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Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (8.26pm): In a democratic society there is no greater honour  than to be selected as the representative of your community in its parliament. I wish to thank the people of  Indooroopilly for giving me that honour. For those who voted for me, I hope my efforts over the next years  will reward their faith. For those who chose otherwise, I will be working to earn your support. In either case,  I am here to serve you.


I would also like to thank my family for its support in the lead-up to and during the campaign: my  wife, Robyn, whom I met more than 20 years ago when we were students at the University of Queensland  at St Lucia; my daughter, Kate, who is fast becoming a young woman but it seems just yesterday that I was  taking her to ballet lessons at St David’s parish hall in Chelmer; and my son, Jack, who could barely reach  the boom when I was teaching him capsizing training at the Oxley Sailing Club but by the end of the year I  suspect will be taller than me. They endured, without complaint, the long absences and roller-coaster of  emotions that a campaign inevitably brings.


I need also to mention the efforts of my campaign manager, James ‘Josh’ Mackay. His hard work,  enthusiasm and commitment to this endeavour were crucial to its success. While James is not one to be  selfish about credit, I think it is important to note that it is done and he did it. I also need to thank Councillor  Jane Prentice for her friendship and encouragement over many years. Jane is a talented and tireless  worker for her Walter Taylor ward. It is significant that her husband, Ian, was once member for this seat in  the early eighties when it was named Toowong and fought for greater accountability of government during  his time in this place.


Today I would like to outline what I see as my role in this parliament and what principles will guide  me in the deliberations ahead. As we celebrate the state of Queensland’s sesquicentenary, it is  appropriate that we acknowledge the milestones on the historic map of our last 150 years, and indeed the  times before that.


The people and lands of Indooroopilly have played a significant role in Queensland’s history—from  the lost convicts that guided John Oxley along the stretch of the Brisbane River, which this electorate,  alone of all seats, straddles, to the world-class scientific breakthroughs achieved at the University of  Queensland. It is right to recognise and revel in our great history. But I see it as incumbent on me among  colleagues in this place to build positively on that past and dedicate myself to the collective task—indeed  duty—to guide our state into the future. I do not use the word ‘duty’ lightly. It is something that has been  instilled in me from an early age. I was proud to have my 81-year-old father in the chamber gallery for  yesterday’s opening ceremony of this 53rd Parliament. He served for many years as an officer in the Royal  Australian Air Force and then after leaving the military worked tirelessly in his own local Brisbane  community with numerous volunteer organisations. His efforts left an indelible impression on me. I will  strive to achieve the same level of dedication, diligence and determination in serving the Indooroopilly  electorate that he demonstrated over so many years.


Entering this chamber as an MP for the first time, I reflected that I was in a rare, if not unique,
position. As a journalist for both the ABC and the Australian newspaper, I reported extensively on the  proceedings of the Queensland parliament and its members. Iam sure there are examples of where I commented adversely on the performance of some long-serving members in this House. However, I like to  believe and hope that that reporting was fair and balanced. I now expect to be exposed to similar rigorous  scrutiny by members of my former profession seated in the press gallery. I am not foolish enough to  believe that reporting will always be favourable. The media has a fundamental role in keeping the  Queensland public informed about the proceedings of this House. That should not be their responsibility  alone. I believe that the business of the Queensland government and parliament is the business of the Queensland people.


Too often we have seen government slouch towards secrecy, skulking behind cabinet doors rather  than embracing scrutiny, and parliamentary rules manipulated to thwart rather than facilitate open  discussion. It is not just the media that is obstructed in its efforts. Queenslanders are stymied when they  seek to discover what is being done in their name and paid for by their taxpayer funds. Open, transparent  and accountable government is fundamental to good government. It is always easy to make decisions  behind closed doors, free from scrutiny and the need for explanation. But when so many decisions are  made in secret, it risks undermining faith in government and its processes. While there needs to be a  balance between on the one hand reasonable confidentiality in order to functionally administer government  and on the other hand transparency of government, I am committed during my time in this House to err on  the side of openness rather than obstruction when it comes to the work of this parliament.


As for the work of parliament, I do not believe, and I do not believe that Queenslanders believe, it is  the government’s or parliament’s job to do everything. What they do expect is that this parliament is  relevant to a people who have grown up in a modern, tolerant, progressive Queensland. I believe  Queenslanders want a parliament that respects the individual’s right to choose how they live in a free and  tolerant community. They expect their parliament to promote an economically progressive agenda that  respects the right to choose in an open and competitive market. They also demand an efficient government  that effectively plans and manages the state.


