Media Releases

Media Release – ICAC

MEDIA RELEASE

The situation in Queensland (Qld) is beyond the capacity and powers of the Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) where currently less than 2% of corruption complaints are investigated (Prof Tim Prenzler). People have lost faith in the system and it is now urgent that Queensland establishes the long overdue Qld Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

Reforms are necessary to the way complaints against people involved in local government and other public entities are handled. Qld’s Local Government Act (QLGA) sets up a state of affairs whereby complaints about mayors, councillors and officers are assessed by the council’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) before they are referred on to the CCC.
The same Act also sets up a process whereby the CCC refers complaints back to the councils in question for ‘preliminary assessment’ which is essentially putting the fox in charge of the hen house.

The present complaints framework surrounding Qld’s local and state politics suffers from a complete lack of meaningful scrutiny around political donations. No one actively investigates this, not the council themselves, not the CCC and not even the Electoral Commission Qld (ECQ) which actually handles the disclosure of political donations. The enormous void in handling and investigation of electoral complaints has been evidenced at the recent CCC Operation Belcarra Public Hearing.
Queensland has a real need for an appropriately empowered and resourced body which is solely focussed on being the real watchdog of the political landscape from misconduct through to crime and corruption. Only the NSW ICAC model (pre2016 amendments) achieves the level of deterrent, scrutiny and convictions that are acceptable to the public.

I stand alongside Rob Pyne MP and urgently call for a proper Qld ICAC and a Federal ICAC.

“There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.” Eldridge Cleaver

END

Click here to read media release supporting an ICAC from Qld Local Government Reform Alliance (QLGRA)

New media release

Councillors ignore community by voting 6/5

SPORTS PRECINCT UPDATE

 

I am not shocked but I am extremely disappointed in the decision by Fraser Coast Regional Council? today; voting 6/5 on #7million dollars without a business case.

Councillors who are allowing this to continue:

Councillor Paul Truscott – Division 3
Councillor Daniel Sanderson? (President – Football Maryborough) – Division 4
Councillor David Lewis? – Division 6
Councillor Darren Everard? – Division 7
Councillor Stuart Taylor? (President – Executive Members of Council, Wide Bay Football & Kawungan Sandy Straits Jets FC) – Division 9
Councillor George Seymour? – Division 10

This makes me angry to think an out of towner has the contract. What about local spend Councillors?

These Councillors just don’t get it! Maybe they should consider resigning, they certainly are not listening to the community they are meant to be representing IMHOATT.

The difference between the two voting pacts; one is community up, the other is government down. Pretty obvious to me.

The estimate of the project will now be over #55million dollars. I believe it will be at least double that.

There is still NO Federal funding
There is still NO State funding
ALL ratepayers money 🙁

Do you think it wise spending of rate payer money Councillors when it only gets us this?
* Bulk earthworks
* Fence around it all
* Northern Road 250 car parks
* Water reticulation, electric and lighting facilities

There are NO:
* soccer fields
* netball courts
* change rooms
* toilets
* canteens

Nothing in the budget for maintenance going forward.

Think my first live discussion will need to include this as one of the topics. Too many questions unanswered. It is my opinion that there is far more to this considering the Councillors still pursuing after a great deal of opposition from the community across the entire Fraser Coast.This is a very poor decision, using very poor judgement.

Click here to read and sign the petition

#NO2sportsprecinct
#politicalnews
#icac

Public Interest Disclosure is no leaking matter

MEDIA RELEASE

This was sent to media outlets on Wednesday 28th May 2017 in relation to the Fraser Coast Chronicle article which has since been removed.

If you have information about wrongdoing in the public sector, it is in the interests of all Queenslanders that this information is disclosed to someone with the power and ability to act.
Disclosures by members of the public and public sector employees help uncover corruption, misuse of public resources and poor administration. Reporting wrongdoing allows the matter to be investigated and action taken. This helps stop corruption, misuse of resources or wrongdoing and helps public sector agencies prevent it from reoccurring.
The Public Interest Disclosure (PID) Act 2010 encourages people to make public interest disclosures and provides protections to those who do. In simple terms, this is a form of whistle-blower protection.

