Hon. MC de BRENNI (Springwood—ALP) (Minister for Housing and Public Works and Minister for Sport) (5.35 pm)
I commend this budget, the effects of which are already being felt across Queensland but especially so in my electorate of Springwood. This is a budget which delivers jobs and security to the people of Queensland. I want to talk about my community of Springwood first of all. The Daisy Hill State Forest is the living, breathing heart of Springwood, a piece of natural bushland in the middle of a city which is home to a precious koala population. It is a beloved place for many people of the electorate of Springwood, me included, and I have been working with and listening to the people of Springwood who have told me how much they value Daisy Hill and want to see it protected and enhanced, particularly for the benefit of future generations. I am pleased to be able to say that this Labor government has listened to the people of Springwood in the preparation of this budget and delivered $3.3 million for the first stage of a 10-year project to grow Daisy Hill State Forest into the leading urban conservation and recreation destination in South-East Queensland. I want to thank everyone who took the time to share their vision of Daisy Hill with me and the department and I would also like to thank my good friend Minister Steven Miles for also listening to the views and aspirations of that community in the development of the plan for Daisy Hill. Turning to portfolio matters, I want to discuss the 10-year Queensland Housing Strategy. On Monday, as the House knows, I stood with the Premier of Queensland, the Deputy Premier and the Treasurer to announce the Palaszczuk government’s new $1.8 billion Housing Strategy. The Housing Strategy will have an immense impact on our economy in Queensland. It will open up opportunities. It will also transform the lives of tens of thousands of Queenslanders. This is very much down to the hard work and dedication of the staff of the Department of Housing and Public Works. The policy that sits behind the Housing Strategy was 18 months in the making, and I am advised that my department ran one of the most extensive consultation programs the state has seen. They engaged heavily with stakeholders from the homelessness sector right through to the property sector and everyone in between. We set ourselves a significant challenge to build a housing strategy for all Queenslanders, and that is exactly what we have delivered. In saying that, I particularly thank my director-general, Liza Carroll, my deputy director-general, Christine Castley, general manager of housing services, Trish Wooley, executive director of strategy, Emma Ogilvy, and executive director of corporate communications, Janine Scott. I thank them for their tireless efforts over the development of the strategy and their continued commitment to its implementation. While most Queenslanders will go on with their lives without thinking too much about what each line of the budget says, those lines will change for the better the lives of millions of people. Through the efforts of the staff of the Department of Housing and Public Works, we have challenged our stakeholders Speech By Hon. Mick de Brenni MEMBER FOR SPRINGWOOD Record of Proceedings, 16 June 2017 Mick_de Brenni-Springwood-20170616-966867650730.docx Page 2 of 3 over the past year. As a result, we have redefined our approach to housing. We have challenged the way that we in government do things and, critically, challenged ourselves to find a much better way of delivering for people that matter: everyday Queenslanders. This week, the Premier and I launched the Queensland Housing Strategy 2017-27. It is based on the fundamental principle that every Queenslander deserves a safe, secure and affordable place to call home. Of course, we all know that many rely on the help of our departmental staff to achieve that outcome. Our government is making a significant investment in the Housing Strategy, $1.8 billion over 10 years. It is an investment that recognises the importance of the workforce of the Department of Housing and Public Works across the state—together, of course, with our partners in the community sector and the private sector, whether they are developing in partnership with us, delivering our construction program or working closely with local governments and Indigenous councils across the state. The department’s reputation for delivery was an enormous support in helping me secure the funds for the Housing Strategy. It is a reputation that has been well known in Queensland over many decades and generations. It was a reputation confirmed recently yet again when every Queenslander saw how effectively and compassionately the staff of the Department of Housing and Public Works assisted those displaced by Cyclone Debbie and, of course, how quickly and skilfully our department repaired the schools and other government assets so they were available to the community soon after. In particular, I thank the men and women of Housing and Homelessness Services and, of course, Building and Asset Services for their extraordinary effort during the Cyclone Debbie response and now recovery. I place on record that it is because of the commitment and dedication of those staff that now we have the opportunity to support even more of our fellow Queenslanders to enjoy lives