In my electorate of Indooroopilly I have seen firsthand the failure to plan and manage. Like other  members of my community, I wonder why traffic congestion seems to worsen by the day; why there has  been a failure to ensure the Western Freeway and Centenary Highway can cope with demand and not  force rat-running through suburban streets; why the train line that runs through the electorate is the most  overcrowded in Brisbane; why a $26million redevelopment of the busiest train station outside the CBD  failed to provide even one park-and-ride space; why pressure builds on precious green space in the face of  inappropriate and short-sighted development; why the failure to manage the economy means students  graduating this year from the University of Queensland face rising unemployment, massive state debt and  increasing taxes—burdens that no-one sitting in this House has seen in their lifetimes; and why each child
born in Queensland in our 150th year is born with almost $13,000 of state debt just because they are born a Queenslander.


These are difficult economic times, but they can be made far worse by poor choices. The solution  will not be achieved through the growth of government departments, the multiplication of rules and the  imposition of endless regulations. I believe the solution lies with promoting individual freedom and free  enterprise, a light and fair-handed government which encourages and respects private sector initiative,  and low taxes. Having run my own business over the past five years, I understand the challenges of  creating jobs and also how important a job is to a functioning and healthy society. I still believe our best  hope for future prosperity rests, in the words of Sir Robert Menzies, with the ‘divine restlessness and ambitious enterprise of the individual’. In difficult economic times, I believe the challenge for us as  parliamentarians is to do more than just frighten people. We must do more than spend our energy  indulging in smear, scare and false scandal. Truth and integrity must underpin our decisions and the goals  we set. I believe we must be aspirational and in turn we must inspire. Our task is to explain the challenges,  promote the opportunities and provide leadership.


There are two areas that I would like to particularly mention—the environment and the community.  Today most reasonable people accept how important the environment is. We are all environmentalists now, whether we are farmers who long ago recognised their livelihood depended on the health of their land, Indigenous people with a deep spiritual understanding of responsibility—a responsibility that deserves recognition—or urban Queenslanders who see a clean, green environment as an essential part of their modern lifestyle. Unfortunately and increasingly, the environment is used as a wedge issue, divorced from genuine concern and hostage to political expediency.


Having warned of that risk but paying heed to that practical mantra which calls on us to act globally and think locally, I want to raise an issue in Indooroopilly. It is a growing urban electorate that desperately desires to preserve and enhance its green space if we are to ensure our children and our grandchildren room to run, play and breathe fresh air. Much to our surprise, Brisbane people have suddenly woken up and, in the face of population pressure, found ourselves short of green space. That childhood spent climbing mango trees and playing in the local bush has been replaced in many cases by a distant park you have to drive to. With the state government mandating that room be found for an additional 140,000 dwellings by 2026, this will be even more the case in future.

Those of us who love the local communities at Indooroopilly understand that growth has to be  accommodated, but so does our lifestyle. I call on the state and federal governments to reserve
considerable tracts of land for public use in perpetuity. They can do this in Indooroopilly by not selling the Alan Fletcher Research Station in Sherwood and the CSIRO and DPI land in Long Pocket. That land is owned by taxpayers. It is an investment in the future and, in the view of many of my constituents, a contributor to future lifestyle. It should not be sold off for quick funds. No-one is making extra land. Once it is lost, it is lost forever. This is an opportunity which must not be lost. Losing this land is a price too great to pay.


We all understand the importance of community. My own journey to this place has involved a
longstanding commitment as a community advocate. My wife, Robyn, and I co-founded the St Lucia Community Association seven years ago and for more than two decades together we have fought to make our local community a better place—over the years working with bush care, sporting, education, crime prevention and history groups. I know I can and will rely on her guidance in the years ahead and she would argue that good community groups keep you honest and grounded. They are the ones who pull on gloves and pick up mattocks to clear weeds and protect suburban waterways, work with local police to make our streets and homes safer and get our kids away from the computer and out onto the playing field each weekend. These committed and caring groups will be central among my advisers and the electorate of Indooroopilly has more than 200 such groups, all staffed by volunteers working to making their community a better place.


Despite the efforts of these many volunteers to support their local community, there is in our society a sense of a loss of community in the face of change and uncertainty. That provides a challenge for us who sit in this parliament. Social commentator Hugh Mackay warns that the sense of change and loss of community cohesion tempts us to impose a kind of regulated morality on society where we take the short cut to good behaviour. We ban, we regulate, we legislate, we control. This exposes us to the risk of limiting our freedoms. The essence of morality lies in our freedom to make moral choices. If we impose too many regulations in areas previously left to the dictates of our consciences, we may discourage people from thinking that moral choices have to be made. I accept that strongly held views on matters may never be
reconciled. It was John Stuart Mill who argued that exchanges between individuals should be based on free will and mutual tolerance of different moralities. He said—
... the only purpose for which power can be rightly exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others.


