinity
of licensed premises within a drink-safe precinct, or an unacceptable risk to the safety and welfare of
persons attending licensed premises and areas in the vicinity of licensed premises within a drink-safe
precinct. If issued with a civil banning order a person will be prohibited from doing or attempting to do
any of the following: entering or remaining in stated licensed premises or a stated class of licensed
premises located within a precinct; entering or remaining, during stated hours, in a stated area
surrounding a stated licensed premises located within a drink-safe precinct; and attending or remaining
at a stated event, to be held at a public place in a drink-safe precinct, at which liquor will be sold for
       In addition to the civil banning orders in drink-safe precincts, the bill also provides for a new
sentencing option under the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992, allowing a person, upon being
convicted of an offence, to be banned from inside or the area in the vicinity of stated licensed venues
across the state, whether in a drink-safe precinct or not; and amendments to the Bail Act 1980 to specify
that a special condition to a grant of bail can include a banning order condition that prevents a person
entering stated licensed venues or their vicinity and to place a mandatory requirement on the bail
granting authority to consider including a banning condition in certain circumstances. Such special
conditions will not be implemented in relation to drink-safe precincts. The new banning orders will have
a positive impact on venue operators in drink-safe precincts and elsewhere. They allow for violent
persons to be prohibited from licensed premises and the areas surrounding them, with the intention of
increasing community safety and encouraging responsible Queenslanders and visitors to enter those
premises and areas without fear of violence.
       I believe that for all illegal and antisocial behaviour there should be a consequence and that
consequence should go to the heart of the cause of the offending behaviour. As such, I support these
banning orders. Similarly, I would support tougher consequences for alcohol related offending across
our communities. If illegal behaviour is caused by chronic alcoholism, for example, then any punishment
should go to treating the alcoholism, whether the offender wants the treatment or not. Previous liquor
reforms in 2008 provided for liquor accords to be recognised in the Liquor Act. Townsville has such a
liquor accord. It has been in place for five years and meets on a monthly basis.
       I close by saying that, as a community, we cannot hide away any longer from the cost of alcohol
to our communities. I direct members to the Of Substance magazine, volume 8 No. 3 of 2010, which is
the most recent one to come into my electorate office, and to look at some of the statistics that are
presented there. It is estimated that annually the estimated cost to communities from alcohol misuse is
$36 billion. Jurisdictions all around Australia are implementing measures similar to what we are doing in
Queensland to try to combat this issue. People need to take responsibility for their own actions.
Certainly I support the proposed amendments in this bill. I commend them to the House.
23 Nov 2010                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                         4159

      Mr MESSENGER (Burnett—Ind) (5.24 pm): I rise to speak briefly to the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. As many members have said before, the objectives of this bill are
to amend the Liquor Act 1992 to increase community safety and improve public amenity by reducing
alcohol related violence through the creation of drink-safe precincts, new civil court based banning
powers for drink-safe precincts and standard conditions applied to licences. Many members who have
spoken before me have covered many of the main points of the bill. I have reservations about the bill
before the House, having read and researched some of the comments made by members of the
Ambulance Service and members of the Police Service.
      I note that the bill includes an amendment to the Liquor Act to allow for a regulation to prescribe
those special drink-safe precincts, the DSPs. Townsville, Surfers Paradise and Fortitude Valley were
named as the most troublesome spots in Queensland in terms of drinking activities. Those areas have
been targeted for a two-year $4.2 million trial, which from 1 December will see those precincts covered
by extra police, all-night chaplaincy services and taxi supervisors, amongst other community safety
personnel. I have reservations about the $4.2 million trial, because of the extra revenue that has been
generated and brought to this government by changes in liquor licensing laws.
      I will read a letter from Wendy Hickey, who is a small business operator. She and her husband
own a small general store in Turkey Beach, which sells liquor along with bait, tackle, ice, gas, fuel and
groceries. In a letter to the minister, she stated—
I am writing to appeal against our current general liquor licence becoming a commercial hotel licence under the new reform.
Turkey Beach has a very small permanent population of less than 200 people and to compare us with a large town that has hotels
and a large clientele will have a large impact on our small business. Clubs with less than 2,000 members only pay a fee of $250
for the year and we strongly ask that our general licence be changed to reflect how small our community is and the extra cost we
will have to charge on our stock to try and recoup some of the $2,700 that the Liquor Commission is asking us to pay.
Unfortunately, that request was not favourably looked upon. Wendy has had to come up with the $2,700
and there is also the responsible service of alcohol licence. We are looking at many thousands of dollars
in extra expenses that small businesses in regional communities throughout Queensland have to pay. A
lot of that money would be going into the cost of implementing this legislation. I am very concerned
about that. It is an unfair impost on small business owners in regional and rural areas.
       There was a mixed reaction to the trials that I mentioned before. I note that Townsville community
health and safety spokesperson, Councillor Dale Last, was quoted in the Townsville Bulletin as stating
that the implementation of the planning was long overdue. He stated that people who are vulnerable or
believe their safety is under threat can go to those areas and get assistance and, if necessary, they can
be helped with the arrangement of transport home. It is long overdue and timely as we are coming into
       However, on 30 August this year the Gold Coast Bulletin published an article by Ben Dillaway that
paints an alternative opinion to the new liquor laws, criticising the laws in that there is nothing new other
than making clubs and pubs provide free water to their patrons. Queensland Police Union President Ian
Leavers stated in the article that, other than asking hotels to give out free glasses of water, there was
not one single new initiative in the Premier’s announcement. The article was highly critical that Surfers
Paradise would not be receiving any extra police, but that the increase would be covered by officers
having to work overtime. The article further points out that the proposed chill-out zone has already been
operating in Surfers for at least a decade, that it is already against the law to assault someone, that taxi
marshals already work at Surfers’s cab ranks and that police already have move-on powers. It states
that the liquor industry consultative association, which includes Gold Coast licensed venues, the police,
the city council and Liquor Licensing, already exists. Every Saturday and Sunday in Surfers, two night
buses run hourly from 2.30 am to 5.30 am as part of a plan to tackle alcohol fuelled violence.
      Pubs and clubs outside the dedicated DSPs have raised concerns that they would cop an
onslaught of drunken hooligans. They believe that this will only encourage those drunk and violent
offenders to seek out venues where they cannot be banned. Jade Buddha joint owner Phil Hogan
expressed his concern in a Courier-Mail article by Alison Sandy on 31 August this year and said that
banning patrons from safe drinking precincts only shifts the problem. He stated—
Personally I think it’s a real cop-out by the government and a major concern for any operators who are not in the ‘chosen
        Queensland Ambulance Union organiser Kroy Day was also quoted in the article raising concerns
over the new laws, stating that the government had sold out his members and the community by failing
to introduce real measures to make the streets safer, like reduced trading hours. He said—
What an outstanding waste of taxpayer funds ... we’ve got politicians on there from both sides of parliament—they put extensive
resources and time into hearing multiple submissions, going over all the evidence and then they’re not going to take the
He said—
They’re not limiting people’s access to alcohol when they’re out.
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       It is a crying shame that this government does not fund the Life Education program. It is a
program which clearly and effectively teaches children about the dangers of alcohol abuse. It is a
program that works. We cannot have a debate about the dangers of alcohol and people and children’s
attitude to alcohol without lamenting and condemning the lack of government support for this
magnificent program. I understand that there was some kind of political tiff between the founders of this
program during a conservative reign and senior members of this government which resulted in this
program effectively being punished and state government funding being taken away. I call on the
government to get over it. Let us throw our full weight behind this program, because that is truly when
we are fencing off the top of the cliff and not parking ambulances down the bottom.
      A cousin involved in the legal industry always reminds me that Winston Churchill fought and
defeated the forces of fascism while drinking a bottle of gin a day and, when challenged about his use of
alcohol, was supposed to have said that he took more from alcohol than alcohol ever took from him. I
was reminded of the self-medication side of alcohol when a very experienced medical professional
recently joked with me that her and her work mates were very happy that ‘Dr Dan’s’ had opened up
nearby. They were all happy because they did not have to have a script to visit ‘Dr Dan’s’ to obtain their
medicine. Of course, she was not referring to a real doctor’s surgery; she was referring in a very tongue-
in-cheek way to the multinational liquor barn Dan Murphy’s.
       This is coming from people who work in very high stress situations, where the risk of assault and
harm is ever present. It reminded me of the fact that most people have used alcohol to self-medicate at
some stage during their life. Coming from a Defence Force and media background, I can personally
vouch for that type of use. However, the use of alcohol and risky behaviour that happens after its
consumption is not only restricted to adults and it can lead to horrific outcomes. I was reminded of this
when I was recently at an RSL Remembrance Day dinner. I was outside with my wife having a chat with
an acquaintance and his wife, remarking on the great meal and the great conversation, and walking
down the street was a group of about eight teenagers. It shocked me when this little fellow with blond
hair came up to me and started having a yarn and I could smell the alcohol on his breath. He was no
more than about 10 years old. The group got a bit rowdy and wandered off down the street. I felt this
sense of helplessness. I was not really able to do anything. I was worried about grabbing him. I could
not grab him, so the best I could do was take photos of the group and then take those photos to the
Bundaberg Police Station to let them know that those kids were out there in that sort of condition. Of
course, a couple of questions sprung to mind when that happened. First of all, what can the police do if
they find children who are drunk and under-age? And what the heck were the parents doing? Did they
know where their kids were?
      The reason I raise this is that a horrible reality is that in Queensland we have the highest rate of
youth suicide in Australia. It is double the rate of any other state. I have a sneaking suspicion that
alcohol and other drugs would play a strong part in those very, very sad deaths that have occurred.
      Mr McLINDON (Beaudesert—TQP) (5.34 pm): I would like to make a contribution to the Liquor
and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. At the outset I congratulate the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee, of which I was a former member—the chair, the member for Springwood, and all its
members who worked tirelessly to seek some answers to a very complex problem that we face today in
alcohol fuelled violence.
      The committee came up with 68 recommendations. They could have come up with 100, 200 or
368 recommendations and still not solved the problem of this epidemic that our society is facing. I think
we can create a bureaucracy and overregulate as well, which can sometimes have an adverse impact
and backfire on the success or otherwise of those recommendations. I think you could probably get it
down to 10 or 12 recommendations if they are effective, manageable and enforceable.
       One thing of concern that occurred under the Rudd government was the alcopops tax. That has
certainly had an adverse impact and numerous unintended consequences since its inception. One thing
we have to realise about the society today is that there will have to be a cultural change. I know that is
somewhat of a motherhood statement, but the reality is that there will have to be an education
awareness campaign to change the attitudes and the culture of all generations. I do not think it is about
changing any particular generation, even though gen Ys can every now and then get a little out of
control. I am certainly not one to be saying that I have a clean slate in that regard. In the six years that I
worked in the hospitality industry it was certainly an eye-opener for me to see the transition to binge
drinking and the alcohol fuelled violence which has certainly become a lot more prevalent in the last five
to six years.
      Changing attitudes is not going to happen overnight, but we do need to look at the very tough
decisions that governments have to make. One of the repercussions of alcohol fuelled violence is the
impact it has on our emergency services. I want to congratulate the emergency services, who have to
put up with a lot of that alcohol fuelled behaviour. When you walk around the city, as members of the
committee did, at one, two and three in the morning when you are stone-cold sober and see the sort of
behaviour that the emergency services have to put up with, you realise that they are doing a job above
and beyond the call of duty. I would like to congratulate them for sticking to their guns in that respect. We
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saw the abuse that they cop. As a result, I acknowledge and congratulate the LNP on its bill on
mandatory sentencing for offences against emergency services workers. Whilst I do not fully agree with
the whole of the bill, I appreciate the fact that the opposition has made an attempt to acknowledge what
emergency services workers are put through.
       Speaking to one of the police officers in Fortitude Valley, I was surprised to hear that in a precinct
of some 50,000-plus revellers there were as few as 30 police. That is very concerning. We are talking
about equivalent numbers to schoolies. One can only imagine if there were only 30 police governing the
schoolies precinct as we speak and what sort of debacle would result. Having said that, there is security
at the different venues, but when they have such little support on the ground they have to turn a blind
eye to a lot of incidents just to make sure they can keep afloat and respond to the most urgent incidents.
       I note that there was only one ChaplainWatch vehicle with two volunteers to cover the whole of
the Brisbane and Fortitude Valley precinct. That was quite alarming. Maybe the government could look
at funding another few vehicles so that volunteers can spend time in the gutter with teenagers who do
not get arrested but have nowhere to go and are at a loose end. One of the complexities is that it is not
just alcohol; even more so it is drugs. In some instances party drugs are cheaper for revellers to access.
They would have to spend two or three times the amount on alcohol to reach the same exuberant stage.
I think this is something that we have to take very seriously. It will become an epidemic in our lifetime if
we do not tackle it now. If we do not educate our youth and the next generation, it is only going to get
more and more out of control.
       I turn now to the serving of alcohol. Having managed several bars in my past, it is very hard to
actually know when to cut someone off. A lot of girls I worked with were quite scared to cut a customer
off because they can be rather intimidating and the reaction can be somewhat out there. At one tavern I
worked at I had to cut a gentleman off and he smashed in every single window of the pub. We had two
police cars and the Dog Squad there. When people see these instances on the front line they think twice
before they cut someone off because they know the ramifications. In a lot of cases, this is easier said
than done.
      There was a time when I cut somebody off who had a disability. I felt very bad when I did not
serve that person and it was actually their first drink. There are a lot of factors and ramifications to
consider when someone is trying to ensure that when someone has had enough drinks they do not top
them up. These are things that we have to bear in mind.
       I believe that lockouts are not working. We cannot have a situation where all the people who are
out for a night leave the precinct at once, are full of alcohol and there are only a limited number of taxis
and public transport. That is where we see a lot of violence, competing egos and testosterone on the
streets. That is something that we have to look at. Do we leave the clubs open but they stop serving
alcohol at a certain time and people trickle out? There are a lot of measures to consider there.
       One of the recommendations is that Queenslanders can apply for an 18-plus card at 17 years and
11 months of age. Of course they want to apply for it early so that the day they hit 18 they can hit the
town. It implies that they have to hold on and when they turn 18 they go into catch-up mode.
       We should probably look at some of the cultures around the world and see how they tackle
alcohol fuelled violence or look at countries around the world that do not suffer from it as much as
Australia. In Italy it is common practice for children as young as 14 or 15 to have wine or beer with their
meal. It is a long transition for them, not a let’s go to it when we turn 18 approach. In the States people
can purchase alcohol at the corner store or at the local service station. It is quite prevalent. It would be
interesting to do some comparative studies to see what is working. The Australian culture seems to be
drink as much as you can before you turn 18 and when you turn 18 see who you can out-drink.
        In implementing these safe zones it is going to be very hard to have a quantitative measure of the
success or otherwise of the $3½ million that taxpayers will be spending. In my opinion, that sort of
money would probably be best spent on a zero tolerance campaign or something similar to the ‘Don’t
drink and drive or you’re a bloody idiot’ campaign. We have had the One Punch Can Kill campaign. We
could have a positive one too—that is, something to aspire to rather than fight against. Rebellious youth
like to go against the rules. The committee worked extremely hard on this. There is a bit of light in there.
I am sceptical about whether the implementation of these safe zones will be successful.
       I would like to highlight the liquor licensing regulations and the fees and charges that our country
pubs and taverns are subjected to. In many instances, it is one size fits all. In the last 12 months we
have seen the provision that the manager on site has to have certain certificates. For some of these
country pubs to recoup this $1,200 they have to sell another 700 pots of beer. We really need to start to
look at economies of scale.
       We currently have three pubs in the Beaudesert electorate that are up for sale because they
simply cannot keep up with the government regulations. These are things that we have to take into
account. A lot of these pubs are the livelihood of these small towns. I would like the government to take
into serious consideration the viability of these often mum and dad small businesses.
4162                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

