Tight security at Queensland Plan summit a 'sensible' move
UPDATE: A strong police presence, airport-style security screenings and roving undercover officers at the major Queensland Government summit on Thursday are being described as a "sensible" response to escalating hostilities between the state and motorcycle gangs.
Police manned entrances, escalators, elevators on Wednesday and Thursday as the government spruiked the success of its Queensland Plan through its "Brisbane Summit".
Premier Campbell Newman said any questions on whether any threats had been made against the event would need to be referred to the Queensland Police Service.
He said the increased profile of officers was not just for his safety, but for the safety of all those attending.
"At the moment, it'd be fair to say that we do believe that we need to be sensible about the fact that the government as a whole is dealing with criminal motorcycle gangs," Mr Newman said.
"We're not going to expose people here from across the state to any sort of action from criminal gangs.
"It's about protecting everyone who is attending the summit."
About 680 were expected to have attended the two-day event, including 32 mayors, 86 members of Parliament and 44 youth delegates.
The event wraps up on Thursday afternoon.
Squeezing money from international investors could be the key to solve regional Queensland's infrastructure woes, according to Agriculture Minister John McVeigh.
The member for Toowoomba South said: "We have firms wanting to invest in infrastructure and have their return over years".
"We need to stop talking about it and start getting on with the job."
Mark Bryant from the Queensland Chamber of Agricultural Societies said infrastructure was one of the most important issues for his constituents.
The show society puts on 129 shows across Queensland each year and he said 10 to 20% of every ticket price was for insuring infrastructure.
"One of the biggest expenses of any agricultural show has at the moment is insurance on infrastructure," he said.
"Just doing that alone is a mammoth task for them."
Central Queensland might be the epicentre for much of Australia's coal industry, but a Mackay delegate believes its time to go green.
Rugby League personality Greg Sutherland said solar farms would be ideal for infertile land in the region.
"We could be using arid lands to become solar farms," he said.
Ipswich West MP Sean Choat said his table had controversially suggested abolishing the Queensland Studies Authority which added another level to the overabundance of compliance measures.
He said they were committed to incentive programs for regional teaching, believed schools should be resourced on need rather than on number, and there should be increased virtual resources to ensure smaller schools in regional areas get the same access to education.
Kawana MP Jarrod Bleijie said all prosperity was underpinned by education.
He said Queensland's priority should be to ensure that education was accessible to all and schools were well resourced.
"The biggest thing that's come out in the last day and a half for me was that everything - whether it be economic development, job creation - was all underpinned by a central theme of education," he said.
"Every table I've been at the last few days, education has always come up as one of the central drivers. Numeracy, literacy, even when you talk about the disadvantaged, again education came up, getting people the skills, the training. Not everyone wants to go to university, so it's about making sure they have the skills and qualities to get trades."
Meredith State College principal Karen McCord said having well-trained and well-resourced staff was the key to strong schools.
"The buildings are one thing, but unless you have the right staff, and unless the curriculum is right, then nothing is going to change," the Caloundra-based educator said.
"A building is a building. But you've got to have the right people to teach, you have to have the right things to teach."
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart said there was a clear view at his table that future education was "absolutely critical" as was building on Queensland's uniqueness in the tourism arena.
He said it was also about community connectivity, people taking ownership of where they lived and being part of informed decision making.
"That will only come with information sharing and greater volunteerism," he said.
Mr Stewart's table were also passionate about transport and communication networks enabling people to live in the regions.
"People want to stay in their own community and that will be the strength of Queensland," he said.
Nurse Steven Spreadborough, from Maryborough, was on the table discussion priority four - regions being attractive to study, work and live for bright minds and trained professionals.
"I think there will be a lot more collaboration between business and government at all levels," he said.
"It's very hard to see that far (30 years) but it's baby steps and I'm sure this will be reviewed and upgraded on a regular basis on which way they will roll.
"It's an opportunity. How do we make Queensland better, bigger, brighter but look after what we've got as well?"
South Burnett councillor Kathy Duff, sitting at the premier's table, said she was rapt the premier was on the same page when it came to regionalisation.
She said she had watched people leaving her area in droves, especially young people, heading to the south-east corner for jobs.
Ms Duff said the key to keeping them was better infrastructure, better telecommunications and better roads.
Banana Council Mayor Ron Carige said education and growing the regions had been the key topics in his discussions.
He said they did not want the government to step in but rather be creative themselves to drive their communities and attract the brains to regional areas.
Mr Carige said he wanted to draw people moving to Gladstone, which is now facing an affordable housing crisis, and from south-east Queensland out west to his area.
