Subjects: LNP commitment of up to $10 million for PCYC in Pimpama; Labor’s youth crime crisis; cost of living pressures; Gladys Berejiklian; NDIS.
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Runaway Bay, which is centrally located in the electorate of Fadden. I’ve been out campaigning hard and listening to locals in the area of Fadden and there’s a clear message from them that crime and cost of living pressures are starting to bite.
So today, I’m here with the leader Peter Dutton to announce that a future LNP Government will commit to a contribution of up to $10 million for the construction of a PCYC in the Pimpama area. This is great news for the northern Gold Coast and for the people of Fadden.
We are concerned as a community about the level of crime that is going on and it is important that we have a plan to make sure that we see that improve and reduce in years to come. The message from the community is loud and clear that more needs to be done in the space of juvenile crime. Part of the solution is to make sure that we are delivering solutions so that the kids are put on the right path from the beginning.
So the announcement today of up to $10 million for a PCYC in Pimpama is great news for our community. We need to tackle juvenile crime at both ends, by making sure that we prevent it by putting children on the right pathway, and then by ensuring that the judiciary at the end, have the ability to make sure that they are appropriately sentencing offenders.
Here in Runaway Bay in 2013, I was fortunate enough to be part of a council that delivered this building, which is a youth centre where programming is run by the Wesley Mission. It has been extremely successful as being part of the solution for this local area, and I am sure that a PCYC in Pimpama will do exactly the same thing in delivering youth services for the electorate of Fadden.
This is an announcement today that I think will resonate with what people have been saying to me, that we need to see more done on youth crime. This Runaway Bay facility is a working example, over the last 10 years, of how successful these types of things can be.
I would now like to ask Peter to say a few words and welcome him again to the electorate. This is his second Friday visit in two weeks. I know that he has a deep concern for the by-election that’s coming up and I’m very much appreciative of his support as the leader and we welcome him again today to Runaway Bay.
Cameron, thank you very much. Firstly, I just want to acknowledge the work that Cameron’s done in bringing this announcement to fruition. It’s a very significant issue; law and order right across Queensland, but particularly here on the Gold Coast, and this by-election is an opportunity to select somebody who is going to be a champion for their local community, somebody who can deliver on the issues and respond to the needs of the local residents here.
Cameron’s demonstrated that over 12 years as a very effective local councillor. We were talking to some of the residents this morning he’s had interaction with, on different local issues, and been able to provide support to them and help them out, particularly in a time of need. He’s got runs on the board. You can see behind us a centre, as he said, that he delivered 10 years ago. It’s providing support to local youth workers, it’s providing an option for young kids, and diverting them away from crime and from time spent otherwise in a way that is not best for them and not best for the community.
So Cameron, I really want to acknowledge the work that you’ve already done, the runs that you have on the board, the successes that you’ve been able to achieve for your local community and now, with this announcement today – that a future LNP Government would deliver up to $10 million for a PCYC in Pimpama – it’s going to make it a reality for the Gold Coast.
I want the government to match this, and to put more money into the local community because the Prime Minister is taking money out of projects at the moment, taking money away from local projects that create jobs, that deal with the infrastructure and address the needs of local residents.
So, at a time when Labor is pulling money out of the Fadden electorate, we’re announcing that we want to put money into the Fadden electorate to provide support, to make a better lifestyle, an even better lifestyle, than what people can enjoy in this local community.
I very much also want to remind people that pre-polling starts on Monday. So please go down and vote early and you can avoid the queues on polling day on the 15th of July. Pre-polling opens Monday and it’s a good opportunity to get out there and vote early. I’m happy to take any questions.
Why PCYC in particular?
Well, we know that the model works. I was a police officer a long time ago, I remember working the PCYC in Townsville, I’ve done work in my electorate with the PCYC and we’ve provided them with funding and you can see the runs on the board that they get very quickly. They’ve got an established network, they’ve obviously got a very good understanding of youth crime issues, they know the other NGOs in the local community and they’re a trusted partner.
The Premier, obviously, has announced some funding towards PCYCs here in Queensland as well, but the money’s grossly inadequate – $50 million over 11 sites – it’s just not a reality, they’re not going to be able to deliver all of those sites. So the funding that we’re providing here will give us a first-class facility, it’ll help reduce crime in the local area and it’ll help those kids get on a better path.
It’s a pretty safe seat here in Fadden. I think earlier, before the pre-election process, you were talking a bit about how whoever wins will have an important role to play in the future Liberal Party and potential government, what role do you foresee for Cameron Caldwell?
