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    Minister caves to pressure from locals

    Students and parents at Labrador State School will soon have a safer journey to and from school with the coming installation flashing school zone lights on Government Road at the school after a successful local petition.

    State Member for Broadwater, Verity Barton MP said it was pleasing to see the Minister back down from his previous position on the installation of the flashing lights.

    “This is an important piece of safety infrastructure for Labrador State School, which is why I had committed to it during the campaign.”

    “It is pleasing to see the Minister come to the table with the school now in the list of top 100 priorities for flashing light installation.”

    “Government Road is a busy thoroughfare, with heavy vehicle and foot traffic, and the installation of flashing lights on Government Road will see a safer environment for parents and students travelling to and from school.”

    The flashing school zone lights will be installed in the 2015-16 financial year as part of the ongoing program to enhance road safety at schools.

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    Labor Neglects Broadwater in State Budget

    Broadwater is facing funding uncertainty as the Palaszczuk Labor Government tries to plug its budget black hole.

    Broadwater MP Miss Verity Barton said that today’s budget failed to confirm whether the government will be funding important projects endorsed by the Gold Coast and Broadwater communities at the January State Election, such as the second stage of the light rail and important safety infrastructure at local schools.

    “It concerns me that Labor may not go ahead with these projects, even though the LNP had fully costed and funded the projects ahead of the election,” Miss Barton said.

    “It is clear that Treasurer Curtis Pitt is making it up as he goes along.”

    The LNP committed to installing flashing lights at Labrador State School on Government Road to warn drivers they are entering a school zone.

    These flashing school zone lights would remind drivers to slow down in the school zone and greatly improve safety at the school, which is often frequented by random police speed checks during school zone hours.

    The LNP had also committed funding to the extension of the light rail from Griffith University to the heavy rail in the north, a project which would reduce congestion across the Gold Coast and provide a link from Brisbane to tourist destinations across the Gold Coast.

    “It’s unfair that families across Broadwater could miss out on this important safety infrastructure for local schools and vital new public transport infrastructure because Labor has no plan to manage the Queensland economy. The Labor Government needs to honour the LNP’s commitment and confirm this funding immediately.”

    Miss Barton said the budget was disappointing and while Labor does not have a plan, the LNP understands what the Queensland economy needs.

    “An LNP Government would continue the work we started in restoring business confidence by reducing red tape for small businesses and further increase the payroll tax threshold to help keep costs lower.”

    “We want to see the small business sector, which represents more than 95 per cent of all Queensland businesses, able to grow and create jobs.”

    Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said families throughout Broadwater, the Gold Coast and across Queensland constantly raised the cost of living as one of their major concerns and, unlike Labor, the LNP was listening.

    “One of Labor’s first acts in government was to hike up registration on the family car by 3.5 per cent, compared to the LNP’s record of freezing registration costs for three years,” he said.

    “Under our plan, all Cabinet decisions would include a Cost of Living impact statement to ensure the impacts of these decisions on Queensland families is fully understood.”

    “This budget proves that Labor has no plan for jobs, no plan for growth, no plan to improve business confidence and no plan to avoid the debt and deficits disaster they left Queensland last time,” Mr Langbroek said.

    “Only the LNP has an experienced team and a real plan to grow jobs in Broadwater.”

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    Gold Coast residents to receive Australia’s first statewide surgery guarantee

    The Newman LNP Government today announced that local patients in the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service will soon receive a guarantee to have their elective (non-emergency) surgery on time, in a national first.

    State Member for Broadwater, Verity Barton MP, said from the 1st February 2015, the LNP Government’s Wait Time Guarantee would ensure all eligible Queenslanders who are ready for elective surgery will have their procedure within the medically recommended time.

    “If the Gold Coast Hospital and Health Service is unable to provide surgery within the recommended time frame, then patients will be offered the next available appointment in a public or private hospital at no cost to the patient,” Miss Barton said.

    “Their surgery will be arranged by the original hospital, and patients will not have to pay for any travel or accommodation costs if they are treated over 50km from their original hospital.”

    “This is a necessary reform for the local community – patients will no longer just be a number in the queue for surgery.”

    “Under the former Labor Government 17% of patients waited too long for their surgery – that’s nearly one in five. We expect to have this at 0% by the end of the year, and the LNP’s Surgery Wait Time Guarantee will keep it at 0%.”

    Miss Barton said in just over two and a half years since being elected, the LNP had transformed Queensland Health from being a Department even the Labor Party wanted to destroy, into a patient-focused service which is now offering an Australian first to Queensland residents.

    “As part of its election commitment, this Can-Do LNP Government pledged to revitalise frontline health services for Queenslanders. Today’s announcement reiterates our determination to deliver on that commitment.”

    “This is a strong team, with a strong plan to deliver the services Queenslanders need for a brighter future.”

    Miss Barton said from 1 February 2015, all eligible elective surgery will be carried out within the following nationally defined times:

    • Urgent (category 1): Surgery recommended within 30 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition could get worse and become an emergency;
    • Semi-urgent (category 2): Surgery recommended within 90 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing pain or disability but is unlikely to become an emergency;
    • Non-urgent (category 3): Surgery recommended within 365 days of being added to the wait list, as the condition is causing minimal pain or disability.

