Policy

33 Senators reduce transparency and accountability

Social Services Legislation Amendment
Cashless Debit Card Trial Expansion – Bill 2018

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate that are entrusted to ensure good governance; remove and reduce transparency and accountability of this government on this highly contentious social policy?

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate vote ‘AYE’ when there are way too many questions unanswered?

For example:

  • Who was/is on the Reference Panel?
  • The Department signed off on Indue terms and conditions which are implemented to each card holder.
  • Not the same as a normal debit card. Merchants are excluded unless put on the white list. (Individual agreements with merchants).
  • $7.9m Indue
  • $1.6m ORIMA
  • $24m trial 2 sites
  • CDC $10k per person
  • CDC $2k per participant now the program is expanded to Hinkler.
  • What is the per capital calculation?
  • Underpinning run cost per card per capita?
  • $17.8m trial 2000 participants
  • Cost to gov per capita?
  • Program cost?
  • Trial cost? Bundaberg / Hervey Bay (commercial in confidence) 6,700 card holders for Hinkler
  • Goldfields / Ceduna trial cost? Details unavailable (numbers published 4yr cycle).
  • What services will the Government invest in?
  • What are the relationships between the Government, Indue and the big 4 banks?
  • Where are the employment opportunities?

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate vote ‘AYE’ when not even knowing how much this is costing taxpayers?

Senator WATERS (Queensland) (13:11): This is still not my first speech. Minister, forgive me if we’re going over some ground that we’ve already covered, but, just for clarity, can I ask: what is the estimated cost of expanding the card to the Hinkler region?
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (13:11): I’m advised that it’s an additional $4 million. Sorry, let me just go through for you and let me just correct that number that I gave you. Funding for the Goldfields and Bundaberg and Hervey Bay trial areas was secured in the budget in 2017-18. The cost to establish the trial and operate for one year in Ceduna and the East Kimberley, as you probably already know, was $17.8 million, with about 2,200 people on the trial in those sites from 2016. The additional cost for the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay trial areas, as negotiations are still underway, can’t be finalised or advised.
Senator WATERS (Queensland) (13:12): Thanks, Minister. Sorry, but you said there was a budget line item. Was there no estimate for the Hinkler rollout?
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (13:12): There would be, but at this stage it’s commercial-in-confidence.
Senator WATERS (Queensland) (13:13): Thank you. Just staying with that theme, you did say an extra $4 million before, but you’ve pulled that back.
Senator Fifield: Correct.
The TEMPORARY CHAIR (Senator Sterle): Sorry, Senator Waters. The minister just answered your question: ‘Correct.’
Senator WATERS: Yes, thank you. I’m just trying to get the figures straight.

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate vote ‘AYE’ when they had not read the community feedback reports?

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (12:29): I will have to check the status and nature of the report, if it does indeed exist. If it’s possible to then of course we will.

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate vote ‘AYE’ to people conforming to the governments wishes without most of them even visiting the region and undertaking their own consultation?

Senator WATERS: Indeed. I just have a few questions—and, forgive me, I’m somewhat new to this area. I have just been in Bundaberg and had some fabulous consultation with the Say No to the Cashless Welfare Card Hervey Bay region people. They are dead against this card. They feel that it will increase stigma, it will reduce their autonomy and it won’t help them pay their bills. It will make it harder for them to live their lives. It certainly doesn’t empower them to make financial decisions about what they do with their own money. Is this just an ideological commitment from the government to tell people how to spend their money? There seems to be a disconnect there. I don’t think the minister has even been to the region and asked these people what they think.
There was a Senate inquiry that didn’t even get to the area. I managed to go and Senator Siewert managed to go. My predecessor, Senator Andrew Bartlett, managed to go, and I hear that a number of Labor senators have managed to go as well. When is the government going to send its minister to this region to actually listen to the community and hear that they don’t want this draconian approach to them spending what are already limited funds?
I note that yesterday Senator Siewert introduced her bill to increase Newstart and youth allowance, because they are clearly already below the poverty line. Then you are cracking down further on people who are doing it tough and who are doing their best, and who don’t need the patronising, dead hand of this painful Liberal government telling them what to do.

How on earth did 33 members of the Senate vote ‘AYE’ when they are still waiting on questions on notice?

Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (12:22): Can a trial participant stop being a trial participant if they become a full-time student studying away from the Bundaberg and Hervey Bay area or become a new apprentice after being placed on the card?
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (12:23): I need to take that on notice.
Senator SIEWERT (Western Australia—Australian Greens Whip) (12:23): You mean that your advisers don’t actually know the answer to that pretty important question?
Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate and Minister for Communications and the Arts) (12:23): It’s an individualised circumstance, so they would need to check and take advice.

