Wide Bay

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

Volunteer today

Political engagement can take on many different forms, including voting, contributing money to a candidate or political group, working or volunteering for a campaign, attending a campaign event or contacting an elected official. I am completely self-funded and have not accepted any money nor gifts in kind.

Elections rely on a pool of dedicated supporters who volunteer as election day poll workers and scrutineers. Without these volunteers, votes wouldn’t be tallied up in time and the voting day process would be costlier.

By volunteering as an election day poll worker, you’re helping ensure our nation’s elections are conducted fairly and efficiently. You’ll also get to know folks from your community better.

I would truly welcome your support to be present at one of the eleven (11) polling booths on 25th November in Hervey Bay wearing one of the shirts in cool breathable fabric screen printed especially for this election.

To get started on becoming an election day volunteer either at a polling booth or as a scrutineer, send me a message and let me know which booth and times you are available. Note: Scrutineers will need to complete and sign a form.

#volunteer2day
#BuildingBetterTogether
#Vote1JanneanDean4HerveyBay

Remember: NUMBER EVERY BOX

Money to splash

I don’t have lots of money to splash around during an election campaign – promising the people this and promising the people that, especially when we they are paying for it down the track. Even if I did I would be far more fiscally responsible and respect the money of the people. I haven’t seen the books at Treasury, have you? How could I in good conscience commit to spending multi millions of tax payers money without knowing the true figures and where money is allocated and where it is not?

Coupled with this I would ask the people where they want the money spent before committing to feasibility studies and paying for expensive reports. In my experience today’s leaders just come up with a thought bubble to impress you so much that you will vote for them. You decide what that money is invested in, not them.

People are more concerned about the cost of living, paying for children’s education, health, unemployment and disgusted with the disregarding of principles that are lacking at all three tiers of government. If the base is fractured, then everything is flawed. Let’s fix it. We’ll make it happen if you believe it more important to have good governance, open and transparent governance, then seriously consider where your vote is going.

I can promise you that I will not stop until we have our ICAC
(Independent Commission Against Corruption)
THIS MUST HAPPEN

You witness the mismanagement daily. This is what our Mayor has witnessed and trying to clean it up under extreme pressure. Vexatious claims, the truth not being told. If this was not true Chris Loft : Fraser Coast Mayor would not have made such a commitment and Jeanette Maynes and I would not have committed the past 5 years to exposing all this. You would still be getting hit with cat registrations, still paying fake backflow fees and being informed with issues that directly breach the legislation. i.e. rates debacle. But wait, there is more to come.

People are now more aware and involved and opening their eyes to the mismanagement of government and wasteful expenditure.

We championed for video streamlining, for better communications with Council, we saved Pialba Memorial Hall and had the Cenotaph Heritage listed, we championed for mobility mats so all could access the beach and the list goes on. We must champion together for an ICAC or the status quo will continue. Are you going to continue rewarding them for a job poorly done or would you like to complain right from the get go of them being elected and wait until the next election so you can vote again? I know I can’t! #VoteWisely I Will Be!

Vote with your rates notice – get the legislation changed at State level. Who else do you trust to do it?

Insight change in humanity is difficult. If you agree please like  tag, share and tweet and help get this message out.

 

#Vote1JanneanDean4HerveyBay

#BuildingBetterTogether

#ICACnow

Media Release – Ideal location for schoolies

Media Release

Fact is it is illegal to drink if you are under the age of 18. Alcohol is classed as a depressant, meaning that it slows down vital functions which affects the way you think, feel and behave. Raise the drinking age to 21.

School-leavers in Queensland are engaging in alarming rates of risk-taking behaviour under the influence of alcohol and it is only 2 days away before they engage some more. Many don’t want to listen to any warnings about the dangers of alcohol and drugs. Many schoolies start drinking in their rooms before hitting the beach parties.

More than a third of Queensland teens have admitted to being a passenger in a car with a driver they believed was over the legal limit, according to shocking RACQ statistics.

Parents are right to be anxious about Schoolies, but not only for reasons of binge drinking, pill popping and random sexual encounters. Property damage and reckless behaviour leading to violence increased so much that it doubled the 2015 tally in 2016 – this part of the equation is deeply troubling.

Five ways that Iceland tackled its huge problem of getting young people between 15 and 16 to give up drink and drugs decreased from 42% to 5% by implementing a 5-point strategy. We can do this here.

  1. Bring in a curfew – Kids under 16 must be indoors by 10pm. This is not a curtailment of rights, these are positive boundaries.
  2. Parents sign a pledge – Groups of parents agreeing on rules for their children’s behaviour so they can reach their full potential.
  3. Keep kids occupied – Every year they receive a voucher for $500 for outdoor activities.
  4. Teenagers fill in a survey every year – Measuring different aspects of their lives in order to make good choices for their future.
  5. Get politicians onside – Build on evidence and research. Funding.

