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Nolan_Spying_SM_ArtcleHansard Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (9.19 pm): The Bligh government continues to be loose and free with the confidential and private information of Queenslanders. In the latest example, it has spied on more than 57,000 motorists in a secret study of users of park-and-ride facilities. The study, conducted over the past 18 months, has seen car numberplates recorded after commuters parked at bus and train stations and ferry terminals. TransLink has then obtained, through Queensland Transport, the addresses of the owners of those vehicles. The actions of the state government raise serious privacy issues about the protection of, use and potential abuse of personal information of car owners.

Read more: Scott speaks in Parliament about Bligh govt's secret spying on Queensland commuters

"The first of Labor’s good news for motorists is that Queensland has now become the most expensive state in Australia in which to own and run a car. Last year, motor vehicle registration rose by 17 per cent. This year it goes up by another three per cent. According to Labor, that is good news for motorists."

Read more: Fuel, Rego, Tolls, Licensing- Scott speaks in Parliament about increased costs of living for...

"Queenslanders are hurting from increases in the cost of living and nearly every day they are confronted by another example of the Bligh government hitting their back pocket. Labor is making sure every Queenslander pays for its incompetent economic management. Labor seems to view Queensland motorists as its cash cow."

Read more: Scott speaks in Parliament about cost of living rises under Bligh govt

"Government needs to go beyond rhetoric and achieve real regulatory reform rather than grow the regulatory burden. It needs to systematically reduce the 70,000 pages of regulation and set achievable targets to do so. I believe it can start by committing that for every page of new or amended legislation which is passed in our state two pages of old laws are repealed."

Read more: Scott challenges Bligh govt to cut red tape for small business

"Last month’s figures released by the education department showed more than 10,000 prep to year 3 students were being taught in overcrowded state school classrooms. Those figures showed seven per cent of prep to year 3 classes, which contained 146,000 students in February this year, are over their class target size of 25 students.

A government member: Seven per cent!

Mr EMERSON: We hear them say ‘seven per cent’. That is a shocking figure. Well, it is a shocking figure if your child is in one of those classes."

Read more: Scott speaks in Parliament about overcrowding in local schools

Hansard Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (8.52 pm): Some call it the line of duty but it is becoming more like the line of fire, with repeated reports of violence against police and emergency service officers. The Queensland public expects its police, ambulance, fire and rescue officers to be able to carry out their duties without suffering serious assault. Let us be very clear here. We are not talking about those simply resisting arrest. We are talking about police being hit with iron bars, police being punched in the face, police being kicked in the groin and spat on while working. They are all examples from recent months of attacks on police and emergency services workers.

Read more: Scott calls for stronger penalties for serious assaults on Police and emergency services workers

"The 17-unit proposal for the site at 575 Oxley Road would not be allowed under the current Brisbane City Council planning rules or under the proposed changes to the neighbourhood plan being considered. In fact, a private developer attempted to gain approval for 10 units on the site last year but was knocked back because the development was deemed to be excessive. However, the state government does not have to abide by local planning rules so it is able to build 17 units on the site."

Read more: 17 units, 6 carparks: Scott speaks in Parliament about govt's poor planning for Sherwood housing...

Hansard Thursday, 10 June 2010

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (5.43 pm): If you live in the electorate of Indooroopilly and are looking for some relief from Labor’s mismanagement in this budget, forget it! Labor and the Bligh government have let you down once again. If you are hoping for an end to the Labor-driven increases in the cost of living, I am sorry but, again, there is nothing in the Bligh government budget. You are going to be paying more for car rego; for train, bus and ferry fares; for road tolls; for electricity; and for water. If you are stuck in a traffic jam every day crossing the Walter Taylor Bridge or on the Western Freeway and you are hoping for some solution to this shocking congestion, too bad! Again, Labor has no solutions in this budget.

Read more: More Waste, No Solutions: Scott delivers his reply to the State Budget in Parliament

Hansard Thursday, 10 June 2010

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (10.07 pm): Since even before I was elected to the seat of Indooroopilly more than a year ago I was fighting alongside community leaders and local residents to stop the sale for development by the Rudd government of an irreplaceable seven hectares of riverside land at Long Pocket. This land is currently occupied by the CSIRO which is due to vacate the site later this year. This land provides a rare opportunity to help create a world-class park and preserve green space to offset the plans by the state Labor government for high density in nearby Indooroopilly.

Read more: Scott speaks in Parliament about Labor candidate's silence on Long Pocket greenspace issue

Hansard Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Mr EMERSON (Indooroopilly—LNP) (3.46 pm): I rise to contribute to the debate on the City of Brisbane Bill 2010. I wish to focus particularly on that section that deals with the council’s responsibilities and powers. Today, we saw a remarkably dishonest attack on the Brisbane City Council by the transport minister. But, of course, that is not unexpected from this minister. Today, the minister got up and tried to compare the performance of the Brisbane City Council on public transport to that of the Queensland state government. Today, the Brisbane City Council released its budget. It is a remarkable contrast to see the performance of this council, dealing with the responsibilities under this act to look after the people of Brisbane, compared to this state government on the issue of public transport.