    Miss Barton said patients who are currently on Queensland Health’s elective surgery wait list would soon receive a letter detailing how the guarantee works.

    For more information about the wait guarantee visit www.qld.gov.au/WaitTimeGuarantee or call 1300 332 807 between 7am and 9pm, seven days a week.

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    Biggera Waters State School Safer Grants Funding

    Students at Biggera Waters State School can look forward to a safer school environment with a funding boost from the Suncorp Safer Streets Grant program.

    State Member for Broadwater, Verity Barton MP, and the Minister for Police, Fire and Emergency Services, the Honourable Jack Dempsey MP today announced that Biggera Waters State School P&C Association have been successful in their application for funding from the Suncorp Safer Streets Grant program. They have been awarded $9,966.

    This money will be used to install security cameras at the school to reduce incidents of property crime, vandalism, unauthorised access and reduce the fear of crime among staff, students and visitors.

    “This is fantastic news for the local school community,” Miss Barton said. “This money will go a long way to ensuring the staff, students and grounds of Biggera Waters State School will feel and be safer.”

    “I congratulate the P&C for their work in getting this grant and thank Suncorp for their support of this great school. The Can-Do LNP Government is committed to ensuring Queensland is the safest place to live, work and raise a family and we’re proud to support programs such as this one which promote safety in our community.”

    The grants, which range from $1,000 to $10,000, are available to help local communities develop and implement projects that improve road safety and help reduce crime and fear of crime in Queensland.

    For more information or to see a full list of recipients please visit
    http://www.suncorpsaferroads.com/community-grants/past-recipients.php

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    New family and child service for Gold Coast

    Vulnerable families and their children on the Gold Coast will benefit from more support, through a new community-based child safety intake and referral service.

    Member for Broadwater Verity Barton said Act for Kids had been selected to operate the new Gold Coast Family and Child Connect service from early January 2015, delivering on the Queensland Government’s election promise to revitalise frontline services.

    “Family and Child Connect services are an important component of the Stronger Families reform program which aim to shift the focus from placing children in care to keeping families at home together whenever possible,” Miss Barton said.

    “The community-based intake and referral services will mean that families at risk of statutory child protection intervention will no longer need to go through the door of child safety to get the help they need.

    “Instead, they will have access to information, support and referrals through this new service.

    “Staff at the new service will be able to assess the individual needs of families and arrange for the right support to be provided.

    “Overall it will mean that support will be more easily accessible for those families who need it to stay together.”

    Miss Barton said more money was being invested and families, not process, were now the priority.

    “Labor was more concerned about paperwork and red tape, but our government has a strong plan that will give families living on the Gold Coast a brighter future,” she said.

    “The new service is part of our government’s record investment of $406 million over the next five years to revitalise the state’s child protection system and better support vulnerable children and their families.

    “This funding is part of the government’s ongoing response to the recommendations made by the Child Protection Commission of Inquiry.”

    For more information about the Government’s response to the Queensland Child Protection Commission of Inquiry Final Report, go to: www.communities.qld.gov.au/gateway/reform-and-renewal/child-and-family-reforms

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    Flashing school zone lights to be switched on

    New flashing school zone lights will soon be installed on Coombabah Road at Biggera Waters State School as a result of a local petition and forms part of the Newman Government’s ongoing commitment to improving road safety.

    Hundreds of locals rallied behind the cause to have the flashing lights installed at the main entrance to Biggera Waters State School.

    State Member for Broadwater Verity Barton said the flashing lights will help remind motorists they have an obligation to slow down when driving through school zones.

    “Young children can be unpredictable by nature, and speeding through school zones greatly increases the risk, especially to young children, and the installation of flashing school zone lights will go a long way to reminding drivers they’re approaching a school and need to slow down.” Ms Barton said.

    The flashing lights which will be installed on Coombabah Road will complement those that the Government has already installed on Hollywell Road.

    “Most parents and children use Coombabah Road as the main entrance to the school, so it makes sense to remind motorists of their obligations to slow down when they get to Coombabah Road.

    “It was heartening to see hundreds of locals, especially families at the school, support my petition calling for these lights to be installed to help make Biggera Waters State School safer for our children.

    “Road safety is the responsibility of everyone and a top priority for this Government, especially around schools and today’s announcement reinforces our commitment to make Queensland the safest place to live, work and raise a family.

    Since 2012, the Newman Government has committed $10 million over four years to install flashing light signs at over 300 school zones across Queensland.

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  • Runaway Bay Library

    Libraries funded for the future

    Families in Broadwater can rely on their local library to continue and improve its services after the State delivered $68.4 million funding to 319 public libraries.

    Verity Barton MP, State Member for Broadwater said the funding, including $1,992,849 for Gold Coast City Council, would ensure Queensland’s public libraries would retain their lead as innovative, social and virtual learning spaces.

