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Treasurer Tim Nicholls is opening the floor to the Brisbane community to have their say on the best way to pay down the accumulated debt of the past ten years - the $80 billion black cloud hanging over the State’s finances.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said Mr Nicholls would hold an open community forum at Carindale and Chermside on 15 April 2014, continuing the discussion of the Strong Choices which must be made to secure our future.

“Queensland is on the cusp of strong economic growth, but independent and government financial experts agree we will be held back by the overwhelming level of debt we face unless Strong Choices are made,” Mr Emerson said.

“Queenslanders face three choices – significantly increased taxes, reduced services or the sale or lease of some assets.

“Before the Government decides on a plan to restore the State’s finances and pay down debt, we are making certain that we have heard from everyone who wants to contribute to the mature debate about the best way to deal with the accumulated debt legacy from the past ten years.

“The Chermside and Carindale community forums are your opportunity to put forward the thoughts and priorities you want the Government must take into account as they determine how best to pay down Labor’s debt, reduce the $450,000 an hour interest bill and secure Queensland’s future,” he said.

When attending the Strong Choices Community Forum, registered people will need to bring their ticket and photo identification for entry. Attendees must meet the above identification requirements, in line with the Government’s current Community Cabinet policy.

Registration is at

Indooroopilly young people, aged 12 to 21 are being encouraged to apply to be a part of an exciting new youth ambassador program.

Launched as part of National Youth Week celebrations, Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said applications were now open for the Queensland Youth Strategy Ambassadors program.

"This is a new program the Newman Government has introduced to showcase, celebrate and acknowledge young people who are working hard to reach their potential, as well as those who are inspiring or supporting other young people to do the same," Mr Emerson said.

"We know there are already many young people in Indooroopilly living the values and goals of the strategy and being excellent role models for their peers, family and community.

"We are looking for six of these exceptional young people to represent each of the Queensland Youth.

"The six areas of connection in the Queensland Youth Strategy are family, friends and social networks; education, training and employment; health and wellbeing; volunteering and participation; supports and services; and arts and culture."

Communities Minister Tracy Davis said the Newman Government's Queensland Youth Strategy outlined how the government would enable connections for young people.

"Unlike the former Labor Government, whose only policy for youth was a statement based on using social media, the Newman Government has a real plan to connect young people as outlined in the comprehensive Queensland Youth Strategy," Ms Davis said.

"This young ambassador's program is the next step to bringing the government's strategy to life."

The six selected ambassadors will each receive a $1000 bursary for personal or professional development, and will be supported to attend a personal development workshop in Brisbane.

Applications close on Monday 2 June 2014.

For more information on the Queensland Youth Strategy Ambassadors program, including details on how to apply, visit

 Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson today congratulated the Western Districts Community and Sporting Club on the installation of new field lighting at their home ground in Chelmer.

Mr Emerson said the Queensland Government was proud to provide $295,610 under the Sport and Recreation Infrastructure Program towards the project.

"I know this lighting upgrade had been on the club's 'to do' list for some time, so I imagine everyone is excited to finally see them switch on," Mr Emerson said.

"This upgrade will benefit cricket, AFL, soccer and touch football teams and clubs who call this facility their sporting home.

"The upgrade was necessary not only to improve night time playing and training, but also to address safety concerns.

"I have no doubt this great facility, as it continues to improve, will attract more members to all of the sporting clubs that use it," he said.

Western Districts Community and Sporting Club Manager Sheryl Dowley said the club was grateful to the Queensland Government for the grant to install the new field lighting.

"Under the new lights we can now host 20/20 night cricket matches as well as any other sporting events," she said.

"We would also like to acknowledge the Queensland Cricket Association for their help and support with our lights project."

Minister for Sport and Recreation Steve Dickson said the Queensland Government was keen to encourage more Queenslanders to get involved in recreation and sport activity at all levels.

"We believe participation and success begin with a strong focus on grassroots sport and recreation," he said.

"It is the reason the government introduced the Get in the Game initiative.

"The three Get in the Game programs not only provide clubs with better equipment and facilities, but also give children who might not otherwise be able to afford it the opportunity to play sport."

For more information on Get in the Game, visit


Community organisations in Indooroopilly will soon find it easier to apply for Community Benefit Fund grants of up to $35,000 thanks to a new, simple, one stop process introduced by Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie in Parliament today.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said four funding programs would be merged into one and the level of funding would be standardised.

