Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 117


Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (19:45): I rise to mark a victory in the campaign against Labor's lockout laws in Queensland. The Queensland Labor government has finally backflipped and it has scrapped its lockouts. Brisbane will get to keep its vibrant nightlife, and thousands of jobs—especially youth jobs—will be saved. We can keep supporting our live music and arts industry, and aspiring musicians and DJs, plus all the small businesses we love in places like the CBD and Fortitude Valley.

With the support of many Brisbane locals, I campaigned strongly against the lockout laws—not just against the impacts on our nightlife and local jobs but also against a nanny-state approach that would seek to punish the majority for the sins of a few. I believed, and I still believe, that more targeted policy, new technology and evidence-based decision making would be better than a blanket ban, and indeed it seems the government has signalled that it will look at other ways, like ID scanning or targeting repeat offenders, which I support.

The fight is not completely won; there is more to be achieved. While the l am lockout laws have been defeated and scrapped, the first tranche of Labor's nightlife regulations still exist and deserve review. But most critically, as a next step we have to come together to tackle violence in our nightlife precincts. Some of my election commitments will help, such as community safety and crime prevention measures in the CBD and the valley. But there is also an ongoing need to address behaviours and attitudes around violence.

The campaign that has been launched by our safe night precinct, called 'Don't Stop the Fun', is one the best educational campaigns I have seen in this space, and it should help to connect with the intended audience. Changing behaviour can of course be a gradual process, but as a community we can do something to curb binge drinking and all forms of violence. I encourage everyone concerned to check out the campaign at dontstopthefun.com.au.

As a relatively new MP still, it does feel good, I must admit, to see proof that we can work together as a community and make a real difference, and there is a significant list of priorities for us to keep working on. We have been fortunate in Brisbane to have the Prime Minister visit us several times in recent months.

Firstly, the Prime Minister and the Minister for Urban Infrastructure visited Brisbane to meet with the state government, as well as with the Brisbane Lord Mayor, Councillor Graham Quirk, to make a funding commitment towards our city's infrastructure planning. The additional funding is being provided, I am very pleased to say, specifically to ensure that early planning works by the state government for the Cross River Rail project can begin in a way that will complement the Brisbane City Council's Brisbane Metro project.

Brisbane needs infrastructure investments to tackle looming bottlenecks for both buses and trains, so I am keen to ensure that all three levels of government work together to achieve complementary outcomes. Bus and train infrastructure of the future will need to be integrated, in the sense that we need transport hubs to allow people to change modes of transport as efficiently as possible. I have been worried, especially with a state election looming, that politics would intervene and the two projects would be conflated or may even be seen as conflicting rather than complimentary. Time will tell, but the funding commitment we just made, I hope, should ameliorate some of those risks.

A few weeks ago, the Prime Minister and I also visited the Women's Big Bash League—the Brisbane Heat in training at the Allan Border Field in Albion. It was great to support women's sport, as well as look at some local facilities and highlight the importance, as well as the challenges, around sporting participation in city areas.

This year, I am looking forward to working hard to deliver on many more of my election commitments. In 2017 I have a long list of projects that I fought for—for local schools and community groups. Some highlights certainly include the Brisbane Broncos Centre of Excellence in Red Hill, which will be boosted to ensure all locals can better access and enjoy the facilities and the nearby bike paths. A further $760,000 will be delivered, going to projects cleaning up the Brisbane River and rejuvenating local creek catchments.

On the national scene, in the last six months and since this government became the first Commonwealth government in 12 years to be re-elected in its own right, we have delivered tax cuts for middle-income Australians; made $11 billion of budget repair so far, and counting; we have fixed some of Labor's rorted schemes in child care and VET FEE-HELP; we have listed 2,000 new medicines on the PBS; we have delivered landmark funding for the prevention of domestic violence—and I would like to highlight the member for Leichhardt's contribution just before me on that topic; and, obviously, we have reintroduced the ABCC and the Registered Organisations Commission.

Next up, I am looking forward to achieving tax cuts for my local small businesses; further hard-fought gains, of course, in the ongoing challenge around budget repair; and, hopefully; stripping out the ideology from energy policy and looking at how a focus on technology, science and engineering solutions can help us to provide more reliable and more affordable energy while we simultaneously continue to meet and beat our international environmental obligations. Bring on 2017!