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Oct 292014

Steve MinnikinThe following is a speech given in State Parliament by Steve Minnikin, member for Chatsworth, on 29th October. You can leave questions and comments at the end.

I wish to rise to speak in favour of the Queensland Plan ratification motion and make a brief contribution on behalf of the people of Chatsworth whom I am incredibly proud to represent. If you do not plan, you plan to fail. It is a mantra that I have lived by most of my professional life. Therefore, it is only natural that the Queensland Government should have a long-term strategic plan for our great state. The community have called for a strategic direction for Queenslanders and the Queensland Plan is exactly what they need. We all know that over three decades governments will come and go. However, the Queensland Plan is a 30-year strategic document that will continue to be a part of Queensland’s journey no matter how the electoral cycle turns out.

I was proud to be included in the two summits held in Mackay and Brisbane. Also I subsequently held discussions with the Chatsworth Queensland Plan Consultation Group on a regular basis during the community consultation period. Chatsworth residents were also given the opportunity to discuss and provide feedback in the numerous community forums that were held across the electorate during this period. The one held with Stefan from the CSIRO was a real highlight. It was held at the Whites Hill State College. Thirty years is a significant period. Therefore, I found it vitally important to include school age children who are our future generation of Queenslanders. Therefore, I conducted a Queensland Plan competition with local schools to get their perspective on how they felt Queensland should look in the future.

Whether it was coloured in or written down, I encouraged all local Chatsworth school students to express what they thought Queensland might look like in 30 years’ time. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the entries and awarded Tingalpa State School with a school-wide pizza party for several hundred students to celebrate submitting the most entries, carting in box load after box load of pizza. They loved it and so did I! The Queensland Plan created a real buzz in the electorate—none more so than the school kids, who will indeed be adults in 30 years’ time.

As someone who has worked for private corporate organisations, I am fully aware of the need for a strategic plan. Many people have commented to me over the years as to why the government does not have a long-term strategic vision. I totally concur, which is why it was music to my ears when the Premier outlined this process. The Premier showed vision and leadership by undertaking a similar process within Brisbane city when he was the mayor, and I absolutely commend the Premier for his initiative to bring this opportunity to all Queenslanders. Indeed, I too worked on a strategic vision exercise many years ago when I worked for the Redlands Shire Council. I was heavily involved in what was then called the vision 1995-2005 exercise and it was a real runaway success. I know firsthand the benefit of setting a long-term strategic vision in the public arena.

Queensland, as we all know, is indeed a great state with great opportunities and our prosperity as a state will only increase with the implementation of the Queensland Plan, aka the people’s plan. Like many of my colleagues on this side of the chamber, I stress that it is not the LNP’s plan; it is the people of Queensland’s plan. The performance of the opposition leader in this chamber will be referred to for years to come when people refer back to this historic debate. I do not propose to give her any more air time other than to say that I thought the member for Inala was bigger than that performance in this chamber an hour or so ago. Hansard will show that I was wrong, as she tried to politicise over 80,000 Queenslanders’ desire to have a democratic say in the vision for their state. Everyone will be accountable to the Queensland Plan: local governments will have to include aspects of the strategic direction of the plan, and obviously the state government with the departments will also need to ensure that their policies, services and programs incorporate elements of the plan. Additionally, the Premier will be required to provide an annual progress report on the implementation of the Queensland Plan and table a copy here in this chamber on a yearly basis. The key aspect that shone through the process was the absolute commitment towards education being the cornerstone of the state’s ongoing economic and social progress and a desire to see the state grow in the regions, not just the south-east.

Finally, I wish to place on record my thanks to Chatsworth summit delegates Allan Todd, Wayne Cameron, Eloise Slade and Darren Barker, who attended various Queensland Plan summits as part of the Chatsworth electorate’s contribution to the overall Queensland Plan. May I also place on the public record my sincere appreciation for the dozen or so members of the Chatsworth Queensland Plan consultation group and last, but not least, the hundreds of Chatsworth residents who took the time to attend the forums or participate in providing feedback online. I take this opportunity to congratulate the Premier and the Minister for Environment and Heritage Protection for the superb job they have both done on this ambitious people’s plan. I lend total support to the motion to ratify the Queensland Plan.

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