Maybe the Councillors need to read the Regulations of the Local Government (LG) Act, CCC Act and PID Act. If people were acting appropriately there would be no need to have an Act where decency and honesty are made compulsory in elected and organisational leadership and we certainly would not be having these types of issues and reports full stop. Evidently this shows there are major failings within both local and state governments. Further to this, the many complaints within the Fraser Coast Regional Council, both elected and management, shows they are worthy of an ‘F’ on their score sheet in my opinion.

The CPEM Report highlighted the problem did not start or end with the CEO, it was justifiably chastising of the councillors and executive and management team.
Do the councillors’ comments published in the Chronicle warrant a formal complaint to the CCC for breach of the PID Act? Did they not see this document is clearly marked PUBLIC INTEREST DISCLOSURE (PID) stamped in red on every page? I cannot see how they could have missed it.

Under the PID Act a relevant person can make a PID to a Member of Parliament and a Member of Parliament can do certain things with that information including, but not limited to, tabling it in parliament.

Did the Councillors attacking Rob Pyne ‘the messenger’ and making reference to a ‘leak’ know it is an offence under the PID Act? The assumptions of these councillors are offensive to the truth and demonstrates that some councillors are not able to operate with integrity and transparency in the public interest. Councillors should not be questioning motive or origins of this CPEM report in the form of a PID. Council should have already published it. The report tabled in Parliament is the subject of a council resolution that stated the report, as redacted, be released to the public. It is understood that Council got caught up in their redaction process however the redactions in the tabled document are more than adequate. The councillors’ comments not only contradict the intent of their own resolution; it seems they may have breached the PID Act as well.

Is this action by disgruntled counsellors reasonable under the circumstances? Is it an example of how well council is working following the CPEM’s report, findings and recommendations which are costing rate payers exponentially? The public are entitled to have access to this report and counsellors trying to bury it should be embarrassed and ashamed.
Why did it take an MP out of our region when we have four that have not had the courage nor conviction to right the wrong? Where was / is Keith Pitt LNP Member for Hinkler? Where was / is Bruce Saunders LAB Member for Maryborough? Where was / is Llew O’Brien Member for Wide Bay? Where was / is Ted Sorensen Member for Hervey Bay? All I can say is thank God for Rob Pyne. Why are our local MP’s not standing up for the staff at Fraser Coast Regional Council?

While the findings reinforce a State Government report handed down in 2016, they go further to identify “councillor behaviour of in-fighting, political game playing” and “significant risk around psychological safety across the organisation” and many other issues. The first step to recovery is to admit there is a problem and some councillors are yet to cross that bridge and work together towards real solutions to the organisations problems. These problems are not in dispute.

All of Council (the whole entity of elected and management) needs to be united with strength which involves seeing this mess thoroughly understood and working through the necessary changes which will be a blend of staff and systems. Managers must begin to act as any employee should and stop behaving like they are Directors of a Company, and thinking they know what the community needs and wants when in fact their view of the world is not rooted in reality at all. They are not operating with a foundation of reality and they do not know what is needed or wanted. They are representatives of the people. The rate payers are the boss. Rate payers pay the salaries and all the perks of the job. I certainly am not paying for this shameful conduct to continue. Are you? What values are we teaching our children if we let this continue?

The Crime and Conduct Commission (CCC) Amendment Act says that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) must now do a full report and state clearly all reasons a complaint was NOT referred to the CCC. It seems that there are plenty of reports here that should have been sent to the CCC.

Anyone who has followed Rob Pyne’s actions and agitation on local government would appreciate that he has a strong calling for an ICAC style inquiry into local government. Such an inquiry could deal with the thousands of local government complaints that ‘go missing’ in the current complaint system.

I join Rob Pyne in calling for an ICAC style inquiry into the Queensland Local Government. Who else believes it obligatory?

Fraser Coast Regional Council need to get on and do the job they are paid to do and stop the harm! This whole situation may give weight to the increasing call for deamalgamation.
I have taken this paragraph out because it is not correct, nor relevant to the CPEM report. The CPEM report is not a “complaint” and does not have to be reported publicly. Except council passed a resolution to do so and that has been delayed which has probably lead to the PID being sent to Rob Pyne.