Read the full transcript here, see for yourself what questions where asked and learn the responses. Hansard

Judge for yourself. Don’t let party politics blind you. Be informed.

#cashcow #CashlessCardCosts

Media Release – Plastic and the hero industrial hemp

Media Release

In 2015 I campaigned for a Container Deposit Scheme and lobbied the Qld State Government. QLD Parliament made some historic decisions on plastic litter and waste by banning plastic bags and introducing a container refund scheme which will commence on 1 July 2018. These were unanimous and popular decisions, welcomed by many in the community.

I have continued to campaign and lobby for the phasing out of all plastics and replacing with Industrial Hemp. #billion$crop #trillion$industry #zerocarbonemissions #strong #compostable

Pic: Organics Recycling Eenee

Industrial hemp requires same security as any other business. No body steals crops of sugar, so I doubt anyone would steal a product that is for industrial use only.

With the millions in profit these big supermarket chains make each year they should be looking at alternatives to plastic bags. I believe we could replace everything plastic and create jobs, jobs and more jobs and help clean up our water ways, flora and fauna; effectively cleaning up the planet. Not to mention drastically reducing landfill waste which again costs millions of tax payer dollars and contaminates.

Creating opportunities for people to reach their full potential, boosting our economy and supporting our farmers are all integral to the success of our great state. Excellent crop rotation for agriculture (3rd less water required than other crops) which is pertinent to growing fresh produce to sustain the masses. By 2050 there will be 9 billion people in the world that need feeding, so replacing those nutrients lost in the soil, industrial hemp is the hero so nutritious crops can be constant. Not to mention building our roads, houses, infrastructure, tourism, fuels, medicines etc, value adding to many portfolios all thanks to removing plastics. Practical yet abundantly resourceful and a sustainable industry.

PRIORITY: We must secure water for the future, water sustains all life. #water4life

This brings us back to plastic bags, not only should bags be unavailable in the imminent future – they should be already gone and starting NOW, everyone needs to be mindful that all this plastic stuff has to go somewhere. (Still trying to find an effective solution for this – recycle options etc). If you have any suggestions would appreciate them.

I am asking you to keep the good work going and support policies on the next important steps to reduce and rid plastic litter and waste. I support and ask you to support the following:

  • Instigate a Plastic Litter Reduction Plan for QLD to identify and find solutions for single use plastics – in the home, away from home, in industry and agriculture and in the marine environment
  • Introduce a levy on waste going to landfill-to stop the 100,000’s of tonnes of waste being dumped in QLD from NSW

Come on Queenslanders we need to be leaders in the market.

What are we leaving future generations to come? Let us leave a legacy we can be proud of.

We’ll make it happen. #BuildingBetterTogether

End

Cabinet Ministers Meeting

On Sunday Jeanette Maynes and I traveled to Bundaberg to meet with Qld State Government Officials to voice our concerns, start conversations and offer ideas and solutions.

We were warmly welcomed by Mayor of Bundaberg Mal Forman and to my delight the Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was keen to speak with me on many matters.

Annastacia Palaszczuk_Jannean Dean_18_10_15

I spoke with 17 Government Officials on a range of matters and look forward to continuing the conversations.

I spoke to The Premier several times during the afternoon on Medical Cannabis, Hemp Industry, Job Creation, Supporting Farmers, Boosting our Economy and Innovation, Domestic Violence. Annastacia received all the literature and evidence and advised she would read it on the plane tomorrow and be in touch.

Jon Black, Director-General – Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and Chris Hill, Director – DEHP joined Jeanette Maynes and I for clarification on the Maryborough Original Township Site and any future development protocols. Jon Black made a call to seek confirmation and further information. We discussed our perspective of this magnificent site and what we believe is a better approach and under no circumstances should this site have an ‘iconic development’ built there. They listened intently to our argument for this and were keen to learn more.
We also mentioned the current application for Pialba Memorial Hall and the Cenotaph, which will be heard in the near future. Freedom Park and the Railway Station were also discussed. We will discuss this again.

Jeanette Maynes champions for the protection of our foreshore by speaking with Steven Miles MP for Environment. Rodney Dudgeon also standing strong on the correct and proper decisions that should be made. Great advocates for environmental awareness.