       With that contribution, I will reserve my judgement on the bill. I congratulate the government and
the committee on the hard work they have done. It is not a problem that can be solved overnight. There
is certainly not an easy answer that any of us in this parliament can grasp. I would certainly like to see a
zero tolerance approach and a culture change.
        Mr HOOLIHAN (Keppel—ALP) (5.44 pm): We have heard much about the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill. I think if we look at history we will find that what is now occurring in terms of
the consumption of liquor has actually been fostered by the Anglo-Saxon attitude to alcohol. If members
recall, in the 1500s and 1600s and through to the civilisation of Australia the population of Britain was
encouraged to drink. Children were even given ale or porter to drink with their meals. The history of
Australia after settlement could be said to be steeped in spirituous and fermented liquors, particularly
rum. It has now become accepted that if a person drinks rum it will turn them into some sort of gibbering
idiot. That is probably true.
      One of the things that comes out of all of this is that the law started to recognise the problems with
alcohol and the inability of certain people in society to handle the amount of liquor that they consume. I
believe it has become a fairly common occurrence, particularly among our youth, to preload—that is, to
go out and take a skinful with them and put on a turn for all and sundry.
      In Rockhampton and Yeppoon, in the electorate of Keppel, we have a very effective liquor accord.
The accord meets monthly. The accord members have been able to protect their premises and protect
the people who go there to have a quiet drink and not to use alcohol as a reason for becoming
antisocial. I commend all of those very responsible proprietors. I thank them and the local police for the
work that they have put into preventing the difficulties that occur in our society because of the
consumption of alcohol.
       I would like to thank the minister and the Law, Justice and Safety Committee for their revelations.
I think a lot of people were aware of the difficulties that occur with the consumption of alcohol but they
were swept under the carpet.
      We have heard about civil banning orders. Surprisingly, it is not the first time that we have had
these sorts of banning orders in Queensland. Under the Liquor Act 1912, a person who felt that they had
concerns about the amount of alcohol they were drinking and were dissipating their estate could bring
an application to the Magistrates Court, in those days the Court of Petty Sessions, and have themselves
banned for up to six months. The banning of people from premises is not entirely new, although the
circumstances of the granting of the order and the way that these orders will be dealt with is certainly
new to Queensland.
       The civil banning order—and we did hear about the basis for that from a couple of other
speakers—will only apply to drink-safe precincts or areas in the vicinity of licensed premises. I listened
to the member for Beaudesert’s comments about stopping people from drinking and somebody who was
stopped from drinking then breaking all the windows in the hotel. They are the sort of people the
banning orders under the Penalties and Sentences Act and under the Bail Act will have full force and
effect on.
       One of the realities of consumption of liquor, as with driving a motor vehicle, is that the community
and society, and directly the legislature and the government, license people. I suppose it is a little bit like
that saying ‘the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away’. If people are allowed to consume alcohol and
people are licensed to provide that to them, if a person abuses that right or abuses that privilege—and it
is a privilege—it is only right and proper that those people be prevented from going anywhere near the
premises or from obtaining alcohol on those premises.
       The ultimate way of dealing with it comes under the Penalties and Sentences Act. It is possible to
make a banning order as a condition of probation or a good behaviour order, but the courts have not
commonly done that. The new provisions under the Penalties and Sentences Act will give a brand-new
sentencing option and it can be a stand-alone sentencing option. The major basis for that is that a
person can be issued with a banning order if they have been convicted of an offence that involved
violence to a person or property, and it also includes threats and attempts to cause violence. The court
has to have regard to the evidence available to it and that the offence occurred in a licensed premises or
in a public place in the vicinity of licensed premises and that unless the order is made the offender
poses an unacceptable risk to the good order of the licensed premises.
        The good part about that option for a banning order is that it does not refer only to drink-safe
precincts; it relates to any area where alcohol is sold or even at an event that is held in public where
liquor is sold for consumption. The same sort of order—a special condition—can be added to the grant
of bail to ban a person from entering or remaining in licensed premises or to stay a designated distance
from the licensed premises or class of licensed premises or from attending or remaining at a stated
event to be held in a public place at which liquor is sold. If people are prepared to consume alcohol and
then under the guise of being badly affected by alcohol they exhibit antisocial behaviour, the whole
object of a banning order is to deny them the right to consume that liquor.
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         I do not think there would be too many people who sit in this House, whether as elected members
or staff, who may not enjoy a drink. There are certainly some people who do not enjoy the consumption
of alcohol, but the majority of people enjoy a quiet drink. Some people, as we heard from another
speaker, use alcohol as a crutch. But there are also some people who use alcohol as an excuse for
becoming boorish, as an excuse for becoming antisocial, as an excuse for becoming something that
they would not normally be. I am not even sure that some people do not use alcohol directly at times so
as to act in such a way, and certainly they do not cover themselves with any glory. In terms of the bill, I
support the thrust of the banning orders and I support the thrust of the liquor drink-safe precincts in an
endeavour to ensure that the people of Queensland who enjoy a quiet drink can do so in safety and get
home to their families in safety or even take their family with them to have a quiet drink. I commend the
bill to the House.
       Mrs SCOTT (Woodridge—ALP) (5.53 pm): I want to make a few remarks concerning the Liquor
and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. The harm caused by the excessive use of alcohol is now
widely acknowledged. Unfortunately, the many families who live with an alcoholic, often with domestic
violence and neglect and abuse of children, have suffered long. The incidence of young adults binge
drinking is a high-risk activity which can lead to not only violence and injury, occasionally death and
unplanned pregnancy, but also to diminished brain function. In the case of young women, if continued
over time excessive alcohol consumption can lead to babies being born with foetal alcohol syndrome. In
my electorate we have well-established organisations such as WAVSS, Working Against Violence
Support Service, and CASV, Centre Against Sexual Violence, and Youth and Family Service, all of
whom work in close association with our Police Service and Child Safety as well as other organisations
such as Drug Arm and our many organisations and departments, including our schools that work with
our young people.
       I want to address the issue of bottle shops within our communities and also the hotels which are
now established in strip shopping centres close to residential areas. I have now on a number of
occasions joined the Logan City Council, schools and residents who have strongly protested against the
establishment of additional hotels and bottle shops in our community as well as sought reduced trading
hours, and for the most part we have been successful. It is often the case that where a bottle shop is
opened there will be drinking in parks at night, often with under-age drinking, and sadly in Logan we
have seen tragedies occur. Residents with hotels established nearby often have rowdy, disruptive
behaviour and sometimes vandalism occurring as people leave venues. I am pleased we have had a
moratorium on changes to closing hours at the present time and I would like to advocate that these local
hotels do not gain additional opening hours. Within this legislation new bottle shops will have regulated
hours of trading from 10 am to 10 pm. I personally would like to see earlier closing times, but I am glad
to see the government responding to the recommendations of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s
       As our 2010 crop of year 12 students exit this phase of learning and proceed into an adult world,
we wish them every success in the years ahead. However, they will need to establish their own values
and make their own decisions, many of which may be influenced by peer pressure. I view the amount of
advertising by the liquor industry as excessive. If it were not adding to their coffers, they would not do it.
I hope that in the future there may be a move against liquor advertising and that the federal government
places a higher level of taxation on all forms of liquor depending on the strength of alcohol. It is known
that advertising and price do influence the consumption of liquor, particularly by young people. This
legislation is the start in ensuring our precincts and communities have a greater degree of safety, but
nothing can surpass parents and society moving away from alcohol being the centrepiece of every
celebration. I thank the member for Springwood and her committee for their diligent work in producing
this report, I thank the minister and his staff, and I commend the bill to the House.
       Ms NELSON-CARR (Mundingburra—ALP) (5.57 pm): I rise to support the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill 2010 and the safety reforms this will bring for Queenslanders by expanding
protections for our communities. The Law, Justice and Safety Committee report on alcohol related
violence in Queensland, which was released in March this year, forms part of the legislation, the key
platform being late-night entertainment areas and subsequent drink-safe precincts. The bill allows for
these precincts to be prescribed by legislation. As chair of the Social Development Committee I have a
real interest in this bill. I want to expand on the drinking culture in Australia generally but particularly in
response to the work done by both my committee and the Law, Justice and Safety Committee with
respect to violence and chronic disease.
        If we look at some of the findings on the impact of alcohol consumption we can be forgiven for
feeling alarmed. This impact affects all Queenslanders in some way regardless of age, sex,
socioeconomic group and whether or not they drink alcohol. In fact, in families where one person has a
drinking problem, at least five other people will be affected. In expanding on this I can name many
outcomes of excessive drinking including injuries, drowning, assaults, suicide, unsafe sex and road
traffic injuries. Driving under the influence is illegal but drink driving continues to be one of the major
contributing factors to accidents on Queensland roads.
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      According to Queensland Transport, alcohol contributes to about 30 per cent of road deaths in
Queensland each year. Alcohol is known to affect many organs and systems in the body. Regular
alcohol consumption at harmful levels increases the risk of brain damage; cancer of the lips, mouth,
throat and oesophagus; liver cirrhosis and liver cancer; cardiovascular disease; pancreatitis; and
alcohol dependence.
       A government member interjected.
      Ms NELSON-CARR: Yes, I am a killjoy, sorry. These collective acute and chronic impacts of
alcohol misuse impact at different ages. However, they start to impact from 20 to 24 years—there you
go, boys; getting a bit late—but it is young people who are at greatest risk of experiencing acute harm
because of their harmful drinking patterns, such as drinking excessively on single occasions.
       Heavy and excessive alcohol consumption, particularly at an early age, also places young people
at greater risk of continuing to drink at harmful levels, increasing their likelihood of developing chronic
diseases, brain injury and alcohol dependence. In 2005-06, alcohol misuse led to on average 706
deaths per year in Queensland, and 68 per cent of those deaths were of men. In the 2005-06 and 2006-
07 years, in Queensland there were on average 25,621 hospitalisations per year due to alcohol misuse.
Alcohol is implicated in an estimated 114,214 occupied hospital bed days in Queensland per year. This
figure translates to a cost to the hospital system of over $128 million, and the annual cost to the
Australian community of alcohol related social problems was estimated to be $15.3 billion.
      The greatest cost due to alcohol related issues is borne by workplaces as a result of the reduced
productivity of workers while at work and, of course, absenteeism. This cost is followed by the costs of
alcohol related road accidents and crime. Alcohol was the main preventable cause of injury burden in
Queensland and alone caused 18.7 per cent of the total burden from injuries during those years. Alcohol
was also the largest cause of the mental disorder burden. The Queensland fire service estimates that
25 per cent of fire deaths are alcohol related.
       The drinking culture in Australia is extremely strong and entrenched in everyday life, but there is
increased public concern about alcohol and a greater interest in alcohol-free events, the serving of low-
alcohol beverages at sporting and other venues, more severe penalties for drink driving and so on.
Alcohol misuse impacts significantly on Queensland families, on communities and on the economy.
Beyond the personal and the family stories of alcohol related tragedy is the added burden to the
Queensland community of a considerable cost to the health system, the Police Service and the criminal
justice system.
       Alcoholism itself is another area that is generally misunderstood. Alcoholics are mostly not
homeless. They have a job and they have never been in trouble with the law, but the damage they
cause to their families and to the communities is immeasurable. For the one per cent of alcoholics who
are homeless, in-your-face, public alcoholics causing problems to themselves and others, I am
delighted, happy, over the moon to see the work being done in this area by the member for Townsville,
who has grasped the insidious nature of alcoholism and its widespread devastating effects on the
alcoholic and on all of those whom he or she affects. Alcoholism is a disease. Alcoholics do not have a
choice. Their lives are totally unmanageable and they suffer the most devastating consequences of their
actions. These poor, miserable people cause immeasurable harm to others as well as to themselves,
both directly and indirectly.
       To offer harm minimisation techniques to these poor souls is as outrageous as it is unintelligent.
To date there has been no deterrent for their behaviour, and it is with relief and respect that I applaud the
work being done by the member for Townsville, who promotes mandated compulsory detox and
rehabilitation. To date, this is the only deterrent. Nothing else has worked—in Townsville at least for as
long as I have lived there, and that is over 30 years. That is not to say that government measures have
not been in place. They just have not worked, and particularly for this cohort. So in supporting this bill I
hope that this legislation will be only one of many ways that we would address the worrying outcomes of
our drinking culture.
       Mr CRIPPS (Hinchinbrook—LNP) (6.04 pm): I rise to make a contribution to the debate on the
Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. Among the stated objectives of the bill are to amend the
Liquor Act to increase community safety and improve public amenity by reducing alcohol related
violence through the creation of drink-safe precincts, new civil banning powers for drink-safe precincts
and standard conditions applied to licences; restricting the availability of the sale and supply of liquor by
limiting trading hours for new bottle shops and other takeaway outlets; and extending the extended
trading hours application moratorium as it applies to persons or licensees outside of the prescribed
extended trading hours precincts until December 2013.
      These amendments seek to give effect to a number of the recommendations contained in report
No. 74 of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee into alcohol related violence, tabled in March this year.
As a member of that committee, along with the LNP opposition I welcome these amendments and
intend to support their passage through the House. However, it is worth understanding how we came to
be considering these amendments today.
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        In August 2009, when this parliament directed the Law, Justice and Safety Committee to inquire
into rising instances of alcohol related violence in Queensland, I expressed my concern in this place
about the level of public comment by the Premier and the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading outlining
what the government intended to do to crack down on specifically the issue of glass being used as a
weapon in licensed premises. For the two weeks leading up to the referral of the matter to the Law,
Justice and Safety Committee, the Premier and the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading effectively pre-
empted the work of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee and any recommendations that it would
eventually make.
        In addition to the media commentary, the Bligh government issued bans on the use of glass in
licensed venues deemed to be high risk. There was considerable concern expressed that the process
by which these venues were determined to be high risk was arbitrary and lacked evidence. This chest-
beating exercise by the Premier and the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading impeded the capacity of
the Law, Justice and Safety Committee to pursue its inquiry unfettered by preconceived expectations on
what the results of the committee’s inquiry may be, or at least what the government would do regardless
of any recommendations made by the committee. Those were the compromised circumstances in which
the Law, Justice and Safety Committee was forced to undertake its inquiry into alcohol fuelled violence,
and it would be naive to believe that this environment did not influence the submissions that were
received by the committee during its consultation with stakeholder groups, including the liquor and
hospitality industries. Notwithstanding the substantial efforts of the committee, its work was certainly
compromised by the environment of distrust between the government and these industries which
undermined the work of the committee.
        The other circumstances in which the Law, Justice and Safety Committee was required to
undertake its inquiry were of great uncertainty. Industry stakeholder groups pointed to the fact that the
Queensland parliament had agreed to amendments to the Liquor Act in September 2008. The Liquor
and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2008 included amendments that proposed to implement the
recommendations arising from a comprehensive review of the Liquor Act, which commenced in 2005.
That bill included a wide range of amendments, including an emphasis on harm minimisation in the
provisions of the Liquor Act 1992; reduced trading hours; a ministerial power to ban undesirable alcohol
products; licence fees based on risk and a requirement for risk assessment management plans as part
of the licensing process; the mandatory training for all staff, licensees and managers in the responsible
service of alcohol and responsible management of licensed venues; and an offence of irresponsible
        As the LNP opposition members of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee noted in their
statement of reservation to the committee’s report into alcohol related violence, no evaluation of the
success or otherwise of the measures implemented as a result of the amendments to the Liquor Act
contained in the Liquor and Other Acts Amendment Bill 2008 has been undertaken. At that point in time
there had been no real opportunity for such an evaluation to occur. Less than 12 months after the bill
was debated in this parliament, the committee received its referral to look at many of these matters
again. Given these ad hoc approaches, the LNP opposition members of the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee questioned the integrity and the robustness of the government’s public policy making in
respect of liquor licensing because it has failed to base its decisions on proper planning processes and
evaluation of initiatives. The constantly changing regulatory environment has had a negative impact on
the liquor and hospitality industry. This is particularly the case when the industry cannot have any
confidence that the decisions being made by government are based on sound data and a coherent
public policy-making process.
        This concern proved to be justified during the course of the committee’s inquiry. The show-cause
notices relating to the use of glass in so-called high-risk venues were contested by a number of
licensees by way of court action to have them overturned. This reflected the lack of confidence within
the liquor and hospitality industry in the policies of the Bligh government. In October this year the
Supreme Court of Queensland overturned the total glass ban on a hotel in Townsville in North
Queensland. Not only did the Supreme Court overturn the glass ban; it awarded costs against the
        Mr Lawlor: That’s under appeal.
        Mr CRIPPS: Other licensed premises affected by the show-cause notices issued this year are
now considering their position in respect of contesting the glass bans imposed on them by the Bligh
government after being deemed high risk, a process deemed by the Supreme Court to involve a denial
of natural justice for the licensed premise involved. How did this dilemma come about?
        Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hoolihan): Member for Hinchinbrook, is the matter to which you refer
under appeal because if it is—
        Mr Lawlor: The appeal period hasn’t expired.
        Mr Stevens: The report is the government is considering the appeal.
        Mr Lawlor: The appeal period hasn’t expired.
4166                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                       23 Nov 2010

      Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister and member for Mermaid Beach, would you please stop the
chatter across the chamber. Is it under appeal?
     Mr CRIPPS: The report is that no date has yet been set for the Office of Liquor and Gaming
Regulation’s appeal against the matter.
      Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Which would indicate it probably is under appeal if that is the case. No
date has been set for the hearing of the appeal.
       Mr CRIPPS: It is considering whether or not it will undertake an appeal.
       Mr Lawlor: That is not what that says.
      Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: That is not what you just read to me. Minister, would you please refrain
from comment. If it is under appeal and if you are unaware whether it is under appeal or not, I would
suggest that you do not continue along those lines, thank you.
       Mr CRIPPS: Certainly, Mr Deputy Speaker. I will refrain from any further reference to the matter.
How did this dilemma come about, though? The answer is certainly because of the way that the
government acted arbitrarily to declare certain licensed premises as high-risk venues without any robust
mechanism or process for doing so. The Law, Justice and Safety Committee found this out during its
inquiry in the course of the public hearing in Brisbane on 30 October last year.
       The committee heard evidence from Professor Paul Mazerolle, a leading expert from Griffith
University in respect of the issues of alcohol related violence who has undertaken leading research in
this area. I asked Professor Mazerolle if his research had revealed that there was little evidence to
suggest that anyone, let alone the government, could profile a high-risk venue for a glassing incident
and if his research had also revealed that it was difficult to provide a profile for a high-risk patron for a
glassing incident. Professor Mazerolle agreed that that was a fair representation of his research. Expert
research in this field to this point in time has failed to identify any criteria to reliably identify a licensed
venue or a patron as high risk. So how has the government done it?
       The Law, Justice and Safety Committee also found this out during its inquiry in the course of the
public hearing in Brisbane on 30 October last year. I asked the executive director of the Office of Liquor
and Gaming Regulation what the criteria was for a venue to be classified as high risk. The advice from
the executive director was that a venue was listed as high risk if only one glassing had occurred at that
venue. I then asked the executive director, in view of the findings of Professor Mazerolle that indicated
there is no reliable profile of a high-risk patron or a high-risk venue in relation to the possibility of an
offence of glassing, how the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation justified the issuing of glass bans
to licensed premises based on a single, one-off incident. The executive director replied that the Office of
Liquor and Gaming Regulation was charged with the administration of the Liquor Act and the provisions
in relation to the glassing issues were clear and the government’s policy around this issue, he thought,
had been made very clear by the Premier.
      So there you have it. The policy of the Bligh government to declare a venue as high risk was
because a single, one-off, isolated incident had occurred and because the Premier said so. As I have
already outlined, the research of experts in this field rejects this approach. This is precisely why I
expressed concern about the way that the Premier and the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading
inappropriately pre-empted the work of the inquiry into alcohol related violence by the Law, Justice and
Safety Committee and arbitrarily imposed glass bans on supposedly high-risk venues. This is exactly
the sort of information that an inquiry by a parliamentary committee is supposed to achieve, and might I
say did achieve in this case, to inform the decision making of the parliament and the government of the
day. Under the Bligh government what we have in this case is pre-emptive, arbitrary measures
undertaken in a knee-jerk fashion that we now know is not supported by expert research in this field
purely in response to political pressure that it was feeling at the time.
       The 2008 amendments to the Liquor Act, the impacts of which have not yet been evaluated,
the amendments contained in this bill and any forthcoming amendment bills the government intends to
introduce to cover the balance of the recommendations in the committee’s report represent a very
substantial amount of regulatory change for the liquor and hospitality industries in Queensland in a
relatively short period of time. This has created problems for these industries. Investment, jobs and the
bottom lines of businesses in these industries are affected by uncertainty in the regulatory environment
the same as any other industry. These industries in many areas of the state are highly integrated into the
tourism industry, which we know has been suffering a downturn in recent times. I hope the minister and
the government as a whole give serious consideration to the collective financial impact that this very
substantial number of regulatory changes will have. The recommendations in the Law, Justice and
Safety Committee’s report, both in these amendments and the amendments to come, underline issues
relating to the cost of compliance with those recommendations and advocate the provision of support for
their implementation.
23 Nov 2010                   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4167

       As the member for Mermaid Beach has outlined, the bill contains only a few of the
recommendations of report No. 7 of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee into alcohol related
violence. The LNP opposition looks forward to the balance of the recommendations being implemented.
I would certainly like to acknowledge the efforts of the other members of the committee who worked
hard during the course of this rather unique inquiry. It was a very interesting experience for members of
the committee to be out late at night and in the early hours of the morning. Certainly absolutely no-one
could accuse the committee of not having a hands-on approach to this inquiry. I pay special tribute to
Mr Stephen Finnimore, our then research director, and Ms Amanda Honeyman, the principal research
officer of our committee, both of whom really went above and beyond the call of duty to support this
inquiry. Their outstanding work, often in very difficult circumstances, was very much appreciated by the
members of this committee.
      Mr HORAN (Toowoomba South—LNP) (6.18 pm): This bill is the result of a very serious and
growing concern that has been building up within our community about drunkenness, violence, safety of
young people and an overall degeneration of behaviour, particularly in entertainment precincts.
       I listened with interest to some of the comments of the various people who have been on this
committee. I think the work of the chair, the member for Springwood, and the members of the committee
has been very comprehensive. It was quite appalling to hear about some of the things that they
observed, such as the outrageous behaviour and lack of respect towards police officers, particularly in
these entertainment precincts. It is a sign of the times perhaps. It is something that we should address.
We should try to bring about a greater level of respect for police—respect that comes from the people
themselves but also respect that can be generated from proper protective systems for the police,
including serious on-the-spot fines and laws that provide for very serious consequences for those who
offend against the blue line of our community, that is, our police officers.
       I am sure the committee must be disappointed to some extent that the elephant in the room has
not been addressed—that is, the trading hours of hotels and nightclubs. That is the real issue. That is
what people were on about. That is the issue about the late-night violence. That is the issue about that
extra hour or two that nightclubs and hotels do not need and do not want in most cases because it is
only a nuisance to them. The problems spill out into the daylight onto the streets for the police, for the
emergency services people, for the taxidrivers, for the council cleaners and for the people who are
starting their daytime work or efforts of recreation the following day. The issue of hours is an issue that
this parliament has to address.
       If honourable members speak to any of the operators of hotels or nightclubs, they will find that
almost all of them are prepared to bring their hours back, providing they all do it. At the moment the
reason they will not—and some of them want to do it—is that if they do not then sometime will jump into
their market niche. Anyone who has operated a bar, a hotel or various events would know that there is
not much business in the last hour or two; there is a lot of trouble and a lot of problems. Staff have to be
kept back till the very late hours and it is just not worthwhile. I have absolutely no doubt that most of the
hotels that might be closing at 2 am would be happy to close at 1 am, 12.30 am or 12 am. It would suit
them better. They would be able to manage a safer and better environment for their patrons and provide
them with good entertainment. I am absolutely sure that many of the nightclubs would, likewise, do the
same and bring their hours back. It would be a better result for all.
       Historically, over the years we have seen a gradual change, both in the culture of night-life and in
the laws. I do not think we can just sit back and say, ‘It’s the young people. There are different attitudes
now. They don’t want to go out till 10 or 11 at night.’ It is because, in part, the regulations and laws have
been brought in that allow facilities to stay open till 3 am or 5 am. Why would people want to go out at
seven, eight or nine o’clock at night when they can go out at 10 or 11 and still have a full night of
       Looking at the history, hotels once were just a place to go drinking. Then they became a place to
drink and to eat. In recent decades they became a place to drink and to eat and to operate gaming
machines. They have had extended hours, gaming machines, far more meal opportunities and so forth.
They have been able to grow and expand their business in those areas. Nightclubs were always places
that provided entertainment only—basically, for drinking and entertainment. They only operated on a
Friday and Saturday night, not the six or seven days that hotels operated, and they operated two or
three hours later than hotels. That was their market niche. We have seen a gradual escalation of hours
for hotels that has forced nightclubs to go later, and on and on it has gone.
       It is time for us as a parliament to come to grips with it. Yes, there will be some complaints by
some people that they would really like to go on until five or, in the case of hotels, they would like to go
on until three. However, generally speaking, the hoteliers, the nightclub operators, the staff and the
patrons would be satisfied with the hours being brought back. That would still allow for the entertainment
that young people desire and should have in safety. It would still allow for tourist areas where visitors
expect to have entertainment into the early hours of the morning. For example, Townsville has a lot of
events based tourism with the Cowboys, the Crocodiles and people coming into the town as part of the
weekend. There are also the entertainment precincts of the Gold Coast and Brisbane.
4168                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

       Amending the hours would address this issue. The community is crying out for it. The police and
the emergency services are crying out for it. Young patrons want to have somewhere that is safe. If, by
regulation, they have to leave the hotel or the nightclub they are attending an hour or two earlier but they
can still go out and have a good night out, be safe and come out into the street where there is less
violence and drunkenness, then we will have done the right thing by everyone.
       I notice that in the minister’s second reading speech he talked about two issues: safety for
patrons and the viability of these businesses, which provide jobs for people. Hotels, nightclubs and
bottle shops are all part of our hospitality industry and they do provide a lot of employment—jobs—but
there is a limit to the extent to which we can do it. It is not about being wowsery or draconian or old-
fashioned; it is really about getting that right balance so that young people can enjoy themselves and be
safe and happy and we can cut back on the violence.
       The real reason this committee was formed was that everybody was appalled by the violence, the
drunkenness, the glassings, the attacks on police, the vomiting in the streets. It had all gone too far.
People are saying that we have to do something about it. One of the key reasons for these increases is
the hours. We could say that it is the hours, the strength of the drinks and the binge drinking. We can do
something sensible about the hours. However, nothing is being done about it in this bill. As a parliament
we could do something about that and we should. I strongly recommend it.
       Binge drinking and that sort of behaviour is more difficult to address. It is addressed well at some
events. I was recently at the rugby grand finals in Toowoomba. They only provided either Gold or
midstrength beer. Overall it was a well-managed, good event. The stronger spirits and so forth were not
for sale. There are other people who are well behaved who would like to have the choice to drink spirits,
heavy beer and so on. We can manage it to some extent. However, it is all about education—education
in our families in the first instance. People need to teach their kids to be sensible, drink sensibly, behave
and respect the police. It is about education within our school system to teach that as well. It is about
education at a government level as well to teach people that they can go out, have a wonderful night
and enjoy being with their friends. They can be safe and happy and they do not have to wallow and fall
and hit their head on the edge of the gutter. They do not have to be bashed, glassed, pushed and
shoved and all that is undesirable and which occurs in some of these areas. Instead, they can drink
sensibly, enjoy their friends and have a lovely social time. That is an issue that really is important to
       As I mentioned earlier, our respect for the law has to be built up. I was pleased that earlier in this
parliamentary session a system of ticketing by police was brought in. I think that has to be strengthened
even further. There has to be very strong legislation to protect police and to provide punishment for
those who physically attack our police officers. Utilising the ticketing arrangement means that police
resources will not be wasted in taking people back to the police station to interrogate them and go
through all the other processes. Instead, police can issue an on-the-spot ticket for nuisance type
behaviour. It hurts when someone has to put their hand in their pocket and pay a fine. However, they
must be made to pay it so that it does not become an entry on the never-ending list of unpaid fines with
SPER. They should be made to pay it. That builds up the sense that people have to respect the police
because there are consequences for those people who have had too much to drink and get silly and
dangerous in their attitudes towards the police.
       Another matter that has been developed in this bill is the ability to ban people. I would like to
commend the LIAG Group in Toowoomba, which involves the Queensland Police Service, Queensland
Health and liquor industry people. They have had systems in place, and the Toowoomba police have
been able to reduce the level of violence in Toowoomba to about 14 per cent less than the state
average, particularly by concentrating extra police numbers on Friday nights and Saturday nights in
areas where they know they are needed. Also, the banning arrangement through this LIAG Group has
been in place. The banning arrangement, which we are debating today, will be introduced in those three
separate precincts of Townsville, Fortitude Valley and the Gold Coast. It was actually started in Roma by
a LIAG Group there. It has been copied by Toowoomba and the Lockyer and now it is the basis of what
is looked at here.
       Finally, another issue that I wish to deal with is the re-forming of the Gaming Commission into the
Liquor and Gaming Commission and the changes to powers and regulations being enforced there.
While this bill makes some changes as a result of some of the recommendations of the committee, we
have absolutely missed the elephant in the room. The issue that everyone should be addressing and
should have the courage to address is the issue of hours. That has not been addressed and it must be
addressed if we are going to make a difference to the safety of patrons and the protection of our police
and emergency services workers.
       Sitting suspended from 6.30 pm to 7.30 pm.
       Mr SHINE (Toowoomba North—ALP) (7.30 pm): I wish to speak briefly on the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill because it has particular importance to my electorate of Toowoomba North.
In so doing, I am mindful of the most relevant aspect of it that relates to my town and my electorate in
recent times—the issue of trading hours. A great deal of concern exists in Toowoomba at the current
23 Nov 2010                     Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4169

ability of certain hotels and nightclubs in particular to stay open until 5 am with all the consequences that
flow from that, including alcohol related violence, property damage, public urination and vomiting in the
streets, to name but a few.
        I note that the main purposes of the proposed act are threefold: firstly, to minimise harm from
alcohol abuse; secondly, to minimise adverse impacts on the health or safety of members of the public;
and, thirdly, to minimise adverse impacts on the amenity of the community. I suggest that the situation
that has arisen in Toowoomba, including glassing incidents, offends the purposes of the act and, really,
it is high time we addressed the issue of trading hours more sternly. I and others have called for the
2 am closing of nightclubs in the city of Toowoomba. I note that a short time ago my friend the member
for Toowoomba South went even further by asking for hotels to close at 12 and nightclubs a little later. I
do not disagree with any aspect of his speech. On behalf of the residents and citizens of Toowoomba,
I am pleased to call for sterner action to be taken in the future.
      I appreciate that what has been presented in this bill is a first step and a step in the right direction.
I commend the minister for that. I also commend the committee, led capably by the member for
Springwood, for its recommendations. Certainly I regret that the committee was unable to travel to
Toowoomba to get firsthand feedback on the issues that apply there and, in particular, why all the
members who represent Toowoomba want earlier closing hours. Had they travelled there they would
have been acquainted with our views and the views of the wider community, and perhaps the
committee’s recommendations would have been somewhat different in that regard. I commend the
minister for what he has done in relation to the step that he has taken.
       Not for one minute am I suggesting that those sorts of closing hours—12 o’clock for hotels and
two o’clock for clubs—should apply throughout Queensland. Clearly, in places such as Brisbane’s CBD,
the Valley, the Gold Coast, Cairns and other places of tourist attraction in particular, a case can be made
for longer hours. However, it is not appropriate in a city such as Toowoomba. I suspect that most cities
and towns in Queensland would be in the same boat. I ask the minister to watch the situation very
carefully, to monitor it very carefully and to keep an open mind about further amendments to the
legislation with respect to trading hours into the future.
       Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (7.34 pm): I will start with a confession. Like thousands of
other Queensland parents, over the past few days I have had a few restless nights as my daughter has
joined other year 12 students at schoolies on the Gold Coast.
      Ms Grace: Mine is going next year.
       Mr EMERSON: I see I can share this experience. Some have already experienced it and others
are looking forward to it. I take that interjection from the member from Brisbane Central—
      Mrs Miller interjected.
      Mr EMERSON:—and the honourable member for Bundamba.
      Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Wendt): Order! My daughter is there now.
      Mr EMERSON: Mr Deputy Speaker, we are all sharing this experience. As I said, over the past
couple of days I have had a few restless nights. You hope that your son or daughter will make sensible
choices while at schoolies. You have checked where she is staying and who she is staying with—
      Mr Lawlor: Just like you did.
       Mr EMERSON: Well, at university. You try to resist making too many phone calls to make sure
that everything is okay.
      Mrs Miller: It won’t matter.
       Mr EMERSON: I hope it does matter. So far everything seems to be fine, but I have had some
restless nights over the past couple of days. The use and abuse of alcohol by our community’s youth is
an issue that parents have raised with me over the years. Often they feel powerless in the face of what
they perceive to be a growing culture of inappropriate and excessive drinking. Tackling this problem will
only be achieved through the combined efforts of stakeholders, including parents and government.
       My wife, Robin, along with other parents, successfully lobbied for the introduction into
Queensland of laws to change the Liquor Act aimed at helping curtail under-age drinking. The laws, with
fines ranging up to $6,000, were aimed at stopping situations such as occur at schoolies celebrations
where adults supply minors with large quantities of alcohol on private premises. Previously, liquor laws
had no specific measures for the supply of alcohol to minors in private places and allowed authorities
only to police licensed premises and public areas. In one of my first speeches in parliament I raised
concerns that the state government seemed to have failed to closely monitor those laws to ensure their
effectiveness. Recently the police minister has indicated that we now have closer monitoring of the
effectiveness of the laws.
4170                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

