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Shadow Minister for Infrastructure, Planning, Small Business, Employment and Trade
Member for Clayfield Tim Nicholls will take on the shadow Infrastructure, Planning, Small Business, Employment and Trade portfolio as part of the newly structured LNP team.
Mr Nicholls said he hoped to build on the strong economic credentials he established as Treasurer and Minister for Trade in the former Government.
“I look forward to working with the new LNP Shadow Cabinet to ensure Queenslanders get the benefits of the hard work we put into the last term of government,” he said.
“It’s no secret that the current Labor Government fell across the line with no plans or policies to either build or indeed to pay for the infrastructure our growing state needs.
“I’ll be working hard to ensure that our plans provide the jobs, roads, schools, and the hospitals that Queenslanders deserve at a price they can afford to pay.
“We don’t want to see Queensland slip back into Labor’s bad old habits of debt, deficit and higher taxes.
“Queenslanders can be certain that with a shadow cabinet of this calibre, the LNP team will hold Labor to account for every bungle, every botch up and every bad decision they will inevitably make.”
First LNG cargo a major milestone for Queensland
A milestone first gas shipment heralding thousands of jobs and a stronger Queensland economy has begun loading off Gladstone.
Acting Premier Tim Nicholls visited the Port of Gladstone today as the first tanker, the Methane Rita Andrea, was being loaded at BG Group’s Queensland Curtis LNG facility.
"This vitally important first shipment signifies the start of the production phase for Queensland’s new LNG industry," Mr Nicholls said.
"It will have huge benefits for the state’s economy; boosting export income, creating ongoing jobs and at peak capacity approximately $500 million a year in royalties for Queensland.
"Our Government has worked tirelessly to enable the LNG export industry to invest and develop its infrastructure as quickly as possible, while also meeting rigorous environmental and safety standards.
"With total investment to date of about $60 billion in gas infrastructure, the LNG industry is set to become Queensland’s second largest export industry, following coal."
Mr Nicholls said protecting the Great Barrier Reef was the Government's highest priority, and the new LNG shipments would be strictly regulated and monitored as they tracked outside the reef.
"In addition, vessels will travel another 110 nautical miles south of standard shipping routes to pass south of Lady Musgrave Island when entering and leaving Gladstone Harbour," he said.
"The LNG sector will underpin Queensland's projected economic growth of 5.75 per cent in 2015-16."
When the three major LNG export projects are completed and fully operational, which is expected to occur by 2017, the Port of Gladstone will have a production capacity of 25.3 million tonnes of LNG a year.
Mid-Year Review shows Queensland heading back to black
Queensland will benefit from fiscal surpluses well into the future under the Newman LNP Government's careful financial management.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said today’s 2014-15 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review showed the Government had kept its promise to get the state’s finances back on track and back in the black.
“In 2015-16 we will deliver the first fiscal surplus for Queensland in a decade,” Mr Nicholls said.
“This sets the foundation for restoring confidence, building a stronger economy and creating jobs.
“As a result, we will no longer need to borrow money to pay teachers or put fuel in ambulances.
“The strong decisions we made at the start of our term mean we’ve avoided worse financial shocks in the future.
“The Newman LNP Government’s hard work in cutting waste and reining in expenses means that next year we expect to post a surplus of $331 million – and we will continue to remain in surplus in the following years.”
Mr Nicholls said despite challenging economic conditions, including low world coal prices, there were now an extra 800 police protecting Queensland families, more than 760 extra teachers and teacher aides in classrooms and not one person left on the long wait dental list.
“Our commitment to and delivery of frontline services is unmatched,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We do have to contend with some challenges and that means in 2014-15 the deficit of $2.84 billion will be higher than forecast at Budget time.
“This is due to a write-down in revenues and also the timing of some disaster relief payments from the Commonwealth.
“We are also seeing economic growth at a slightly lower rate than forecast in the Budget with growth this year now expected to be around 2.5 per cent, rising to 5.75 per cent in 2015-16.
“As Treasury’s report shows, Queensland is not immune from global conditions and that’s why we need to work hard to build our four pillar economy and improve our financial resilience.”
Mr Nicholls said debt remained a critical issue for Queensland’s future.
“Our careful management of the state’s finances means we’ve been able to reduce debt slightly – but we are still headed towards $80 billion,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We have ended Labor’s reckless spending, but its legacy of debt is still constraining Queensland.
“Our Strong Choices plan to lease some assets, reduce debt, invest in job-creating infrastructure and help Queenslanders with cost of living pressures will secure our financial future.
“Labor has no plan to tackle the massive debt they foisted on Queenslanders.
“Only the Newman LNP Government has a strong team with a strong plan to build a stronger Queensland.”
The job's not done yet, but we're getting there
Editorial piece in the Courier Mail on Monday 15 December 2014 - read the full article here: