State of our roads show need to go back to basics - CQ Today

This past week I drove 2200 kilometres through Central Queensland. I visited five coal mines, farms and a few pubs for a drink and a meal. Two things strike you when you drive through Central Queensland. First, so much wealth is generated in our region. Second, the state of our roads do not match the level of prosperity that we generate. Central Queensland produces $40 billion of wealth for Australia every year, from a population base of just over 400,000. That’s an income per person of more than $100,000, double that of Tasmania. Our higher productivity is largely thanks to the coal, cattle, cane and cotton that we produce in the region. Read more

Different rules for reefs - CQ Today

As passengers come into land at the Brisbane airport, few would realise that they are flying over a coral reef with more marine diversity than any single reef in the Great Barrier Reef. The Flinders Reef is just 30 kilometres off Brisbane. Yet life in Brisbane continues as normal while more and more regulation is imposed on farmers in North Queensland to “protect” the reef. How can reefs in Moreton Bay survive without imposing any specific regulations on the millions that farm, mine and work in the Brisbane catchment? Read more

Stand up for our region - CQ Today

Last Monday, I left home early to make a 9.30am meeting with Mayor Jack Dempsey in Bundaberg. Things were on track until, just after Miriam Vale, I missed the turn-off to the shortcut and lost about 20 minutes. I am good mates with Jack so he understood, and we still found time to catch up, but how is it that the back roads are quicker than sticking to the main highway? The federal government has spent over $10 billion on the Bruce in recent years. Our state is no longer cut in two when the Yeppen floods. Yet there remain large parts of the Bruce that goats would struggle to walk. The LNP’s promise to build a four-lane Bruce Highway is the right call so that we can have a world class road linking the north and south of our state. The most important economic thing we can do is to build things that last so that our efforts deliver jobs and opportunities to our children. In Bundaberg, I met with irrigators impacted by the negligent construction of the Paradise Dam. Read more

Activists use courts to slow down coal mine approvals - CQ Today

The construction of the Adani Carmichael mine should be complete in a shorter time than it took governments to assess Adani’s black throated finch management plan. How have we ended up in a country where it takes longer to think about doing something than it actually takes to do that thing? The Adani mine took a full decade just to get its approvals and it now looks like it will be built within about 18 months, pending rain, this summer. The New Acland mine has been waiting 13 years for its approvals. We educate a child in a shorter time than it has taken this mine to get going. Read more

We need more Barilaros - CQ Today

Politics can be brutal. So it was no surprise this week to hear that the NSW Nationals party leader John Barilaro needed to take a break for his mental health. John had had a grueling fortnight fighting with his Coalition colleagues in the Liberal Party. Many senior Liberals were calling for him to resign because he had threatened to leave the Coalition over the National party’s concerns about proposed laws to protect koalas. Read more

Gas is not the answer to our power costs - The Australian

In 2016 all the lights went out in South Australia, the first time that had happened across an entire Australian state since the 1960s. In the aftermath, energy and resources ministers met to discuss what went wrong. Tony Marxsen, chairman of the Australian Energy Market Operator at the time, pointed to the fluorescent lights above us and explained that they were flicking on and off constantly, at a frequency of 50 hertz, but that this was unobservable to the human eye. Read more

Time to get serious again - CQ Today

In 1935, the chief general manager of BHP, Essington Lewis, visited Europe. He returned with the view that war was probable and that Australia must immediately strengthen its manufacturing industry. He and other Australian businesses, including General Motors Holden and Orica, established the Commonwealth Airport Corporation a year later. By 1937 a factory had been built in Port Melbourne and during the war the business would produce Australian made warplanes such as the Wirraway. The Allies won World War II not because we had the strongest military in 1939 but because we could build more planes, more boats and more tanks during the war. The cause of freedom won because the free economies had stronger and more efficient industrial economies. Read more

Double standards rankle - CQ Today

If there is an attribute that distinguishes an Australian it is our unique notion of a fair go. We don’t like double standards. We don’t like Johnny getting paid more than Jill for the same day’s work. Read more

Industries put CQ in good shape to weather Covid - CQ Today

Twenty per cent of jobs in Central Queensland rely on the agriculture, mining and manufacturing industries. That is double the rate for the rest of Australia, just 10 per cent of Australians are employed in these sectors. These industries are essential and we are realising just how essential during the coronavirus pandemic. Food has been kept on our shelves thanks to our farmers and our national wealth has held up because our mines are still running. Our manufacturing industries have responded by producing enormous quantities of hand sanitisers and life saving ventilators. We should take pride in the wealth that these industries produce for the nation from Central Queensland and the central role they have played in helping Australia respond to the coronavirus. Read more

CQ should be thinking big - CQ Today

When Australia was created in 1901, Rockhampton was the third biggest city in Queensland - 4 per cent of Queenslanders lived here. Today we are just the 8th biggest town and less than two per cent of Queenslanders live here. We should have a much larger population in Central Queensland given our abundant natural resources. The mighty Fitzroy River is the second largest water catchment on our east coast, behind only the Murray-Darling. Yet there is just one major dam in it (the Fairbairn at Emerald). The coal and gas resources inland of Rockhampton are some of the richest in the world yet most of the royalties from there ends up building rail lines and tunnels in Brisbane. Read more



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