In regional Queensland you can always be guaranteed a terrific Australia Day, and this year has been no exception.
I had the privilege of attending the South Burnett Australia Day Awards presentation at Nanango State High School and congratulating our local recipients.
I was also asked to present this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the ceremonies, and was very proud to do so.
Australia Day Awards are an important part of our annual celebrations, and a great way to honour people who work so hard to make our communities such great places to live.
Australia Day was also a particularly special day for my family as this year my mum, Robyn Stiller, was recognised with the Wandoan & District Citizen of the Year Award by the Western Downs Regional Council.
It was wonderful to be there to celebrate with my family.
Mum is an inspiration and one of my role models when it comes to serving the community – well done mum!
The official opening of Nanango’s new police station was a proud moment for the town.
As the Local Member, my priority continues to be securing infrastructure and funding for the South Burnett, and the completion of the Nanango Police Station was one of those priority projects.
In 2014 the LNP announced funding had been committed to completely overhaul both the Nanango and Kingaroy Police Stations.
The official opening of the Nanango Station is a fantastic outcome for our region and it makes me really proud to know that Nanango now has such an amazing new facility.
Our police officers in Nanango did a remarkable job in what was a very old and run down building, so they thoroughly deserve this new station.
Another terrific event that I attended this month was joining with Blackbutt community members to celebrate the official unveiling of new, life-size bronze statue immortalising Australian tennis great Roy Emerson.
It was an historic and momentous occasion to honour Blackbutt’s home-grown hero, who made a special trip back to Blackbutt for the statue’s unveiling.
I especially want to pay tribute to the volunteers from the Blackbutt and District Tourism and Heritage Association.
They deserve enormous congratulations for their commitment to commissioning the statue and their daily commitment to staffing the Roy Emerson Museum.
They did an amazing job in raising funding for the statue, which will now provide locals and tourists with an insight into this wonderfully talented tennis player and his connection to Blackbutt and the South Burnett.
Earlier this month Annastacia Palaszczuk released her second infrastructure pipeline after nearly two years in office. But for those of us who live in regional Queensland the pipeline was empty, yet again.
It’s a terrible double standard that regional Queenslanders need to call Palaszczuk on.
There is no starker example of the growing divide between regional Queensland and SEQ under Annastacia Palaszczuk than Labor’s lack of investment in infrastructure.
So far, Annastacia Palaszczuk’s hand-picked, Brisbane based bureaucrats have assessed $7.4 billion of infrastructure in South East Queensland as being ready for government investment.
Yet not one project in regional Queensland has been given the green light.
According to Building Queensland and Annastacia Palaszczuk there are no projects in regional Queensland worthy of government funding.
Meanwhile, tens of thousands of jobs have disappeared from regional Queensland in the last 12 months and in some places youth unemployment is above 30 per cent.
Regional Queenslanders are missing out and the gap between the haves and the have nots is widening.
Regional Queenslanders need and deserve better infrastructure, that’s why one of the first policy commitments the LNP made was to bring back Royalties for Regions, a program that delivered over $700 million of infrastructure to regional Queensland.
Infrastructure like safer roads, better services and stronger more resilient communities.
Labor scrapped this program as well as $3b from the LNP’s fully-funded infrastructure program. That means potholed roads, rundown services, less jobs and fewer opportunities.
Unlike Labor, the LNP has a plan for regional Queensland.
An LNP Government will work hard to close the gap between regional Queensland and South East Queensland.
I’ll be heading back to Parliament during February, keeping a strong regional presence for the Nanango Electorate, and I will continue to make it my priority to fight every day to make sure our communities get their fair share.
[Photos: Nanango Electorate Office & southburnett.com.au]