Well, we’ve got to win the election first and by-elections are always tight, so we don’t take anything for granted. I just say to Australians, and particularly those who are living in Fadden, that at the moment cost of living pressures are acute and you’re finding it more and more expensive to live. When you go to the supermarket prices have gone up, when you get your electricity or your gas bill, prices will go up, and from tomorrow under Labor, electricity prices go up by up to 29 per cent.
So, they’ve delivered two budgets and they’ve made it harder for Australians, not easier and people in Fadden realise that after two budgets, Labor is making it harder for them and harder for their small businesses, harder for their local communities. So, it’s an opportunity to send the Prime Minister a very clear message that you’re not happy with the decisions that they’ve made and the cost of living pressures that they’re putting on families and small businesses.
It’s also an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is going to deliver on jobs, going to deliver on the issues that are important – particularly around crime and how you can reduce that crime in the local area. There’s only one candidate on the ballot paper – that’s Cameron Caldwell. The ballots open on Monday, it’s your opportunity to support Cameron and to get a great local champion, somebody who’s worked hard for his local community for 12 years already.
I think in Cameron, he has many attributes that we should be very proud of. One, he’s worked very hard for his local community, he will be a champion in Canberra for local residents here in Fadden, he has a demonstrated capacity as a small business owner, as a lawyer, as a father, as a husband, as somebody who’s worked hard and dedicated his life to his local community. They’re the attributes we look for in good local members, and they’re the attributes that serve people well when they’re in Parliament and opportunities arise because of the hard work that they do in the community.
You’ve flatly declared Gladys Berejiklian is not corrupt. Don’t those comments undermine the integrity of the Anti-Corruption Commission?
I think what undermines the integrity of the Integrity Commission is the fact that – as the Premier, the Labor Premier in New South Wales has pointed out – this has just taken way too long to deal with. I think that has been quite a disgraceful episode to be honest, and I believe very strongly in the credibility and the integrity of Gladys Berejiklian.
I’ve known Gladys for a long period of time. I’ve worked with her, I know that she has put every effort possible into making New South Wales a better place. She’s well respected in the community and I don’t believe for one moment that she is corrupt. I believe very strongly that she’s a person of the highest integrity and I think she should stand with her head held high and be very proud of the contribution that she made to New South Wales as a very effective Premier.
One more on the NDIS, this morning one of the original architects said the scheme isn’t working as intended, that people are being forced to present, ‘the worst version of themselves’ or risk missing out on receiving support. Should there be more support measures, programs outside of the scheme? And if so, what should they look like?
I genuinely worry that the NDIS is not sustainable under Labor and I say that for a couple of reasons. I mean one is that Bill Shorten was one of the architects of the NDIS. The NDIS is an incredibly important program. It provides equity and it provides support to those who are most in need – profoundly disabled – and it’s a very important program, but it needs to be sustainable.
At the moment you’ve got the Treasurer saying one thing, the Minister, Mr Shorten saying another. It’s clear that there’s a split within the government about how the NDIS should be managed and I think the people who miss out in that scenario are those who are on the NDIS. I really do worry that as we see with other programs, Labor just can’t manage money.
They’re killing the economy at the moment and they’re making it harder for families. After two budgets, the Prime Minister hasn’t delivered the plan he spoke about before the election. He promised on 97 occasions that he would reduce power bills by $275 – he’s never mentioned that figure once since he’s been elected.
Whether it’s the NDIS program, whether it’s aged care, it doesn’t matter where you look at across Labor’s mismanagement at the moment, Australians are the ones who are paying the price for Labor’s bad decisions and for their inaction.
I think most Australians at the moment see it when they go to the supermarket – you’re paying more and more for your groceries because the price of electricity and gas is going up for the producers.
We were at the cafe this morning – the food costs have gone up dramatically there and that’s because the producers of food are paying higher electricity and gas prices under Labor’s bad energy policy, and ultimately, that’s what feeds and fuels inflation. That’s why we’ve got higher interest rates; it’s why inflation and interest rates will stay higher for longer under the decisions, or as a result of the decisions made by this government.
In this by-election, it’s a good opportunity to send a message to the Prime Minister that he’s not done well enough and he’s making decisions that are really hurting families at the moment. That’s why, when pre-polling opens on Monday, I hope people can go there, vote early and vote for Cameron Caldwell because we want a great champion – somebody who could work really hard for you in Fadden – and Cameron is that candidate.
Thank you very much.