Let us look at the outstanding record of achievement on public transport that has been achieved by the Brisbane City Council under Lord Mayor Campbell Newman and the LNP. If we look at today’s budget we see that it continues a 50 per cent growth in bus patronage and a 73 per cent growth in ferry patronage over the last five years. Again, an outstanding example of this council looking after the people of Brisbane as opposed to this state government, as is its responsibility under this bill, is that in 2010-11 the Brisbane City Council will spend more than $1.2 billion to improve public transport, fix congested roads and make it easier for people to walk and ride around the city.

Mr Finn interjected.

Mr EMERSON: It is interesting to hear the member for Yeerongpilly talk about it because I know that his former constituents, who are now in my electorate, complained bitterly about the lack of performance by the state government when he was their member over issues like public transport. It is remarkable to hear it. It is remarkable how they repeatedly tell me about that.

Ms BOYLE: I rise to a point of order. By no stretch of the imagination are the comments the member is making in any way relevant to the bill before the House.

Dr Flegg: He can’t take his own point of order?

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Hoolihan): It is not a point of order. I would remind the member for Moggill that, while a person is taking a point of order, it is up to me to rule on that, not him.

Mr EMERSON: I was referring to the outstanding performance of the Brisbane City Council in terms of its budget as compared to that of the Queensland state government, particularly in terms of public transport. Let us continue to look at the council’s wonderful performance and what is in its budget, which was released today. Let us look at the responsibilities of the council. Council will continue to subsidise public transport in Brisbane by $173.71 million over the next 12 months. It will spend $56.26 million on new buses and $4.4 million on another two CityCats. Under the LNP and Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, the Brisbane City Council is continuing to deal with traffic congestion to make Brisbane an even better place to live.

In contrast, the Bligh government is throwing up its hands on the key issue of congestion. I know this because I have asked the infrastructure minister about dealing with congestion on roads in Brisbane. When I have discussed it with him, he has said, ‘Don’t worry about that; that’s a matter for the Brisbane City Council.’ The city council is dealing with it, but don’t bother talking to the Queensland government. Anyone stuck on the Walter Taylor Bridge or stuck in gridlocked traffic elsewhere everyday—those people in Sherwood, in Corinda, in Graceville, in Chelmer, in Tennyson—should not bother talking to the Queensland Bligh government, because they do not care about congestion. Once again the Brisbane City Council is dealing with congestion, but the state government and the responsible minister—have a look at questions on notice—simply say, ‘Don’t bother me; go talk to the Brisbane City Council.’ That is why under this act—

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I remind the member for Indooroopilly that debate is to be directed through the chair and not across the chamber at other members.

Mr EMERSON: Certainly, Mr Deputy Speaker. I appreciate your guidance on that. As I was saying, this is an outstanding budget compared to the sad state of affairs under the Bligh government. Today the transport minister attacked the Brisbane City Council. Earlier today we heard the Premier speak about walking down the street and talking to the people. The Premier knows that if she walked down the street, 69 per cent of people would say that she is the worst Premier this state has ever seen. I urge—

Mr WALLACE: I rise to a point of order. I have had a look through the bill and I do not believe discussions on the transport minister or the Premier are located in the bill. Mr Deputy Speaker, I ask you to make a ruling on this dissertation by the member for Indooroopilly.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! I have already made the ruling in terms of the minister’s point of order originally. The bill deals with financial sustainability and accountability. At the present time the member has not overstepped those boundaries, but he is getting very, very close.

Mr EMERSON: Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker. As I said, it is important that we see what the people of Brisbane want from their elected representatives, particularly on the issue of public transport. Clause 14 of the bill refers to the responsibilities of councillors. Clause 14(1) states—

A councillor must represent the current and future interests of the residents of Brisbane.

It is important that the residents of Brisbane are looked after by the Brisbane City Council, because they are not being looked after by the state government. I urge the minister to come with me to my electorate and chat with my constituents. She can come to the Indooroopilly Railway Station and find out what the people who use that station say about public transport and whether they think the Brisbane City Council is doing a good job. I can tell members what people are saying about the state government, because I use public transport all the time. They ask, ‘Why are fares going up? Why aren’t the timetables reliable? Why aren’t the trains turning up?’ The Brisbane City Council is looking after the future interests of this—

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Member for Indooroopilly, will you come back to the objects of the bill, please.

Mr EMERSON: Certainly, Mr Deputy Speaker. As I said, this is about the future interests of the residents of Brisbane, as referred to in clause 14(1) of the bill. This is about the interests of Brisbane. I will conclude on that point. The Brisbane City Council is looking after the interests of the people of Queensland and the people of Brisbane, unlike this state government.