Category: Get the facts

Liberal Leadership

Statement from Keith Pitt MP about the Liberal Leadership:

“Hinkler residents who contacted my office last week were evenly divided in their views about whether Tony Abbott should remain Prime Minister.

“Some thought unfavourable poll results and recent decisions made by Mr Abbott had made his position untenable.

“Others indicated they didn’t want the Coalition to lower itself to Labor’s standards. They said it should be the Australian public that decides the Prime Minister, and not the Liberal Party.

“The truth of the matter is Australia’s political structure is based on the UK Westminster system, and not the American Presidential model.

“On that basis, it is the Liberal Party that decides the Liberal leadership.

“The spill motion was defeated in the Liberal party room this morning, and now it’s time for the Coalition to get on with the job that voters elected us to do.

“As a Member of The Nationals, I am focussed on continuing to deliver outcomes for regional Australia.

“The people of Hinkler will continue to be my first priority!

“The Nationals remain a steadfast and united team; having had just 12 leaders in 95 years.

“Tony Abbott has said that the Coalition leadership team will be consultative; and Health Minister Sussan Ley’s visit to Hinkler last week to meet with local doctors was certainly a positive sign.”      

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‘NO’ to GST on fresh food

Statement from Keith Pitt MP:

“The Federal Government has no plans to change the GST – full stop.

“Fresh produce is exempt from GST.  

“I would strongly oppose any proposal to tax fresh fruit and vegetables.

“I encourage Australians to consume more locally grown produce to support Australian jobs.”  


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Multiplex not eligible for NDRRA funds

The following statement from a Government spokeswoman was sent to Hinkler media, in response to a story published by the NewsMail on November 20, 2014:

“Bundaberg Regional Council applied for funding from the Federal Government for their multiplex centre through the Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements (NDRRA).

“NDRRA is an initiative, jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments, to provide disaster relief and recovery assistance to communities impacted by natural disasters.

“NDRRA is primarily for the replacement of essential public assets to their pre-disaster standard. Requests for betterment, or to increase the disaster resilience of a damaged or destroyed asset, may also be made under the NDRRA.

“The Bundaberg Council’s proposed multiplex centre was assessed as being ineligible under current arrangements for NDRRA funding, as the multiplex will not replace a destroyed evacuation centre.

“Bundaberg Regional Council has since indiated it will apply for the funds through the Federal Government’s National Stronger Regions Fund, which is a more appropriate program for this project.

“Applications for the National Stronger Regions Fund close on November 28. Council’s application will be considered as part of that process.

“The Federal Government is committed to examining current disaster funding arrangements to determine whether there is a way that we can better support important resilience initiatives. That’s why we asked the Productivity Commission to undertake an independent inquiry into natural disaster funding arrangements.

“PCYC’s accomodation is a matter for the Council and State Government.”


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Unemployment has NOT spiked

Statement from Keith Pitt MP in response to a NewsMail story published on Friday Oct 3, which falsely claimed unemployment recently spiked:

“The local unemployment rate has not spiked. It first increased to 9.6 per cent under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd Government.

“In the final year of the Howard government, the local unemployment rate was just six per cent. That’s why, since being elected just 12 months ago, we have reinstated a number of the programs and policies first introduced by the Howard Government. Reducing the unemployment rate takes time.

“I fought hard to ensure two of the 18 communities selected nationally for the first phase of Work for the Dole are in the Hinkler electorate. Participants will gain skills and qualifications through the program, as well as meeting their mutual obligations to taxpayers.

“Long term unemployed young people will be eligible for job commitment bonuses when they have held down a job consistently for 12 months and two years.

“We’re providing loans of up to $20,000 to help apprentices complete their trade. And we’ve introduced a scholarship scheme for university students from low socio economic backgrounds and regional communities.

“I recognise that one of the major impediments to people finding work locally is the limited number of job vacancies. And so we’re providing funding to cover the costs associated with relocating to take up a job. We’ve introduced financial incentives for business too, when they hire a job seeker over the age of 50 who has been unemployed for at least six months.

“I’m proud to be part of a team that recognises that Governments don’t create jobs – businesses do!

“That’s why we’re building a strong economy and making it easier, not harder to do business in Australia. We’re cutting red and green tape to save businesses time and money. We’re providing support for businesses that want to start exporting their products to the world. We’re reviewing competition laws and concluding free trade agreements with our major trading partners.  And we’ve repealed the Carbon Tax.

“We’re giving business the confidence and stability they need to invest and employ.”


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Anzac Centenary Grants clarification

Statement from Keith Pitt in response to the media release issued by Bundaberg Regional Council on 11 March and published in the NewsMail on 12 March, 2014. 

“Applications for the Hinkler electorate only closed on January 31.

“They were assessed for eligibility by an independent local ANZAC grants committee and sent to the Minister for approval, prior to the May 30 deadline.

“The Hinkler committee alone received many, many local applications for funding.

“The guidelines clearly advise that due to the high number of applications nationally, the outcome of the applications will not be known for several months:

  • Due to the expected volume of applications that will be lodged, the time required to assess each application and provide recommendations to the Minister for decisions to be made will be lengthy and therefore the outcome of applications may not be known for several months after they have been lodged.

“This grant is to celebrate the Centenary of ANZAC in 2015. 

“It seems Councillor Barnes did not read the guidelines before submitting Council’s application.

“The initial application was submitted before applications closed, but was deferred by the independent committee because information was missing.   

“The process was explained to Councillor Barnes at length in person.

“Completing the Bargara Memorial in 2014, would result in the proposal failing to meet some of the major assessment criteria, including:

  • The ability of the proposal to enable the local community to commemorate the Centenary of the First World War.

“Any reasonable person would understand that the application process and construction of the memorial cannot be completed in less than three months, in time for Anzac Day 2014.

“If Council has decided to defer the project, that is a matter for them. These grants are for the 2015 Centenary, not 2014.

“If Council is desperate to build a new memorial for Bargara this year, they are welcome to do it with Council funding.

“It is deeply disappointing that Councillor Barnes has got this so wrong, and has chosen to politicise this very important commemorative event.

“The Centenary of Anzac Local Grants Program is a very worthwhile project and I look forward to announcing the successful applications later this year.” 


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Bundaberg has NOT been excluded from the NBN

Statement from Keith Pitt in response to the media release issued by Bundaberg Regional Council on 21 November, 2013. 

“Firstly, let me make it perfectly clear: the Abbott Government is committed to completing construction of the National Broadband Network and ensuring that all Australians have access to very fast broadband sooner, at less expense to taxpayers and more affordably for consumers. 

“We expect the NBN to be complete by the end of 2019, with at least 80 per cent of Australian households benefiting from a download rate of between 50 and 100 megabits per second.

“During a recent meeting with Council, I made it abundantly clear the maps had been amended to more accurately reflect the true progress of the rollout.

“Previous maps misleadingly described areas as being ‘under construction’ when in many cases they were, in fact, still in the stakeholder engagement phase, for example.

“The maps were devised by a Labor Government, desperate to obscure the slow progress of the roll out.

“Labor’s maps and their use of terms like ‘construction commenced’ have led to widespread confusion.   

“The Coalition made the decision to amend the maps to ensure members of the public are properly informed about the actual progress of the NBN.

“A strategic review of NBN Co is currently underway, and will be delivered to the Minister for Communications next month.”


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