“This will take the guesswork out of the grants process, which will make life much easier for eligible community groups,” Mr Emerson said.

“In the past, community groups have had to spend considerable time interpreting their eligibility for funding, depending on which grant they were applying for.

“The merging of the four current funding programs, the Gambling Community Benefit Fund, Jupiters Casino Community Benefit Fund, Breakwater Island Casino Community Benefit Fund and the Reef Hotel Casino Community Benefit Fund means eligible organisations will have simple, one stop access to funding to help them continue their important work.

“Four funding rounds each year means they come around quickly and this simplified approach will mean the application process is no longer a dreaded task for organisations.

“By introducing one system for the whole State, we have also levelled the playing field to ensure money is going to the groups who need it most.

"Community organisations will be eligible for grants of up to $35,000."

Scott Emerson encouraged all eligible groups to take advantage of the new one-step opportunity when it soon comes into effect.

The new amalgamated program is expected to be available for the funding round that opens mid-July and closes August 31, 2014.

For more information on these changes and for grant applications, please visit

The Queensland Government is urging Queenslanders of all abilities to lace up their running shoes and get involved in the 2014 Rotary Community Fun Run and Walk.

Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson said the Queensland Government was proud to provide sponsorship of $5000 for this great community event.

Mr Emerson said the fun run, taking place on 25 May at University of Queensland St Lucia Campus, was becoming bigger and better each year.

“This year’s event will attract close to 1000 participants,” Mr Emerson said.

“The event caters for people of all ages and abilities allowing participants to walk, run or jog whilst raising money for two worthy causes.

“All profits from the event will be returned to the community through donations to The Mater Children’s Hospital and Beefbank.”

Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing Steve Dickson said the Queensland Government’s support of the event was about building a healthy and active community and encouraging everyone to get out and get active in a fun environment.

“We want all Queenslanders to get involved in physical activity and have access to sporting opportunities, wherever they live in our great State.

“We are doing this by helping both sport and recreation clubs and families at the grassroots community level through our initiative called Get in the Game.

“Through three new funding programs worth $47.8 million, the government will be providing clubs with better equipment and facilities and giving children who might not otherwise be able to afford it the opportunity to play sport,” Mr Dickson said.

Indooroopilly electorate students have the chance to share in more than $11,000 in cash prizes for themselves and their schools in the 2014 Buy Smart Competition.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, encouraged local students to get involved in the competition which aims to raise awareness of financial and consumer issues among school students.

“Young people are entering the marketplace earlier and earlier, so it is vitally important that they do so in an educated way,” Mr Emerson said.

“Buy Smart invites students from years 4 to 12 to submit a creative presentation to educate their peers about why it’s important to be consumer savvy.

“Think outside the box with your entries. In previous years, everything from rap songs to board games, decorated items of clothing and even a handmade doll house, have been submitted.

“Last year, more than 1,200 students from across Queensland entered and this year we are hoping for even more.

“The winning entries came from all over Queensland, with students from Cairns, Bundaberg, Lockhart River, Sarina, Kingaroy, Gympie and Brisbane all collecting cash," he said.

The total prize pool is over $11,000 across all three categories (school years 4-6, years 7-9, and years 10-12):

  • first prize – $500 for the student, $1500 for the student’s school or organisation
  • second prize – $200 for the student, $800 for the student’s school or organisation
  • third prize – $150 for the student, $500 for the student’s school or organisation
  • up to ten discretionary $50 highly commended student prizes across all categories.

Entries will be judged on their creativity, quality, relevance to consumer issues and ability to communicate a consumer message.

The competition closes on 12 September 2014, with winners to be announced in October.

For more information on the Buy Smart Competition 2014 visit or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Indooroopilly electorate community groups have until Friday 28 March to apply for a share in $100,000 to host Senior Week activities to celebrate Queensland’s older people.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said Seniors Week was an opportunity for people of all ages to come together at local events and celebrate the valuable contributions older people make to the community.

“Seniors Week is a time for our community to promote positive attitudes and build stronger relationships between generations,” Mr Emerson said.

“The Newman Government committed to revitalising frontline services at the last election.

“Through our Senior Week partnership with COTA Queensland, older people will be better connected to events and activities that enable them to highlight their issues and concerns.”

