No voice for our region in cabinet

THERE was no place for any of our region's MPs when Premier Campbell Newman unveiled his cabinet yesterday.

While this may have been expected for new members Ian Berry, Sean Choat and Jon Krause, long-serving Lockyer MP Ian Rickuss also found himself on the outside of the cabinet.

However, Mr Rickuss was named Environment, Agriculture, Resources and Energy Parliamentary Committee chairman.

Mr Rickuss said the role was a vital one in fulfilling the LNP's election promises.

"With agricultural resources being some of the four pillars of the economy that Premier Campbell Newman and the LNP went to the state election promoting, I feel extremely privileged to be appointed as chairman to the powerful portfolio committee of environment, agriculture, resources and energy," he said.

Mr Rickuss said his committee would play an important role in examining legislation.

"It is an opportunity for committee members to convince their parliamentary colleagues on the committee that proposals should be recommended.

"I would like to congratulate my colleagues who have also received appointments to higher office, and I am sure as a team we will work extremely hard for the people of Queensland to get this state back on track."

Ipswich's only remaining Labor member Jo-Ann Miller described the lack of local representation in the cabinet as a "slap in the face".

"Sadly many long-term residents of Ipswich remember the bad old days of the Liberals and Nationals neglecting Ipswich," she said.

"Clearly this is a slap in the face to Ipswich voters and I am deeply concerned that they will now cut services and projects in our ever growing region and punish those voters."

Mrs Miller said Labor would be working hard to regain Ipswich's trust and had already held its first caucus meeting in town.

"I'm calling on Campbell Newman to assist and promote Ipswich's future.

"Labor candidates, including myself, talked about the aspiration of the Ipswich community to make it a safer, environmentally friendly place to educate our children in great schools with a bright future of jobs and prosperity."

"The LNP talked only of negatives and now we know why - they had no plan for Ipswich's future."

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