Rural Fire funding goes up in smoke
The Palaszczuk Labor Government has been caught red handed exaggerating and misleading Queenslanders on the level of funding it's putting towards Rural Fire Brigades.
Labor Minister Craig Crawford was sprung, after he claimed there was nearly $13 million (or 25%) more in the 2019-20 budget for Rural Fire.
In March, Minister Crawford bragged that Labor had increased Rural Fire funding 'by a third to $52 million', compared to the $39 million it inherited from the LNP in 2015.
Problem is, that's not true.
When questioned in Estimates and under parliamentary oath, Minister Crawford came clean and admitted the budget had in fact not grown at all.
Instead it was still $39 million in 2019-20 - the same as in 2015.
With no increase to even cover CPI, this is effectively a cut.
This means funding for Queensland's Rural Fire Service has stalled under Annastacia Palaszczuk.
What we have here is a Minister willing to say one thing in the regions, but something completely different in parliament when his Brisbane masters are giving him scripts.
We saw the contempt in which Labor held rural and regional Queenslanders by slashing Hazard Reduction Burns and then turning around blaming farmers for fuelling the bushfires, in the 'so-called' bushfire report.
Blaming farmers for being confused about backburning rights while ignoring Labor's own mismanagement of state-controlled land and national parks is a new low.
Only the LNP will hold government agencies to account and properly fund rural fire services, so they can undertake fire mitigation activities.
LNP Shadow Minister for Fire and Emergency Services
Photo in the paper
The media have a responsibility to keep the community informed in a fair and unbiased way. The front page of Saturday's Star had a photo of Robbie Katter with Hamish Griffin, with Katter having his say on air fares. Katter is the man who arrived at the Airline Inquiry in Cloncurry for the final 20 minutes of the day long sitting. But he got his photo in the paper and his voice on the radio. The real work was done by the members of the community who collated the facts and figures and asked the pertinent questions. Community members did the work. The Katters got the credit.
Recently the Governor of Queensland hosted a Civic Reception in Mount Isa. Normal protocol is all guests arrive prior to the Governor and listen to his address, but Mr Katter arrived around 20 minutes after the Governor arrived and had delivered his speech. This was pure bad manners.
But the Star had his photo in their next edition mixing and being seen with the humble community guests and again getting his pics in the Star and on Facebook.
The following morning, we had a service on the Lawns of the Civic Centre for those who fought at Long Tan during the Vietnam war. Normally everybody gets to the Cenotaph well before the beginning of the service and join in the prayers, listen to the speeches, observe the minutes silence and join in the singing of the national anthems - but not Robbie Katter. He arrived 15 minutes late after those little formalities had finished.
But he was there for the really important task of the day "getting his photo".
Please Mr Editor lets gets a bit of fairness in your paper and stop treating the late-arriving Mr Katter who says a lot, gets a lot of coverage, but achieves very little. His timekeeping is rude and disrespectful.
Editor's note: To suggest the paper is biased is complete nonsense. My advice to the Mount Isa ALP Branch is stop attacking the messenger, and get your own house in order. DB.