This year’s Seniors Week will be celebrated from 16 to 24 August with the theme A life well lived and much more to come … timeless.

The Seniors Week event grants are administered by the Council on the Ageing (COTA) Queensland, which receives Newman Government funding to plan and run Seniors Week activities.

COTA Queensland chief executive Mark Tucker-Evans said subsidies of up to $1000 were available to support Seniors Week events.

“Last year we had a great response to Seniors Week, with more than 300 events held across the state and partnerships created with over 200 organisations,” Mr Tucker-Evans said.

“This year we are hoping to make Seniors Week even bigger and better, and we look forward to receiving the many great ideas that community groups come up with for their events.”

Mr Emerson urged local community groups to apply for the Seniors Week funding to host a local event.

To apply for a Seniors Week subsidy visit or phone COTA Queensland on 1300 738 348.

Applications close on Friday 28 March 2014.

Member for Indooroopilly is calling on locals to make 2014 is the year their children Get Started in sport and recreation.

The Newman Government is supporting active participation through their flagship $47 million Get in the Game initiative, which is helping to lower the cost of living for Queenslanders by reducing the costs of club registrations and funding better sports equipment and infrastructure.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, announced the opening of round three of the Get Started program, which is part of the Get in the Game initiative.

“Get Started officially opens for applications at 10am on 10 February and provides vouchers valued up to $150 to help kids whose families can least afford for them to join a sport or recreation club.”

Get Started was designed to encourage more young people to get into sport or recreation and to ease the financial burden on families” Mr Emerson said.

“The Newman government is committed to helping young Queenslanders be active,” he said.

Recreation and Sport Minister Steve Dickson said the first two rounds of the Get Started program had seen almost 19,000 vouchers redeemed at sport or recreation clubs.

“We made a commitment to get more young Queenslanders involved in recreation and sport, at the grassroots, and we are delivering through this highly successful program.”

“I strongly encourage local sport and recreation clubs, and families to take advantage of this wonderful program,” he said.

For more information on how to apply for a Get Started voucher, visit

Multicultural groups in the Indooroopilly Electorate have the chance to secure Queensland Government funding for projects which promote economic opportunities for people from culturally diverse backgrounds.

The Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said applications for grants up to $40,000 under the Economic Participation Grants Program will open from next Wednesday, 5 February.

“The grants will be directed towards projects which support economic independence and participation as well as business development for migrants and refugees,” Mr Emerson said.

“Grants of $20,000 will be available to local multicultural groups which don’t have a partnership agreement with a local council.

“People from non-English speaking backgrounds often struggle to find employment or participate in business.

“The purpose of this program is to provide the opportunity for local organisations to come up with local solutions to break down barriers preventing overseas-born Queenslanders participating fully in the state’s economy,” Mr Emerson said

Grant applications will close on Friday, 14 March.

Information about the program and application forms will be available from Wednesday, 5 February on the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Multicultural website at:

Young Queenslanders are being encouraged to apply to participate in the 2014 Queensland Youth Parliament.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson, said this year’s youth parliament would kick off with a forum from 4-6 April in Brisbane, including a formal launch at Parliament House.

“More than 90 young people aged 15 to 25 will be selected to discuss the issues facing our youth and develop legislation that they will debate later in the year,” he said.

“These young parliamentarians are selected to represent the 89 Queensland electorates based on their enthusiasm, ability to represent their communities and interest and passion for issues affecting Queensland.

“Four Indigenous members will also be selected to participate.

“All Youth Members will be involved in committee meetings, mentoring, training and research to help produce the Bills to be debated at Parliament House during the residential week from 28 September to October 4.”

Mr Emerson said the Newman Government had committed to restore accountability in government and listening to the state’s youth was one of the ways to do this.

“Youth Parliament teaches young people about the government decision-making process, while providing an excellent leadership opportunity for those who may one day become our future decision makers,” he said.

“The Newman Government is in the final stages of putting together the Queensland Plan, which is a 30 year vision developed by people across the state.

“Some of these young people could be responsible for implementing many of the initiatives while in a future Government, so it’s important that they are engaged.”

The YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament is now in its nineteenth year in Queensland.

Applications for the 2014 program will close on 21 February 2014.

For more information about the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament, go to or