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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13289


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (11:57): No-one enjoys the emotional task of having to sack someone. No-one likes to be sacked. It is an undertaking that I have had to do, from time to time, being an employer with over 105 permanent staff and contractors. But there is a reason it gets done, and hopefully through the course of this overview I will share those views with you, from a Queensland perspective.

I would like to speak a little bit about the overview of Sunfish and what the state government of Queensland is doing to support Sunfish. Sunfish puts itself forward as the peak recreational fishing organisation in Queensland.; However, a recent state-wide survey of recreational fishers in Queensland found that only three per cent of recreational fishers, of which there are 21,000 in Queensland, were actually affiliated with the recreational fishing body. Expenditures on recreational fishing services for the 2012-13 budget in Queensland will still be in excess of $10 million for the year. They will be broken down to include compliance, surveillance and enforcement including boat ramp signage and community service announcements in excess of $3.2 million. In addition to that: communication and education programs, including a free handbook for recreational fishers of half a million dollars; fish stocks and recovery programs, pest fish education and marine habitat protection of $2 million; research monitoring and reporting activities of $2.8 million; and scientific assessment and policy development of $2 million. Campbell Newman and the state LNP team are not walking away. Yes, there are reductions and there are reductions because the state is running out of money—and I will come to that.

In the process of these monies and jobs being wound back not one person in Queensland, who enjoys taking their kids, or going out and having a recreational fish, will lose the right to go and have a fish. We have just had to pare back some of the funding across all sectors of the community. The recreational fishing user fee contributes about $4.4 billion, and for everyone in Queensland who owns a boat, part of their registration goes towards this service. These revenues continue to be allocated for the ongoing management of recreation fishing with 75 per cent of SIPS's monies returning directly to the regional fishing stocking groups. This spending demonstrates the government's continued commitment to recreational fishing, and that is additional to the $10 million election commitment that will see this enhanced for the buybacks.

I mentioned earlier in my opening comments that I was going to allude to why some of these drastic measure are being undertaken. Recently, in Queensland we had a commission of audit report, which I will come to. There were three eminent persons who sat on that board. There was Professor Sandra Harding, Vice-Chancellor and President of James Cook University. She was educated at the Australian National University with 14 years of comprehensive experience. Mr Doug McTaggart brings strong leadership to the commission having held various senior positions in the private and public sectors. He is currently the Chairman for the Public Service Commission and a member of the Public Sector Renewal Board, a member of the COAG Reform Council, a councillor on the National Competition Council, and a director of Suncorp Ltd and UGL Ltd. These people are no dills when it comes to handling money. In addition to, that they had the honourable Peter Costello, who was the Treasurer for the Commonwealth for a record term. For more than a decade Peter Costello was a governor of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. He was also a member of the committee of the International Monetary Fund and has been chairman of the OECD Ministerial Council and APEC financial ministers. He was involved in the establishment of the G20 after the Asian financial crisis and was the global chairman of the G20 in 2006. So you are making the assumption that some of those guys actually know a little bit about fiscal management.

Bear with me and listen to their damning report on the previous Labor government's fiscal management of that state and why today a motivated LNP government and Campbell Newman are having to make these tough decisions. It is disturbing to report that in recent years the government of Queensland embarked on unsustainable levels of spending which have jeopardised the financial position of the state. Queensland has moved from a position of considerable financial strength just six years ago to, today, a position of weakness. Campbell Newman has a tough job ahead of him and I applaud him. If you want to help out Campbell, pop up and thank him for the work that he is doing in Queensland. (Time expired)

Debate adjourned.