For myself, as I deliberate on the many decisions I will make in my time as a member of parliament, it is about recognising that there must be a limit to the interference by government in people’s lives.
In conclusion, let me again thank the people of the Indooroopilly electorate for granting me the
honour to be their member of parliament. I hope that my efforts here will ensure that for all Queenslanders in the years ahead, to quote Menzies words, ‘life is free and its horizons wide’.

PDF : Maiden Speech.pdf

Scott EmersonScott Anthony Emerson (born 15 January 1964) is an Australian politician. He is the Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business in the Queensland Liberal National Party Opposition. In the Queensland Parliament he represents the seat of Indooroopilly in Brisbane’s inner-west, which he has held since 2009.

Early life

Emerson was born in Ipswich, Queensland, where his father, an officer in the Royal Australian Air Force, was working at the nearby Amberley base. Emerson attended schools across Australia and overseas as his family moved with the RAAF. He graduated from high school in Canberra, A.C.T.

Emerson attended the University of Queensland where he studied Law, Economics and Journalism. He finished an Arts degree in 1985 (majors in Laws and Journalism) and an Economics degree in 1987.

While at university he was a regular contributor to the student newspaper Semper Floreat and was editor in 1986. He was also chairman of the Journalism Students Association in 1985.

Early career

Emerson began his media career in 1988 as a cadet journalist with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) at its Toowong studios in Brisbane. In 1991 he moved to Sydney to work as a reporter on ABC Radio’s leading current affairs programs AM, PM and The World Today. He returned to Brisbane in 1992 as the senior Queensland reporter for ABC Radio Current Affairs.

In 1994 he joined the national newspaper The Australian as its Queensland political reporter. In 1998 he was appointed the paper’s Queensland Bureau Chief and in 2000 was National Chief of Staff for The Australian during the Sydney Olympics.

In 2001 he was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to study political campaigning including undertaking research at Harvard and in Washington D.C.

In 2004 he left The Australian to become a director and equity partner in Crook Publicity, a Brisbane-based public and media relations firm. In 2009 he resigned from Crook Publicity to contest the seat of Indooroopilly at the State election for the LNP.

Community activities

Emerson was co-founder of the St Lucia Community Association and held executive roles on local P&Fs including at Nudgee Junior College and Brisbane Boys College. He was a team manager at Wests Junior Rugby from 2005 to 2007. Emerson was also a volunteer at the RSPCA including working as a qualified dog trainer at weekends.

Political career

Emerson was elected to the Queensland Parliament at the 21 March 2009 state election, representing the seat of Indooroopilly for the Liberal National Party with a two-party preferred vote of 56 per cent. At the election he defeated Labor’s candidate Sarah Warner and the sitting member Ronan Lee from the Greens who defected from Labor in 2008.

At the election Emerson achieved a swing of 8.4 per cent on the two-party preferred vote, more than double the average swing to the LNP, and won by more than 2500 votes.

In his maiden speech he identified community and the environment as key issues.

On 24 March 2012, Emerson was re-elected as the Member for Indooroopilly for the Liberal National Party, contributing to the party's massive total of 78 seats and delivering a new State Government for Queensland under Premier Campbell Newman.

At the election Emerson achieved a swing of 14% with a first preference vote of 61% and  a two-party preferred vote of 70%, the highest of any candidate in the seat of Indooroopilly's history.

Mr Emerson was appointed as the Minister for Transport and Main Roads in the first Campbell Newman Ministry and was sworn in by the Governor on Tuesday 3 April 2012 at Queensland Government House.

He was appointed the Shadow Minister for Transport in the Queensland Liberal National Party Opposition.

A Shadow Cabinet reshuffle on 9 May 2016, saw Emerson appointed as the LNP's Shadow Treasurer and Shadow Minister for Small Business

List of Positions Held 2009-

Shadow Ministry Portfolios

Science Research and Information & Communication Technology (Nov 2010- April 2011)

Transport Multicultural Affairs & the Arts (April 2011- March 2012)

Transport (February 2015 - 9 May 2016)

Treasurer and Small Business (9 May 2016 - )

Ministry Portfolios

Transport and Main Roads (April 2012 - January 2015)

Opposition Committees

Chairman of the inaugural Waste Watch Committee, aimed at eliminating Labor Government waste (May 2010- November 2010)

Parliamentary Committees

Parliamentary Crime and Misconduct Committee (April 2009- June 2011)

Transport, Local Government and Infrastructure Committee (June 2011- November 2011)

Transport and Local Government Committee (November 2011- February 2012)

Personal

Emerson is married to Robyn and the couple have a daughter and son. They met while studying at the University of Queensland and married in Brisbane in 1991.