 

 

#toxicculture  #icac  #transparency  #politicalnews

It is time to get real in the dealing of healing

MEDIA RELEASE

Recently I spoke at Parliament House on the assault on our democratic rights when it comes to medical cannabis. Derryn Hinch offered to join Jeanette Maynes and myself a day earlier when we were discussing the National Sex Offender Register and attended shouting ‘free the weed’.

It is entirely hypocritical that cannabis is not available to treat a multitude of human problems and illnesses. Cannabis medicine should be made available to all those that may benefit or need it. Cannabis is one of the most valuable natural plant medicines. Treating glaucoma, epilepsy, asthma, insomnia, eating disorders, muscle spasms, cancer and the list goes on.

Cannabis has served mankind for thousands of years and was once the world’s most traded commodity. It was such an important crop, farmers were directed to grow the plant, it was legal tender and could be used to pay taxes.

There are thousands of rural acres crying out for a value adding crop. It could rejuvenate rural Australia. The phobia and inhibitions people have about cannabis would be better put aside and recognise this is not a drug related crop. Once it achieves respectability it would be all systems go. Huge industrial potential being hempcrete roads, hemp houses, fuels, textiles, food, medicine etc and replace all plastics, cleaning up our waterways, protecting our flora and fauna.

We need to be investing the money we spend on prosecuting people into actual crimes and freeing up police resources so they can tackle the violence and serious offences against our community. It will also remove part of the criminal element if it was regulated correctly and the black market on cannabis would literally disappear over night.

Notwithstanding the issues for patients trying to access cannabis through authorised prescribers, the Federal Government’s proposal to import cannabis is not guaranteed as overseas countries have restrictions on exporting.

Australia should just get on with cultivating it’s own supply of cannabis and change state laws to provide authorisations under health regulations so patients are not at threat of being arrested under unjust state criminal laws.

Why are we not attracting the growers and a vital industry to the Fraser Coast? Jobs, jobs and more jobs.

#million$crop #trillion$industry

Police from Strike Force Elkmont – Griffith Local Area Command in conjunction with Strike force Hyperion – SCC Drug Squad have uncovered almost $5,500,000 worth of cannabis following a crime scene warrant at a farm in Colinroobie of the Riverina in southern NSW on 23rd February. I am praying the authorities won’t destroy what could be a great start into having medical cannabis oil available in Australia relatively quickly. Other wise this will take a lot of medicine away from people who need it now!

Jannean Dean
Glenn Lazarus Team

Jeanette Maynes, Derryn Hinch and Jannean Dean discussing National Sex Offender Register and Medical Cannabis

Click here for more information – Medical Cannabis Advisory Group Qld

Jeanette Maynes blog on Canberra visit

Conforming Petition FCRC CEO

MEDIA RELEASE

A petition is now circulating in both electronic and paper formats calling on the State Government to act in ensuring that FCRC CEO is removed from office. The electronic version of the petition can be found here: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2689

Paper versions will also be available and I will update on the relevant locations or events where the paper petitions can be signed.

So why this petition? So far, the CEO has flat out refused to back down and resign. The CEO has not explained her actions / inaction – it will take a massive public outcry to get the majority of Councillors or the Qld State Government to act in the public interest.

The Mayor has power to remove the CEO by putting a motion forward to Councillors but we know the numbers are not in chambers. It is important to note that 74% of staff have completed the
anonymous survey as requested by Mayor Chris Loft. Prior to this survey staff participation at best was 35 – 40%. This confirms that staff have a lot to say about what is happening behind closed doors and want a change.

It is understood that the CCC has 33 FCRC complaints before them which were submitted in 2016. I am waiting for Frankie Carroll, Director-General of the Department of Infrastructure, Local
Government and Planning to advise which complaints have been finalised, how many remain outstanding and when they will be publicly available.

I agree with many who say ‘sack the lot of them’, however, there is no point sacking the Councillors until someone has dealt with the organisational transparency and accountability; which includes the Executive team and that starts with the CEO.

I cannot believe the rate payers are paying the salaries for these people and the saga is allowed to continue. When is the State Government going to show leadership and put an end to the ongoing open undermining of efforts and grossly disrespecting the Office of Mayor? How much longer will our staff have to go to work under this type of toxic environment and how long is the community going to have to put up with this?

