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New flashing school zone lights are now installed at Ironside State School as part of the Newman Government’s election commitment.

Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson said the flashing lights will assist to warn motorists to slow down in school zones.

Children are by nature unpredictable, and may not be concentrating when they approach the streets or roads next to school,” Mr Emerson said.

“The safety of all road users is our top priority, and that is certainly the case for our littlest Queenslanders,” he said.

The Newman Government has committed $10 million over four years to install flashing light signs at over 300 school zones.

In 2012, there were 24,836 fines issued in school zones – an increase of 44 per cent from 2011. Of the fines issued, between January and December 2012, a concerning 316 were motorists travelling at more than 30km/h above the speed limit, with 36 drivers travelling more than 40km/h above the speed limit.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson has congratulated Indooroopilly State High School and Ironside State School on being named among 54 Queensland state schools to adopt the Independent Public Schools model from the start of 2014.

Mr Emerson said the local schools were selected from more than 100 expressions of interest state wide.

“As Independent Public Schools, Indooroopilly State High School and Ironside State School will be well-placed to benefit from increased autonomy to deliver the best possible outcomes for their students and this community,” Mr Emerson said.

“With greater input from parents, teachers and community members, the schools will have more freedom to shape their own direction and make decisions that will directly benefit their students.

“Over time, I have no doubt this will lead to better innovation, stronger partnerships with industry and the community and the tailoring of school programs.”

The Independent Public School initiative was one of the many ways the Newman Government was reducing red tape so that schools could focus on delivering a quality education experience for their students.

“Our local schools are already enjoying a great deal of autonomy and a number of new measures have been announced recently to further reduce the administrative burden for all state schools,” Mr Emerson said.

“The Queensland Government is investing $21 million in establishing 120 Independent Public Schools by 2016.”

Indooroopilly electorate residents and businesses are being encouraged to speak up on the future of the State’s electricity.

Residents are now able to access and provide feedback on the Newman Government’s 30-year Electricity Strategy discussion paper released as part of the current Six Month Action Plan.

Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson said it was a chance for consumers to make sure they had their say in shaping the final 30-Year Electricity Strategy.

“Local residents, businesses and industry members now have the opportunity to give their views on the changes needed to address the immediate and long-term challenges for Queensland,” Mr Emerson said.

“This is a great state with great opportunity but we must make sure Indooroopilly consumers play a part in this significant reform.”

Minister for Energy and Water Supply Mark McArdle said the Government could not attempt to put in place a long-term strategy without input from Queenslanders.

“The Newman Government is working hard to address the build-up of costs which are driving the unsustainable electricity price rises we have seen over the past few years,” Mr McArdle said.

“This is about working together.

Having a strong electricity supply system relies on government and industry working together to establish a common understanding of the issues facing the sector and negotiating a way forward on key issues.”

The discussion paper is available at www.dews.qld.gov.au, with submissions closing on 6 December 2013.

Sport and recreation clubs throughout Queensland are being encouraged to apply for funding to improve their services and facilities, with the Newman Government launching round two of its Get Going and Get Playing programs. 

 

Get Going and Get Playing are two of three programs that make up the government’s Get in the Game initiative.

 

Scott Emerson, Member for Indooroopilly,said the initial response was so overwhelming that Get in the Game funding has been increased from $16 million over three years to almost $48 million.

 

“475 clubs received total round one funding of $3.371 million under Get Going, and 83 clubs were provided with grants totalling $6.76 million under Get Playing,” Mr Emerson said.

 

Get Going provides grants up to $10,000 for items and activities to assist clubs in attracting and retaining members and Get Playing provides grants up to $100,000 to sport and recreation organisations for facility development.

 

“I encourage all sport and recreation clubs to seek support for their planned activities and facilities,” Mr Emerson said.

 

“The Newman Government is keen to encourage more Queenslanders to get involved in sport and recreation as it promotes a healthier lifestyle and strengthens communities.”

 

For more information on Get in the Game, visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.

Scott Emerson, Member for Indooroopilly, encouraged community members to get involved in the conversation about Queensland’s future before consultation closes on 30 August.

“Don’t keep your ideas to yourself, make sure you add your voice to The Queensland Plan,” Mr Emerson said.

