Defence of public service payout ‘a work of fiction’

COMMENT

FORGET Harry Potter, I don't think there has been a finer piece of fiction than Annastacia Palaszczuk's Industrial Relations Minister trying to justify her vote buying, taxpayer-funded public servant cash splash.

Maybe Grace Grace could use some of her vivid imagination in her education portfolio to help lift our flatlining NAPLAN results.

Labor have called this vote-buying frenzy 'fiscally responsible' - that's akin to calling Winx a rocking horse.

Public servants themselves won't be bought off by Labor's taxpayer-funded splurge for votes.

Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to explain why she is slugging Queenslander taxpayers for this pre-election spending spree.

But true to form, Annastacia Palaszczuk is missing in action again on this issue.

She is spending taxpayer's money but won't justify why.

The reason Labor dropped this quietly on a Saturday afternoon hoping no one would notice is that they can't justify it.

Labor should have done economic modelling and consulted with small businesses weighed down by Labor's ten new or increased taxes before getting out the taxpayer cheque book.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Labor should have spoken to farmers who are battling one of the most crippling droughts in Queensland's history before showering cash to curry favour with public servants.

After five years of Annastacia Palaszczuk, what do Queenslanders have to show for it?

We have an economy in free fall, the second worst unemployment rate in the nation, we have hospital waiting lists soaring, we have education standards slipping, we have crime rates through the roof, we have infrastructure spending cuts across the state, we have an integrity crisis all the way to the Premier's office and we have a state debt heading to $90 billion - all because Labor's priorities are all wrong.

Farmer Steve Hall from
Farmer Steve Hall from "Greenmulla", a farm outside of Quilpie, hand feeds some cattle because drought conditions have become so severe. Picture: Adam Head

These taxpayer-funded bonuses are just another wrong priority by a government that is completely out of touch.

The bonuses should have been used to guarantee better services like reducing hospital waiting lists or improving school results.

Labor's wrong choices are destroying jobs and they are blighting the future of this state.

Instead of jobs, all the Premier has delivered is higher tax, more debt, less jobs and less infrastructure investment.

To be clear, the LNP value our public servants and will give our doctors, nurses, ambos and police the resources they are crying out for.

Let's take two examples: education and health.

Under Labor, NAPLAN results show that Queensland kids are falling further behind other states and countries when it comes to the basics of reading, writing and maths.

Taxpayer-funded bonuses are just another wrong priority by a government that is completely out of touch, writes Tim Mander.
Taxpayer-funded bonuses are just another wrong priority by a government that is completely out of touch, writes Tim Mander.

These are foundation skills needed to ensure our kids get a world-class education, setting them up for a good job and better career prospects.

We need to ensure our kids get a world-class education and that our teachers can focus on teaching the basics.

The LNP has a plan to declutter the curriculum and get back to basics. We have listened to teachers who just want to get on with their job - to teach our kids the foundation skills they need to get a job and succeed in life.

The other example is the health portfolio, which has lurched from crisis to crisis under Labor.

Emergency departments are overcrowded, ambulance ramping has skyrocketed and surgery wait times are blowing out.

Our public health system is at breaking point under Labor.

 

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander. Picture: Tara Croser
Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mander. Picture: Tara Croser

 

The latest public hospital surgery data for August showed that while waiting times blew out, fewer patients actually were seen.

The median wait time for surgery has increased by 35 per cent under Annastacia Palaszczuk.

We have listened to Doctors and Nurses on the frontline and the LNP will refocus our public health system on patient outcomes and ensure better health services are provided to Queenslanders.

We will partner with the private sector to slash waiting lists and ensure elective surgery is completed in medically recommended time frames.

Governing is about choices and the LNP chooses to improve our health and education system - Labor choses to put its political interests first.

Tim Mander is Deputy Leader of the LNP and opposition finance spokesman.