In an email dated 16th March 2016, (3 days prior to the local government elections Lisa Desmond penned “The wheels have fallen off this bus, there is way too many matters that are falling through the cracks. No follow up, no accountability, no responsibility and urgent action is required now to start getting this organisation back on track.” She went on further to say “We are floundering on our continuous improvement and efficiency drives across Directorates and failing basic legislative responsibilities. Examples: backflow prevention device testing, animal compliance, DA register required under SPA, Asset Management, Forward Designs, capital infrastructure planning, I could go on.” This email is referred to in the State Government Report so the ‘advisors’ Steven Johnson, Deputy Director-General, Local Government and Regional Services, at the time, now CEO of Bundaberg Regional Council and Terry Brennan, former Cassowary Coast Regional Council CEO knew; therefore the Department and Jacklyn Trad Minister, Deputy Premier and Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning knew about it also.
State Government, Councillors and the media are not asking the right questions about this. Why aren’t they? This should be discussed in open council.

After several requests for intervention from Qld State Government and my phone constantly ringing with ‘disgruntled’ staff and residents, I decided mid November 2016 to commence enquiries into a conforming petition to have Lisa Desmond removed as CEO from Fraser Coast Regional Council. The delay in publishing this conforming petition was because the Parliamentary Clerk went on leave.

The reasons for this Petition are numerous and varied:
* doctoring minutes
* inaccurate reporting
* micromanaging councillors
* wasteful expenditure
* Wide Bay Water fiasco
* Toogoom Rockwall debacle
* contractors contracts and obligations
* economic failure of Bauple
* approval of incomplete development applications
* missing backflow register
* secrecy surrounding CEO extension of contract
* staff working in a toxic environment and the rate payer is paying for all this plus much more.

This list of failures that demonstrate gross maladministration cannot simply be ignored. Again, why hasn’t State Government, Councillors and the media been asking the right questions about this?

A paper version of the petition is also available for those that would like to get signatures from those who are not on the internet. Please contact me to arrange hard copies. I will arrange locations for the petition to be available across the Fraser Coast and also advise of locations and times for the community to come say hello, ask any questions and sign. If you would
like to be a coordinator in your area please let me know.

Paper petitions must be returned to me by Tuesday 7th March 2017, so it can be finalised and tabled at Parliament sitting commencing Tuesday 14th March 2017. Online Petition closes Friday 3rd March 2017. Click Here: http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/e-petition?PetNum=2689

If all tiers of Government were doing their job properly at Local, State and Federal levels I would not be receiving all the requests I do for help 7 days a week.

I want our representatives to be striving for ‘great governance’. If you agree that basic ‘good governance’ is lacking, transparent and accountable government is no longer, then please sign the
petition. I want to see strong leadership with caring integrity. If you want this too, please sign the petition.

Thank you so much for helping fight for ‘good governance’.

Jannean Dean
Glenn Lazarus Team

#WeDemandGoodGovernance     #CaringWithIntegrity     #NotGoodEnough

 

Deputy Premier tables Fraser Coast Regional Council report

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Glenn Lazarus Team candidate for the Federal Seat of Hinkler and well known Community Advocate, Jannean Dean, today said no amount of Queensland State Government intervention is going to solve the issues currently facing the Fraser Coast Regional Council. These sentiments were echoed in the Report on the Fraser Coast Regional Council which the Hon Jacklyn Trad tabled in Queensland Parliament today – “No amount of State intervention is likely to resolve inter-personal issues of this nature.” 

“If this is so, why is the Queensland State Government not acting now,” Ms Dean asked today.  

“How much longer are we expected to tolerate this continued poor behaviour from our elected representatives?” 

“It is clear from reading the Report that the information contained within has confirmed our suspicions and I believe there is more to be disclosed.” 

“In my view, there are sufficient grounds to sack the entire Council and Executive Team and with the weight of the statement above this should be expedited. Even with mediation, communications have deteriorated and the continued presence of the current Council is not tenable.”

“There is reasonable prospect of the council working well with a new CEO and after a proper internal review. Only the council and in particular the mayor, have the power AND DUTY to deal with the CEO”.