‘We have already unearthed some great thoughts, ideas and perspectives in Indooroopilly to help guide our 30-year vision, but if you haven’t taken part you have until 30 August to respond to the six questions.

“Talking about change isn’t enough; let’s make sure we all do something about it.”

In the Indooroopilly region, locals have made it clear that investing in education, encouraging community involvement through volunteering, providing infrastructure and facilities to promote activities in community spaces, and developing more green corridors are most important to them.

“Do you agree that these are the most important themes to lead Queensland into the future, or do you have other thoughts?” Mr Emerson said.

“It is now even easier to answer the questions online with more choices available. You can select from options already provided by your fellow Queenslanders, or respond to a ‘quick think’ question if you are short on time.

“Alternatively, you can join with family or friends and provide a group response.

“People have come together in so many different ways, be it through a sporting club, dining room table or community group. It is terrific to see Queenslanders’ passion for our great state in action,” he said.

Responses to The Queensland Plan are open until 30 August 2013 at www.qld.gov.au/queenslandplan. A summit will be held in Brisbane on 9 and 10 October 2013 where the results of all the engagement from throughout Queensland will be discussed and prioritised into a clear direction for The Queensland Plan. The plan will be released in late 2013.

 

Queensland has recorded its lowest number of boating deaths in more than a decade according to a marine safety report.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the findings of Maritime Safety Queensland’s Marine Incidents Report for 2012 showed half as many deaths in boating incidents compared to the previous year.

“Tragically there were still seven deaths on the water last year, however this is the lowest number since 1998,” Mr Emerson said.

“The commercial boating sector achieved no loss of life for 2012, which hasn’t happened for more than 20 years.

“While any loss of life is one death too many, the figures suggest much of Queensland’s boating community is heeding safety advice and behaving responsibly on the water.”

Mr Emerson said the report also identified some serious concerns, particularly that only one of the seven people who died in boating mishaps last year was wearing a lifejacket

The report also found two people lost their lives after falling overboard and being run over by their own vessels.

“A safety lanyard connected to an engine cut-out switch can be worn by vessel operators to eliminate this risk,” Mr Emerson said.

“The use of a safety switch in powered craft is emerging as a safety precaution almost as critical as lifejackets – especially for solo boaties.”

Reported incidents:

  • 149 people suffered injuries which did not result in their admission to hospital.
  • 39 people suffered injuries which did result in their admission to hospital.
  • Reported marine incidents decreased 5.9 per cent – from 819 in 2011 to 771 in 2012.

The full Marine Incident 2012 Report is available online at www.msq.qld.gov.au

A 10-year drive to expand Queensland’s rail freight capacity will be the cornerstone to the Newman Government’s strategy to meet a 70 per cent growth in produce and commodity movements.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the draft Moving Freight strategy which identifies 38 actions would support the resources, agriculture, construction and tourism sectors.

“We’ve already taken actions to fund additional train lines for the Darling Downs, more cattle train services and open up routes for safer classes of heavy vehicles,” Mr Emerson said.

“We also have funding submissions before the Federal Government for improvements to train lines on the Sunshine Coast and between Townsville and Mt Isa.

“Today we are releasing this strategy for industry feedback to ensure Queensland has a clear direction to meet the ever-expanding freight task.

“Peak bodies like Agforce, Australian Logistics Council, and Queensland Transport and Logistics Council have told us they want better access to rail, while still maintaining a strong road transport industry and we are supporting these calls.”

Freight volumes across Queensland are forecast to increase from 881 million tonnes in 2010 to 1550 million tonnes in 2021.

Some of the key actions and initiatives in Moving Freight include:

  • Preserving train paths on regional rail lines for non-coal freight
  • Making major freights routes more resilient to floods and natural disasters
  • Better collection and analysis of freight data
  • Continuing to reduce red tape for heavy vehicle permits

“This strategy outlines short, medium and long term actions to move freight onto rail and improve the efficiency of the road freight,” Mr Emerson said.

“We’ve received input from regional and rural industries to develop this strategy and I look forward to feedback over the coming months.”

The Moving Freight strategy is available at www.tmr.qld.gov.au/movingfreight

It is expected to be finalised by late 2013, and will support the government’s current road and rail infrastructure program.

