QLD POLITICS LIVE: Setting the scene for the election?
IT'S the last sitting of Queensland parliament this week and Question Time is expected to be dominated by the Government's procurement policy and law and order issues.
Question Time has begun, with the Leader of the Opposition questionint the Premier over criticism from one of her own backbenchers.
The Government has spent much of the past hour patting itself on the back and highlighting its successes, and criticising the Opposition, prompting speculation it may be preparing to call an election.
Killers and accessories to the crime will be forced to tell authorities where the remains of their victims are located before they can be let out of prison.
The State Government's "no body, no parole" legislation passed Parliament today, with bipartisan support after Opposition amendments were taken into consideration by Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath.
The amendments broadened the offences captured under the legislation to include unlawful striking causing death, misconduct with regard to corpses and further offences relating to being an accessory to the crime.
Shadow Attorney-General Ian Walker said the amendments were a "water tight" way to ensure anyone involved in the death of someone was captured under the no body no parole provisions.
Question Time has concluded.
Shadow Environment Minister Dr Christian Rowan asked the Premier why no data was kept on the number of dugongs being killed in Queensland.
Ms Palaszczuk said the matter was governed under Federal Native Title laws.
Member for Dalrymple Shane Knuth asked the Health Minister what the Government was doing to overturn a Cairns Health and Hospital Service decision to not use local milk.
Health Minister Cameron Dick said the local supply contract had been extended for a month while the issue was sorted out.
He said the new contractor was in discussions with local milk suppliers to ensure they were not disadvantaged.
"I'm hopeful we can provide a long-term solution that provides certainty for local producers," he said.
Shadow Police Minister Tim Mander asked the Premier if she was aware of any breaches of handling evidence in relation to deaths in hospitals.
Ms Palaszczuk said she would look into the matter.
Shadow Child Safety Minister Ros Bates asked why a record number of child abuse investigations were not being done within 60 days.
Ms Palaszczuk said families coming into the contact with the child safety system had multiple complex issues.
"The cases are getting more complex, the staff have been stretched to the limits - and why were they stretched to the limit?" she said.
"The former LNP Government cut the staff.
"We're restoring the staff that are needed to do the job."
Ms Palaszczuk said an extra $300 million was being put into the child safety system under her Government's policies.
"Don't come in here and criticise when you so savagely cut 225 frontline staff," she said.
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington asked the Premier how she could claim Labor's organised crime laws were more effective than the LNP's VLAD laws.
Ms Palaszczuk said her Government's laws were broader than the former Government's VLAD laws.
Shadow Transport Minister Andrew Powell asked the Premier whether Queensland Rail had been paying for its staff to use taxis.
Ms Palaszczuk said she would look into the matter.
"Under our new (procurement) policy we won't be spending $4 billion buying trains from India that have problems associated with them," she said.
"(Under the policy) the trains would be built here in Queensland, in Maryborough."
Shadow Health Minister John-Paul Langbroek asked the Premier if nearly 9000 mattresses manufactured in China had been bought for the Commonwealth Games village when a Queensland firm tendered for the work.
Ms Palaszczuk said the issue occurred when a local supplier used an overseas manufacturer.
She said the Government's new procurement policy would give preference to local jobs.
"From the first of September our policy will be backing Queensland jobs," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We are still waiting to hear from the LNP opposition whether they support our policy or not."
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls asked the Premier why Mirani MP Jim Pearce said the Labor Government was "doing nothing" to help communities hit by the mining downturn.
Ms Palaszczuk used her answer to attack the former LNP Government's record in office.
"This is the man who is cut from the same cloth as Campbell Newman," she said.
"Where was the care when he sacked 14,000 workers?"
Labor has released a new attack ad against Tim Nicholls and the LNP, criticising him for cutting 24,000 jobs when he was Treasurer. It has been released on the Queensland Labor Twitter account.
Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls asked the Premier about why one of her backbenchers had criticised her Government about the lack of action on improving mining workers job security and conditions.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Mirani MP Jim Pearce stood up for his community.
"With the downturn in the resources industry people are doing it very tough out there," she said.
"Next week I will be in the member for Mirani's electorate visiting members of his community."
Agriculture Minister Bill Byrne said the LNP did nothing for rural and regional Queensland during its last term in Government.
Mr Byrne said the former Newman Government cut public service jobs in regional communities when the mining boom went bust and the drought started.
"That's the legacy of those opposite - thousands and thousands of jobs cut from rural and regional Queensland," he said.
Mr Byrne said the LNP under Tim Nicholls was suffering from a "policy vacuum" and an "intellectual void".
Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington used her private members statement to celebrate "the beginning of the great Ekka week".
Ms Frecklington said she expected Labor Ministers to put on a pair of RM Williams boots and a big hat to pretend to understand the bush.
"They have more front than Myers when it comes to their representation of rural and regional Queensland," she said.
Local Government Minister Mark Furner used his ministerial statement to say $11 million in payments to compensate for historical stolen wages - from indigenous workers - had been provided to more than 4000 eligible people.
Police Minister Mark Ryan used his ministerial statement that every election pledge in the portfolio had been delivered.
He said the Palaszczuk Government had delivered better police safety equipment, agreed upon a "fair and reasonable" pay deal for police, increased police numbers and returned officers to the front line.
Mr Ryan said the Government had also increased its investment in counter-terrorism.
Deputy Premier Jackie Trad said more than 11,000 discounted flights have been booked through the local fares scheme in Cape York and Torres Strait.
She said the scheme cost $8 million and an extra $2 million had been budgeted to trial the service to Mornington Island and Doomadgee.
Ms Trad chided Opposition MPs for interjecting during the start of her speech.
"I think they have been hanging out with the chickens too much," she said.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk used her ministerial statement to spruik her Government keeping 87 per cent of its commitments by the end of last financial year.
Ms Palaszczuk said legislation to re-introduce the drug court would be introduced by the Attorney-General today.