“I CALL ON the Mayor Chris Loft to sack the Fraser Coast Regional Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Lisa Desmond immediately.”  

“I also request the release of details of the one substantiated complaint of the 33 lodged. The people of Fraser Coast would also like to know if the remaining 14 complaints mentioned in the report have been fully investigated or are still ongoing?”

“We as a community deserve to know the reason why one of the 33 complaints has been investigated and substantiated? We need to know the breakdown of the complaints, the time frame in relation to the election. I believe the majority of the complaints would relate to the previous Council / Mayor and not the current Council / Mayor.”

“Right now, I do not care if we have to pay, it is inevitable – the CEO must GO!”

“We deserve to have strong leadership, goodwill and more importantly good governance. The Council has been plagued with infighting and because of this they have failed to provide good government. They have been brought to a stand still with dysfunction and are unable to work together in the region’s best interests. The people of the Fraser Coast deserve a Council that will represent them with pride, upholding the 5 Principles of the Local Government Act and it is my opinion the current Council will never be able to work together for the betterment of the community. Time is money and they are wasting rate payers money”.

“There are several Councillors who have my support and I continue to support Mayor Chris Loft. If our Mayor was supported by a team of Councillors that represented their Divisions and Portfolio, embracing their regional role; we would have a dynamic regional Council. Sadly this is not the case.”

ENDS

Read the Report: fcrc-report-from-trad-2016-11-02

fcrc-report_10

Mayor Loft should be supported for exposing systemic corruption

glt-press-release-logo

Glenn Lazarus Team candidate for the Federal seat of Wide Bay and Advocate for the Fraser Coast region, Jannean Dean, today called for the community to get behind Mayor Chris Loft and other Councillors in their push to have allegations of corruption involving previous Councils investigated by the Crime and Misconduct Commission (CCC).

“It appears there are quite a few people keen to deflect the truth, agitate and steer the community away from having the facts disclosed,” Ms Dean said today.

“It takes great courage and integrity to walk through the front doors of the CCC and our Mayor has done just that.”

“Chris Loft has followed through with his election commitment to expose the ‘goings on’ of previous Fraser Coast Regional Councils.”

“It is of the utmost importance that we understand how things operate and I believe it is in our best interests to stop targeting the process and Councillors.”

“Unfortunately some people have been misguided and there is a great deal of misleading information being circulated.”

“Given this, it is imperative that we all support the Mayor and our current Councillors in their attempt to get to the bottom of things.”

“I have grave concerns that if the agitators get their way, the truth will never see the light of day.”

“Further to this, if we don’t stand united behind the Councillors we elected, our region will be destroyed and you know it will be us that have to foot the bill.”

“Too much has been covered up for too long. Questionable dealings and mirky arrangements have plagued our region for too long.”

“Mayor Chris Loft is determined to shed light on past practices and to hold people to account however he is facing a lot of pressure and push back from different parties.”

“It takes strength to do this knowing he will be targeted. The work on the investigation by the Mayor has taken hours and hours of research to uncover serious systematic anomalies.”

“I am extremely disappointed in the Queensland State Government.  It appears they have done nothing to assist the Mayor and this has given him no choice but to bring the matter to everyone’s attention.”

“I understand the Member for Maryborough, Bruce Saunders has not yet met with the Mayor and nor has he attended the Council offices in Hervey Bay.  I am advised however that a meeting has been scheduled for 28 September so it is the hope of the community that Mr Saunders gives our Council a decent hearing.”

“I am also led to believe that the Fraser Coast Regional Council (Council) has not supported the Mayor and nor has it provided staff to assist him in work needed to research serious issues of corruption.”

“This needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency.  If the Council has nothing to hide then it should be supporting our Mayor to undertake his work in cleaning up the region.”

“I also urge everyone to exercise calm, stop, listen and be informed properly.  Let the process continue and we must also exercise patience as this will all take time.”

“I encourage anyone with any information that may assist with the Mayor’s investigations to contact either myself or the Mayor.”