        I note that police have launched what they describe as their largest surveillance operation on the
traditional parent/student drop-off at schoolies. Parents are being urged not to return to the Gold Coast
to refuel their children at schoolies after this initial police booze blitz. Red Frogs hotline founder Andy
Gourley has said that parents were being encouraged not to return midweek to restock alcohol supplies.
He said that in the past parents have come back during the week to restock their children with grog. We
do not want that sort of support from parents.
        Recent studies have found that children supplied with alcohol by people other than their parents
are up to six times more likely to binge drink. A Deacon University study questioned nearly 4,000
children aged between 10 and 14 on under-age drinking. The study also found that the more friends a
child has who drink alcohol, the more likely that child is to obtain alcohol from people other than their
        While discussing the issue of access to alcohol and restrictions is extremely important, it can also
label you. As noted Queensland historian and recovered alcoholic Ross Fitzgerald recently wrote, you
risk being branded a wowser when you raise the issue of restrictions on the sale of and access to
alcohol. It is important to look at the research and evidence when we discuss this issue, such as the
Deacon study has indicated. As Dr Fitzgerald said, at the moment we have a situation where a
significant number of teenagers, particularly young girls, are presenting at emergency rooms of
hospitals having been the subject of alcohol related serious injury and sexual assault. The misuse of
alcohol can cause irreparable damage to the developing adolescent brain, and teenagers and young
adults need to be protected as much as possible from the injuries and harms associated with drinking
        Ian Webster, the Director of the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation, said the
international and local evidence is that extended hours of alcohol availability and the density of alcohol
outlets leads to higher rates of harm to local communities, drinkers and strangers. A particularly
disturbing trend is an increase, among Australians aged 16 to 24, in out-of-control drinking and
especially of binge drinking in teenage girls. The problem is accentuated if teenagers use other drugs
including ecstasy, ice, cocaine and especially marijuana. As I said earlier, dealing with this challenge will
require the combined efforts of stakeholders including parents and government. Parents need to take a
responsible approach and government needs to give them the legislative support required.
        The Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill that we are discussing tonight outlines a
number of initiatives by this government. It is the government’s response to a range of
recommendations from a parliamentary committee’s inquiry into alcohol related violence. There has
been widespread criticism that this response does not go far enough including from Paul Stanley, who
was appointed to a government-run youth violence task force after his son Matthew was fatally punched
outside a party in 2006.
        Even with the initiatives that are being adopted, there are concerns that they are being
implemented half-heartedly. For instance, one of the initiatives is a trial of drink-safe precincts from next
month. But this trial will only occur in three areas—Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville. In
the precincts, problem patrons will be banned and the precincts protected by extra police, taxi
supervisors and community safety personnel. The precincts, on Friday and Saturday nights, will be
treated similarly to schoolies on the Gold Coast where there is a coordinated response between police,
venue staff, paramedics and welfare workers to provide assistance to anyone in trouble and
reassurance for parents like myself.
        But, as the Queensland Police Union has pointed out, there are no plans to employ extra police in
these drink-safe precincts. Instead, as they say, ‘overworked and overstretched’ officers will be asked to
do overtime to boost officer numbers in the nightclub precincts. What additional funding there is is only
for the first year of the two-year trial. So it remains unclear whether government funding is sufficient to
deliver this limited trial of drink-safe precincts. In conclusion, it is important that the government does
more than deliver rhetoric and limited responses on this important issue of alcohol and violence for the
sake of all our communities.
        Mrs SMITH (Burleigh—ALP) (7.41 pm): Being a member from the Gold Coast, I am well aware of
the issues faced by local communities when it comes to the consumption of alcohol. The Gold Coast is
known the world over as a holiday destination and with that often comes disruption to the community.
This legislation seeks to strike a balance between those who wish to consume alcohol and the
communities that all too often must deal with the hangover effect of those who fail to conduct
themselves responsibly.
        A significant component of the Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill is the creation of
drink-safe precincts. This part of the policy has received widespread criticism from both the opposition
and the industry, but I believe it is an initiative that will have far-reaching results. The creation of drink-
safe precincts in areas such as Fortitude Valley, Townsville and Surfers Paradise means communities
that express concerns receive the targeted support they need. It means local problems can be met with
local solutions, and those services that seek to do this can be confident they have the resources and
support to do so effectively.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4171

        The Chill Out Zone has operated in Surfers Paradise since 1998, under the auspices of the Gold
Coast Youth Service. Angela Driscoll has been a driving force behind this service and it has been
achieving positive results for many years. Today it was announced that this service has been funded to
operate a similar service in Fortitude Valley. Ten years ago, Lance Mergard began a simple outreach
service to the Fortitude Valley area. ChaplainWatch now works in partnership with police, ambulance,
council and other stakeholders and offers a service to anyone in need, at risk or in crisis. I know Angela
will bring to the Valley experience gained on the Gold Coast, but she will also be looking to Lance for his
input and support. His knowledge of the area and guidance will be invaluable. I believe they will make a
wonderful team and will work together for the benefit of patrons in the Valley.
       Initiatives such as those provided in this bill place decision making where it firmly belongs—in the
hands of the local community. This is no more important than when it comes to the granting of liquor
licences. The Burleigh electorate has experienced its fair share of problems as a result of alcohol
consumption and, as a result of this, I like to ensure that residents are aware of liquor licensing
applications that may affect them. I do not see myself as a fuddy-duddy who wants to stop people
having fun or stifle development and innovation, but I have experienced some criticism for this recently.
We have a unique and relaxed lifestyle on the southern Gold Coast and I want to see that protected.
       A local business owner is attempting to open a bar on the rooftop of a Burleigh Heads beachfront
property. On this very day 12 months ago, I spoke in this House about his proposal and how it did not
have the support of the majority of local residents. Mr Ahmed El Safty, however, is not listening. He
claims it will be an exclusive venue—the ‘beautiful people, sipping on champagne and admiring the
view’. Many of the locals see it quite differently. They anticipate the noise and extra traffic will impact on
the peaceful enjoyment of their homes. They do not want a rooftop bar in this location.
       Mr El Safty has continued to push the boundaries. He applied for an extension to a liquor licence
to include the rooftop area, despite the fact that he has no approvals from the Gold Coast City Council to
undertake modifications to the roof area. Consideration of the liquor licence application has been
deferred until he can prove he has the approvals from the council in place. This has become the subject
of a court hearing set down for 1 December.
      A colleague of Mr El Safty’s telephoned and threatened me with court action unless I ceased
involvement in this matter, implying I was spreading lies about the proposal. Mr Deputy Speaker, I will
not be bullied or intimidated! It is my role to support my community and, in this instance, it is clear they
do not want to see this rooftop bar proceed. I commend the bill to the House.
       Hon. KL STRUTHERS (Algester—ALP) (Minister for Community Services and Housing and
Minister for Women) (7.45 pm): I rise to support the Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill as it
takes stronger steps to make our nightclub precincts much safer. Alcohol related violence,
particularly amongst youth, is a significant problem causing significant harm and must be controlled. We
have certainly taken a number of steps in recent years, and I commend many of the venue operators
who have taken on board the responsible alcohol provisions in our legislation and who have been
working together, particularly in the Valley and other hot spots such as Surfers Paradise and in North
Queensland. Even some of the regional centres I visited have set up their own liquor accords of some
kind with great success, particularly in areas such as Roma and Toowoomba.
       The key area of this bill that I want to comment on tonight is the aspect that relates mostly to my
portfolio, and that is the fact that this legislation is providing for the establishment of safe zones as part
of the drink-safe precincts. We will be providing $1.3 million over the next 12 months or so for the trials
in Surfers Paradise, the Valley and Townsville. The precincts will bring together a number of services to
deliver practical support to people leaving nightclubs and pubs.
        I have met with the Chill Out Zone, operating successfully on the Gold Coast for the last 10 years.
Angela Driscoll and the team there have been doing a great job. I met with them and looked through
their paperwork for their night’s work. They provide very practical help. I saw commentary like ‘Person A
presented intoxicated—rang mum.’ Their names were there but I will not use their names. ‘Person B
needed to go to the hospital—organised ambulance, sent to hospital.’ ‘Person C needed a bucket,
needed practical first aid.’ It was very practical help that they described they were providing. This is the
sort of thing that is needed—both the practical help and referral and support if there are more urgent or
critical needs.
       I know that the member for Burleigh, Christine Smith, has been a strong advocate of the Chill Out
Zone, as have other members on the Gold Coast. They have certainly indicated to me that the police,
the ambos and others fully support that service. Similarly, I know that the member for Brisbane Central,
Grace Grace, has been a strong advocate for the work that has been happening in the Valley by
volunteers, particularly Father Lance Merger and his team through ChaplainWatch. As the member for
Burleigh Heads said, a key part of the establishment of those new services will be that they work in with
existing services and emergency services providers and police.
4172                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

       A key aspect of this legislation in response to making these precincts safer is a stronger police
response. Again, I commend the police. They have a really tough job, particularly out on the beat at
night when people are charged up with alcohol. It is very difficult to handle those situations, but they do
a tremendous job and do it in cooperation with those services. Certainly I can attest to that in relation to
the way they have worked in Surfers Paradise and in Brisbane. I know from reports from Mandy
Johnstone, the member for Townsville, that they are doing a great job in Townsville too.
       I am pleased to announce today that the services providing support in Surfers Paradise, the
Valley and Townsville will be as follows. The Gold Coast Youth Service that has been operating the Chill
Out Zone will receive funding to expand its service from Thursday through to Saturday nights. The Gold
Coast Youth Service, using its model that has been successful on the coast, will work with service
providers in Fortitude Valley to operate a similar service. Anglicare will receive $230,000 to provide a
drink-safe zone in Townsville. This is great news for those local areas. They will have a much better
coordinated, significant after-hours response to support people who are intoxicated, in trouble or need
       The Townsville pilot will commence on Wednesday, 1 December to coincide with a concert
featuring international rock band Guns N’ Roses. The Fortitude Valley pilot will commence on Friday, 3
December. The Surfers Paradise trial, which is an extension of the existing Chill Out Zone that has been
operating and been very active through schoolies week, will formally commence on Thursday, 9
December just after the schoolies period ends. These are great services. Anglicare has a great
reputation for service delivery in Townsville. It is working on all sorts of fronts up there—the
homelessness area and others. It will provide a great service to people in need in Townsville.
       The Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill brings a number of activities and actions
together. I commend the minister, Peter Lawlor, for his attention to detail here. I commend the work of
the Law, Justice and Safety Committee that dealt in detail with these issues of alcohol related violence.
The staff associated with that committee have come up with a very comprehensive blueprint. This
government has taken those initiatives very seriously and come up with what I consider to be a very
solid response, particularly for the hot spots of the Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville.
       Mr SPRINGBORG (Southern Downs—LNP) (Deputy Leader of the Opposition) (7.51 pm): Let
me say at the outset that the problem we face currently with alcohol related violence has been a decade
in the making from a Labor government that has made excuses for violent offenders and allowed the
proliferation of licensed premises and extended trading times. In 1998, when this Labor government
came to power, there were a total of 1,653 liquor related offences, 20,591 good order offences and
17,564 assaults across Queensland. In the 2009-10 financial year there were 9,265 liquor related
offences, 52,670 good order offences and 20,513 assaults. This equates to increases of 560 per cent,
255 per cent and 16 per cent respectively. I suppose the only good news out of that is that we could
relate the later one, the 16 per cent with regard to assaults, as roughly equating to the growth in
population in Queensland over that period.
       In true Labor form, this issue has been allowed to fester like a sore for years. We have seen the
band-aid solutions and policy on the run from this government previously. We have heard blame and
excuses from a government that believes personal responsibility is someone else’s problem.
       Mr Lawlor interjected.
       Mr SPRINGBORG: If the minister hangs around, I will talk about the government response to the
report of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee that laid down a blueprint which should have been
more comprehensively debated in this place earlier this year but was basically wiped by this government
in a token way. This parliament should have debated that particular report.
       The responsible consumption of alcohol and the behaviour of individuals in and around licensed
premises is the responsibility of individuals. Clubs have a responsibility to meet their obligations around
the responsible service of alcohol but it is the drinker who must accept responsibility for their behaviour.
       When it comes to violence, put simply glasses do not throw themselves. Chairs do not throw
themselves. People in licensed premises are not forced to drink. There is no excuse for someone who
gets drunk and acts violently. Being drunk is not a mitigating factor and should in no way be used as
some sort of excuse in sentencing for violent crime. Quite the opposite, committing acts of violence
whilst intoxicated should be deemed more serious, not less.
       For too long violent thugs and drunken louts have been handed a free ride by weak sentencing
laws and a government that has, to date, dropped the ball on tackling violence. Instead, it has been
talking about tackling alcohol fuelled violence. That makes a great headline but does not put in place a
long-term strategy to hold offenders accountable and make licensed venues more safe.
       In speaking to the amendments to the Bail Act that are contained in the bill which we are debating
tonight, I am curious as to how the minister thinks these amendments strengthen the existing bail laws.
Under current provisions contained in section 11, the court or police already have the power to impose
any such condition it sees fit for any or all of the purposes contained in the section. This amendment is
more about window dressing than prescriptiveness. By using the word ‘may’ nothing is certain and
23 Nov 2010                   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4173

nothing will change. All this amendment will do is simply allow this long-term Labor government to say
that it is doing something when in actual fact it is doing nothing that does not already exist under the
existing suite of bail laws.
        It may interest the minister to know that magistrates and police already have the power to prohibit
persons on bail, however they see appropriate, under subsection 2 of the Bail Act. This may include
banning a person from returning to licensed premises or banning them from returning to a particular
area—for example, Brisbane city or Fortitude Valley mall.
        With new subsection 2AA I am very keen to hear from the minister how this is going to enhance
the response to violent drunken thugs being released on bail when the provision is discretionary and is
simply describing what already happens in practice. We already know how inconsistent existing
sentencing laws are under this Labor government. I ask the minister: why are the conditions of bail
proposed in new subsection 2AA not mandatory for all alcohol related violence matters? How will they
be enforced any differently to what already happens?
        In turning to the amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act it is important that
any amendments do not take away or diminish the effect of sentencing. In imposing banning orders on
an offender for relevant offences this should not affect the lead sentence imposed. I would hate to think
that a repeat or serious violent offender would avoid a deserving jail sentence because the court thinks
that a banning order in some way should be the sentence or form a large part of the sentence. The fact
that banning orders are a discretionary order which may be imposed signals that we will see many
offenders avoiding such orders and the government not properly reporting on such orders for fear of
showing how little they are used.
        We only have to consider the example of the graffiti clean-up orders to see how hit and miss they
have become, despite the proliferation of graffiti in Queensland. I doubt that more than a handful of
offenders in Queensland would have received a graffiti clean-up order in the time that these laws have
been in place in Queensland.
        What is wrong with imposing a banning order on every offender who commits a relevant offence
or offences? Is it not time we put real deterrents back into our sentencing laws? This would put some
real responsibility back on those people who do not want to take responsibility for their actions. Alcohol
related violence is not a new phenomenon and nor is it one that is likely to go away as long as we have
alcohol in our society. This is not to say, however, that we should not do everything that we can to
properly manage and hold accountable all those who choose to consume alcohol and to act in those
particular ways.
        I think it is important to appreciate just where violence occurs in Queensland. Most assaults occur
in the home and in the area around the home and are committed by someone that we know. While we
are here examining public alcohol related violence these strategies do nothing to quell the violence
occurring every day in households across Queensland.
        I want to conclude my remarks on this debate with some general observations on areas around
licensed premises. Through my travels around the state I have been horrified and disgusted to see the
results that a night of alcohol and crowds has on local communities. The rubbish, the stench and the
general disarray that greets people as the sun rises the morning after a night out is disgraceful and is
not something that anyone should have to confront. In particular, earlier this year I was in Townsville and
decided to go for a run that morning along the beautiful Townsville Strand, which is an absolute credit to
that community. We were running along Flinders Street East—a beautiful part of Townsville—and the
sun was just starting to rise. We came up to these premises and people were staggering out of them as
the sun was coming up. The place looked like a cross between a pigsty and a slum, to be quite frank.
The stench was unbelievable, the people were in total disorder and there was a mess across the street.
By the time we came back past that area the council workers had been there with their machines—there
were a number of them—and they had cleaned up much of it, but the stench was still very much there
        This is something that one witnesses here in town as well. Those of us who stay here quite often
on weekends—and I have done that for a number of years—sometimes go into town early in the
morning to pick up a paper or go to find something to eat. In the early hours of the morning, just as the
sun is starting to rise, you see the same sorts of things, with people staggering around and a similar
level of mess around the streets—not quite as much as I witnessed in Townsville, though. At that
particular time of morning there is a whole range of visitors to our cities. That happens in not only
Townsville but also Mackay, Cairns and our major provincial centres. Tourists and a range of people are
out there trying to enjoy the morning and they are confronted with that. They are confronted with
something like that, and it is not a pretty sight. This comes back to a lack of self-responsibility. Where is
the inherent right to do those sorts of things?
        Earlier tonight the minister challenged our stance. The Law, Justice and Safety Committee—a
bipartisan committee—was tasked to report to this parliament. People may not necessarily like some of
the elements of what that committee reported, but it was charged with a responsibility by the Premier of
Queensland to look at this issue. It was charged to go to nightclubs in the various precincts in all of the
4174                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                    23 Nov 2010

various parts of Queensland and report back to this place. By and large, it came down with some
significant bipartisan recommendations. There were some dissenting observations in some particular
areas, but the committee delivered quite a number of bipartisan recommendations. People might have
the view that some of them were over the top or some of them were a little bit misguided, but it was
charged with the responsibility by the Premier to look at this issue, to do its research, to talk to those
people who use these precincts, to talk to the licensees of the establishments and to talk to police
officers and those involved in the various support services.
      That committee came back and made a number of recommendations. It has not even been
debated in this parliament as a report. It was supposed to be such a big issue—it was an earth-
shattering issue reported on by this bipartisan committee—yet the report was not even debated in
parliament. This parliament should have had the chance to go through the report to decide what it liked
and what it did not like and set down the parameters. But, no, we have seen a very unilateral approach
from this government particularly encapsulated by a Premier who said, ‘No, we’re not going to do that.
We’re going to give them a few extra police officers and a bottle of water and a bit of token response
along the way.’ That is hardly a comprehensive response to this issue.
       I believe that we should be seriously looking at trading hours so that we can clean up some of
those areas before we have people walking down the street when the sun rises. That committee made
some significant recommendations in those areas and we have not seen them followed through. We
have not even seen them debated in this place. We as a parliament as a whole do not have a chance to
debate those issues. We have not seen them in legislation. There are a lot of people expressing
concerns. We have seen reports by the police. There have even been suggestions by the police that just
reducing trading hours by an hour or two could mean that we need to have about 170 fewer police
officers running around looking after those areas. To me, they are quite comprehensive
      I know that people want to have a greater amount of choice in how they drink and enjoy
themselves, but some of the things that we are seeing at four and five o’clock in the morning really are
not very much enjoyment. I am not so sure that they are enjoyment for the council workers in the
morning and I am not so sure that they are enjoyment for the people who have to pick up the pieces. We
even heard from the honourable member for Algester about the people who have to pick up the pieces.
The situations that those people are involved in are pretty inglorious. It stands to reason that the longer
you are out there doing this sort of stuff the more of a problem you have. For verification of that we need
look no further than the facts of what we have seen in the last 12 years in Queensland with the number
of public nuisance offences and alcohol related offences. We have seen significant increases in the last
12 years—560 per cent in the case of liquor related offences and 255 per cent in good order offences.
They are primarily due to the influence of alcohol and maybe some of these so-called recreational
drugs—and I hate using that term because they are life destroying.
       We have to be far more comprehensive about this and far less piecemeal. If you send a
committee out to do its job then you ought to make sure that you at least come into this place and more
comprehensively consider its recommendations than what we have seen from this government since
the time that committee reported to this parliament. If the government does not like it then it should at
least have the decency and at least have the respect for that committee to have the report debated in
this place, not basically palmed off without the chance to see what a real, decent and comprehensive
blueprint the majority of those recommendations could have brought about. This legislation is still very
piecemeal as far as the areas of my portfolio are concerned. They are very much window-dressing and
they are not going to change too much at all.
        Mr RYAN (Morayfield—ALP) (8.06 pm): I rise to contribute to the debate on the Liquor and Other
Legislation Amendment Bill. People in the Morayfield state electorate are fortunate to have a strong,
active and community minded liquor industry action group in our area. The Caboolture LIAG is not only
well respected in our community; its members regularly win awards for responsible and safe liquor
service practices. I note that both the Caboolture RSL and the Caboolture Sports Club have recently
won awards for their good work. I also congratulate the Caboolture Sports Club on the completion of its
renovation works, and I look forward to joining with the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading at the
official opening of its renovated building next week.
      One of the things about the Caboolture LIAG that really impressed me this year was its
sponsorship of a responsible-service-of-alcohol course at the Morayfield State High School. The
students who completed this course did not just end up with a qualification that could help them get a job
in the hospitality industry; these students also learned about responsible service of alcohol and,
accordingly, the responsible consumption of alcohol, and that is an important point. Creating safe and
supportive communities and creating safe venues for people to consume alcohol need to be a priority
and need to involve individuals taking responsibility for their own actions. I commend the Caboolture
LIAG for doing its bit by being active, promoting safe practices and supporting the learning of local
young people.
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                4175

