Bravehearts founder to run for Queensland seat
CHILD protection campaigner Hetty Johnston, who's running as an independent in the Queensland election, says both major parties have failed vulnerable kids.
Ms Johnston, a former Queensland Australian of the Year and founder of child protection group Bravehearts, will contest the new Beenleigh-centred seat of Macalister at the November 25 poll.
"I want to get my bum on a seat and I want to start thumping the table until we're doing everything possible to make sure we're nurturing, protecting and prioritising the children of today, who are the Australians of tomorrow," she said.
LNP ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR MUCH MALIGNED RAIL LINE
THE LNP will spend $600 million on the long-delayed Nambour rail line duplication as it launches a fight back against a One Nation incursion on the Sunshine Coast.
The 17km line duplication between Landsborough and Beerburrum is intended to ease traffic on the Bruce Highway and governments delaying constriction has been a bugbear for residents.
The Sunshine Coast region is expected to record a high One Nation vote.
This morning Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said an LNP Government would fund half the project while they would seek the remaining $300 million from the Federal Government's Rail Infrastructure Fund.
He said the construction would employ 1800 people and the duplication would increase capacity by 25 per cent in peak times.
"This is an opportunity for jobs, an opportunity for people to be able to get to work quicker and get home quicker, not to be sitting in traffic in the roads and not to be wondering when the next train is coming along," he said.
The long-delayed rail line duplication was announced in 2008 by the Bligh Government was intended to be complete by 2012.
Work never started, but Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson has previously said the project would be a vote winner in the area.
The LNP promised the duplication in the 2015 campaign.
Since then both major parties have shied away from committing funds to the expensive project, but One Nation's Steve Dickson has promised the duplication.
It is through the seat of Caloundra as well as Glass House, held by Andrew Powell with a notional 0.9 per cent margin after the redistribution and is considered at risk from One Nation.
It also impacts on Buderim, held by Mr Dickson who defected from the LNP, and Nicklin held by independent Peter Wellington.
The duplication tops Build Queensland's list of priorities.
Stage 1,which the LNP committed to this morning is 17km, and requires no resumptions. Work would start immediately and construction be completed in the first term of government.
The LNP would start planning the second stage, extending a further 23km to Nambour.
Robert Dow, spokesman for public transport advocates Rail Back on Track welcomed the annoucment.
"The upgrade is many years overdue and will enhance passenger and rail freight services.
"We understand the initial committment is for stage 1 - Beerburrum to Landsborough North. It is important that with the further stages and improvements north of Landsborough that these be on the new alignment rather than just passing loops on the present 19th Century track alignment."
PREMIER'S $134M BID TO REGAIN VITAL NORTHERN SEATS
ANNASTACIA Palaszczuk has announced a $134 million tourism package during her first campaign stop in Cairns this morning.
Labor needs to hold two seats, Mulgrave and Barron River, and reclaim two, Cairns and Cook, in the region.
Under the package about $48 million would be spent on attracting flights and cruises, $36 million on improving regional tourism infrastructure and $25 million on upgrading Great Barrier Reef resorts.
A further $25 million will be spent rejuvenating Great Keppel Island.
GREENS PROMISE $1 BUS FARES FOR ALL
THE Greens have released their plan to tackle southeast Queensland's traffic congestion saying they will introduce a flat fee of $1 for anyone who catches a bus, no matter how far the journey.
The plan they describe as "radical" would also see anyone under the age of 18 travel for free.
South Brisbane Greens candidate Amy MacMahon, who carries the hopes for the party in the upcoming election said their plan would abolish zones within the city and ensure a high frequency service on every major road.
"People don't catch buses or trains because they are too expensive, too unreliable and too hard to use. Those who do use public transport spend too much money, and wait too long," Ms MacMahon said.
"We'll ensure everyone can afford to use buses, trains and the ferry with flat $1 fares. People under 18 will travel free.
"Under the Greens, buses and trains will become both quicker and cheaper, making it more attractive than driving. Less traffic jams will save money, reduce stress, help our environment, and make our city a much more pleasant place to live, work and play."
The party is yet to release any detail on how they would be able to implement the new policy should they win a seat in the upcoming election or how much it would cost tax payers to implement.
PREMIER IN FIGHT TO WIN BACK REGION
PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk will start day four of the state election campaign in Cairns, keen to help her local candidates resecure a region which Labor lost to internal issues.
Member for Cairns Rob Pyne quit the party to become an independent, while Cook MP Billy Gordon was famously ousted from the party after undisclosed criminal history surfaced.
Speaking to Sky News on Tuesday evening, Ms Palaszczuk said it was important to regain those electorates as the party works towards the magic number of 47 electorates which would lift it from minority to governing in its own right.
"We used to hold Cairns and we used to hold Cook and I need them back," Ms Palaszczuk told Sky News.
The battle for Cook was made much easier on Tuesday when Mr Gordon announced he wouldn't recontest the seat, endorsing Labor's Cynthia Liu.
The premier will also remain on the lookout for anti-Adani protestors, having successfully dodged further disruptions on Tuesday after the first two days of the campaign, including her commencement speech, were dogged by protests.