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Nov 292012

The following is a speech made by Steve Minnikin MP, State Member for Chatsworth in the Queensland Parliament 28th November 2012. You can add comments and questions at the end.

(10.07 pm): I rise in this chamber to contribute to the debate on the Economic Development Bill 2012. I commend the Deputy Premier for his hard work and efforts in putting together such an essential piece of legislation that this state so desperately needs. It is certainly no easy feat to put together a bill that will be instrumental in rebuilding our great state of Queensland.

With the legacy of debt left by those economic illiterates sitting opposite the chamber and the struggling Queensland economy, this bill will most certainly get Queensland back on track. Queenslanders can rest assured that the Newman government is committed to fiscal responsibility without worrying about the waste that had occurred with the previous government of the day. It is time to introduce a bill that will assist Queensland to develop its economy to its full potential. The Economic Development Bill 2012 will help establish initiatives that will ensure that the Queensland economy has a step in the right direction.

It will mean that my constituents in the Chatsworth electorate will have faith that they have elected a representative who is part of a government that will deliver robust economic development. By building a strong economy in Queensland, we can ensure that we can keep the cost of living at a reasonable level—something that the previous government failed to do so miserably—to ensure that, most importantly, a solid economic foundation is left for our children instead of a cracking foundation of increasing debt.

It will ensure that this government is making sure that Queensland is really going places. The Newman government is committed to delivering on its election promises. The Economic Development Bill 2012 will amend legislation that is under the portfolio of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning. It will ensure the creation of an Economic Development Act as well as the Minister for Economic Development Queensland, a corporation sole, to make economic development actually happen, instead of the typical hype and spin seen by the previous Labor government. The ALP produced great shiny coffee table brochures that promised the world but delivered little. Governments are judged by what they actually do deliver, not by what they continually promise with hollow rhetoric and never-ending spin. Not only will this corporation strive to achieve economic development, it will ensure that community development is not neglected.

The Economic Development Bill 2012 will also play an important role in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. By establishing the Commonwealth Games Infrastructure Authority, together with the Minister for Economic Development, this bill will assist with planning and development of the Commonwealth Games village and other supporting infrastructure. By reporting through the channels of the Economic Development Board, it will ensure that Queensland delivers the best games possible, showcasing this wonderful state to the world.

The Chatsworth electorate will play an important part in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Some in this House might not be aware that the Belmont Shooting Range located in my electorate will be one of the host venues during the games.

[Government members interjected].

Mr MINNIKIN: I take all those interjections. Instead of building flashy new infrastructure, paid for with more debt, the Newman government is making great use of infrastructure that is—shock, horror!— already in place. That is far more practical than an indoor ski jump from the geniuses on the left.

[Mr Newman interjected].

Mr MINNIKIN: I take the interjection from the Premier. Queensland will be on show in 2018 with the Commonwealth Games and I am proud that my electorate will have the opportunity to host a small number of events in our little patch of Queensland. That is why it is important to me, like my colleagues surrounding me in the chamber, to support wholeheartedly the Economic Development Bill 2012.

The creation of the corporation called the Minister for Economic Development Queensland will replace the Minister for Industrial Development Queensland. It means that a sole corporation will be in place to promote and make it easier for Queenslanders to participate in economic development. It will streamline the processes to get infrastructure building again in this great state. By streamlining the planning processes it ensures that everyone knows that Queensland is well and truly again open for business.

With a background in property development, I know firsthand the red tape and duplication I suffered under the previous government. At times I often wondered why any sane person would want to develop and build in Queensland if all you were faced with was constant inefficient processes. As I have said in this House previously on many occasions, unlike this side of the chamber, those economic illiterates on that side, those seven soulless souls, know absolutely nothing about the real world of development, economics, terminal yields, capitalisation rates or internal rates of return. I may as well be speaking Martian! Time is money in the property development industry and the incompetence of the previous government was, in fact, costing businesses money. Holding costs that businesses simply could not afford, along with never-ending red tape, were driving people to invest their money elsewhere, certainly anywhere but in Queensland.

I wholeheartedly support the Economic Development Bill 2012 as I want to make sure the Newman government is able to make Queensland a far more attractive place for people to invest in economic development. With the Minister for Economic Development Queensland’s powers derived from this bill, it will ensure processes are in place to deal with competing priorities when complexity hampers opportunity for development in Queensland to benefit all. It will ensure that gaps or situations where planning provisions are no longer sufficient are properly dealt with to ensure that an essential development is able to proceed from a business perspective in a very timely manner. The Economic Development Bill 2012 will also make much needed amendments to the State Development and Public Works Organisation Act 1971. It will give much needed change to the processes that are required for infrastructure facilities of significance to be considered. With a background in property development and a masters degree in property economics, I am particularly pleased that the Coordinator-General will be tasked with streamlining the environmental impact statement assessment processes. In the previous government this pile of papers seemed to get longer, making it near impossible to progress without costly delays or red tape. I thoroughly commend this important bill to the House and I congratulate the Deputy Premier for showing true strategic vision. Thank you.

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