       But the tragedies caused by the alcohol related violence that we have recently witnessed mean
that more must be done to secure the safety of people at licensed venues in our communities. The
responsible-service-of-alcohol principle is an expectation and requirement imposed on licensed venues
and the liquor industry. On the other hand, the responsible consumption of alcohol is about individual
attitudes and individual responsibility.
       This parliament, through the legislation it passes, can send clear messages to our community
about the type of society we want to live in. The clear message of this bill is about creating safe
communities and encouraging the responsible consumption of alcohol. It is impossible to expect the
liquor industry and licensed venues to do all the heavy lifting of reform. Reform must involve the
government, the community, the liquor industry, the police and, most importantly, individuals. The work
of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee must be acknowledged as a key basis for the reforms before
the House today.
       As members are aware, on 18 March 2010 the Law, Justice and Safety Committee tabled its final
report on its inquiry into alcohol related violence. After the release of the Law, Justice and Safety
Committee’s final report, the government undertook extensive consultation with industry and the
broader community to develop a policy response to the report’s recommendations. Multiple meetings
were held with both industry and community stakeholders to obtain feedback on the report’s final
recommendations. The participants at those meetings were invited to make written submissions to the
government and were also invited to complete a stakeholder survey. In addition, an online survey
received approximately 16,000 responses from community members, with a particularly high response
from young people. To further engage young people, on 23 June 2010 a youth forum was held to seek
their opinions and perspectives regarding the report’s recommendations.
       The Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill amends legislation to enable a number of
recommendations made in the committee’s report to be implemented. This bill supports the following
strategies: the establishment of drink-safe precincts in nominated pilot areas; the introduction of new
court based banning powers for people convicted of violent alcohol related offences in drink-safe
precincts; limitations on the ordinary trading hours for new bottle shops and other new takeaway liquor
outlets; a greater emphasis on community consultation and aspects of community amenity as part of the
liquor licensing process; and, importantly for the people of the Morayfield state electorate, an extension
of the extended trading hours application moratorium until the end of 2013.
        This bill will deliver good reforms for our community. This bill builds on partnerships with industry
and the community. It sends strong messages about the responsible consumption of alcohol and
ensuring that licensed venues are safe and supportive environments. It also allows the community to
have a greater say in where licensed venues are located and the hours for which they are open. I
commend the committee, the minister, his staff and the department for their respective contributions to
this bill. Accordingly, I commend the bill to the House and I ask all members to support it.
         Mr WETTENHALL (Barron River—ALP) (8.11 pm): I rise to speak in support of the Liquor and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2010. I want to comment briefly on the extended trading hours
application moratorium for takeaway liquor trading hours, but before I do I will just mention some of the
initiatives that have been undertaken in my local area of Cairns, particularly through the Cairns accord,
which is known as the Cairns City Licensee Safety Association. I will mention a couple of those
initiatives because it is very important, in attacking the problem of public drunkenness, alcohol related
violence and antisocial behaviour, to adopt a multipronged approach.
        After listening to some of the speakers, particularly on the opposition side, you could be forgiven
for thinking that the proverbial magic wand would solve all of the problems and that the solution to all of
the problems rests in the simple measure of reducing trading hours. That is not the case. The liquor
accords that have emerged in a number of regions, and the one that has been operating in Cairns for
some time, provide a very good example of how different approaches tailored to local circumstances
can work. Some of the initiatives of the accord have included limiting alcohol sales where agreement
has been reached with the Queensland Police Service and with the central business district licensees
that, for example, cask wine will not be sold prior to 4 pm. That agreement has resulted in some very
significant reductions in drunkenness in the Cairns city CBD area. There has also been established a
radio connection between licensees and council security, and a local initiative relating to patron safety
around signage and posters has been developed. It is called the Golden Rules poster and it is displayed
in hostels and motels providing warning advice to visitors to Cairns on remaining safe.
       Recently I convened a meeting of a number of tourism industry stakeholders in Cairns, including
overseas consulates, the police and other stakeholders, to examine further what measures have been
undertaken to promote safety for tourists to my area in particular. A number of good ideas have
emerged out of that that are being worked on at the present time. I look forward to reporting back to the
House on some of those ideas at a future time. Other initiatives have included the introduction of ID
scanners. Two popular late-night venue accord members now use ID scanners which, again, has
resulted in a reduction in incidents occurring at these venues. As at July this year, initiatives in relation to
drink promotions have been introduced at seven of the accord venues. Those venues have signed up to
4176                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                     23 Nov 2010

a drink promotion policy, developed by the accord, with the aim of ensuring that drink promotions in the
CBD were consistent and, most importantly, in keeping with the responsible service of alcohol
principles. Work is continuing to have additional venues sign up to and enhance that policy.
        The most recent initiative was in October of this year where the Cairns Liquor Accord commenced
a trial banning procedure involving 14 late trading venues within the CBD. A couple of weeks ago—on
10 November—the first person was banned under this scheme and she was a 15-year-old female who
was reported to have attempted to gain entry to a number of late-night venues over a considerable
period. The point I am making is that a range of initiatives can be implemented through liquor accords as
well as the changes that are provided for in this bill that are aimed at reducing the problems that I think
every member in this House recognises exists in certain places. But one size does not fit all and it is
important that new initiatives, particularly when they are imposed by the legislature through legislation or
by regulations, are trialled in some of these key areas and that the learnings that will undoubtedly be
achieved as a result of those trials can be assessed for their suitability and relevance to be applied in
other areas instead of having a simplistic reduction in trading hours that some speakers have suggested
ought to be a part of this bill.
       The extended trading hours application moratorium is included in this bill. The bill extends the
current extended trading hours application moratorium until 31 December 2013. The original
moratorium was passed by the parliament in October 2009 following a parliamentary statement by the
Premier and Minister for the Arts on 16 September 2009. In announcing that moratorium, the Premier
recognised that the moratorium was a response to real and legitimate concerns about the impact of
extended trading hours on local communities, particularly in suburban areas. At the same time the
Premier recognised the need to maintain the opportunity for Queenslanders and visitors to enjoy a
vibrant night-life in appropriate settings. The moratorium prevents a person from making an extended
trading hours application in relation to a liquor licence during the moratorium period except for an
application for a licensed premises within an extended trading hours precinct, which is an area that has
a concentration of premises with extended trading hours approval between 12 am and 5 am and is
prescribed in a regulation. Cairns is one of those places that is unsurprisingly prescribed in that
regulation and it is one of 10 such places in Queensland.
        Currently, the moratorium is due to end at midnight on 15 December 2010. It has been extended
by three months from 15 September this year by the Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading by gazette
notice, but the proposed extension in this bill of the moratorium until December 2013 will keep it in place
until after the implementation and associated evaluation of the new drink-safe precinct pilots. That is an
eminently sensible approach.
       The takeaway liquor trading hours are included in this bill and are a response to recommendation
42 of the final report of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s inquiry into alcohol related violence,
tabled in parliament on 18 March 2010. That recommendation was that maximum hours for detached
bottle shops should be reduced from the current ordinary trading hours of 10 am to midnight to new
trading hours of 10 am to 9 pm. The government response tabled in parliament on 30 August 2010
supported this recommendation in principle but stated that reduced trading hours would only be
applicable to new applications relating to bottle shops and other takeaway liquor outlets. The response
also stated that reduction in trading hours would be between 10 am and 10 pm, with the ability for
licensees to apply for extended trading hours approval between 9 am and 10 am and between 10 pm
and midnight if there is demonstrated community need.
       The bill therefore amends the Liquor Act so that ordinary trading hours applicable to new
applications relating to liquor sold as takeaway from bottle shops and other takeaway liquor outlets is
10 am until 10 pm. The licensees will be able to apply to the Queensland Liquor and Gaming
Commission to sell takeaway liquor from 9 am until 10 am or from 10 pm until 12 midnight, although
they will need to demonstrate a community need for the application to be approved. It is intended that
the commission may be satisfied that there is a demonstrated community need only if an applicant
demonstrates that there is a level of demand within the local community that justifies the extended
trading hours sought in the application. Examples of reasons for a level of demand that may require
extended trading hours include that the licensed premises are located in an area popular with tourists or
for dining or that there has been a significant increase in population in the local area.
       The commission is not limited just to considering demand but will also take into consideration
other matters when determining whether there is demonstrated community need. The threshold for the
commission in deciding what constitutes community need will be a balance of factors. In addition to
demand that may result, for example, from the premises being located in a tourist or dining area, the
commission will also consider community amenity and safety, the health and social impact of the
extended trading hours on the local area, proximity to sensitive subcommunities such as places of
worship and schools or any other matter relevant to minimising harm and the potential for harm from
alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence, adverse effects on the safety or health of members
of the public and adverse effects on the amenity of the community.
23 Nov 2010                   Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4177

       In order to minimise the impact on industry and consistent with the stated government response
to recommendation 42 of the inquiry, the new restricted hours of 10 am until 10 pm will apply only to new
applications or when a licence is transferred to another person.
       In conclusion, I commend the work of the committee and the recommendations which have
provided the impetus for these changes to the Liquor Act and the Liquor Regulation. It is a complex
area. It is an area where there is a wide divergence of community opinion. But nevertheless the
committee did an excellent job and I commend them. Can I also commend the minister, the Hon. Peter
Lawlor, for bringing together that report and its recommendations and producing what I think is an
excellent piece of legislation. We will all have an opportunity to see how these new changes work and
the positive and effective measures can be applied elsewhere in this state when the time is right. I
commend the bill to the House.
       Madam DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Farmer): Before we proceed I would like to welcome members
of the Queensland Branch of Amnesty International and of the Karen community to the chamber.
       Hon. JC SPENCE (Sunnybank—ALP) (8.23 pm): I rise in support of the government’s Liquor and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill. I support the establishment of the two-year pilots of drink-safe trials
in Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville. I suspect that I speak with more authority than most
members of this House when I say that I have a great understanding of the problems of liquor abuse in
those particular precincts. As police minister I accompanied the police on Friday and Saturday at
midnight in each of those areas on a number of occasions and while I am not necessarily a nightclub
goer myself anymore, I appreciate from walking out with the police officers just what happens in those
precincts, not only in those three geographical locations around the state but also in other entertainment
precincts in Queensland. I have to say that it is an eye-opener to go to the Valley on a Friday or
Saturday night, for example, and see tens of thousands of people, mostly young people, inhabit those
areas for many hours late into the evening and early into the morning. Quite frankly, I was shocked. It
was quite different from the days when I was young and went out to clubs. Just the sheer volume of
young people crossing the streets in dangerous conditions, of young people searching for public toilets
which do not exist, of young people tying to find their way home by taxis or public transport and
experiencing problems concerned me greatly.
       A number of people have raised tonight the proliferation of liquor licences in this state throughout
the last two decades. I think the member for Southern Downs made specific mention of this. Clearly the
governments of the day had to increase the number of liquor licences with the growing population, but it
does concern me that we have increased the number of liquor licences in small geographical locations
such as the Valley. I am more concerned about them than Surfers Paradise and Townsville. I do not
think we have those great numbers in those precincts. In the Valley in particular we have increased the
number of liquor permits and, quite frankly, I think it is to the detriment of those entertainment precincts.
I hope that governments of the future would really consider where they allocate liquor licences so that
we do not concentrate those licences in one small precinct like we have done in the Valley and force
young people in particular to congregate in a very small geographical area and, of course, strain police
       I support the creation of these drink-safe precincts and I acknowledge that the government will
commit more than $4 million to community safety and health resources in those precincts in the first 12
months and I hope that that makes a difference. I also support the banning of people from these
precincts which we are going to approve this evening in this legislation. Clearly there are some repeat
offenders who need to be taught a lesson. I think that to ban them from these precincts for a period of 12
months will hopefully be an appropriate punishment to teach those people a lesson.
       There are a number of speakers today on this bill who feel, as I do, disappointed that the
government has not really come to grips with the issues of trading hours in this legislation. I
acknowledge that we are passing a moratorium on extended trading hour applications until 2013. For a
local member of parliament like myself this means that the Sunnybank Hotel’s application to extend its
trading hours from 2 am till 5 am will be rejected until 2013. But I have always held the view that we
have gone too far in extending our trading hours in this state. We have, I think, too easily listened to
those in the tourism industry who tell us that we need long trading hours for our tourist trade. Successive
governments over the years have allowed these trading hours to extend until 5 am. I have never
supported that. I believe that we should have a level playing field with regard to trading hours in
Queensland. Personally I would like to see the whole state shut down at 3 am. I think that young people
would easily learn to go out earlier and enjoy themselves and have a good night out if trading hours
were to conclude at 3 am. I do not believe that we need to have 5 am trading to benefit our tourism
industry or the entertainment industry in general.
       Other countries in the world, and I use the United States of America as an example, do not have
these late-night trading hours. Generally in America everything shuts down at 2 am. It is quite unusual
for many clubs and hotels to go until 2 am. In most states of America they will shut at midnight or 1 am.
So I do not think the argument that we need 5 am trading hours to benefit our tourism industry is a
legitimate one and, certainly given the decline in tourism in the last 12 months, I do not believe that our
extended trading hours has had any influence or impact on our tourism problems one way or the other.
4178                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

        While I am disappointed that the government has not taken the opportunity with the review of this
Liquor Act and the good work done by the Law, Justice and Safety Committee in looking at these issues,
I do acknowledge the good intentions of this bill. I think the government and members of parliament
generally have a good understanding of the problems with alcohol related violence and have a good
understanding of the stress and pressures on our police, ambulance officers and community service
workers, who deal with these problems on our behalf on a weekly basis.
        Today we have gone a long way to improving some of the hot spots around Queensland.
However, I would like everyone to continue to go down the path of contemplating a wholesale reduction
in trading hours as a future step forward. As the mother of teenage sons, I have seen firsthand how
young people today drink at home, party in each other’s homes and then go out to nightclubs at
midnight rather than how it was in our day when we all went out at eight o’clock and came home at
midnight or one o’clock and we had had a good night out. I do not necessarily think what we have done
in respect of trading hours has benefited society.
        Mr Mulherin: You had a good night out at Calen.
        Ms SPENCE: I have had a good night out at Calen. I do not think that has benefited our young
people and I think in the future we should not be frightened of reversing some of the ill-founded
decisions of the past.
        With those concerns, I am happy to support the government’s legislation before us tonight. I think
it is a positive step forward. I am very optimistic that these drink-safe precincts will improve the levels of
violence and the safety for our young people, at least in these three areas of Queensland.
        Hon. PJ LAWLOR (Southport—ALP) (Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading) (8.31 pm), in reply: I
thank all members for their contributions and for their support for the amendments contained in the
Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill. The amendments are an important contribution to the
government’s Toward Q2 commitment to support safe and caring communities. I thank all those who
have had input into the development of the bill, particularly the many departmental officers who worked
tirelessly on delivering this bill in a short timeframe for the pilot of drink-safe precincts in December. The
dedication and professionalism of these officers cannot be overstated. I also would like to thank the
various stakeholders who have had valuable input during the policy development stage.
        May I first turn to the issue of consultation leading up to this bill, particularly in reply to the
concerns of several members including the member for Mermaid Beach. I can advise that the
government undertook extensive consultation with industry and the community on developing the
government response to the Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s report into alcohol related violence,
which informed part of the content of this bill. The Deputy Premier and Minister for Health, the Treasurer
and Minister for Employment and Economic Development and I met with industry representatives and
community representatives on several occasions to discuss the range of issues presented by the
committee’s report. This government recognises the valued contribution that the industry makes to our
community. It employs approximately 34,900 people and improves the quality of life of Queenslanders
through the provision of sporting and recreational facilities. In 2008 clubs and hotels contributed close to
$50 million in cash and in-kind support to the Queensland community.
        The views of young Queenslanders were also sought. Young people were engaged via an online
survey, which attracted approximately 16,000 responses, and through a youth forum which I held in
June. The views of drink-safe precinct committee members also informed the content of this bill.
Industry, community and transport authorities are represented on the committees, and their practical
insight and local knowledge proved valuable in developing workable policy solutions.
        The Queensland Gaming Commission provided important feedback on the proposed expansion
of its role to make key liquor licensing decisions of significant community impact. The cooperation and
enthusiasm of the commission in supporting the expanded role are appreciated. I am sure the
professionalism and commitment displayed by its members will ensure the Queensland Liquor and
Gaming Commission proves an effective decision-making body.
        The bill reflects this government’s desire to work in partnership with both the industry and the
community so that Queensland has a balanced and responsible approach to the regulation of the liquor
industry and areas in the vicinity of licensed premises. The needs and interests of industry and the wider
community were taken into account when the amendments were developed and will continue to be
during the implementation process and drink-safe precinct pilots.
        A number of amendments in this bill seek to increase community safety and improve
public amenity within the Queensland community. For example, the creation of drink-safe precincts will
allow for the development of practical local solutions and initiatives to tackle alcohol related issues
specific to localised areas. Local issues such as crowding, queuing, traffic and toilet amenities can be
addressed through drink-safe precinct committees.
        There will be an increased police presence in each of the precincts, with a significant number of
officers on the beat in each of the pilot precincts. In addition, each precinct will have safe ‘rest and
recovery’ zones. The safe zones and the increased police presence have been funded by the
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4179

government to the total amount of $4.2 million in the first year. The government is piloting drink-safe
precincts in three late-night entertainment areas across Queensland to deliver practical local solutions
to reduce alcohol related violence in local areas. The pilots of drink-safe precincts will be conducted
from December this year in Fortitude Valley, Surfers Paradise and Townsville only.
        A number of members have asked about the time period for the pilots and the location of the pilot
areas. The drink-safe precincts are intended to be piloted for two years to give the new measures a
chance to work, and a full two years of data will be gathered to ensure that the government gets it right.
If the drink-safe precinct approach works well, the government will consider implementing the approach
in other areas throughout the state if appropriate. It is intended that the drink-safe precinct pilots will
inform the development of any future regulatory framework in this regard, including in regard to the
issue of future extended trading hours and the state-wide lockout.
        The bill amends the reference to ‘objects’ of the Liquor Act, retitling them to ‘main purposes’ of the
Liquor Act. This is consistent with current drafting principles and the Acts Interpretation Act 1954, which
refers to an act’s ‘purposes’ rather than its ‘objects’ in sections 14A and 14B. The bill is also intended to
provide that the main purpose of the act encompasses key regulatory objectives including the
minimisation of harm and the potential for harm from alcohol abuse and misuse, as well as adverse
effects on public safety and health and adverse effects on community amenity. Further, the section
regarding the underlying principle for facilitating and regulating the liquor industry has been amended so
that it is subject to the main purpose of the Liquor Act regarding the minimisation of harm and the
potential for harm from alcohol abuse and misuse, as well as adverse effects on public safety and health
and adverse effects on community amenity.
       The amendments are intended to strengthen the ability of the new Queensland Liquor and
Gaming Commission for liquor applications of significant community impact and the chief executive for
all other liquor applications, in assessing the merits of an application, to afford significant weight to the
key regulatory objectives in making a decision. The creation of new civil court based banning powers for
drink-safe precincts will also contribute to community safety and improving public amenity.
       Individual responsibility is the message to be taken from these measures. The community must
be protected from people who go out looking for trouble and endanger public safety. I want to see an
environment in which people can go out, have a good time and return home safely, and these banning
powers are part of that. The civil ban will allow for persons who commit an act of violence, including
threats or attempts, to person or property that would cause a person in the vicinity to reasonably fear
bodily harm to any person or damage to property in a licensed premises or in any area in the vicinity of
a drink-safe precinct, without reasonable excuse, and posing an unacceptable risk to the good order of
licensed premises or the safety and welfare of other persons attending licensed premises, and areas in
the vicinity of licensed premises within a drink-safe precinct, to be banned from specified licensed
premises or a specified area or event to be held at a public place at which liquor is sold within a drink-
safe precinct for up to 12 months.
        I note that the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee has commented that clause 47, insofar as it
inserts new part 6C into the Liquor Act to provide for the making of civil banning orders to minimise harm
associated with alcohol related issues, may affect rights and liberties of individuals to freedom of
movement, residence and association. As it is proposed that a civil banning order may be issued to a
person who has not been convicted of an offence, it could be argued that the relevant provisions in the
bill are not consistent with fundamental legislative principles. However, this must be balanced against
the public policy objective of regulation compatible with minimising harm and the potential for harm from
alcohol abuse and misuse and associated violence, as well as minimising adverse effects on the health
and safety of members of the public.
       In addition, the civil and criminal court based banning schemes in the bill contain the inherent
safeguards associated with a judicial process, for example consistency with natural justice principles, a
right of hearing and an appropriate avenue of appeal. It is intended that the banning regimes will be
examined at the end of six months of implementation to ensure that the regimes are achieving the
desired effect while minimising the impact on the rights and liberties of persons. This will be followed by
a broader analysis of the drink-safe precinct pilots and civil banning regimes.
        The extension of the extended trading hours application moratorium until December 2013 in the
bill means suburban clubs and hotels will not be able to sell liquor beyond their already approved liquor
trading hours for at least another three years. This reminds licensees that approvals for extended liquor
trading hours are a privilege and not a right. I note that this amendment affects existing statutory rights
post the current moratorium period to make an application and have it decided. I also note that the
Scrutiny of Legislation Committee has raised concerns on work related rights. However, the sale of
liquor is highly regulated on the grounds of public interest and the proposed extension of the moratorium
is intended to allow for the implementation and evaluation of the government’s place based
management approach through the pilot drink-safe precincts. The moratorium has been in place since
September 2009, so the extension maintains the current regime already imposed by parliament.
4180                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