Meet your federal candidates for the Wide Bay

Here’s your Wide Bay candidates and why they think you should vote for them.

jannean dean head shot

elise cottamlucy stantonllew obrien

 

 

 

 

 

Bron marshbruce mayerbarry cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce Mayer, Family First

I’M STANDING to provide the opportunity for a sensible alternative to the major parties.

I have serious concerns about the economy and what it will mean for our kids and grandchildren if we do not act now.


Removing barriers to gaining a job, workers should have the right to work under terms and conditions that suit them, not terms and conditions dictated to them by government.

Youth unemployment is a huge problem, and no government should stand in the way of a young person wanting and gaining a job and experience.

Importantly in the Senate we need parties like Family First who review sensibly what the major parties try to impose on us.

Llew O’Brien, Liberal National Party

LLEW O’Brien is committed to providing effective representation to deliver results.

Creating jobs and strengthening the economy are priorities for Llew and the Liberal Nationals Coalition Government.

The Coalition will deliver a dedicated and targeted $20 million Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package, to lift investment, boost productivity, grow our region’s economy and create local jobs.

Upgrading the Bruce Hwy is a priority, including rebuilding the Tinana interchange and improving flood immunity at Tiaro and Aldershot.

Llew and the Coalition will support jobs and ensure that every local family, household and business has the opportunity to share in our nation’s prosperity.

Elise Cottam, One Nation

WHY should people vote for me – because it’s easy to find problems but listening to people is the key to finding the solutions.

We need to stand together as one nation. Divided as we are now, falling apart and fed up, we need a leader that is for the people!

If elected by you I will lead by example, hands on, motivated and will not get your hopes up on empty promises. Transparent and accountable.

Essential services, better tax systems, energy-efficient electorate, pensioners, families and our youth are vital to small businesses and communities. Supporting farmers and protecting our water.

Your Choice, A vote for Elise Cottam One Nation is set to make for a brighter, buzzing Wide Bay for all of Australia to see.

Thanking you in advance Wide Bay.

Lucy Stanton, Labor

ENVIRONMENT. Protection for the Great Sandy Strait, Mary River, Noosa River and lakes. Jobs in ecotourism and many more jobs when we stop netting so recreational fishing can improve.

Education. Children educated at school according to their needs, better access to university and TAFE courses, better jobs from a great start in life.

Internet. NBN rollout using fibre-optic technology for lightning-fast internet access, not Turnbull’s outdated copper cabling solution. Future jobs in the digital economy.

Health and aged care. Proper Medicare so you can visit a doctor without worrying about costs. Healthy communities benefit everyone and provide jobs caring for others.

Jannean Dean, Glenn Lazarus Team

OVER the past 18 months I have listened to the people, consulted with the people on all things that matter to them and more importantly served the people.

Unlike many others who come and go at election time I have remained constant and committed to campaign promises and continue to bring about positive change.

I consider the smaller communities in the Wide Bay just as important as the bigger ones and will not ignore the issues they face daily.

I will not play party politics nor will I hesitate to cross the floor.

It would be wonderful for the people of Wide Bay to vote for me because I lead by example and demonstrated I am a strong community advocate, seven days a week and spend my own savings boosting the economy by investing in small business for services.

I travel to where I am needed and follow through.

Barry Cook, Katter’s Australia Party

ALL I CAN say is listen to Alan Jones’s interview with Bob Katter on June 20 2GB radio and his discussion with Alan about the sale of Australia’s strategic farming asset to foreign owners.

Only to have Penny Wong say if they get in power the Labor government would make it easier for foreign investment.

It seems government clearly doesn’t know the difference between ownership and investment.

Australia is not for sale. Wake up Australia.

Bron Marsh, The Greens

I AM PASSIONATE about protecting the natural environment, ground and surface water quality, and agricultural land in the Wide Bay, as well as the mental health of returned soldiers and farmers.

I am currently a volunteer firefighter, a Rapid Response volunteer for the Royal Australian Army Medical Corps Overwatch group, the convener of the Cooloola Community Action Group and full-time mother.

I am passionate about protecting the natural environment, ground and surface water quality and agricultural land in the Wide Bay for the food and water security of future generations, not only in our area, but for the food security of our nation.