The Indooroopilly electorate in Brisbane's south-western suburbs is one of the most beautiful in Brisbane.  Stretching from the Chelmer/Sherwood area in the south to Toowong in the north, the Indooroopilly electorate also takes in St Lucia, Taringa, Fig Tree Pocket and of course Indooroopilly.

If you're not sure if you're in the Indooroopilly electorate you can click here: http://www.ecq.qld.gov.au/asp/index.asp?pgid=188 to find out.

Chelmer

Famous for its camphor laurel-lined streets and home to the well-known Laurel Avenue, Chelmer is a quiet and peaceful suburb only 7km from the CBD.   The area is predominantly residential with little commercial influence.  Over half the households are home to families with children and over 90% of the properties are stand-alone homes, adding to its peaceful atmosphere.

Fig Tree Pocket

Quite literally named after a huge fig tree in the area, Fig Tree Pocket is where you'll find the famous Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.   Established in 1927, the sanctuary is home to over 130 koalas and remains one of Brisbane's most popular tourist attractions.    Fig Tree Pocket features reserves of natural bushland and large residential blocks on which stand-alone dwellings count for almost 100% of properties.   With a population of less than 4000 and a median age of 38, Fig Tree Pocket is a vibrant community in easy reach of Indooroopilly Shopping Centre and the CBD.

Graceville

With a median age of 35, a population of under 5000 and consisting primarily of families with children, Graceville is one of Brisbane's hidden secrets.  Graceville treasures its two heritage-listed properties, the Graceville Uniting Church and the Graceville Memorial Park.  The memorial was unveiled on the 29th of November, 1920, in honour of the fallen in World War I.  In memory of the 51 soldiers and one nurse from the Sherwood Shire who did not return home, 52 trees were planted along what are now Plumridge and Appel Streets, with 40 of the original trees remaining today.

Indooroopilly

Home to a first-class golf course, a camp of flying foxes and one of Brisbane's oldest and largest shopping precincts, Indooroopilly - or Indro as the under-25s now call it - is at the heart of the electorate.  The community is a diverse mixture of professionals, students and families, with over 41% of households consisting of couples with children.   It is known for its parklands and beautiful river views.  Indooroopilly provides a range of services, restaurants, schools and entertainment with easy access to the city via the freeway or a range of public transport options.

Sherwood

A small, family friendly suburb nestled in along the Brisbane River, over 45% Sherwood’s households consist of couples with children.   A close-knit community, Sherwood hosts a well-known community festival annually, the Sherwood Community Street Festival, which has just celebrated its 13th year.  Over 70% of properties in this area are stand-alone homes, many of them renovated Queenslanders and post-war homes.

St Lucia

Curled in a bend of the Brisbane River and somewhat inaccessible, St Lucia remained farming land until the early 1900s.  The decision to move the University of Queensland from the city in the late 1930s saw a wave of new residential construction and the beginning of the suburb we know today.  St Lucia is a community of city businesspeople, university students and academics, and prides itself on green, leafy streets and parks.  A diverse restaurant precinct thrives on Hawken Drive.  

Taringa

Taringa - a name derived from an Aboriginal word for 'strong' - is known for its attractive homes, friendly community and popular eateries.  Once named West Milton, Taringa provides a suburban lifestyle with easy access to all that the CBD and Indooroopilly have to offer, making it a popular choice for young professionals and families.  Its Queensland Heritage listed landmark is a public seat constructed by the family of Pilot Officer Geoffrey Lloyd Wells, a local who did not return from World War II.

Tennyson

Known for its beautiful homes, Tennyson is a small suburb which is big on character.   It has been aptly described as charming and idyllic and boasts a quirky naming system for the streets, based on the works of the poet Tennyson. Hence the well-known King Arthur Terrace.  In 1862 work started on establishing farming properties and arrowroot, bananas and cotton were grown, moving on in the 1870s to focus on grain and vegetable production.  The old power station was an iconic landmark of this area for many years.  First opened in 1953, it ceased operation in 1986 but remained a part of the Tennyson landscape. Today it is the site of the world-class Queensland State Tennis Centre.

 PDF : electorate map.pdf