    “Even though we inherited a huge debt, the Newman Government has continued to prioritise what is important to Broadwater families,” Miss Barton said.

    “Libraries are the cornerstones of lifelong learning throughout the state and this money will support public libraries in 72 councils across Queensland.”

    Arts Minister Ian Walker said the funding would help to develop high-quality library collections electronically, as well as in print, across many genres.

    “Libraries can apply to spend up to 50 per cent of the grant in any year on a priority project such as redesigning library spaces or to foster the library’s role as a technology centre for all,” Mr Walker said.
    “We’re working with councils around the state to help develop the best libraries to suit local needs.

    “Supporting our public libraries is part of the State Government’s drive to provide arts for all Queenslanders.”

    Mr Walker said the public library grants were calculated based on populations, with a number of weightings applied for population age, growth rate and location.

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    New boat ramps delivered for Broadwater

    Work on two boat ramps at Hollywell will start soon as part of the ongoing commitment that the Newman Government has made to restore our waterways as a hub of recreational and tourist activity.

    State Member for Broadwater, Verity Barton MP, said that the works are an important step in continuing to deliver the best possible access to and management of the waterways of the Gold Coast

    “The Jasmine Avenue Boat Ramp and the Holly Avenue Boat Ramp in Hollywell have reached the end of their useful lives” Miss Barton said.

    “The Newman Government is delivering on its commitments by ensuring Broadwater’s waterways are accessible and useable by the local community. These two facilities will ensure that there is safe access to the Broadwater for waterways users.

    Gold Coast Waterways Authority has allocated $500,000 in the Waterways Management Program in the 2014/2015 financial year for the reconstruction of these two facilities. The works are being undertaken in partnership with the City of Gold Coast.

    The reconstruction of both ramps will occur at the same time, meaning that both ramps will be closed at the same time for a number of months. The works are expected to commence within the next month with completion planned within a short length of time, well before the start of busy summer months.

    “The upgrade of these facilities in time for summer will be of huge benefit to the residents of Broadwater. The completion will coincide with the busiest use period for the ramps, and I welcome this much-needed investment in local waterways infrastructure.

    Users are advised to use alternative facilities at the Howard Avenue boat ramp and Ray Street boat ramp in Runaway Bay, and Donald Ave boat ramp and Jabiru Island boat ramp in Paradise Point.

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    Kids Get Started again with sport funding

    Broadwater families have been encouraged to Get in the Game and submit their applications for the fourth round of the hugely popular Get Started funding program that opened today.

    State Member for Broadwater, Miss Verity Barton MP, said the initiative was successfully lowering the cost of living for local families with 643 vouchers issued in her electorate since the program commenced.

    “Get Started officially opens for applications on 15 July and provides vouchers valued up to $150 to help kids whose families can least afford for them to join a sport or recreation club.”

    Miss Verity Barton MP said Get Started was designed to encourage more young people to get into sport or recreation, and to ease the financial burden on families.

    “As a government, we are committed to helping young Queenslanders be active,” she said.

    Miss Verity Barton MP said under the first three rounds of the Get Started program almost 54,000 vouchers were issued to help families who struggle with the cost of living to give their children the opportunity to join one of our sport or recreation clubs.

    “I strongly encourage local sport and recreation clubs, and families to take advantage of this wonderful program and check if they are eligible to take part.”

    Get Started is part of the Queensland Government’s $47.8 million Get in the Game initiative.

    For more information on how to apply for a Get Started voucher, visit www.nprsr.qld.gov.au.

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  • Government to support Broadwater’s pensioners

    Broadwater’s pensioners who benefit from concession payments will not suffer any reduction in payments after the Queensland Government announced it would cover the cuts announced by the Federal Government.

    State Member for Broadwater, Verity Barton MP, said the Queensland Government had listened to the concerns of the local community and would act.

    “Pensioners and older Queenslanders have told us that they simply can’t wear the cost of filling the gap between Queensland’s increased contribution, and the Commonwealth Government’s concessions cuts and increased fees and taxes,” Miss Barton said.

    “We’ve not only listened to Queenslanders, but we’ve acted on the issue, within the space of two days, to reinstate the full level of pensioner and senior concessions which was previously covered by the Commonwealth.

    “Passing on a portion of the Commonwealth’s cuts to pensioner concessions is clearly not a decision the community would accept.

    “This LNP State Government has a strong plan for Broadwater’s pensioners, demonstrated in this week’s state budget which increased concessions by $26 million. In contrast, Queensland Labor remains silent on the carbon tax, one of the biggest cost of living impacts on pensioners.”

    Premier Campbell Newman said the Commonwealth should be bearing the burden of these cuts, not Queenslanders. “We will be continuing to send a clear message to the Commonwealth that Queenslanders won’t stand for these kinds of cuts,” Mr Newman said.

    “It is the Commonwealth Government that’s caused this problem with pensioner cuts and increased charges. We’re very conscious of the ‘double whammy’ impact of the Federal Government’s changes to pensions and the removal of concessions funding.

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