The Newman Government will deregulate air services between Cairns and Weipa, allowing the route to open up to new operators, more competition and new services.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the route, currently operated solely by QantasLink, was one of the more popular regional air routes in Queensland.

“There’s been a growing demand for services between Cairns and Weipa with patronage growing by more than 15 per cent over the last two financial years,” Mr Emerson said.

“As demand for this particular route continues to increase it made sense to open it out to the wider market and remove the need for regulation.

“The deregulation of air services between Cairns and Weipa followed feedback received through five week long review of all long-distance services conducted by the department.

“Out of all the air services, the Cairns to Weipa route received the most feedback with 585 individual submissions received.

“Passengers, as well as local councils and industry partners provided input and detailed submissions into the review.

“The route will become fully deregulated by the end of 2014 which will allow other operators to start planning”

Member for Cook David Kempton said this announcement is great news for the region.

“Currently, there are 17 regulated return services each week between the two important regional centres,” Mr Kempton said.

“The feedback I have received about air services on this route identify issues with pricing, service timing and poor connections to other services.

“By deregulating services on the route, we may see more competition from other carriers which could help to deliver lower fares for Weipa residents, fly-in fly-out workers and tourists.

“I am also pleased to hear a number of other airlines have already expressed interest in this particular route.”

The Queensland Government currently regulates 10 air services in the state, including annual subsidies totalling
$8.7 million for subsidising five of the regulated routes.

The heavy vehicle permit process will be promoted to industry after a crash at Banyo identified the truck driver didn’t have correct approvals for the route being taken.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the final report into a train and truck crash at Banyo station in September last year made eight recommendations.

“The investigation showed the truck driver’s heavy vehicle permit didn’t allow the use of St Vincents Rd level crossing,” Mr Emerson said.

“In the short term we want to see better coordination between state and local governments when issuing permits.

“Responsibility for issuing heavy vehicle permits will shift to the National Heavy Vehicle Regulator later this year as part of a national move toward uniform regulations.”

Mr Emerson said lessons need to be learnt from the crash, which could have easily ended in tragedy.

“The report identified the train driver involved in the collision followed correct procedures however there was a delay in passing on the truck’s location before the crash,” he said.

“Queensland Rail has conducted a complete review of emergency communication protocols with additional training for staff underway.”

The regulator also said:

· The gradient of St Vincents Road was steeper than the current Austroads guidelines.

· A review of psychometric and monitoring processes for all train crew should be undertaken.

“The number of safety incidents across the network has dropped by 10 per cent during our first year in office, however we must remain vigilant when it comes to level crossing safety,” he said.

“While I am thankful this incident was not more serious it reinforces the importance of promoting the safe use of our roads and rail network – particularly at open level crossings.”

Local residents can now find nearby Justices of the Peace (JP) or Commissioners for Declarations (C.decs) with just a tap of their finger, thanks to a newly developed mobile website application.

 

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson MP said the new technology would give the community even easier access to local JPs in their community.

 

The new application will also help keep Indooroopilly’s 939 JPs and C.decs updated with important information about their role.

 

“People are increasingly using technology such as smart phones and tablet computers to find information and access services when they are on the move,” Mr Emerson said.

 

“The new mobile website will help people find a JP wherever they may be, using the latest in hand-held technology.

 

“The application integrates an online database of JPs with Google Maps technology to connect people with their nearest JP, or a “JPs in the Community” signing site, when they need one.

 

“Using this technology means local residents will have even greater access to their local justice system.”

 

Mr Emerson said the web app was launched at the Law Week open day last weekend.

 

“Justices of the Peace play an important role in the community and can help witness documents such as statutory declarations, affidavits and certify copies of original documents,” he said.

 

“Indooroopilly Justices of the Peace are also encouraged to use the new mobile website to keep their details current, register for workshops, view technical bulletins or subscribe to relevant emails.”

 

The application is easily accessed from www.justice.qld.gov.au/jpapp on either smart phones or tablets.


For more information about becoming a Justice of the Peace (Qualified) or Commissioner for Declarations, visit www.justice.qld.gov.au/justice-services/justices-of-the-peace.