Gavin King, LNP member for Cairns, on the State Government's first 100 days
AS the State LNP Government reaches the 100-day milestone, Gavin King, LNP member for Cairns, has his say on the way things have panned outWhich of the First 100 Day actions has had, or will have, the most profound effect on your electorate and why?
Our cost of living measures didn`t get a lot of publicity here in Cairns but our measures effective from July 1 will save money for families in my electorate.
Homes on electricity tariff 11 through Ergon Energy will have that tariff frozen for the next 12 months.
Rego on non-business cars and utes will be frozen for our first term, with business vehicles and utes capped at CPI.
If people buy a home, they will save up to $7000 because we reinstated the stamp duty concession. We have scrapped the waste levy, a cost burden on business that was passed on to consumers.
That is matched by our pledge to cut waste and reduce the massive deficit and debt we inherited, which will ease the need for our government to raise taxes, fees and charges to pay the state`s bills in the way the previous Labor Government was forced to do.
We haven`t heard much about the plans for greater access into Trinity Inlet. What work has progressed on dredging and when will we know whether it`s going ahead?
Dredging and improving marine access to Trinity Inlet is a complicated process that we are committed to delivering.
We are working through the extensive report commissioned by the previous government and finding a lot of elements that don`t stack up.
We have identified numerous environmental hurdles courtesy of the Federal Government and we are working through those.
Cruise companies have told us how much they want and need improved access to Trinity Inlet and we are committed to doing just that.
We know, for example, there is huge potential for one of the small to medium sized cruise companies to home port in Cairns and that holds huge economic potential for our city.
Delivery of the 100 Day Action Plan has coincided with job cuts in the public sector as the Newman Government aims to reduce state debt. How will you ensure service delivery isn`t impacted by these job cuts?
For the past 12 months before and after the election we have always said that frontline services are our absolutely priority.
That has not changed.
I have met with several regional managers of departments here in Cairns and they have confirmed to me that no frontline staff have been impacted and I have told them to let me know the minute that changes.
In fact, in areas such as police we are increasing service delivery and frontline officers with 15 new police announced for our city.
Outside the party`s action plan for the first 100 days, what have you achieved for your electorate so far?
We have released the Cairns Crime Action Plan in response to long-standing crime problems in our city.
That initiative has proved so successful other cities across Queensland such as Townsville have now followed with their own Crime Action Plans. Through that we have secured an extra 15 police officers for Cairns and set numerous goals, targets and actions to tackle law and order issues.
I have launched a campaign to create a smoke-free zone at Cairns Base Hospital, which we will have an announcement on soon. I have had numerous meetings with airlines and tourism bodies to secure direct flights with Asia, and we are close to finalising those deals.
I have put forward a number of proposals to Cairns Regional Council to reinvigorate our tired CBD and launched a CBD Working Group to work on initiatives such as transforming the Chinese New Year festival into a true street festival on Grafton St and launching a project to convert existing buildings into residential apartments. We have received more than 350 inquiries from constituents in the first 100 days and I am pleased that we have resolved or referred on to appropriate agencies the majority of those inquiries.
And what`s your immediate focus now that the first 100 days are over?
I will continue with the focus of our first 100 days.
That is identifying and cutting waste and red tape that has built over the past 20 years of Labor rule, securing direct flights with Asia, revitalising our CBD, tackling crime, bringing back business confidence and revitalising our economy. Now that the new local hospital boards are operational, I will also begin work with chair Bob Norman and the board to get Far North Queenslanders the hospital and health services we have been deprived of for so long.
While there are tough economic decisions ahead, I am incredibly excited and confident about the bright future of our great city.
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Q&A: Gavin King, LNP member for Cairns.