Wouldn’t it be terrific to be fostering healthy celebrations for schoolies and not encourage alcohol and drug taking which results in poor behaviour? We must be working with all the tourism operators and motels putting packages together, value adding to our tourism portfolio. I’m sure parents would prefer their children to come here as opposed to the Gold Coast given the option.

We must encourage these young adults; there is no better high than a natural one and marketing this as an alcohol and drug free event. Nightlife could be increased during this period and also during other holiday periods to give the youth some experiences that they will fondly remember for the rest of their lives. Tourism bodies and stakeholders could put packages together and have live music playing in several places along the esplanade. With so much accommodation available for all budgets, this should be seriously considered for the future.

#safealternative #schoolies #BuildingBetterTogether

End

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

Fracking pledge

Fraser Coast is famous for it’s amazing beaches, K’Gari (Fraser Island), pristine waterways, farmlands and cultural heritage.

Wide areas surrounding the largest sand island in the world Island is right here at our doorstep and we are at risk from unconventional gasfield exploration licenses and the Colton coal mine.

We need to stop gasfields and the Colton coal mine risking our land and water before it’s too late!

Our region is a valuable food bowl and is an internationally significant environment worth protecting.

#water4life #fishingNOTfracking #NOfrackingway

#doNOTfrackFraserCoast   #farmingNOTfracking

Back by popular demand

A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of politics.

You can stop messaging me now folks  We’re back with a new look and focus.

Thank you Design House for continuing to deliver outstanding work.

#politicalnews  #auspol

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

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

Bauple visit

I want to hear what you think – your opinion matters!

I am off to Brisbane tomorrow for the week with lots of meetings scheduled.

On my return I will be heading to beautiful Bauple to catch up with the community and listen to their concerns, thoughts and ideas.

If you would like me to visit your regional locality please don’t hesitate to let me know.

cconsult_bauple

Council should at least explore de-amalgamation

MEDIA RELEASE

Study after study has found that the benefits of regional amalgamation have failed to materialise. Costs generally increase after amalgamation, largely due to a harmonisation of costs and wages, and increases in service-efficiency remain elusive. The transitional costs after amalgamation are often quite high and, in some cases, reduce or even eliminate any anticipated immediate cost savings.

Mounting evidence suggests that amalgamation on the Fraser Coast – Three quarters of the Wide Bay is part of this Council and has not led to more efficient service production or delivery. Regional mergers reduce competition between regions, which weakens incentives for efficiency and responsiveness to local needs, while also reducing the choice for residents to find a community that best matches their ideal taxation and service rates. Since regional mergers rarely result in boundaries that encompass the entire region, externalities may still exist in transportation and land-use planning. Regional amalgamations have sometimes forced rural residents to pay for urban services they do not have access to.

With so many negative aspects, it’s no surprise that local restructuring proposals have often been met with stiff resistance from local residents. It also comes as no surprise that many residents argue that their communities were better off prior to consolidation. In the wake of lingering resentment regarding amalgamation, de-amalgamation is often suggested as a solution.

We have seen the call for de-amalgamation emerge in many cities and towns across Queensland. There is no reason why de-amalgamation cannot be pursued. Provincial governments have the ability to amalgamate regions and, therefore, also have the ability to separate them.

The difficulty in successfully implementing de-amalgamation means that amalgamation is something that cannot, and should not be easily entered into. More care needs to be taken in finding the best institutional structure for our local government.

Chris Loft was asked for his standing on a referendum for de-amalgamation of Maryborough, Tiaro and Woocoo Shires and boundaries joined to make one city pre-election and writes “Yes let the process begin. We must listen to community.” So why did he vote against it?

Anne Maddern Councillor for Division 2 sitting under the allocated Small Communities portfolio is trying to represent her communities aspirations, but unfortunately not many of her fellow colleagues do not seem to be supporting her which in turn means they are telling the community we are not listening. We don’t care, we will do what we want!

What are they scared of? Is the Council worried they may get a drop in pay? There is no reason why Council cannot have a conversation about this with people and initiate a poll considering in excess of 9,000 people wanting it that I know of. Under the LGA Councillors have to listen and report back to the people. They have failed Chapter 14,2 C Democratic representation, social inclusion, and meaningful community engagement.

Click here for Fraser Coast Chronicle article – Monday 20th June 2016

Cliff petition_Bruce

Clifford Thomas handing Bruce Sanders Maryborough MP 8000 plus signatures