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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.    

 

Inspirational and innovative Australian business women can celebrate their success by entering the 2013 Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

The awards have celebrated the inspiration, determination and innovation of thousands of Australian business women across different industries since 1995.

They are a great opportunity for business women to raise their profile, grow their business networks and connect with women outside their sector and region.

They offer women an exceptional opportunity for public recognition of their achievements and as a result, and increases their business opportunities.

The awards are open to business owners, women in the private and corporate sector, and the government and community sectors. There are also awards that recognise business innovation and young business women.

Celebrating the success stories of local women encourages the next generation of business women to realise their potential to exceed their aspirations.

More information about the awards is available at www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com.

Community groups that support and protect the natural environment are being encouraged to apply for Round Two of the Everyone’s Environment grants program.

Environment and Heritage Protection Minister Andrew Powell said the Queensland Government had committed $12 million over three years for community environmental groups to tackle local conservation issues.

“The success of the first round of the grants program proves grassroots organisations across Queensland are keen to improve their local environment,” Mr Powell said.

“Under Round One, the government awarded 74 organisations $3 million in funding for projects that tackled environmental degradation, cleaned up local communities and waterways and protected the State’s natural assets.

“Round Two is now open and organisations can once again apply to receive funding.”

Mr Powell said the extreme weather events of the last few years meant there was a need to focus on activities that built resilience.

“Individual grants between $2,000 and $100,000 are available for projects like tree-planting, run off reduction and water quality improvement, community and waterway clean-ups, threatened and priority species habitat restoration and rehabilitation and monitoring pollutants in streams.

“Grants are open to a broad range of community service organisations such as Parents and Citizens’ groups, Landcare, Coastcare, Bushcare, Rivercare, conservation and environmental organisations.

“The Newman Government is committed to helping those grassroots groups and volunteers who work hard to restore some of our damaged eco-systems.

“This grants program is about local communities making a real and direct contribution, starting in their own neighbourhoods, to tackle local environmental concerns.”

Round Two Guidelines and a link to the online Application Form is available at www.ehp.qld.gov.au.

Walking to and from school will be safer for children and parents as the Newman Government announced the next 27 schools to benefit from flashing traffic lights.

Transport and Main Roads Minister and Member for Indooroopilly Scott Emerson announced the next round of the $10 million program would increase safety at Sherwood State School.

“I’m delighted thee lights have been approved as it will increase the safety benefits for our area,” Mr Emerson said.

“Kids and traffic can be a dangerous mix and these lights will be another reminder to drivers to slow down around schools.

“Children can be hard to see and may not be concentrating around their mates before or after school, so this will be an important extra safety measure.”

Mr Emerson reminded motorists to take care near school zones and to stick to the lower speed limits.

“School zones are all clearly signed so avoid getting a fine and stick to the speed limit,” he said.

“In October last year I announced there would be flashing lights for 15 schools before the 2013 school year commenced and we have delivered on this promise.

“By the end of this financial year a total of 75 schools will have flashing lights adding an extra safety boost for children and motorists.”

Mr Emerson said priority has been given to schools that have a significant crash history, a high level of car and pedestrian traffic, higher speed limits or visibility problems.

There were 17,254 fines handed out in school zones in 2011 – an increase of 40 per cent in just two years. Of the 8131 fines handed out between January and May 2012, a concerning 114 were motorists travelling at more than 30kph above the speed limit.

Member for Indooroopilly, Scott Emerson is calling on local residents to have their say on youth justice policy as the Newman Government looks to develop its youth justice blueprint.

Mr Emerson said the recently-released Safer Streets Crime Action Plan and survey would give Queenslanders an opportunity to voice their opinions on the state’s youth justice system.

“This is an issue many people have an opinion on and it is critical that any future policy decisions are made in the best interests of our local communities,” Mr Emerson said.

“However, as promised in the Government’s second six-month action plan, the review of youth justice will continue and this paper is a key element of the review.”

Mr Emerson called on Indooroopilly electorate residents to complete the survey and have their say on youth justice.

“This is not an issue that can be fixed overnight, but with the input of the community we can ensure the voices of Queenslanders are heard and will inform future reforms,” he said.

The paper also includes a summary of the criminal law reforms the Newman Government has implemented so far, including increased penalties for child sex offenders, murderers and people who assault or evade police.

The paper and survey are available at www.justice.qld.gov.au until 30 June 2013.

[ENDS]  

Local residents are being urged to support the region’s small business community and shop locally.

Member for Indooroopilly Electorate, Scott Emerson, said the Newman Government’s ‘buy locally’ campaign well help boost sales and support jobs in the area.

“I’m calling on residents to get behind this campaign and show their support for our community,” Mr Emerson.

“Every dollar spent at one of our local small businesses stays local, and has a direct benefit to our entire region.”