of dignity, security and full of opportunity. A cornerstone of our new direction is taking a person centred approach to delivering high-quality and tailored housing response services which will be flexible and personalised to meet the needs of individuals. People will be empowered to make decisions that take control over those outcomes that impact their lives. We are undertaking a quite significant agenda and, of course, will not be able to do it alone. The Housing Strategy includes a new approach to building collaborative partnerships with local government, industry, service providers and the community which will allow us to transform the way that we deliver housing and homelessness services across Queensland. The strategy is a significant investment in building over 5,000 new homes over the next 10 years. The good news in addition to that is that that creates 450 jobs in the construction sector each year across those 10 years. Again, the efforts and effects of this budget are already being felt across Queensland. Expressions of interest opened, coinciding with the Treasurer’s budget speech, to be part of the Palaszczuk government’s housing construction jobs program which underpins the Housing Strategy. From small builders through to the state’s largest developers, this program will deliver one of the strongest pipelines of work in the construction sector that Queensland has seen and will support the 200,000 subcontractors, tradespeople and their families who rely on the building and construction sector. The budget will deliver an historic investment to build at least 5,000 new homes in the next 10 years, so that will see good news for plumbers, carpenters, earthmovers, electricians, concreters, brickies and the finishing trades who all will benefit from what is a record spend. Regional and remote communities, of course, are fundamentally important to a successful statewide economy. They will receive a triple benefit from our $144 million government employee housing construction and upgrade program. That will see our front-line teachers, nurses, doctors, police and policy officers in remote and regional Queensland housed in accommodation befitting of their contribution and commitment to service delivery in some of the most remote places in the country. The Palaszczuk government will also make a long-term investment in tourism infrastructure, with $176 million to extend the Cairns Convention Centre. That effort will see that Convention Centre precinct become one of the top entertainment hubs in the nation. The Treasurer mentioned this earlier in the week, but the effort in respect of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is significant. We will be supporting the effective move towards home ownership with $75 million to address the entrenched disadvantage that currently exists in terms of a very low rate of home ownership. We will turn that around as quickly as possible. This is an important step towards reconciliation with our state’s first people. It will help open the doorway to independence and continue the good work being done by all of my colleagues and successive governments in closing the gap on Indigenous disadvantage. The state budget has been a direct result of consultation across the state. This Labor budget will deliver jobs for Queenslanders, deliver security and see investment. Mick_de Brenni-Springwood-20170616-966867650730.docx Page 3 of 3 I want to touch on sport. The budget delivers for Queensland sport. I am sure everyone agrees that Queensland is a powerhouse for sport. We absolutely punch above our weight not just on the national stage but internationally. Our female athletes equal our male athletes in terms of talent, ability and sheer dedication. But it is time that we supported Queensland’s girls and women with the infrastructure they deserve. That is why in this year’s budget we have committed $15 million over two years to the Palaszczuk government’s Female Facilities Fund. We have done that because far too many barriers still exist for women’s participation. One of the simplest and most fundamental barriers I believe is a lack of female change facilities at sporting facilities. We will support our female athletes from young children just starting out right through to our elite sportswomen such as our Brisbane Lions champions and our Sunshine Coast Lightning to whom, of course, we all send our best wishes for the inaugural netball league final tomorrow night. We also are supporting sport right across the state. We will invest $64.3 million in grassroots sport and recreation. It is so important to encourage young people to lead active and healthy lifestyles. There is $10.8 million into the state development program, $20.6 million in new funding over four years for Stadiums Queensland to ensure that we continue to have the nation leading sporting facilities that host extraordinary sporting and entertainment events, and $4.9 million for the Indigenous Community Sport and Recreation Program and the Torres Strait community sport and recreation program. All in all, it is a budget for all Queenslanders. It is a budget for the community that I call home. It is a budget that delivers both strength and stability to Queensland businesses and it is a budget which recognises that what really makes Queensland special is its people. I commend the budget to the House.