       The sale of takeaway liquor from bottle shops and other takeaway liquor outlets is to be restricted
by changes to the ordinary trading hours for such establishments through clauses 21 and 27. I note that
the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee, as with the moratorium amendment, also raised concerns on this
issue in regard to work related rights. Whilst it may be argued that this affects existing rights to carry on
a business selling liquor, it again needs to be noted that the sale of liquor is highly regulated on the
grounds of public interest and the proposed new restrictions are only minor changes to the regulatory
environment. It also needs to be noted that these changes will not impact on existing licensees’ current
approved trading hours. The amendments will not impact on the current actual hours of existing bottle
shops and other takeaway outlets, but rather will only affect new applications relating to takeaway liquor
and transfers of licences. Applications can be made for takeaway liquor trading hours outside the new
ordinary hours of 10 am to 10 pm for new applicants and transferees, provided community need can be
demonstrated. The amendments to restrict bottle shop and other takeaway outlets trading hours are in
response to a recommendation by the parliamentary Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s final report
into alcohol related violence.
       The bill also highlights the importance the government places on regulating the liquor industry,
and now areas in the vicinity of licensed premises, in a way compatible with minimising harm from
alcohol abuse and misuse, adverse effects on the health or safety of members of the public and adverse
effects on the amenity of communities. This is intended to be achieved directly by amending the
purposes as well as the underlying principle provisions of the Liquor Act to highlight these matters as the
main purpose of the act and ensure significant weight is afforded to these matters over other
considerations in the making of liquor licensing decisions. I welcome that a number of honourable
members were supportive of this change to the act.
       The bill also reduces the regulatory burden on industry by combining the gambling and liquor
licensing application process for applications of significant community impact and allowing those
decisions to be made by one independent statutory body, the Queensland Liquor and Gaming
Commission. The bill also amends the Liquor Act through clause 26 to provide for standard licence
conditions to be prescribed in a regulation. I note the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee has commented
that this may be inconsistent with Section 4(3)(a) of the Legislative Standards Act, which provides that
legislation makes rights and liberties, or obligations, dependent on administrative power only if the
power is sufficiently defined and subject to appropriate review. It could be argued that the amendment to
provide for standard licence conditions does not provide statutory rights of appeal.
       However, prescribed standard conditions are intended to apply to certain licence types, licences
generally or on licences within drink-safe precincts. For example, a standard condition could require
licensees in a particular drink-safe precinct to adopt a particular safety initiative. In this regard,
the amendment allows for a more efficient method of regulating licensees, with particular conditions that
are relevant to multiple licences being able to be applied in a standard manner rather than individually
applied to each licence. The power of the chief executive and the Queensland Liquor and Gaming
Commission to impose conditions on individual licences remains and is appealable to the Queensland
Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
       The bill also amends the Adult Proof of Age Card Act 2008 to allow for a person who is 17 years
and 11 months of age to apply for an adult proof of age card and to clarify that the applicant is not
entitled to be issued an adult proof of age card until they are at least 18 years of age. In response to
queries from honourable members, including the member for Mermaid Beach, I can advise that there
will be a small cost increase for the card to pay for new infrastructure and development costs to deliver
what will be a more secure product with strong privacy protections.
       I now turn to certain specific issues raised by various honourable members during the course of
the second reading debate. I note the member for Mermaid Beach expressed concerns about the
decision that ordinary trading hours for takeaway liquor be between 10 am until 10 pm. The 10 pm
closure is intended to provide for some additional time beyond the committee’s recommended 9 pm
closure so as to provide for Queensland’s night-time commercial dining needs. I also note the
honourable member’s concern that changes to takeaway liquor hours will not impact on existing
licensees’ current approved trading hours. However, the government believes that existing
arrangements should be honoured and that over time the new hours will become the norm as new
applicants and transferees come into the market. Further, the government has provided the opportunity
for takeaway liquor outlets to apply for extended trading, both for the period 9 am to 10 am, which would
allow takeaway outlets in shopping centres, for example, to apply to align their hours with other traders
in the centre, as well as between 10 pm and midnight, particularly for those areas that may be significant
tourist or very late-night dining destinations.
      In regard to the moratorium on extended trading hours after midnight, the honourable member
queries the extended trading hours exemption precincts. These precincts provide a very narrow
exemption from the moratorium where there is already a collection of post-midnight traders. Further, any
applications lodged by venues within these precincts will be subject to very strict criteria, including a
23 Nov 2010                    Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                              4181

community impact statement. These exemptions have been in place for well over a year and the
government believes that it has got the balance right so as to protect community amenity, but also to
ensure that Queensland continues to have a vibrant night-life.
       In regard to the banning provisions, the member for Mermaid Beach raised the issue as to
whether police would be more likely to pursue a civil banning option rather than a criminal prosecution.
The civil banning process is intended as an additional mechanism, in the interests of community safety,
to provide for the banning of people who have committed acts of violence. It does not detract from the
normal prosecution processes that are intended to hold people criminally responsible for their actions,
where evidence exists for a case to be made. Further, unlike a civil ban, a ban under the Penalties and
Sentences Act 1992 is a sentencing option only. It is available to a court when an offender has been
convicted of an offence that involved the use, or threatened or attempted use, of unlawful violence to
person or property and the sentencing court is satisfied of certain other matters. It is a sentencing option
only. There is no question of the requirement to reach the criminal standard of proof, because it follows
a criminal conviction for an offence, such as assault.
      Mr Stevens: It’s not hard to get a criminal conviction.
       Mr LAWLOR: This is in addition to the civil banning order. The standard of proof that you are
talking about does not apply.
      Mr Stevens: There are two streams.
       Mr LAWLOR: The member should listen. There are two methods: there is the civil banning order
to one side and then there is the issue under the Penalties and Sentences Act. In addition to the fine or
the probation—whatever the penalty—imposed on a person who is already convicted, the banning order
can be added as part of the penalty. It has nothing to do with the criminal onus of proof.
      The member for Mermaid Beach asked about penalties for alcohol related violence, including
those involving glass. Amendments to the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 are not required in this
regard, given that the courts already take ‘intoxication’ into account in the sentencing process where
relevant and on a case-by-case basis. Developing specific penalties for defined alcohol related offences
would remove the ability of the court to consider the many different circumstances in which alcohol is
      In regard to the provision of child safety services, the government already has in place a 24-hour
state-wide service provided by Child Safety Services to assist Queensland police and community
agencies in relation to child protection matters where a child has been harmed or is at risk of harm.
       It is a matter of public record that the Queensland government welcomed and supported the vast
majority of the Law, Justice and Safety Committee’s inquiry recommendations—in fact 58 out of the 68
recommendations. Many of the recommendations that are being implemented by the government do not
in fact require legislation. I would urge all honourable members to read the government’s response to
the committee’s report which was tabled on 30 August 2010.
       The government also acknowledges that an ever increasing number of venues, particularly high-
risk venues, have introduced ID scanners as a security measure. However, it recognises the importance
of venues ensuring that appropriate safeguards are put in place to deal with privacy and security of the
information stored. The government will work with stakeholders in developing best practice for the use
of ID scanning systems by licensed venues.
       I thank the member for Maryborough for his supportive comments about the contents of the bill. I
note that the honourable member mentioned the need to change the drinking culture in our community,
particularly in regard to minors. I agree with the member in that regard, but of course changing culture is
not something that you can do overnight. In terms of the question about what is encompassed in the
term ‘violence to property’, ultimately this is a matter for the courts, bearing in mind that this is only one
element to be looked at by a court when making a banning order.
       That is why a revised version of the ‘Don’t kid yourself’ television advertisement and a new radio
advertisement has been back on the air since mid-November 2010. That was also a recommendation of
the Law, Justice and Safety Committee. It recommended that the hard-hitting advertising campaign be
re-launched as part of its inquiry into alcohol related violence. The re-launch of the advertisement is
expected to help educate parents about the consequences of supplying liquor to their under-age
       I welcome the member for Gladstone’s support for the bill, and I have noted the honourable
member’s comments in regard to the responsible service of alcohol. The government is working hard in
this area and has recently implemented mandatory RSA training and will be evaluating this program to
ensure that it remains at best practice standard. In regard to the particular issues that the honourable
member has concerns about in the Gladstone area and elsewhere in the state, I look forward to our
4182                           Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                      23 Nov 2010

meeting later this week to discuss some of these matters. RSA is not an easy thing to do, as was
mentioned by the member for Beaudesert, who has had experience working in pubs—probably as most
of us here have. It is a fine line to decide when a particular patron has had enough and refuse service.
       It is interesting to note that the member for Hinchinbrook has reservations regarding the banning
of glass in high-risk venues and holds the view that the government pre-empted the committee’s
deliberations in this regard. This seems in stark contrast to the views of the senior leadership of the LNP
which was supportive, I thought, of glass bans, although I do recall them saying at one stage that it was
an expensive impost on businesses. So I am not exactly sure what their position is.
        I would like to foreshadow four amendments that I will move during consideration in detail of the
bill. These are minor amendments that will add clarity to the relevant provisions. The amendments
address the manner in which a respondent may file a response to a civil banning application, the action
the court can take if the respondent fails to appear, the provision of banning information to licensees and
clarify that a banning order can apply to an entire drink-safe precinct.
         The member for Buderim raised the issue that proposed safety zones and transport initiatives in
the pilot precincts are not provided for in the bill. I can advise the member that legislation is not required
for the proposed safety zones. These zones will be run by experienced service providers sourced via
the normal tender processes within the Department of Communities. With regard to precinct transport
initiatives, these initiatives are being coordinated by the respective drink-safe precinct committees
through existing transport legislative and administrative mechanisms.
    The member for Gaven wants a reduction in trading hours, but I do not think that is what the
member for Mermaid Beach has called for. Do you want a reduction in trading hours?
       Mr Stevens: Where is the money for those drink-safe precincts?
       Mr LAWLOR: No. The question was: did you call for a reduction in trading hours?
       Mr Stevens: No, you’re not asking the questions.
       Mr LAWLOR: I will assume that you are not calling for a reduction in trading hours; the member
for Gaven is. So there is another example of them having no plan and no direction. As I recall, I think the
member for Mermaid Beach in relation to policy has a plan to make a plan. That does not take us very
far at all.
      The member for Currumbin says that there are no new initiatives. This is factually incorrect. She
mentioned that the Police Union supports reduced hours but the member for Mermaid Beach is
obviously not calling for a reduction. So, again, we have a conflict. The member for Toowoomba South
wants a reduction in trading hours. So there is another conflict.
       The member for Southern Downs questioned how the changes to the Bail Act strengthened the
current provisions. While it is currently possible to make a banning order as a condition of bail, it is not
commonly done by the courts. The bill therefore amends the Bail Act to highlight that a ‘special
condition’ to a grant of bail can include a banning condition. The bill also places a mandatory
requirement on the bail granting authority to consider including a banning condition in certain
      By way of summation, the amendments in this bill provide a proper balance between providing
safe entertainment areas for Queenslanders to enjoy a night out, while ensuring that industry is not
overburdened by regulation, and providing appropriate protections to ensure that any potential harm
from the industry is minimised. I believe that this bill will contribute to making Queensland a safer yet
more vibrant place to live and a better place to do business.
      The members for Everton, Toowoomba North and certainly Toowoomba South mentioned the
issue of trading hours. Certainly if this pilot program is not successful then the issue of trading hours will
have to be addressed. I thank all honourable members for their support for the bill.
      I would also like to specifically thank the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation staff—David
McKarzel, Monique Bielanowski, Steven Nicolson, Martin Scott and Alison Ryding. I also thank the
members of JAG—Erin Voedin, Louise Sheppard and Caroline McAnelly. I also thank members of the
Law, Justice and Safety Committee—the chair, Barbara Stone; the deputy chair, Andrew Cripps; and
members Jarrod Bleijie, Steve Kilburn, Aidan McLindon, Ray Stevens, Dean Wells and Murray Watt. I
commend the bill to the House.
       Question put—That the bill be now read a second time.
       Motion agreed to.
       Bill read a second time.
23 Nov 2010                          Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill                                                     4183

                                                 Consideration in Detail
      Clauses 1 to 57—
      Mr LAWLOR (8.51 pm): I seek leave to move amendments en bloc.
      Leave granted.
      Mr LAWLOR: I move the following amendments—
1     Clause 8 (Amendment of s 11 (Conditions of release on bail))
              Page 10, after line 27—
                        ‘•      a special condition that prohibits a person from entering or remaining in, between the hours of 11p.m. and
                                5a.m., the drink safe precinct under the Liquor Act 1992 in which the stated licensed premises mentioned in a
                                special condition imposed under paragraph (a) are located’.
2     Clause 11 (Insertion of new s 34F)
              Page 12, lines 11 and 12—
              omit, insert—
              ‘stated in the special condition; or
              (d)       an approved manager working at the licensed premises mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or the event
                        mentioned in paragraph (c).
      ‘(2)    In this section—
              approved manager means a person holding an approval as an approved manager under the Liquor Act 1992.’.
3     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 36, line 27—
              omit, insert—
              ‘(c)      entering or remaining in, during stated hours, a drink safe precinct;
              (d)       attending or remaining at a stated event, to be held in a’.
4     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 37, lines 21 and 22—
              omit, insert—
              ‘(e)      that affidavits in response to the application may be filed under section 173V;’.
5     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 38, lines 3 to 10—
              omit, insert—
‘173V Response by respondent
      ‘(1)    The respondent may file affidavits to be relied on by the respondent for the hearing of the application.
      ‘(2)    The respondent must file the affidavits within 28 business days after the day the application is filed.’.
6     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 38, line 26—
              omit, insert—
              ‘interim civil banning order; or
              (c)       dismiss the application.’.
7     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 42, lines 18 and 19—
              omit, insert—
              ‘(b)      that affidavits in response to the application may be filed under subsection (5); and’.
8     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 42, lines 26 to 28—
              omit, insert—
              ‘(5)      The respondent may file affidavits to be relied on by the respondent for the hearing of the application.
              ‘(6)      The respondent must file the affidavits within 15 business days after the day the application is filed.’.
9     Clause 47 (Insertion of new pts 6B and 6C)
              Page 51, line 12—
              omit, insert—
              ‘stated in the order; or
              (d)       an approved manager working at the licensed premises mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or the event
                        mentioned in paragraph (c).’.’.
4184                       Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                       23 Nov 2010

10      Clause 55 (Insertion of new pt 3B)
                 Page 60, after line 26—
                           ‘•      an order that prohibits a person from entering or remaining in, between the hours of 11p.m. and 5a.m., the drink
                                   safe precinct under the Liquor Act 1992 in which the stated licensed premises mentioned in an order made
                                   under paragraph (a) are located’.
11      Clause 55 (Insertion of new pt 3B)
                 Page 66, lines 4 and 5—
                 omit, insert—
                 ‘stated in the order; or
                 (d)       an approved manager working at the licensed premises mentioned in paragraph (a) or (b) or the event
                           mentioned in paragraph (c).
        ‘(2)     In this section—
                 approved manager means a person holding an approval as an approved manager under the Liquor Act 1992.’.
        I table the explanatory notes to the amendments.
Tabled paper: Explanatory notes for Hon. Lawlor’s amendments to the Liquor and Other Legislation Amendment Bill [3589].
        Amendments agreed to.
        Clauses 1 to 57, as amended, agreed to.
        Schedule, as read, agreed to.

                                                            Third Reading
        Hon. PJ LAWLOR (Southport—ALP) (Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading) (8.58 pm): I move—
That the bill, as amended, be now read a third time.
        Question put—That the bill, as amended, be now read a third time.
        Motion agreed to.
        Bill read a third time.

                                                               Long Title
        Hon. PJ LAWLOR (Southport—ALP) (Minister for Tourism and Fair Trading) (8.58 pm): I move—
That the long title of the bill be agreed to.
        Question put—That the long title of the bill be agreed to.
        Motion agreed to.


                                                          Second Reading
        Resumed from 5 October (see p. 3522), on motion of Mr Robertson—
That the bill be now read a second time.
       Mr SEENEY (Callide—LNP) (8.59 pm): I rise to join the consideration of the Natural Resources
and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010 and indicate that the opposition will not be opposing
the passage of this bill through the House tonight. I will make a few comments on each of the parts of
the bill. There are about four different parts of the bill which are probably unconnected. I will deal with
each of them in turn.
       I will deal first with the elements of the bill that relate to coal seam gas. I say, as has been said
many times in this House, that the coal seam gas industry is certainly an exciting industry for
Queensland. It presents enormous potential for Queensland but it also presents enormous challenges
for us as legislators and us as regulators. The provisions of this bill are but one element of meeting that
      The provisions in the bill we are debating tonight relate to two areas. They relate firstly to giving
advice to landholders particularly about activities on their properties and advising the department and
landholders of any environmental damage. The second thing the bill does in relation to the coal seam
gas industry is ban BTEX chemicals in fracking fluids.
23 Nov 2010             Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                      4185

       Fracking in the coal seam gas industry has taken on something of almost mythology. I do not
think there is an issue in my portfolio about which I have had more calls, more contact from people or
more opinions expressed to me. I do not think there has been an issue in my portfolio for quite a long
time where I have spent more time thoroughly understanding what the issue is about. I have to say that
I do not think I have ever seen an issue that has been so thoroughly misunderstood and
        While I do not think the provisions in the bill before the House tonight will go far in allaying that
fear, I think the minister deserves to be commended for introducing them into the House. They seek to
ban chemicals which are not used in the fracking process in Queensland. There is no indication that I
can find, despite claims to the contrary from a whole range of people, that those chemicals have ever
been used in the fracking process in Queensland.
       As I understand it, the history of this issue arose from a completely different process—that is, the
underground coal gasification trial projects at Kingaroy where these compounds were detected in
monitoring bores, as we expect in a process such as that. These compounds in that situation were tags
of a combustion process that is part and parcel of that completely different process.
       They have been grossly misrepresented in terms of the dangers that they present. They have
been breathlessly referred to over and over again in the media as cancer-causing chemicals when in
fact anyone who wants to spend five minutes and research the issue can very quickly determine that
they are the compounds that make up all oil based products. They are part and parcel of all oil based
     I would commend the minister on the fact that the Department of Environment and Resource
Management does have excellent information about this on its website. It deals with the four BTEX
compounds. With regard to benzene it states—
It occurs naturally in fossil fuels and is released into the atmosphere as a result of natural processes, and human activities that
involved the combustion of organic matter, such as wood, coal, and petroleum products.
With regard to toluene it states—
Toluene occurs naturally in crude oil and is also generated by combustion of organic matter such as wood, coal and petroleum
products. Motor vehicle emissions are the predominant source ...
With regard to xylene it states—
Xylene occurs naturally in crude oil and is also generated through combustion of organic matter such as wood, coal, and
petroleum products.
      All of that information is available to anyone who wants to access it at a moment’s notice, but very
few people do. Very few people in the media do. Some of the reporting that I have seen on this issue
has been simply scaremongering. It is unfortunate that that has happened. There is a lot of information
available about these BTEX compounds.
       In 2003 the federal department of environment and heritage produced a quite extensive report
about the monitoring in four Australian cities of the average exposure to these compounds. It did a quite
extensive sample over 24 hours for five consecutive days. While these measurements are
measurements of these compounds in the air as opposed to the measurements that I was talking about
earlier which were in water, it is interesting to see the difference in the levels. The levels in those test
bores were very low. They were two parts per billion in the last report that I heard from some breathless
newsreader talking about carcinogenic chemicals.
        The report published by the department of environment and heritage identified that, of the BTEX
constituents, the elevated exposure measurements recorded for benzene were 23.8 parts per billion, for
toluene were 2,120 parts per billion, for ethylbenzene were 119 parts per billion and for xylene were 697
parts per billion. They are the sorts of levels that we are all exposed to when we walk down a city street.
That gives some comparison to the sorts of issues that have emerged over the last couple of months.
This report also contains the Australian occupational standard for those compounds. For benzene it is
5,000 parts per billion, for toluene it is 100,000 parts per billion, for ethylbenzene it is 100,000 parts
per billion and for xylene it is 80,000 parts per billion.
        I present that information to the parliament simply to give this discussion tonight some
relevance—to give it some point of reference. We have lost that sense of proportion in the hysteria that
has developed over the last couple of months in relation to this. I think the minister has done the right
thing in seeking to remove any doubt about the use of these compounds in the water based
environments of the coal seam gas fields. I think the bill before the House is a step in the right direction
in trying to re-establish some confidence and in trying to assure those people who have expressed
those concerns so vigorously that they really need to make themselves aware of the information that is
available. I fear for some of those people that no amount of information is going to provide them with the
confidence they seek. I suspect that my inbox will be full over the next week or so when they hear what
I have said tonight. Such is the risk you take when you put the facts on the table.
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       Like the Brigalow Corporation and like all of those other wonderful urban myths that just kept
going and going and going, I suspect that this one will too. I once again say that I think the minister has
done the right thing in moving as he has done in this legislation. But just as those people will not be
convinced about the relevance of those levels of BTEX compounds in those water tests, the same could
be said for the hysteria that surrounds the fracking process generally. I want to commend the minister
again for the efforts the department has made in putting out the information brochures with regard to the
fracking process. Once again, anyone who wants to spend 10 minutes looking at some reputable
sources can get a reasonably good understanding of what is a reasonably simple process. The
government has information leaflets. All of the gas companies similarly have information available.
APPEA has quite extensive information available.
       I say to those people who want to continue to run these scare campaigns that if they do not
believe the government, they do not believe the gas companies and they do not believe APPEA—the
representative body—then they should look to the scientific organisations of our country. The CSIRO
has excellent information available. A scientific paper states—
CSIRO has extensive expertise in hydraulic fracturing techniques and is developing new methods of analysis and application of
hydraulic fracturing ...
       There is lots of that sort of information available. As long ago as 2002 there were scientific papers
being published about hydraulic fracturing for draining gas from coalmines, because this predates the
development of the coal seam gas industry. For that long the coalmining industry has been using the
fracturing techniques to drain the gas from the coalmines to avoid the sort of tragic circumstance that we
are seeing in New Zealand at the moment—to drain that sort of gas from the mines where our miners
have had to go to try to work in those situations. So it is not something that has been developed by the
coal seam gas industry. It is not something that should be the basis of the sorts of scare campaigns that
we have seen.
       There are any number of scientific papers. There is another one that was presented in February
this year to a major international conference that outlines the process. Once again, the CSIRO Earth
Science and Resource Engineering Department has a hydraulic fracturing group that is working in
partnership with a whole range of universities including the University of Queensland, the University of
Adelaide, the University of Toronto in Canada, the University of British Columbia, the University of
Minnesota and the CSIR’s South Africa University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa. Surely anybody
who wants to take any sort of an even-handed look at this issue cannot doubt the bona fides of a group
of organisations such as that. But I have no doubt that they will and, as I said, I have no doubt that my
inbox will be full with all sorts of advice for me for daring to put that sort of stuff in the public domain.
       It has also been put to me over and over again that somehow or other nobody can know what is
happening under the ground. That is the next part of the conspiracy theory, so I wanted to make people
aware of technical papers that deal with evaluating hydraulic fracture effectiveness in coal seam gas
reservoirs from surface tiltmeters and microseismic monitoring. These are very technical papers indeed.
One has to have a cup of coffee before one starts to read them, but there is an enormous amount of
technical information available. There is technology that provides 3D visualisation and reservoir
modelling for coal seam gas reservoirs and the latest development is actually a real-time data monitor
that monitors fracture growth down the hole in real time. That is the sort of technology that the industry
has available to it, yet we have people who will dismiss all of that sort of stuff—will dismiss all of that
body of evidence—in favour of some sort of a scare campaign run by an anonymous American website.
       It is incredibly frustrating for me as shadow minister because those people expect me to
champion their cause, and I have looked at the issue in a very detailed way. I say to those people that
the scare campaign that is being run is absolute nonsense—absolute nonsense. We have a lot of issues
to deal with in the development of the coal seam gas industry. There are a lot of very genuine issues
that need to be dealt with and we need to deal with those issues without this sort of rubbish taking up the
time of all of us. There is one other report that I wanted to talk about tonight, and that is the report that
was done by Geoscience Australia in response to a request from the federal minister, Tony Burke, and I
would commend it to anybody who harbours any sorts of doubts.
       That is the main part of the legislation that I wanted to address. There are some other parts of the
legislation which I will mention very briefly. The legislation seeks to make it easier for landholders to
access permits under a range of pieces of legislation, especially the Vegetation Management Act and
the Nature Conservation Act. It would come as no surprise to members to hear that we would support
that sort of streamlining of the application process. In particular in that process there is a provision to
deal with the issue of protected plants in areas where they have to be interfered with for the sake of
public safety. That has been an issue for one of my councils that it has had particular difficulty with, and
I am pleased to see that it is being resolved in the legislation tonight.
       The legislation also seeks to resolve a number of issues with regard to Rio Tinto and the quite
extraordinary water allocation that it held on Cape York, and I am pleased to see that that has also been
resolved in an amicable way. The legislation also deals with the South Bank Corporation with regard to
the defined area at South Bank and adds another couple of parcels of land to that area. I say to the
minister that, while I recognise the need for this legislation to be before the House, especially with
23 Nov 2010            Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                 4187