Qld Treasurer – Mr Curtis Pitt MP made time to discuss the Indigenous Employment and Training Programme, Col Bowman and I have been working on for some time. Joining us was Manny Hegarty, Regional Director CQ – Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships and several other people. They loved it and are going to advise how to make this happen. I stressed that 90% Indigenous unemployed on the Fraser Coast was a fail and not good enough, especially since something like this which is 100% Federally funded is not already running is poor. We also discussed how this would improve relations and acknowledging the Traditional Owners we move forward. Keeping Indigenous Bush Medicine and Culture and valuing it is something we should all want to do.
I am thrilled they agreed and Manny will be working out the best way to make this happen and soon. Fingers crossed.
They also advised to speak with another DG Megan Houghton regarding the Fraser Island (K’Gari) Tourism and Dingo Management Policy. Megan is from Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games.
Megan and I discussed some of the points from the document to highlight why it needs to be seriously changed. She agreed and accepted, advising she would circulate to all the relevant Departments for consideration as it takes into account environment, tourism, small business, education, medical etc. We will have further discussions.

Linda from the Community Cabinet Ministers Office will personally deliver the De-amalgamation Public Address from Cliff Hammer to Hon Jacklyn (Jackie) Trad, Deputy Premier, Minister for Transport, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning and Minister for Trade. This will be followed up.

Qld Police Commissioner Ian Stewart enjoying Jeanette Maynes conversation. A big thank you to the Police Commissioner for willing to look at the people’s Drug, Alcohol & Addiction Policy incorporating the Judiciary System. Whilst speaking with another high ranking police official we both agreed the current system is not working and a fresh approach is required. I look forward to discussing this further with them in the near future.

Michael Hogan, Director-General – Department of Communications, Child Safety and Disability Services spent every moment exchanging information on Domestic Violence – I requested Qld adopt the Batty Findings by Judge Ian Gray in Victoria. We also discussed time frame, $’s and education and training amongst other topics including risk assessment and information sharing. Briefly discussed the inadequacies of the Bail Act. This is crucial to winning the war on DV. It was a valued meeting. As requested I will complete a submission to task force for consideration.
The DG will also look into the helicopter being permitted to land next to a Children’s Disability Park and the concerns we have about this and how this was approved.

Acting Director General, Stephen Johnston – Dpt Infrastructure, Local Government & Planning was concerned as we were about the direction FCRC have taken us all and was unaware of some points made. There will be follow up communications on a range of matters.

A REAL-WORD VIEW

Indy_cannabis letter_24_09_15

What a fantastic letter. Echoing what many are saying around the world and what I have been discussing for several years now. If we look at the truth from propaganda this is such an easy common sense decision to make when it comes to legalising cannabis, And why would we putting people through all this needless agony and trauma and suffering further because of chemical and synthetically produced drugs. The first thing people need to realise is cannabis is a PLANT and a HERB nothing like Oxycontin, Methamphetamine, and alike. It would be sensational if everyone would watch these two informative videos dealing with the history of cannabis and the science proving it must go ahead.

1hr viewing on the science of tetrahydrocannabinol, TCH & delta-nine. In the human body – Major Active Compound, 2 receptors CB1 & CB2, THS receptor – anandomide.
Click here to watch video

This a a ten x 5 minute mini series on the history of cannabis and the reasons behind prohibition.
Click here to watch video

15 minutes to watch a quick insight into why Cannabis became illegal: Click here to watch

CONTAINER DEPOSIT SCHEME

bottle return

I like incentive and introducing deposit legislation is a great incentive. Instead of seeing a bit of rubbish on the creekside or the beach or in the street, we are seeing 10¢ – that’ll soon disappear.
Northern Territory and South Australia already have Deposit Legislation.

Victorian recovery rates on beverage containers are less than 35 per cent and 7% in Queensland, whereas in South Australia they are 87 per cent.

Lets start getting this message out folks and make it happen on the Fraser Coast.

Great opportunity for community groups to fund-raise.

We need to get our representatives to introduce a private member’s bill to create a container deposit scheme.

Savings to rate payers of over $59.8 million a year
– Raising up to $90 million in government revenue
– Creating hundreds of green jobs
– Decreasing litter by 12-15%
– Increasing recycling of drink containers from 50% to 80%
– Diverting more than 740,000 tonnes from landfill
– Reducing national greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 each year – the equivalent of switching 197,000 homes to renewable energy
– Improving air quality to the equivalent of taking 140,000 cars off the roads

This is a fully costed plan to save taxpayer money, create new jobs and save the environment.