Click for Fraser Coast Chronicle Article

#vote1 #janneandean4widebay #glennlazarusteam4senate

Boost the Age Pension by 20%

pressreleaseheader

28 June, 2016

Press Release

Senator Glenn Lazarus announces policy to boost the Age Pension by 20% from 2017

Senator for Queensland and Leader of the Glenn Lazarus Team, Glenn Lazarus today announced the Glenn Lazarus Team’s policy to improve the living standards of older Australians across the country by increasing the Age Pension and implementing a national concession scheme to reduce the cost of living.

“Older Australians are struggling to survive,” Senator Glenn Lazarus said today.

“The Age Pension is not keeping up with the rising cost of living and older Australians are being forced to go without basic essentials simply to survive.

“Older Australians living on the Age Pension are receiving a basic weekly wage of $397.40. How are Pensioners supposed to live on this? The answer is they can’t and many Pensioners are living below the poverty line.

“I have spoken to many Pensioners who cannot afford to turn their heating on in winter because they cannot afford the electricity bills.

“Others have told me that because their medication has increased in price that they cannot afford to buy bread and milk.

“As a country we should be ashamed of the way we treat our older Australians. They have worked, paid taxes, raised families, volunteered and contributed much to our nation and we should be doing more to support them.

“Today, I am pleased to announce the Glenn Lazarus Team policy ‘Standing up for Pensioners’ to ensure our older Australians are given the support they deserve. Our policy includes:

– Increasing the basic Age Pension by 20% from 1 July 2017. This will increase the weekly income of Pensioners from $397.40 by $79.48 to $476.88 per week (single Pensioners)
– Couple Pensioners will increase from $299 each per week to $359.46
– The introduction of a national concession policy for Age Pensioners to be adopted by all states and territories as a national standard to provide:

– 20% discounts on rates, utilities such as water and electricity and gas
– Free public transport
– All older Australians from the age of 70 years – Free public transport

“How will this be funded? I think Australians know Turnbull’s company tax cut doesn’t benefit the average person. We don’t want billions of dollars flowing overseas, our policy is to keep the money in Australia and invest it into our Pensioners and our education system.

“What the silver spoon Coalition doesn’t seem to understand is that the Superannuation Guarantee only came into effect in 1992 and it was introduced at 3%. In fact, it only increased to 9% in 2002/2003. Further, it excluded employees earning less than $450 per month, part-time employees under 18 years of age and employees aged 65 and over (later increased to 70).

“Women raising children, caring for families and taking on carer duties were excluded all together because they were not employed.

“Compulsory superannuation is a relatively new initiative and many older Australians have not been given the opportunity to grow a nest egg. They rely on the Age Pension to live. Some people, often women, have not had the opportunity to grow a nest egg at all. We are seeing high levels of homelessness among older women and this needs to stop.

“It about time we stood up for older Australians and our Pensioners and assisted them to live in retirement with dignity.

“The Glenn Lazarus Team will work with which ever party forms Government after 2 July to implement this policy to ensure everyday Australians are given a fair go.”

ENDS

#vote1 #janneandean4widebay #glennlazarusteam4senate

Ensure a better future for the Fraser Coast

Jannean Dean_Sue Brooks_Jeanette Maynes

PRESS RELEASE

As I have been campaigning and meeting with local people over the last few months, I have been encouraged by the amount of community support that I have received. There seems to be a ground swell of support for positive change in our region.

One concern I have heard from many locals is that, while they support my candidacy and policies, should I be elected they have concerns that as I am only one person this may be difficult.

With that in mind I have begun discussions with like-minded candidates running in the majority of the divisions, some of whom have approached me, and some whom I have approached and worked with during the campaign. These discussions focused on supporting each other during the election campaign and beyond should we be elected. It is our common belief that together we will be able to achieve everything that we are setting out to achieve, both for the divisions we represent and the Fraser Coast as a whole.

Already, I am proud to have Jeanette Maynes from Division 9 as a member of this group and Sue Brooks from Division 5. As the discussions continue over the next few days and weeks, we are expecting to announce the candidates who will be joining us to ensure a better future for the Fraser Coast.

Together, we will put the Fraser Coast first and get on with the job of bringing some dignity back to the council, and the region it has let down.

END

#Vote1 #JD4Mayor #TripleR – rates rubbish roads