regard to the fracking issue, I think that all of us here in this parliament have a responsibility to deal with
these issues based on some credible facts. While we may well differ on how we deal with the issues—
and we often do—we need to deal with the facts rather than the sorts of myths and nonsense that have
surrounded this particular situation and have led to this legislation being before the parliament tonight.
         Mr HOBBS (Warrego—LNP) (9.18 pm): I am pleased to speak after the shadow minister. He is
obviously very restrained tonight. He usually takes a little bit longer to explain some of these things. I
admire him for that because I think he has summarised it, and it is very important we do that because
we need to be able to crystalise the issues and bring them before this parliament. The bill before the
House covers quite a lot of issues that are important. I will not canvass them all because, like the
shadow minister, I want to try to crystalise the issues that are important to me, to my electorate and to
the people who have some real concerns, and there are some genuine concerns out there. People are
worried. They are extremely worried. They are beside themselves in a lot of ways for many reasons—
the fear campaign, the concerns they have for their land and the concerns they have for intrusion on the
future use of their land.
         The gas companies themselves involved in this industry also have some uncertainties, because
they have not known the rules. Certainly, some of the concerns are political and some are real. The
political ones are being pursued by certain groups out there who are trying to keep the issue going, and
as long as they can get a headline they are happy. Sometimes the facts of the matter are different, and
that is what we have to try to analyse tonight to come to a satisfactory conclusion that we know is going
to be best for the community overall.
         The single biggest criticism of this whole industry is that the government has not prepared for the
onslaught of this huge industry. It is as simple as that. The reality is that we all knew that this industry
was coming. We all knew that the exploration was going on. We all knew that these companies would be
putting in big dollars to do the export of their product and, of course, the impacts on landholders was
well known. In 2007 there was the report done by the Matrix company and I believe there was also a
report done in 2004 or 2005. The 2007 Matrix report particularly identified nearly all of the issues that we
are trying to discuss today. Had these issues been addressed, we would not be debating this legislation
today, because it would have been passed years ago and it would have at least set the guidelines. It
would have allowed the industry to develop under strict guidelines, the landholders would not have been
antagonised and so much stress and strain would not have been caused to them as they would have
known what their rights were.
         In saying that, I think the industry has also been naive. It has to do so much more. It has gone out
there thinking that it is just going to go out and do this and that these are the rules. The industry has
been behind the eight ball as well. It has now finally woken up to the fact that, holy smokes, there are
people out there and they have feelings, they are hurting and they are not going to give up! We saw
them here in the street yesterday. They are going to lock their gates—and they will. There are people
who are very emotional about this issue. I am sure that a lot of those people will follow through. There
will be serious issues out there. There were not many people there yesterday, but a lot of them are
farmers. They are busy trying to get their crops off so they could not be here. But let me tell members
that the mood out there is very black and that anything at all can happen. I just hope that common sense
prevails in the negotiations that are likely to occur in the future. There has certainly been some poor
public relations exercises done by everybody.
         In relation to this bill, it is important to remember that the fracking will happen in some areas and
it will not happen in others. There is a lot of fracking happening out in the western areas where the coal
seams are much tighter. When you come in further east there is a lot less. There is also a significant
issue in relation to the leakage of some of the aquifers. You are going to have significant leakage in the
Condamine Alluvium, but you will have a lot less out in the western areas, particularly where I am in my
electorate. Unfortunately, there is a lot of confusion in relation to which areas are impacted. Then you
have the political movement of various parties and others out there who are trying to stir up and confuse
the issue.
         There are certainly areas out there that I believe will be very difficult to drill and one of those areas
will be the Condamine Alluvium. For the life of me I just cannot see how people can drill in that area,
extract gas and not impact on the water supply. However, that is just a personal opinion. I think we have
to identify the areas of real concern. Where the aquifers have much more distance between them, it is
less likely for there to be leakage of those aquifers. I think we have two different issues and two
separate areas and we need to ensure that fact is taken into consideration.
         In relation to access to land, that issue is still causing concern. Although this bill will make some
improvements, there is certainly a lot of concern about how that access is occurring and that is simply
because of the fact that planning should have been done many years ago. Another issue in this bill is
land stewardship in relation to the streamlining of land management approvals under the Nature
Conservation Act. I think a lot more work still needs to be done in this area. The explanatory notes to the
bill state—
The amendments would enable a landholder to undertake regulated vegetation management activities without the need to obtain
separate approvals, provided the activities are undertaken in accordance with the requirements approved in a land stewardship
agreement or existing regulatory planning document.
4188                Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)             23 Nov 2010

       I really wonder how good those land stewardship agreements are likely to be. I wonder whether it
is a bit of tokenism—‘I know I have to try something’. It is the frustration that is caused out there when
another hurdle is put in place for people to jump over. It is another thing for them to do but, at the end of
the day, is it really going to have any great benefit? I think we have to consider that.
       This bill makes some improvements to the coal seam fracking. The chemicals used in fracking
have varied over the many years that the fracking of coal seam has been going on. We do not use those
chemicals that you see on the internet when people google to see what fracking means. So, hopefully, in
Australia we will not have those issues that occurred in America, which we see on the internet, which we
see on YouTube and which we see on Gasland. We hope that we do not see those sorts of things
happening here in Australia, but the reality is that the people should not have been put in this position.
This legislation should have been put in place years ago. In 2007 the government was told that these
issues were going to arise. It is only today—2010—that we are debating legislation that was
recommended in 2007. So I am saying that—
       Mr Ryan: Do you believe the science?
      Mr HOBBS: Yes, the science is important. We have to look at the science. I think everybody
should look at the science. Unfortunately, there is a lot of political science out there at present. There is
a bushfire burning out there. It is out of control and I do not know what the government can do to put it
out. The government has to be honest with the people. I know that is pretty hard for those guys. They
cannot tell the truth at all. We have seen that happen plenty of times.
      With those comments, I say to the government to work harder. There are people out there who
are hurting. We ought to make sure that they have a fair go and that the industry has a fair go. The
industry should be able to work together amicably with landholders.
       Mr WETTENHALL (Barron River—ALP) (9.29 pm): In rising to participate in the debate on the
Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010 I would like to address the
amendments to the Nature Conservation Act 1992. The Nature Conservation Act and the Vegetation
Management Act 1999 regulate the clearing of native vegetation in Queensland. The Nature
Conservation Act aims to conserve nature through the protection of native wildlife and its habitat. It also
regulates the management of protected areas. A permit is required under the Nature Conservation Act
to remove a protected plant or interfere with an animal breeding place. The Vegetation Management Act
aims to conserve vegetation so as to protect biodiversity, prevent land degradation and maintain
ecological processes. A development approval issued under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 is
required to clear vegetation in accordance with the Vegetation Management Act.
       There is currently no alignment between the Nature Conservation Act and the Vegetation
Management Act which can result in a landholder requiring two permits to clear the one area of land.
Similarly, clearing under an exemption under the Vegetation Management Act may still require a permit
under the Nature Conservation Act. The OnePlan project, as part of the Blueprint for the Bush initiative,
is investigating opportunities to reduce the regulatory burden on landholders. The project is seeking to
address the complexity of environmental and natural resource regulations by streamlining planning and
approval processes for landholders. In doing so, the OnePlan project also assists in delivering the
government’s smart regulatory reform agenda.
       The amendments introduced in this bill will align the requirements for clearing native vegetation
and protected plants under the two acts. This will assist landholders and developers to meet their
regulatory requirements and to achieve better on-ground environmental outcomes. Recent seasonal
conditions that have led to increased bushfire risks have also highlighted the need to clarify how
landholders can deal with protected plants when faced with an imminent threat.
        I will turn now to the permit exemption for clearing least concern protected plants. Certain
activities are prescribed as not assessable development under the Sustainable Planning Act. A permit
will no longer be required under the Nature Conservation Act where a plant is listed as least concern
and will be removed as part of a vegetation clearing activity that is not assessable development. The
changes will enable a landholder to undertake low-risk land management activities that involve
vegetation clearing. Additionally, the amendments provide an exemption for landholders to remove least
concern plants where the taking of plants has been considered and approved as part of the land
management agreements under the Delbessie Agreement and Land Act 1994.
       Government members interjected.
      Mr WETTENHALL: I am glad to see that there is such a degree of recognition of the Delbessie
Agreement on this side of the House. Where clearing of a least concern plant is required to enable a
leaseholder to meet the conditions of their lease or improve the land’s condition, the clearing activity
may be incorporated into the land management agreement. The amendments bring the Nature
Conservation Act in line with the Vegetation Management Act, which already enables a landholder to
undertake these necessary low-risk clearing activities without requiring a development approval.
23 Nov 2010         Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                       4189

        To further streamline the clearing of native vegetation in Queensland, consideration of protected
plants will be included in the regional vegetation management codes. Where a development application
is assessed and approved against a regional vegetation management code in which protected plants
have been considered, the landholder can clear the land in accordance with the conditions of the
approval without seeking a separate permit under the Nature Conservation Act. Similarly, where a
development application is assessed and approved against a concurrence agency policy in which
protected plants have been considered, the development approval will constitute a permit under both
the Vegetation Management Act and that Nature Conservation Act.
        Mr Finn interjected.
        Mr WETTENHALL: I will explain that to the member for Yeerongpilly who is having some difficulty
tonight. To give effect to this change, amendments are required to the Sustainable Planning Regulation
2009, the Vegetation Management Regulation 2000 and the regional vegetation management codes.
Development applications will not consider protected plant requirements until the regulations and codes
have been updated to include these changes. If a vegetation management code does not incorporate
protected plant considerations, separate approvals may still be required under the two acts.
Development approvals given prior to the commencement of these changes will not incorporate the
protected plant requirements. To ensure the objects of the Nature Conservation Act continue to be
achieved, a separate approval may still be required under the Nature Conservation Act in this
circumstance. Confining my observations tonight to that one part of the bill, I commend the bill to the
        Mr ELMES (Noosa—LNP) (9.35 pm): I rise to make a very short contribution to the Natural
Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010.
        Government members interjected.
        Mr ELMES: I knew I would have the approval of the House with that. For the first time this sitting
week we have before us a misnamed omnibus bill under the auspices of the Minister for Natural
Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade. I am always more than a little suspicious of
‘Dodgy Brothers’ and ‘Slinky Sisters’ over there and suspect their motives when something which is
complex but appears innocuous is whipped into the chamber at five minutes before midnight on the last
sitting week of the year. I know this legislation is being rushed. No less a body than the Queensland Law
Society points to it. It intimated in its submission to the Scrutiny of Legislation Committee that there
appeared to have been no consultation on the proposed amendments to the Environmental Protection
Act 1994. Accordingly, the society expressed concerns about a number of aspects of clause 17,
including that it may not have paid sufficient regard to the rights and liberties of individuals and, in
particular, common law rights of individuals and that it was ambiguous. The committee also had similar
concerns in relation to clauses 5-8 and 11-4 which it regards as clumsy.
        It is incumbent upon me to remind the House of the Bligh Labor government’s lack of respect for
the Nature Conservation Act 1992 which it seeks to amend with this bill. The following public comment
has been attributed to the Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability. Her words were ‘To do what
the Auditor-General wants would take 60 million and 30 years.’ She was speaking in the context of the
shamefully damaging Auditor-General’s report to parliament No. 9 for 2010, Sustainable management
of national parks and protected areas. The Auditor-General highlighted that the department responsible
for managing the burgeoning national park and protected areas estate in Queensland, which presently
numbers some 576 such areas—
        Mr ROBERTSON: Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask you to give consideration to relevance in terms of
the member’s contribution to this debate. It appears to me that, whilst he has referred to the Nature
Conservation Act, in terms of the Auditor-General’s report it is stretching relevance in the extreme to
consider that that is relevant to this particular bill.
        Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Kilburn): I would ask that the member sticks to the objectives of the
        Mr ELMES: Certainly, Mr Deputy Speaker. The Scrutiny of Legislation Committee then takes
umbrage at clause 32 in amending the Mineral Resources Act 1989, which it says fails to treat all people
equal before the law. In particular, the clause seeks to limit possible damages for landowners against
miners. So there you have it. By sweeping in an omnibus bill, the minister is trying to hide the real
intention of the bill. First and foremost, it is to ensure that this minister does not have to act responsibly.
After the horse has bolted he is doing two things. Firstly, he is banning the use of chemicals in coal
seam gas extraction, which arguably caused contamination in the underground aquifer which forms part
of the Great Artesian Basin. In the main, these are chemicals that we do not even use. Secondly, he is
preventing land managers who may be impacted by such use previously from accessing proper
compensation. But thirdly, all of this is a smokescreen to cover up the failure of the Labor government.
        The liability for reporting water contamination under this bill rests with the perpetrator. Yes, the
fines have skyrocketed, but are they a deterrent against contaminating, a deterrent against reporting or
a deterrent against monitoring? The minister and his government are very slow learners. Where an
4190                Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)              23 Nov 2010

unproven technology is being used it is incumbent upon the minister to ensure by his own monitoring
that the process is safe before allowing its general use. It is cavalier of the minister to be risking the
Great Artesian Basin in this particular manner.
        I am genuinely perturbed that the responsibility for our greatest natural resource, our water, and
in particular the underground water, which belongs to all of Australia and not just Queensland, should be
put at risk because the minister responsible was asleep at the wheel and refuses to admit his failure and
fix a problem of his own making.
        Mrs PRATT (Nanango—Ind) (9.39 pm): I rise to speak very briefly to this Natural Resources and
Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010. I would like to commend the minister for some sections
of this bill, particularly those with regard to the provision requiring reporting within 24 hours of an
incident that may occur. Whether this was taken up as a result of the incident that occurred with regard
to Cougar Energy, I am not sure. However, we all know that there appeared to be an enormous delay in
the reporting of that incident in the Kingaroy area. So I am very grateful for that provision.
        I do not know how many people have actually seen the movie Gasland. I would advise everyone
in this House to see it.
        Mr Ryan: Rubbish!
        Mrs PRATT: Whether members have seen it or not, I would advise them to view it because a lot
of people are viewing it. If the member opposite can say it is garbage and refute it, then I ask him to
please do so. There are a lot of people out there who believe—and strongly believe—that Gasland does
reflect what is happening with underground mining, with CSG and many other forms of mining. The
member may say that it is different, but the fact is that people are watching it and people are getting
quite concerned. If it is different, that needs to be made clear and why it is different. It needs to be spelt
out. When it comes to underground mining, underground coal gasification et cetera, they all appear to
be linked in people’s minds. Therefore, at this point people are up in arms, wanting to bolt their gates, go
to prison et cetera. If, as the member says, Gasland and other programs like it are false, inaccurate and
not applicable, then say so out there to those people so that they know exactly what is going on.
        I also read in the minister’s second reading speech that petroleum compounds containing
benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene or xylene, commonly referred to as BTEX, would be banned from coal
seam gas operations. Again, I ask the question—and I hope in time the Minister for Sustainability and—
        Ms Jones:—Climate Change.
        Mrs PRATT: That is it. Sorry, I knew what I was looking for. I hope that the minister can tell me
where the benzene and toluene came from at the Kingaroy Cougar Energy site. That issue will continue.
I can say in all honesty that I am pleased with parts of this bill, particularly, as I said, the 24-hour
reporting provision.
        One of the things we have to realise in Australia is that water is fundamentally very short in
supply. We must preserve it at all costs. Australia is a very dry continent; we have known that right from
the start. Since time immemorial people have known that water was scarce. The Aboriginal people knew
how scarce it was and how important it was to protect it. It falls on us to ensure that that protection
continues for future generations. All in all, that is my very brief contribution. I commend the bill to the
        Mr SHINE (Toowoomba North—ALP) (9.43 pm): I wish to make a brief contribution tonight to the
Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2). Might I say, however, that it has been
very interesting to listen to the contributions—particularly from the opposition—from the shadow
minister, the member for Callide, and contrast that with the speech from the member for Warrego. I
would anticipate contrasting it further with a speech yet to be made by the member for Condamine. It will
continue to be an interesting night to hear the diversity of opinion within the LNP and to hear what the
honourable member for Warrego in particular says in this place as opposed to what, no doubt, he says
in Roma, the chief town within his electorate. I see often on WIN TV meetings of angry farmers
concerned about issues raised here. I suspect that the honourable member for Warrego has been
saying something quite different to them as compared to his contribution tonight, let alone compared to
what the honourable member for Callide has said tonight. Be that as it may, I commend the approach of
the honourable member for Callide tonight with respect to this natural resources topic. It was a very
responsible, if not courageous, contribution and I commend him for it.
        The bill before the House seeks to simplify for landholders their duty to comply with a couple of
acts of parliament, namely the Nature Conservation Act and, of course, the Vegetation Management
Act. Anything that helps to comply in a more simple way, a more understandable way, a more
manageable way has to be commended. I assume that they are reforms that will be well received by the
farming community.
        Of course, the bill also, importantly, amends the Environmental Protection Act 1994, principally to
give legislative effect to the commitment made some time ago—in fact, in August—when the minister
announced that the government would move to ban petroleum compounds containing benzene,
23 Nov 2010            Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                     4191

toluene, ethylbenzene or xylene, commonly referred to as BTEX from coal use, coal seam gas
operations or stimulation or fracking activities. The bill amends the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to
give effect to this government’s commitment and it is acknowledged that the industry understands that
these chemicals are not currently used. Whilst that is the case, this amendment ensures the protection
of the community and the environment by legislating to ban BTEX from ever being used in Queensland.
I am sure that is a matter of reassurance for residents and farmers, particularly in areas west of my
electorate. The amendments further provide for notification of any relevant incident to both the
Department of Environment and Resource Management and landholders. There are notification
provisions there as well, which is also important.
        Finally, I commend the work of the government generally in relation to the issues that are coming
forward as a result of the opening up of the Surat Basin. I speak of issues dealing with coal seam gas
exploration in particular but also issues dealing with mining in areas west of Toowoomba. I note that very
stiff and numerous conditions are applied to both industries and it is important, of course, that these
issues be handled expertly with care and intelligence, ensuring that these two great industries, namely,
the industry of farming on the one hand and resources extraction on the other, prosper while the
environment is protected. It is imperative that the state fulfils its commitment to balancing environmental,
economic and social considerations.
      The most recent step taken by the government with respect to its concern for the LNG industry
and the Surat Basin has been the issue of the paper, a further blueprint I suppose one would call it, that
has been circulated today concerning Queensland’s LNG industry. I commend the government on that. I
quote a paragraph from the Premier’s foreword, which I think sums up the government’s position. She
As the LNG industry enters this next phase of its development it is our priority to make sure it meets the highest environmental,
safety and access standards, and we have put in place the monitoring and compliance regimes to make sure this happens.

      I think that summarises what a responsible government’s approach should be. Therefore, I
commend the government and particularly the minister in relation to the advances he has made in his
time as the Minister for Natural Resources.
      Mr HOPPER (Condamine—LNP) (9.50 pm): I rise to make a contribution to the Natural
Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010. While I welcome the changes made to
the Vegetation Management Act 1999, the legislation is still too complex and there is still a huge amount
of unwarranted and unwanted bureaucracy involved. The amendments to streamline vegetation clearing
into one approval for endangered, vulnerable, near threatened or least concern plants is an
improvement to the current system but ultimately should have been included in the original legislation.
The clearing of least concern plants will not require a permit if it falls within an extension. This will
improve the efficiency of the department. The changes to the area management framework
arrangements are well received. This will enable landholders within those areas to perform activities like
weed management and fodder harvesting without unnecessary delays.
        The amendment to the Geothermal Energy Act 2010 brings further land access provisions.
Reporting by coal seam gas companies to landholders of incidents that have the potential to cause
environmental harm and certain authorised activities is most welcome. Prior to this, DERM had to be
notified but there was no obligation on the coal seam gas companies to advise the landholder. That is
the difference here. Petroleum tenement holders must now give notice to landholders of authorised
activities. Currently there is only a requirement to notify DEEDI and DERM. The communication
between all concerned parties is a positive step forward.
       The bill prohibits the use of BTEX compounds in the fracking operation and compels the tenure
holder to serve notice on both the government and the landholder of its intent to frack a coal seam gas
well. This amendment will provide a measure of comfort to landholders but does not go far enough. The
framework of fracking should be the framework for well stimulation to be inclusive of all methods of well
stimulation and not limited to hydraulic fracking.
       Unfortunately, the framework places little onus on the prevention of damage. Currently there is no
mandatory prior independent site-by-site risk assessment carried out, despite the government, through
the department of mines and energy, having access to the company’s daily drilling logs showing the
underlying strata formations, the porosity of the coal seams, the nature and depth of the confining layers
separating the coal seam from water-bearing horizons, the separation distances to existing water bores,
the target zone for well stimulation and a full understanding of any prior connectivity between coal
seams and water-bearing horizons.
      Providing ongoing scientific research is paramount to the survival of both the coal seam gas and
the agriculture industries. Checks and balances need to be continually monitored, reported and acted
upon if a concern arises. Communication between landholders and coal seam gas companies must be
ongoing. The uncertainty that has arisen from the lack of communication has fuelled this anxiety and the
concerns of the landholders.
4192                Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)            23 Nov 2010

       Mrs SULLIVAN (Pumicestone—ALP) (9.54 pm): In rising to participate in the debate on the
Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2010, I would like to address the
amendments to the Vegetation Management Act 1999 relating to the area management plan framework
established under this bill. Firstly, I will give a bit of background on the current legislation.

       The Vegetation Management Act regulates the clearing of native vegetation in Queensland. I am
very proud of the government that introduced that legislation. Vegetation clearing is assessable
development under the Sustainable Planning Act 2009, and an application must be submitted through
the Integrated Development Assessment Scheme, or IDAS as it is known. The Vegetation Management
Act also provides statutory codes against which vegetation clearing development applications are
assessed under IDAS. A landholder can submit a development application for multiple clearing
purposes on a single property. However, the act does not cater for applications submitted over broad
areas such as a local government area or a subcatchment.

         What has initiated these changes? The OnePlan project is part of the Blueprint for the Bush
initiative, which is another good Labor government initiative, investigating opportunities to reduce the
regulatory burden on landholders. The OnePlan project also assists in delivering the government’s
smart regulation reform agenda. The OnePlan project addresses the complexity of environmental and
natural resource regulations for landholders by streamlining planning and approval processes. The
changes will promote the holistic planning of land and natural resource management on a broader scale
to achieve better environmental outcomes.

       I will talk about a couple of issues, the first of which is the area management plan framework.
Land and natural resource management issues are best addressed on the landscape scale rather than
at the individual property level. Existing permit frameworks for natural resource activities undertaken by
landholders assess applications and issue permits on a property by property basis. Funding initiatives
such as Caring for Our Country and the government’s Landcare grant program require natural resource
planning at the wider scale and encourage the involvement of multiple properties or organisations, such
as natural resource management groups. However, the lack of alignment between regulatory permitting
frameworks and planning initiatives may discourage landholders from participating in activities that will
provide better environmental outcomes. The amendments to the Vegetation Management Act,
introducing the new area management plan framework, will address this situation by allowing a resource
management plan developed by a group of landholders or other entity to be assessed and approved by
the department. Once the plan is approved, landholders whose property is covered by the plan may
notify the Department of Environment and Resource Management and undertake the vegetation-
clearing activity without seeking further separate approvals.