"We've got to create something to bring those people, our lifestyle is better than sitting in a traffic jam, access to our shops etc.
Member for Hervey Bay Ted Sorensen was most pressing concern was preserving his region's way of life and limiting urban sprawl.
The former Hervey Bay mayor said development needed to be managed to that it did not come at the expense of green space.
"Proper planning for how we build our cities and plan our cities, how we connect them, is very important," he said.
"I think we have to connect our cities with open space areas.
"It's like when I first got on council, a lady wrote to me a beautiful letter saying she wanted to put playground equipment in the playground behind Urangan shopping centre and we did that.
"Open space is important so mums can take their kids for a walk, parents can sit and watch their kids. Even teenagers like to get out and play.
"I think it's important for the future we marry those urban settings with some parks and rural areas."
Ipswich school girl Mia Reimer said she said more attention should be paid to mental health and listed it as the most pressing issue facing young people.
"It's statistically shown that in the younger generation, the incidences of poor mental health is greater," she said.
"Stress and depression and anxiety are becoming increasingly common in our fast-paced lives.
"To address that in a statewide plan is massively important. It's massive step towards accepting it because it is still the subject of stereotypes and prejudice."
EARLIER: It's taken almost two days and input from almost 700 people, but Queensland has a priority list for action.
But Brisbane's Queensland Plan talkfest has produced some of the biggest motherhood statements around.
Here are the top 10 priorities:
Education that is flexible, affordable and accessible to all including rural, remote and disadvantaged
Communities that are well planned, well connected and engender community spirit
Queensland being recognised as internationally competitive and an increase in exports/business especially in agriculture and ecotourism sectors
Regions being attractive to study, work and live for bright minds and trained professionals
Delivery of economic, social and community benefits through infrastructure
A long-term approach to planning and delivery of infrastructure
The highest productivity rate in Australia with no skills shortages
Investment and research into innovation in Queensland's area of strengths
Centres of excellence attracting human capital and driving innovation
An education model which leverages community/industry partnerships
Premier Campbell Newman has promised to put the results of the $4.6 million Queensland Plan into government policy.
And he has promised that unlike previous visions, it will actually 'go somewhere'.
Exactly where is yet to be seen.
Vision for regional excellence espoused at Qld summit
IN 30 years' time we should have developed centres of excellence in regional areas to attract human capital and drive innovation.
We should be applauding community achievers, revering local skills and resources.
We should manage urban sprawl by decentralising out of the south-east Queensland and growing regional areas.
These were three of the outcomes 680 delegates came up with during the first day of The Queensland plan summit to create a vision for Queensland.
There were 39 goals and outcomes, which facilitators compiled into the early hours of this morning, after sifting through the hundreds of sheets of paper collected at the end of the Wednesday.
Today's goal is to narrow those 39 down to 10 - first through individuals prioritising their top ten, then lobbying people at their table to help reduce it to 10 a table and so on.
Other desired outcomes included a decline in lifestyle diseases, more flexible working environments and renewable energy becoming the norm.
The participants, flown into Brisbane from all over Queensland, also believe the majority of students should have Asian language skills and that education should be flexible, affordable and accessible to all, including rural, remote and disadvantaged.
They also believe local decision making and plans should drive regional development so each region can capitalise on unique regional opportunities and assets.
They say there should be better infrastructure hubs and centres to enable regions, businesses and communities to reach their full potential.
The remaining 29 will not be discarded all together but the government will focus on the top 10 chosen.
Crunch time for Brisbane Summit as it's time to deliver
TODAY they will have results.
For seven hours, almost 700 Queenslanders sitting at tables in Brisbane's Convention and Exhibition Centre will be "getting dirty in the detail" as they grapple with what the state ought to look like come 2040.
The final sessions of the Brisbane Summit -- designed to distil the broad-brush ideas in its Queensland Plan - are no longer to be just talk.
Environment Minister Andrew Powell, who has been the public face of the plan, threw down the gauntlet to guests when opening the conference on Thursday morning.
"You went hard yesterday but you must go harder today," Mr Powell told the room.
"This is not a research paper, it has very real implications.
"What we do today will impact on the lives of millions over the next three decades."
On Wednesday, tables of politicians, community leaders, residents and peak bodies scrawled endless lists as they fleshed out points raised by the more than 78,000 who contributed to the initial plan.
According to Mr Powell, government staff worked through until dawn to sort the information into 39 key goals.
Teams will now spend the day breaking those down even further.
The Queensland Plan Brisbane Summit will wrap up this afternoon.