Small Business Minister, Jann Stuckey, said the campaign is supported by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) and is one of the many initiatives in place to help the small business sector.

“The Newman Government is unashamedly pro-small business and the benefits of shopping locally cannot be underestimated,” Ms Stuckey said.

“One dollar spent at a local business returns five times that amount through employee wages, rates and the purchase of materials and supplies.

“This campaign will support and strengthen local communities.”

The Electrical Trades Union (ETU) is running a dishonest campaign on asset sales with members’ hard-earned funds.

Energy Minister Mark McArdle said he was disappointed that the ETU would continue using their members’ money on such campaigns, while still donating to Labor (ALP).

“We have said it time and time again that there will be no government business sales without a mandate,” Mr McArdle said.

“The only government that supports electricity asset privatisation is the Federal Labor Government as per their submission to the Senate-Select Committee on Electricity Prices on 17 September 2012, in consultation with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The Executive Summary stated:

“The Australian Government has a clear path for better-functioning energy markets through the progression of a set of critical reform issues. These include: …
Privatising government-owned energy assets – continued government ownership of energy businesses is impeding greater competition and efficiency, and reduces market confidence by creating uncertainty and risk for private sector investors.”

Mr McArdle said the ETU was crying crocodile tears over asset sales while using members’ money to donate to the ALP.

“It is time the ETU served the interests of its members and not ALP interests,” Mr McArdle said.

Scott Emerson MP, Member for Indooroopilly is concerned about the ETU using fear campaigns to misinform residents and businesses.

Scott Emerson MP said this is a great community, and residents should be wary of ETU’s hidden agendas.

“The Newman Government can be uncompromising in standing up for Queenslanders. I don’t think the ETU can say the same,” Scott Emerson MP said.

“There will be no government business sales without a mandate and the Newman Government will continue engaging with Queenslanders about the great opportunities in this State.”

The Newman Government has delivered a win for Queenslanders by engaging the private sector to deliver 75 new six-car trains.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the New Generation Rollingstock program would be delivered using an availability payment public-private partnership finance option.

“Proponents will seek financing from the private sector rather than government fully funding the project – the same model used successfully for the Gold Coast Rapid Transit and Sunshine Coast University Hospital projects,” Mr Emerson said.

“We are currently in the final bidding phase with the two committed proponents Bombardier Transportation Australia and AdvanceRail – a consortium comprising Mitsubishi Corporation and Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles (CAF) – to award the contract.

“Our focus is on value for money and we are looking for innovation from both bids.

“The project is the largest ever single investment by Queensland in trains and will see a significant increase to the train fleet to meet the growing demand for rail services in south east Queensland.

“The New Generation Rollingstock project is a new way for government to order trains by taking a partnership approach with the private sector to design, build, provide ongoing maintenance and financing.

”The project is being delivered by the Department of Transport and Main Roads, with Projects Queensland providing commercial and project management responsibilities, and Queensland Rail providing technical input to integrate the new trains with the existing network.

The Request for Proposals closed in mid-2011 and after an evaluation of the responses, two proponents were considered suitable to progress to the final stage of the competitive bidding process.

The contract includes maintenance of the trains for a period of around 30 years, as well as construction and maintenance of a modern, purpose built maintenance centre at Wulkuraka in Ipswich. 

A contract is expected to be awarded later this year with delivery of the new trains to start about two years later.

The Prime Minister has again turned her back on Queenslanders by pledging funding for another Sydney motorway rather than the Bruce Highway.

Transport and Main Roads Minister Scott Emerson said the Federal Government had announced a $1 billion commitment to the Western Sydney motorway network but failed to make a commitment to Queensland.

“The Bruce Highway is a critical issue for Queenslanders which is why we committed an additional $1 billion over the next 10 years provided the Federal Government also brings forward their $4 billion as part of the historic 80/20 split for this national highway,” Mr Emerson said.

“The investment is not about politics, it is about protecting the lives of all who travel on this 1677km lifeline for Queensland.

“Recent heavy rains have again highlighted the vulnerability of the Bruce Highway, with several sections cut either side of Gympie which stopped all traffic in either direction.

“The RACQ have also gone on the record saying if immediate action was not taken on the Bruce Highway, up to 400 people would die on that stretch of road over the next 10 years.”

Mr Emerson said Queenslanders were sick of being ignored by the Federal Government.

“We presented our Bruce Highway Action Plan to the federal government in October but have yet to hear of any funding commitment from the Commonwealth.

“The plan was undertaken by engineers, not politicians, and will provide a safer, more reliable Bruce Highway reducing the impact of flooding.

“It also identifies key projects to improve safety, capacity and flood mitigation for the Bruce Highway.

“The fact is, without the support of the federal government we cannot go ahead with our plan to fix the highway.

“Ms Gillard needs to commit to the safety of Queensland motorists, not just look after her own political fortunes.”