        The area management plan framework only enables clearing for certain purposes, including:
clearing for weed management purposes, thinning, encroachment, fodder harvesting, and establishing a
fence, firebreak, road or vehicular track. This plan may have effect for a period of 10 years, reducing the
obligations on both the landholder and the department in managing the permit process for that period.
The area management plan framework will provide further incentives for landholders to participate in
community based natural resource management activities such as the catchment-wide management of
weeds. It will also encourage participation in land stewardship agreements by authorising management
activities, for example, on nature refuges. The area management plan framework will also facilitate
holistic natural resource management planning, allowing land management issues to be considered on
a wider scale to deliver positive environmental outcomes for this state.

       I will touch on the approval and enforcement of these plans. The area management plan will be
assessed against the regional vegetation management codes. A landholder is responsible for the
clearing activities conducted on his land. Any clearing undertaken that is not in accordance with an
approval area management plan will be subject to the compliance framework in the Vegetation
Management Act and the Sustainability Planning Act. An owner of land is not obliged to undertake the
vegetation management activities approved in the plan. If they choose, a landholder can still submit a
separate development application through IDAS for clearing vegetation on their property.

       Compliance with plans will be monitored through the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study and
other compliance activities. I am pleased to say that scientific staff from the Department of Environment
and Resource Management will prepare annually the Statewide Landcover and Trees Study by
assessing satellite imagery, rectifying data, analysing results and ground-truthing land cover to verify the
imagery. The Statewide Landcover and Trees Study report methodology is well established and
accepted by government, stakeholders and the community. The methods have been independently
reviewed and published in peer reviewed literature. I commend the bill to the House.

       Debate, on motion of Mrs Sullivan, adjourned.
23 Nov 2010            Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                    4193


                              Suspension of Standing and Sessional Orders
      Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Acting Leader of the House) (10.00 pm), by leave,
without notice: I move—
That, notwithstanding anything contained in standing and sessional orders for this day’s sitting, the House can continue to meet
past 10 pm to consider government business until the adjournment is moved, to be followed by a 30-minute adjournment debate.

       Question put—That the motion be agreed to.
       Motion agreed to.


                                                   Second Reading
       Resumed from p. 4192, on motion of Mr Robertson—
That the bill be now read a second time.
       Dr DOUGLAS (Gaven—LNP) (10.01 pm): DERM, far from creating harmony in the management
of natural resources between property owners and government, has much to answer for. Whether it is
by design, neglect, lack of corporate knowledge or bloody-mindedness, we have a system that is built
on confrontation and hierarchial stewardship without any regard for outcome and without a compromise
approach. This from two departments: one with a natural history of very much working with
stakeholders—that being the department of natural resources, previously known as DNR—and in more
recent times the now very different Department of Environment and Resource Management.
       It really does seem that the worst of all cultures have collided and joined as one. All the best
features have been erased. It is very much in contrast with the opening statement of the minister, stating
that the department has stewarded ‘a smart regulatory environment in Queensland’. Smart implies
innovative, forward-thinking solutions made in an environment of trust and taking on board practical
advice. If DERM and Labor are really that smart, why would they be proposing to outlaw the use of a
product known as BTEX when they know it is not used in the process known as fracking in the coal
seam gas industry here in Australia and in particular Queensland?
       Mr Moorhead interjected.
      Dr DOUGLAS: The member for Waterford should listen to this. They know it is not used because
science dictates that (1) its use here is very limited due to the very salty nature of the water containing
the gas; (2) its use overseas determined that it was/is toxic; (3) it is naturally occurring and is essentially
found in trace amounts in naturally occurring petroleum products; and (4) all Australian CSG companies
and UCG companies have said now in public statements that they ‘do not use BTEX nor have ever done
        Inducible hysteria and misinformation are too weak a description—talk about close but no cigar. It
is a gross exaggeration. This is from a department where science would be presumably a prerequisite
for a job application. Is it possible that this is a recurring problem of social scientists being employed in
preference to real scientists? That is what we have been talking about here tonight—science. The
difference being one group has to prove their research on the basis of independent, repeatable
experimentation and honest publication of valid complete results, whereas in the other case that does
not always occur. If, then, the scientists in DERM do not tend to use that process, then they are not that
smart. If someone in DERM had talked to their colleagues in the boiler room down below when they
thought this one up, they might have thought that they had made a mistake. Or is this really ‘a politically
motivated Commonwealth environmental pause’, as was quoted by Matthew Steven in the Australian on
23 October 2010?
       Science will show that the oil companies primarily do not use BTEX because it is water soluble, it
quickly degrades with exposure to sunlight in surface water ponds and the chemical structure of our
CSG water renders its use costly and ineffective. This is old knowledge. Only ConocoPhillips and Origin
have been accursed by virtue of their own self-reporting of the sample finds. They do not use, nor have
ever used, the product commercially in Australia, but it does occur naturally on lubricants used by the
gas company Arrow—now owned as a subsidiary. Eight wells were implicated. None have ever used the
product commercially. There are 4,000 such wells in Queensland alone. No BTEX was found in Cougar
Energy’s Kingaroy UCG power generation project. Only benzene and toluene were found in the plant
samples. CSG must not be confused with UCG, because the two technologies are completely different
with completely different environmental outcomes.
4194                    Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                            23 Nov 2010

     Additionally, as reported by Matthew Paull in Gas Today, which is a technical journal, on 11
August 2010—
Water alone is not the most effective carrier of sand, and some chemicals (other than BTEX) are used in fraccing to create a gel to
suspend the sand as it is pumped into the coal seam ... These chemicals make up less than 1 per cent of the fraccing fluid, and
the risk to public health at these levels is negligible.
That was a quote from APPEA Queensland Director Matthew Paull, and all responsible scientific and
medical authorities confirm this exact detail.
       This whole part of the bill is a nonsense to send messages to green voters that Labor are listening
to them. But, far from doing anything other than grandstanding, they are signing deals that have now hit
the $60 billion mark. Bligh and Labor, beyond just counting the money, can feel the texture of those
plastic notes against the skin. We have the ultimate hypocritical double act of good cop/bad cop here
        Ms Jones: You just undermined your own shadow minister.
      Dr DOUGLAS: Just listen to this, Minister—this is a scientific argument. Let us work through it.
We have Minister Robertson, in soft measured tones, saying how careful he is and Treasurer Fraser, as
reported in the Australian on 23 October, saying that this a ‘a once in a generation opportunity to provide
a generation of employment’. He failed to say that he is hoping that it will save his bacon so that we
might read about it in the paper one day. But wait—Minister Kate Jones, who has already spoken here
tonight, ordered a quick turnaround of the second batch of tests: ‘Australia Pacific LNG have assured
the government today that there is no evidence of exposure to landholders.’ Do not hold your breath.
The minister demanded extra testing and independent testing: ‘There has been no environmental harm.’
       Members, this is all pseudo scientific rubbish. This crazy government would have us all believe
that they did not know BTEX was not being commercially used nor was scientifically viable here. This
one comes in the executive summary, and do not let anyone tell you pork pies that they do not read past
the executive summary. BTEX is not used because the science of separation that is used in Australia
requires essentially a different product. For those who actually need to know a little about the science,
BTEX is water soluble or water miscible and, if it were to be used in this process, it would have to be
more hypertonic than it is due to the hypertonicity of the water contained within the coal here in
Australia. As such, its efficiency declines in this environment, but it is water soluble. Effectively too much
substrate has to be used. Therefore, it is scientifically uncommercial. It is different from the overseas
environment because the groundwater is either isotonic or hypotonic. Therefore, it lasts longer and its
efficacy is greater.
        What is really fascinating is that the department does know all this information and has produced
it in its own literature. I, too, would like to refer all members back to the statement by the shadow
minister earlier where he referred to the CSIRO documentation that was government endorsed. Like the
minister, the department clearly knows, yet the minister’s conflicting statement about BTEX in his
second reading speech banning petroleum products—that is, benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and
xylene (BTEX)—seems to ignore the fact that these are commonly found in diesel and other petroleum
products. These are regularly, and have been historically, used for pumps which may occasionally
contaminate aquifers and wells. These petroleum compounds are naturally occurring aromatic
hydrocarbons and still make up a significant component of petroleum. In not one well within five
kilometres of each of the eight sites where BTEX traces were found was BTEX actually found.
       Additionally, it seems the most likely answer was that petroleum as a lubricant for drilling
equipment was spilt into the water that was being pumped into the wells as part of the fracking
procedure. That procedure is known as hydraulic fracture stimulation. Members were talking about that
earlier. It occurred at high pressure to allow efficient gas production. An article from the Australian of 23
October states—
The company that supplies Origin with those chemicals maintain that the agent does not contain BTEX.
      Santos made similar claims. Just to give members a heads-up, benzene is what gives petrol its
octane rating. That is what makes our cars get going.
       Rather than give everyone a science lesson—I will not go on—I point out that this is really a beat-
up. BTEX has never been used, is not being used and is not planned to be used. Everyone seemed to
know except the minister and Labor. Smart State—no, this is foolish and misleading. Proper scientific
scrutiny reveals this for exactly what it is. It was a pretence to satisfy green naivety.
       I am not sure what it is costing, but hopefully the world knows what a lot of hot air all this is and
sees it for exactly what it really is—a beat-up to appease everyone from the academically challenged to
watermelons and, sadly, now some of those terribly well-meaning farmers who think Drew Hutton might
be able to do something for them. I sincerely hope that a weak federal government, so dependent on
Green so-called independents, who put gay marriage ahead of national income and sovereign risk, can
see its way clear to work through all this. Tony Burke’s 300 conditions have been approved and allowed
to proceed. Heaven forbid what Kogas actually thought. That is Santos’s major customer.
23 Nov 2010         Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                        4195

        There really are five major LNG projects that might eventually consolidate into two or three LNG
hubs. This is very big business—big royalties, big employment. It is nation building. This BTEX issue is
a disgraceful inclusion in this bill that seeks to timidly placate Labor’s key preference allies. It is just too
pathetic to swallow.
        We in the LNP support most of the bill, but adding this rubbish to it is absolutely foolish. To make
such broad based statements in legislation that is in fact totally useless is to debase the process and
make the legislation irrelevant. By all means, let us find out more about aquifers and their possible
diesel contamination. Let us workshop the scientific data and map it to give farmers, governments and
companies the ability to be supplied with useful data. But we must never get caught up in this crazy
world of ‘wink, wink’, ‘nudge, nudge’, say anything, say something irrelevant and really do nothing.
        Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (10.12 pm), in reply: I thank all members for their contribution to tonight’s debate. In
particular, I thank the shadow minister for his very thoughtful contribution. I do not take lightly his
comment that, based on his contribution tonight, he expects his email inbox to be full. I suspect that that
will be the case. But sometimes that is the price of leadership. When you provide a thoughtful
contribution, such as he has, based on good science, then that, as I know and other members know,
can be the penalty you pay. If you can rely on good science and on evidence based decision making
then that penalty is a penalty worth paying. I acknowledge that contribution tonight because it would not
have been easy from the member’s perspective.
        The challenge for the member was highlighted by the final contribution, that of the member for
Gaven. It does not pay to be too cynical in this place, member for Gaven. We are all challenged by
getting it right in terms of this new industry that promises so much but offers a range of challenges.
        I often talk about this industry having a social licence to operate. That social licence to operate
goes beyond just simply ticking the boxes in terms of various approvals. It goes to the very heart of
public confidence in what this industry is all about and the benefits that will accrue, particularly to rural
and regional Queensland. Unless that industry can bring those communities along with them in such a
way that those communities can be confident that what is happening out there is sustainable then they
arguably do not have or they forgo that social licence to operate. I would not be too cynical in terms of
what we are here tonight to pass in terms of the provisions of the bill.
        I take the member for Gaven back only a number of months, when he had those initial readings
about BTEX. Programs such as 60 Minutes were getting on the Gasland bandwagon. Understandably,
many communities out in rural and regional Queensland were asking some serious questions about
whether BTEX was being used. Whilst we have received assurances from industry that BTEX is not
being used in the fracking process, I nevertheless think it is important for the government of the day to
provide the ultimate assurance and protection to those communities by legislating to ensure that those
chemicals are not used in the fracking process.
        The member did, however, make an important point, as did the member for Callide. Some of
these chemicals appear naturally as, if you like, ‘background noise’. It is a natural part of the
decomposition process—something that I did not appreciate before, I must add, but I have learned to
appreciate. The decomposition of vegetative matter results in the production of a range of
hydrocarbons. When we think about it that is logical, but it is not something that is readily apparent.
Once we grasp that process and what that means in terms of the background levels of these chemicals
then that challenges us to get the balance right.
        That is something my colleague the Minister for Sustainability and I are dealing with at this point
in time. We have to get that balance right so that mere detection, as the member mentioned, of
background levels does not result in unnecessary concern by communities and that communities
actually understand that these chemicals can be detected naturally without the involvement of
exploration or the development of coal seam gas industries in particular areas.
        That is a difficult communication. That is a very challenging communication that we have to get
right in order to ensure that communities are provided with factual and good scientific based information.
That is our commitment. I welcome the support by the member for Callide. I will not take it as far,
because it would not be appropriate, as to say that the member of Callide supports what we are doing
as a government, but I do welcome his support for the need for good science and the need to
communicate that to the communities that we are all concerned about in the development of this
        As I said, all members in this debate have contributed in a range of ways to the various provisions
of the bill. The fact that we can come together and discuss and debate a bill such as this and find
common ground I think bodes well for our collective and individual futures. I commend the bill to the
        Question put—That the bill be now read a second time.
        Motion agreed to.
        Bill read a second time.
4196                     Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                 23 Nov 2010

                                                  Consideration in Detail
        Clauses 1 to 55—
        Mr ROBERTSON (10.20 pm): I seek leave to move amendments en bloc.
        Leave granted.
        Mr ROBERTSON: I move the following amendments—
1       Clause 14 (Insertion of new schs 2 and 3)
                Page 20, lines 24 to 26—
2       Clause 14 (Insertion of new schs 2 and 3)
                Page 20, line 28, ‘4.’—
                omit, insert—
3       Clause 14 (Insertion of new schs 2 and 3)
                Page 21, line 34, ‘5.’—
                omit, insert—
4       Clause 16 (Insertion of new s 312W)
                Page 23, lines 21 to 23—
                omit, insert—
                ‘purpose of stimulation, including fracturing, that contain the following chemicals in more than the maximum
                amount prescribed under a regulation—
                (a)       petroleum hydrocarbons containing benzene, ethylbenzene, toluene, or xylene;’.
5       Clause 17 (Amendment of s 320 (Duty to notify environmental harm))
                Page 24, lines 1 to 31—
                omit, insert—
‘17     Insertion of new ch 7, pt 1, div 1, hdg
                Chapter 7, part 1, before section 319—
‘Division 1       Duty to prevent and minimise environmental harm’.
‘18     Replacement of s 320 (Duty to notify environmental harm)
                Section 320—
                omit, insert—
‘Division 2       Duty to notify of environmental harm
‘Subdivision 1 Preliminary
‘320    Definitions for div 2
                ‘In this division—
                affected land means land on which an event has caused or threatens serious or material environmental harm.
                employer see section 320B(1).
                occupier, of affected land, means a person who lives or works on the affected land.
                primary activity see section 320A(1).
                public notice means a notice given in the way, and under the circumstances, prescribed under a regulation.
                          a radio or television broadcast
                registered owner, of affected land, means—
                (a)       the registered owner of the land under the Land Title Act 1994; or
                (a)       the lessee of the land under the Land Act 1994.
‘320A Application of div 2
        ‘(1)    This division applies if a person—
                (a)       while carrying out an activity (the primary activity), becomes aware that an event has happened that
                          causes or threatens serious or material environmental harm because of the person’s or someone else’s
                          act or omission in carrying out the primary activity or another activity being carried out in association with
                          the primary activity; or
                (b)       while carrying out a chapter 5A activity (also the primary activity), becomes aware of the happening of 1
                          or both of the following events—
                          (i)     the activity has negatively affected, or is reasonably likely to negatively affect, the water quality of
                                  an aquifer;
                          (ii)    the activity has caused the connection of 2 or more aquifers.
23 Nov 2010           Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                                       4197

       ‘(2)   However, this division does not apply if the event is authorised to be caused under—
              (a)     an environmental protection policy; or
              (b)     a transitional environmental program; or
              (c)     an environmental protection order; or
              (d)     an environmental authority; or
              (e)     a development condition of a development approval; or
              (f)     a standard environmental condition of a code of environmental compliance for a chapter 4 activity; or
              (g)     an emergency direction; or
              (h)     an accredited ERMP.
‘Subdivision 2 Duty of person carrying out an activity
‘320B Duty of employee to notify employer
       ‘(1)   This section applies if the person is carrying out the primary activity during the person’s employment or
              engagement by, or as the agent of, someone else (the employer).
       ‘(2)   The person must, no later than 24 hours after becoming aware of the event and unless the person has a
              reasonable excuse—
              (a)     notify the employer of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which it happened; or
              (b)     if the employer can not be contacted—give the administering authority written notice of the event, its
                      nature and the circumstances in which it happened.
              Maximum penalty—100 penalty units.
‘320C Duty of other persons to notify particular owners and occupiers
       ‘(1)   This section applies if the person is not carrying out the primary activity during the person’s employment or
              engagement by, or as the agent of, someone else.
       ‘(2)   The person must, no later than 24 hours after becoming aware of the event and unless the person has a
              reasonable excuse, give the administering authority written notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances
              in which it happened.
              Maximum penalty—
              (a)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(a)—500 penalty units; and
              (b)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(b)—100 penalty units.
       ‘(3)   The person must, as soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware of the event and unless the person
              has a reasonable excuse, give—
              (a)     written notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which it happened to any combination of
                      the following for the affected land—
                      (i)     any occupier of the affected land;
                      (ii)    any registered owner of the affected land; or
              (b)     public notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which it happened to persons on the
                      affected land.
              Maximum penalty—
              (a)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(a)—500 penalty units; and
              (b)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(b)—100 penalty units.
‘Subdivision 3 Duty of employer
‘320D Duty of employer to notify particular owners and occupiers
       ‘(1)   This section applies if the employer has been notified under section 320B(2) of the event.
       ‘(2)   The employer must, no later than 24 hours after becoming aware of the event and unless the employer has a
              reasonable excuse, give the administering authority written notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances
              in which it happened.
              Maximum penalty—
              (a)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(a)—500 penalty units; and
              (b)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(b)—100 penalty units.
       ‘(3)   The employer must, as soon as reasonably practicable after becoming aware of the event and unless the person
              has a reasonable excuse, give—
              (a)     written notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which it happened to any combination of
                      the following for the affected land—
                      (i)     any occupier of the affected land;
                      (ii)    any registered owner of the affected land; or
              (b)     public notice of the event, its nature and the circumstances in which it happened to persons at the affected
              Maximum penalty—
              (a)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(a)—500 penalty units; and
              (b)     for an event mentioned in section 320A(1)(b)—100 penalty units.
4198                      Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2)                             23 Nov 2010

‘Subdivision 4 Miscellaneous
‘320E Notice to occupiers of affected land
        ‘(1)     Without limiting the ways in which a person or employer may give written notice to an occupier of affected land
                 under this division, a person or employer is taken to have given written notice under this division to an occupier of
                 affected land if the notice is—
                 (a)      left with someone who is apparently an adult living or working on the affected land; or
                 (b)      if there is no-one on the affected land or the person has been denied access to the affected land—left on
                          the affected land in a position where it is reasonably likely to come to the occupier’s attention; or
                 (c)      posted to the affected land.
        ‘(2)     Written notice that is posted to, or left at, affected land may be addressed to ‘The Occupier’.
‘320F Defences and excuses for div 2
        ‘(1)     In a proceeding for an offence against a provision of this division, it is a defence for a person or employer to prove
                 that, despite failing to comply with the provision, the person or employer made reasonable efforts to identify the
                 affected land and give written notice to each registered owner or occupier of the affected land.
        ‘(2)     It is not a reasonable excuse for a person or employer to fail to comply with an obligation under this division on the
                 ground that the written notice, or the giving of the written notice, might tend to incriminate the person or employer.
‘320G Use of notice in legal proceedings
        ‘(1)     A written notice given by a person or employer under this division is not admissible in evidence against the person
                 or employer in a prosecution for an offence against this Act that is constituted by the act or omission that caused
                 the event under the notice.
        ‘(2)     This section does not prevent other evidence obtained because of the written notice, or the giving of the written
                 notice, being admitted in any legal proceeding against the person or employer.’.’.
6       Clause 18 (Insertion of new s 320A)
                 Page 25, lines 1 to 30 and page 26, lines 1 to 11—
7       Clause 25 (Amendment of s 464 (Insertion of new pt 19, div 13, sdiv 2))
                 Page 28, line 7, ‘after’—
8       Clause 25 (Amendment of s 464 (Insertion of new pt 19, div 13, sdiv 2))
                 Page 28, line 27, ‘omit,’—
        I table the explanatory notes.
Tabled paper: Natural Resources and Other Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 2), explanatory notes to Mr Robertson’s
amendments [3590].
        Amendments agreed to.
        Clauses 1 to 55, as amended, agreed to.

                                                         Third Reading
      Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (10.20 pm): I move—
That the bill, as amended, be now read a third time.

        Question put—That the bill, as amended, be now read a third time.
        Motion agreed to.
        Bill read a third time.

                                                           Long Title
      Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and
Minister for Trade) (10.21 pm): I move—
That the long title of the bill be agreed to.

        Question put—That the long title of the bill be agreed to.
        Motion agreed to.
23 Nov 2010                                             Adjournment                                                    4199

        Hon. S ROBERTSON (Stretton—ALP) (Acting Leader of the House) (10.21 pm): I move—
That the House do now adjourn.

                                              Aspley Achiever Awards
       Ms DAVIS (Aspley—LNP) (10.21 pm): One of the very great privileges of being the local member
for Aspley is having the opportunity to meet some quite extraordinary people. Tonight I wish to focus on
the great work of some outstanding volunteers in the Aspley electorate who selflessly contribute their
time, either independently or through organisations, to make our little part of the world an even better
place to live. The important contribution of these people can go unacknowledged, so this year I
launched the Aspley Achiever Awards to show my appreciation for our local volunteers and to allow the
community to nominate exceptional people whose volunteering excellence adds so much to the fabric of
our local area. In order to avoid a complete personal bias, a selection panel was established. Headed by
local businessman David Moore, the panel of John Gough, Narelle Short, Senior Sergeant Mark
Whitehouse and Leigh Jardine was charged with the difficult task of selecting the finalists and the
category winners.
      On Sunday, 31 October at the Aspley Memorial Bowls Club we celebrated the achievements of
some amazing local volunteering heroes. In the presence of over 100 family and friends, the finalists
were recognised and the category winners were announced. It was wonderful to have the shadow
minister for communities and housing and shadow minister for women, the member for Burdekin,
Rosemary Menkens, in attendance to assist with the presentation of the awards.
       The 2010 Aspley Achiever Awards category winners were Carole Wildermuth for her contribution
to education, Priscilla Lilliebridge for her contribution to older persons, and Phil Russell for his
contribution to environment and wellbeing. The recipient of the Neighbourhood and Local Citizenship
Award was Phyllis Miller, and Millicent Brand was presented with the Aspley Young Achiever Award.
      From this magnificent group of people, Phyllis Miller was announced our 2010 Aspley Achiever of
the Year. Phyllis has lived in the Aspley area for over 50 years and in that time has been involved with
many organisations in the local community. Her volunteering is both extensive and impressive
and, amongst other things, includes committee roles with Red Cross, Neighbourhood Watch, Pony
Club, Lions Ladies, Carseldine Probus and Aspley Ladies Bowling Club. Phyllis also volunteers with
Meals on Wheels, is a member of the Lady Mayoress’ Committee and has been a JP for over 30 years.
She is a highly deserving recipient of this award.
      The State Member’s Award for Volunteering Excellence was presented to Gwen Wilson. I met
Gwen through her work with Bald Hills Neighbourhood Watch. However, she is also actively involved
with Meals on Wheels and is a mentor with Brisbane Seniors OnLine. Gwen is a quiet achiever, and
when volunteers are called for Gwen is always there.
       I also want to acknowledge the other magnificent finalists for 2010—Margaret Argo, Kevin
Dollery, Margaret Harkins, Patricia Haseler, Dayle Joekong, Iris Morris, Ross Perfect, Rick Plumb and
the North Brisbane District Volunteers in Policing. Volunteers add so much to the fabric of our
community, and I very much look forward to honouring more of our local volunteers at the 2011 Aspley
Achiever Awards.

                                                  Bribie Island Bridge
       Mrs SULLIVAN (Pumicestone—ALP) (10.24 pm): The Bribie Island bridge was built almost 50
years ago to service a tiny population. Why? The conservative government had big plans for Bribie
Island, and I have proof of that. I have an original and very interesting real estate brochure—and I table
a copy for the parliament’s record—showing the purchase price of property in pounds, shillings and
pence, so it is before the introduction of decimal currency on 14 February 1966.
Tabled paper: Document, undated, titled ‘Bribie Today’ [3591].
       The map of Bribie Island shows that the conservatives had already carved up Bribie Island like a
piece of cheesecake. The canals showing in 1965 were built years later under the conservatives. Many
remember the outcry when bulldozers came in the middle of the night and totally destroyed Dux Creek
in favour of the now Pacific Harbour Estate canal development. The brochure also describes Bribie
Island as a wildlife sanctuary with unspoilt and untouched bushland, but on the next page the
conservative government describes its plans when it states—
Government plans show that the four-lane highway from the Bribie Island Bridge will eventually veer north, passing through the
completely untouched wildlife sanctuary of the northern part of the Island, thence crossing the Pumicestone Passage via a
projected viaduct connecting up with the scenic coastal highway system at Golden Beach.
4200                                              Adjournment                                    23 Nov 2010

So much for the natural environment! Just imagine what the LNP would do to Bribie Island now if it got
into government.
       Lately questions are being raised by the media as to the adequacy of the Bribie Island bridge.
Today I tabled two petitions: one on the widening of the walkway on the existing bridge with 1,582
signatures—and now I table a non-conforming petition of 31 signatures on the cycleway—and a petition
with only 108 signatures outlining the need for an investigation into the possible duplication of the
existing bridge and/or other options that may alleviate traffic delays.
Tabled paper: Non-conforming petition [3592].
       Not everyone wants a second access. They fear that another government might open up Bribie
Island to ad hoc development. Unfortunately, the bridge has been cut this year due to a number of
accidents and recent Main Roads meetings indicate that traffic has increased rapidly over the years.
Police have met about the bridge and, as it is critical infrastructure, they are determined to come up with
strategies to minimise the disruption to traffic caused by a crash. Also, Superintendent Michael Brady
stated that emergency vehicles would have precedence and would be escorted over the bridge if there
was a medical emergency.
      Bribie Island’s precious environment is safe under the Labor government. I have spent the last 25
years protecting 80 per cent of this island and now the LNP is considering running a real estate
salesperson or a developer as its candidate. What a disaster that would be—having someone with a
vested interest in a position which has a say on what development occurs! It is a disgrace and I
expected better of an alternative government. What this Labor government has done in the area is
concentrate on providing the infrastructure, services and facilities for residents—unlike the Nationals
and Liberals, who for years made promises and did not keep them. This next election will once again
see the LNP make extravagant promises. It promised a hospital in Caboolture for four elections or 12
years. It did not build it. Labor did, and then the second stage was downgraded by the Nationals and
Liberals while in government in the mid-1990s. Woo hoo! It promised to four-lane Bribie Island Road if
elected. It did not. It was left to Labor. We are committed to ongoing road funding in the Pumicestone
electorate. Moneys for roads since 2001, when I was elected, total in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
The biggest project, the $200 million Caboolture northern bypass, has been well received, and I am
       (Time expired)

                                                Gaven Electorate
       Dr DOUGLAS (Gaven—LNP) (10.27 pm): I take the opportunity to acknowledge a number of
community groups and individuals in my electorate of Gaven. There can be no greater compliment to
the dedicated and caring service that the Nerang Community Respite Care Association offers to a
growing number of clients than a generous bequest from a past client. The association, established in
1989, celebrated 21 years of service at its recent annual general meeting, which I attended, with the
outstanding news for 2010 being a very generous bequest from Mr Albert Switzer, formerly of Nerang.
Prior to his passing, he was a patient of mine.
        One must consider why a small organisation like this engenders such an act. President Denise
Wallace said at the meeting that she believed it was because the service offered a unique, personal
service dedicated to excellence, and for Mr Switzer the centre was his other home. Ms Wallace said that
he received what everyone who attends the centre gets—that is, respect for his individuality, genuine
support and dignified care. His gift is a tribute to all of the staff. Many people in need will benefit from his
bequest. This extremely valuable community service has more than 400 clients providing respite for the
frail, elderly and disabled. It also provides in-home care, transport, meals, carer support, allied health
and hairdressing.
        Recently, a wonderful new community group in Nerang has been formed called MOT—Men Out
There. They work with a range of different men, including those who are unemployed, retired, socially or
mentally disadvantaged, or homeless. Their aim is to provide these men with a network to be able to
communicate with others, sharing common goals and improving general wellbeing. At present they are
working with a professional theatre director, creating variety performances including comedy and music
skits. I would like to acknowledge Mr Mike Hammond for his work in the community, specifically for Men
Out There and also with the Nerang Neighbourhood Watch.
       I also met recently with Liz Fritz, the chairperson of the Gold Coast Homelessness Network. I
would like to acknowledge her tireless work with homeless people for over 20 years, including her work
with the Blair Athol Accommodation and Support Program on the Gold Coast. In October I attended a
Pink Ribbon Day luncheon, held by the Nerang RSL to support women with breast cancer. I spoke last
year at their luncheon in support of their cause, but I could never foresee that less than one year later
my wife would be affected by the disease. I thank all the generous community groups and businesses
who so generously donated gifts to the luncheon, making it a very special and positive day.
23 Nov 2010                                    Adjournment                                             4201

        Last week, I was able to team up with Diabetes Queensland and host a virtual supermarket tour in
Nerang. With the huge array of food products and packaging that is in our supermarkets, it can often be
confusing to select the healthiest choices for people and their families. Diabetes Queensland provided
vital information for residents on label reading, common nutritional claims and ingredients lists to help
residents make better choices in the supermarket. I thank all who were involved.

     Worklinks Work and Training Forum; Maxima Training Services; Godley, Mr B;
                                    Fuata, Mr F
       Mrs SCOTT (Woodridge—ALP) (10.30 pm): School representatives, business and industry and
training organisations recently attended a forum in Logan run by Worklinks, which is a Commonwealth
funded organisation. These partners were brought together to discuss ways to engage our students and
to prepare them to enter the world of work and training, to encourage business and industry to consider
taking on a school based trainee or apprentice and to better equip our teachers to guide their students,
and it was a most worthwhile exercise. One standout business that employs many school based
apprentices and trainees is JJ Richards in Slacks Creek. Having visited their facility, I can attest to their
exemplary training regime. Mr Jimmy Southwood from JJ Richards was one of the guest speakers as
well as Mr Noel Williams from Woodridge State High School, who challenged the audience on their level
of technology based communication.
       I found this forum even more meaningful since just a week or so earlier I had spent a day walking
in the shoes of Ruth Bishop of Maxima Training Services. The manager of Maxima, Michael
Franzmann, is the president of the Logan Chamber of Commerce, which is a very active chamber with
close links to our community and to our schools. With Ruth and her colleague I visited both Springwood
and Browns Plains state high schools, interviewing students for both school based apprenticeships and
traineeships as well as postschool positions. We also visited a work site where we interviewed a young
student who was doing his school based apprenticeship with Logan City Council. When we returned to
Maxima’s office we sat in on three interviews by an employer seeking a young man for a position in his
landscaping business. I thank Ruth for allowing me the opportunity to accompany her throughout her
day. Our students have fantastic opportunities to be work-ready, to take on training while still at school or
to undertake tertiary studies in so many diverse fields.
      I now wish to pay tribute to two very special characters who we in Logan have sadly lost in recent
months. Brian Godley and Filo Fuata were both members of the Logan branch of the ALP. For many
years Brian enjoyed vigorous debate with his close friends Ted Warren, Garnet Kelley and Filo at many
a branch meeting and function. Always good-natured, Brian drew on much of his experience in the
Police Service in country Queensland and then in Woodridge for many years. Brian and his wife, Ann,
raised their family in our community and remained living here following Brian’s retirement.
       Filo and his wife, Elena, have been pillars of their community, raising their 11 children, plus one
deceased, to adulthood and are now helping with their grandchildren. Filo had worked hard in the
construction industry and had been a proud member of the BLF and the ALP. Brian and Filo were
always out on election day to support their candidates, including me, at Harris Fields Primary and they
will be sorely missed not only for their loyalty to the cause but also simply because they were both
remarkable characters. They were honest, hardworking family men who showed all of us true Aussie

                                       Lock the Gate Campaign
       Mr WELLINGTON (Nicklin—Ind) (10.33 pm): Yesterday, another rally was held outside this
Parliament House—the people’s House in Queensland. These rallies have been referred to as the Lock
the Gate campaign. I say to members that farmers throughout Queensland are now prepared to stand
up and be counted. We are seeing effectively no difference between the government and the opposition
in relation to the way in which they have simply rolled over and are doing the bidding of the powerful
Mining Council lobby group in Queensland. They are simply doing the bidding of this Mining Council in
Queensland. When the Mining Council says, ‘But the people of Felton and the Darling Downs are being
influenced and manipulated by outside influences,’ I say to the people of the Darling Downs and Felton
to not be afraid of the influence of the Mining Council, the government and the opposition because there
are Independents in this parliament who are prepared to stand up and protect them. If the Independents
get returned at the next state election, we will be a voice for those people.
      I say to the people of Felton and the people of the Darling Downs that now is the time to prepare
the campaign for next year’s state election. If it is next year or shortly thereafter, they should start to
prepare their campaign and not just assume that the only candidate that they will have will be a Labor or
a Liberal National. This is their chance to have credible Independents stand up and be counted and
contest the next state election. Those people know that they have credible Independents here who will
continue to be their voice in this parliament, who will represent them, because we know that the
4202                                                    Adjournment                                              23 Nov 2010

government and the opposition are effectively the same on this issue. There is no real substantial
difference. The Independents will give those people a voice and I urge them to not be influenced by the
Liberal National Party or the government. This is their chance to have a voice. Those parties are already
out there trying to get their candidates in the coming—
        Mr Hopper interjected.
        Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member for Condamine.
        Mr WELLINGTON: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I appreciate your support. We see the—
     Mr SPEAKER: No, I say to the member for Nicklin that it was for your protection. The member for
Condamine is interjecting from his wrong seat. So it was a question of order, not a question of support.
       Mr WELLINGTON: Thank you, Mr Speaker. My message to the people of Darling Downs and
Felton and the like who are concerned about the powerful Mining Council of Queensland is that this is
their chance to work in their communities to get credible Independents to run in the coming state
election. They know that Independents will support them. We will give them a voice and they should not
be disillusioned by the opposition and this government.

                              Queensland Health, Alleged Gross Misconduct
       Ms BATES (Mudgeeraba—LNP) (10.36 pm): Tonight I rise to refute the claims made by the
minister and senior staff of Queensland Health that the alleged rape of a nurse by a doctor on the Gold
Coast is not their concern as the assault did not occur on Queensland Health property. This is the third
time I have raised this issue in parliament and I previously referred this matter to the Crime and
Misconduct Commission, in whose wisdom has referred the alleged incident of gross misconduct on the
part of a public servant back to Queensland Health to investigate itself.
      It is my firm belief that Queensland Health has a vicarious liability and for that to be imposed three
matters must be satisfied. Firstly, the defendant and the person for whose acts or omissions the
defendant is to be held liable—the actual wrongdoer—must have been in a relationship that the law
recognises as sufficient for the purpose, the most common one being that of employer and employee, or
master and servant in the older terminology. Secondly, there must be some connection between the act
or omission of the actual wrongdoer and the special relationship with the defendant. For example, it
must have been performed in the course of employment. Thirdly, the act or omission of the actual
wrongdoer must have been wrongful.
       In this case the first matter is satisfied. There was a relationship of employer and employee
between Queensland Health and its staff. The third matter is also satisfied. The alleged serious
allegation of a sexual nature is wrongful. The second matter is therefore the contentious aspect of the
issue and that is whether the alleged incident occurred in the course of employment. In Harrison v
Michelin Tyre Co Ltd 1985 the court found that—
... for the purposes of vicarious liability, the test whether an employee was acting in the course of his employment was whether a
reasonable man would say either that the employee’s act was part and parcel of his employment ... even though it was
unauthorised or prohibited by the employer, in which case the employer was liable.

       The alleged assault occurred at an unauthorised function whereby only Queensland Health
employees were present. Staff from the Gold Coast Hospital meet regularly on a Monday evening at an
establishment known as The Cavern. This was a regular occurrence and everyone, including
management and staff, regularly attended these functions. Queensland Health would also be more
likely to know that staff got together at these functions because they were advertised routinely on
Facebook and attendance responses were published by staff members. Therefore, Queensland Health
would be unable to distance itself from liability. In light of the continued abuse of this staff member by
Queensland Health, I will be referring this matter back to the CMC and to the Health Quality and
Complaints Commission based on my belief that Queensland Health has vicarious liability in this

                                     Brisbane Central Electorate, Awards
       Ms GRACE (Brisbane Central—ALP) (10.39 pm): It was a pleasure on Wednesday, 10
November 2010 to attend the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre’s Community Action Network Awards
function. The CAN Awards provide an opportunity to highlight people and programs that make a
difference through building community and inclusion.
       There is incredible work towards social justice taking place across Brisbane’s inner north every
day of every year. The CAN Awards are now in their 12th year of honouring people and organisations
for their hard work towards making a positive difference for people in the inner-Brisbane community. For
example, previous winner Dave McCartney, a good friend, is a well-known advocate for homeless
23 Nov 2010                                             Adjournment                                                      4203

people who highlighted the significance of the awards and what they represent when he gave a typically
inspiring speech in 2008 in which he stated that the CAN Awards represented all those people who have
made him what he is today.
        The CAN Awards in 2010 had 10 categories, and I congratulate all winners. Warm
congratulations to Ann Mitchell from the 139 Club, who won the Outstanding Community Leader, the
Ron Muir Award; Meredith Briggs from Cafe Bouquiniste, who won the Accessibility and Community
Facilities Development category; Marina Thacker, who won the Participatory Process Award; Sophia
Bookallil, who won the Volunteering in the Community category; Rodney Kelly of the 139 Club, who won
the Homelessness Services Award; Company Bright Bags, who won the Private Enterprise or
Development—Fostering Social Justice Award; Carmella Chillemi, an old school mate from the
Brisbane Housing Co., who won the Contribution to Affordable Housing category; Vulcana Women’s
Circus, who won the Community Spirit Award; Colman Ridge, winner of the Environment and
Sustainability Award; and Kenneth Georgetown from Murri Watch, who won the Colin Collins special
award. Congratulations once again to all winners and finalists. Thank you to the LGBT Choir, who
entertained all present. I look forward to next year’s awards where, once again, very worthy members of
our inner-Brisbane community will be rewarded for a job well done.
        In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Senior Sergeant Corey Allen, who
was nominated as a finalist in the Queensland Local Hero Australian of the Year 2010 Awards, and
Shelley Argent OAM, PFLAG and gay rights activist, who won the Queensland Senior Australian of the
Year. Senior Sergeant Corey Allen and his wife, Tracey, were present at the function. He is a very
worthy nominee. Corey is an excellent, committed and dedicated police officer who does outstanding
work in the Brisbane CBD particularly focused on the issues of youth, homelessness and public safety
and has introduced several innovative programs to tackle these issues. He brings a common-sense
approach to his job and is passionate about helping members of the public who find themselves in
difficult situations. It is a pleasure to know and work with Corey, and I wish him all the very best in his
future career.
        Shelley Argent’s work in promoting the rights of members of the LGBT community is second to
none, and she has devoted herself to encouraging understanding and acceptance of this often
marginalised group. She is an outstanding member of the community who believes in and fights for
equality for all, regardless of their sexual orientation. Congratulations to both on a job well done. They
are fantastic Queenslanders and they make the state of Queensland a very proud state.

                     Flying Fox Rally; Queensland Government Agent Program
        Mr KNUTH (Dalrymple—LNP) (10.42 pm): This Saturday at 9.30 am, Charters Towers residents
will be rallying in droves to protest against Minister Kate Jones’s refusal to allow the removal of flying
foxes from parks and residential areas by helicopter—a non-lethal, effective method of removal—on the
grounds that we could not guarantee that a bat was not going to be harmed during the removal process.
Yet the minister still cannot guarantee that no person or horse will be harmed as a result of bats
roosting amongst residential areas. The minister also still refuses to take up local council workers’ offers
to spend a day in their shoes to get a better understanding of what it is like every day to put up with the
itches and the stench and to wear space-like safety clothing to help protect them from lethal viruses
which have already resulted in seven deaths and 36 affected cases.
        Local council workers also invited the Premier, the health minister and the climate change
minister to the bat rally to hear their views and to explain to thousands of residents why we must be
exposed to this filth. They have still not responded to their invitation to the rally, so I will read a letter of
invitation written by council worker Mr Allan Henderson so that the Premier and the ministers are
assured of this invitation and can respond to him. He states—
Premier Anna Bligh
For how much longer will the good people of Charters Towers have their lives ruined by thousands of flying foxes and fruit bats?
How can a Bligh Government concerned for ordinary people and their quality of life expose people of the Towers to the stench,
filth and disease caused by these intruders. The town and its citizens were there well before the bats arrived. The residents of
Charters Towers and the Charters Towers Action Group, in conjunction with the Charters Towers Regional Council request
yourself, Minister Kate Jones and the Minister for Health Paul Lucas to attend a street march on 27th November 2010 to discuss
the removal of a colony of flying foxes from Lissner Park in Charters Towers.
Charters Towers residents have had a gutful of the Bligh Government’s inaction on this issue. The street march will end up at
Lissner Park where a public forum will be set up for yourself and ministers to answer questions from Charters Towers residents
about this issue.
I hope they will attend.
        I would like to draw the attention of the House to the planned downgrade of the Queensland
Government Agent Program Service Centre in Malanda. The QGAP service was established to provide
rural Queenslanders with equal access to a range of government services such as birth and marriage
certificates and vehicle and livestock registration including NLIS. The downgrading of the QGAP
services will cost the small town of Malanda at least six jobs in a vital service that is fundamentally
important to the survival of many small businesses and farm operators. These centres are vital for the
4204                                             Attendance                                      23 Nov 2010

survival of rural and regional Queenslanders, whose capacity to operate their business is severely
impacted by the tyranny of distance. The reduction of opening hours from five days a week to one day a
week exposes this government’s hypocrisy in promising to create 100,000 jobs and encourage people
to live in rural and regional areas. This is a kick in the guts not only to those who live in rural and regional
areas but also to the very people who saw the need for this vital support and established QGAP service

                                                Fuata, Mr F
       Mr MOORHEAD (Waterford—ALP) (10.45 pm): It is with great sadness that I rise tonight to pay
tribute on the passing of my constituent Mr Filo Fuata. I know that the member for Woodridge, Desley
Scott, was also a great friend of Filo and was deeply saddened by Filo’s recent passing.
        Filo was born in Sala’ilua, Western Samoa, on 28 October 1944. Filo was the eldest of his nine
half-siblings and was raised by one of his maternal aunties. During his adolescent years Filo took up
weightlifting and represented Samoa in the third South Pacific Games in 1969, winning a medal for his
country. Filo continued training as a weightlifter when he moved to New Zealand in 1971, winning the
New Zealand Featherweight Championship a number of times. Filo, in a true indication of his devotion
to his family, gave up the opportunity to compete at the Montreal Olympics because his wife, Elena, was
pregnant at the time.
       Filo, Elena and their children made Australia their home in 1986. Filo was the proud father of 12
children. At the funeral, Elena described Filo’s love for his children as almost unconditional. The only
condition was that they could never drive his car. Filo, Elena and his family were also supported by their
strong Christian faith. Filo went to mass at St Paul’s at Woodridge every Sunday and every day that he
had a rostered day off. Filo also supported St Paul’s with volunteer and welfare work whenever he had a
spare moment. Filo’s reputation as a loving and caring man was well known, with St Paul’s Church
packed with well-wishers paying their respects at Filo’s funeral.
       When I first started working as an official of the AMWU, I would attend rallies of the building
trades group of unions. Every time, without fail, there would be the stout Samoan building worker
proudly waving the BLF flag. This is when I first met Filo. Filo was a hardworking man. Filo was a proud
building worker and delegate for the Builders Labourers Federation. Filo was committed to looking after
his workmates, ensuring they got a fair go at work. It was a great tribute to Filo that his funeral was
attended by members of the BLF and his workmates from Baulderstone Hornibrook.
       But Filo was also concerned about fairness for working people in his community. Filo was an
active ALP member and one of Labor’s ‘true believers’. During the last state campaign I received a
phone call from Filo telling me to bring down two signs to put in his yard. When I was not there by the
following morning Filo rang again to make sure that I had not forgotten. I turned up and put the signs in.
That afternoon Filo rang me again. I said, ‘Filo, I put the signs in.’ Filo replied that he lived on a corner
block and that I had put signs on one side only. Filo told me that I needed to come back and make sure
that people coming from the other direction saw that he had a sign in his yard.
       Filo was a quiet man who let his actions speak louder than words. Filo was so proud of his
children: Danny, Cecilia, Diana, Josephine, James, Brian, Barbara, Emily, Ann, Cosmos, Adriana and
Judith. Filo was so proud that he and Elena could give his children the chance that he never had. Filo
did have much sadness and grief in his life. Filo had a can-do attitude that would shine through. He
always had a smile and always shared his infectious laugh. Filo was a peaceful and happy man who
lived to love others. While I know that Filo will be sadly missed by his family, Filo will be missed by the
Logan community, his Samoan community, his workmates and the Labor family.
       Question put—That the House do now adjourn.
       Motion agreed to.
       The House adjourned at 10.49 pm.

      Attwood, Bates, Bleijie, Bligh, Boyle, Choi, Crandon, Cripps, Cunningham, Darling, Davis,
Dempsey, Dick, Dickson, Douglas, Dowling, Elmes, Emerson, Farmer, Finn, Flegg, Foley, Fraser,
Gibson, Grace, Hinchliffe, Hobbs, Hoolihan, Hopper, Horan, Jarratt, Johnson, Johnstone, Jones, Keech,
Kiernan, Kilburn, Knuth, Langbroek, Lawlor, Lucas, McArdle, McLindon, Male, Malone, Menkens,
Messenger, Mickel, Miller, Moorhead, Mulherin, Nelson-Carr, Nicholls, Nolan, O’Neill, Palaszczuk, Pitt,
Powell, Pratt, Reeves, Rickuss, Roberts, Robertson, Robinson, Ryan, Schwarten, Scott, Seeney, Shine,
Simpson, Smith, Sorensen, Spence, Springborg, Stevens, Stone, Struthers, Stuckey, Sullivan, van
Litsenburg, Wallace, Watt, Wellington, Wells, Wendt, Wettenhall, Wilson

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