James speaks in Parliament against another increase in vehicle registration

Tuesday 17th September 2019

 “I rise to speak in favour of the disallowance motion standing in the name of the member for Chatsworth, and I am proud to do so. I am standing up for the families and the small businesses of my electorate of Southern Downs against this outrageous hike in registration which would continue a succession of increases in rego which are above inflation, which I think is disgraceful. The incomes of the people in my electorate of Southern Downs—the farmers, the small businesses, the families—are not going up faster than inflation, so it is vital that this government makes sure that it spends within its means and it spends the money properly rather than wasting it on the things that it wastes it on.

I will never sit in this chamber and take lectures from the Labor Party about fiscal rectitude and about economic management. I have heard the member for Kurwongbah, the member for Lytton and the member for Ipswich talk about how there are consequences to people by cutting the cost of registration. I will tell them what the answer is: you spend the money better. You stop wasting it like this government has proclivities for doing. We see the most appalling economic management and wasteful spending by this government. We have heard asset sells mentioned over and over in the chamber today. Who sold all the assets? The Labor Party has sold itself into shame. Those opposite are absolutely in no way fit and proper people to talk about asset sales in this place. The Queensland Motorways was sold. Abbot Point— “

Those opposite sold off the Abbot Point port, QR National, the Port of Brisbane, Forestry Plantations, the Cairns Airport, the Mackay Airport, the Brisbane Airport, wind energy assets, gas assets and Enertrade, Golden Casket, Powerdirect, Sungas, Sun Retail and Allgas. That adds up to over $16 billion that the Labor Party has sold. We are talking about a Premier and a senior minister, the Minister for State Development, who sat around the cabinet table when those sales were occurring.

As I say, those opposite are in no way fit and proper people to come into this place and lecture us about asset sales. It is the Labor Party that sells the assets in this state, not the LNP. It has had rivers of gold coming into its coffers, yet look at all of the tax increases that we have seen. We have seen billions of dollars in tax increases, many of which were not announced before the election but announced in the dark of night just before the election during the media blackout, such is the shabby deception that we see from this Labor government. Where has all of the money gone? It has been blown. That is what those opposite do—they waste the money. “

Mr McDonald: “Waste!”

Mr LISTER: “I take that interjection from my honourable friend the member for Lockyer. He knows, as I do, that those opposite blow money. They do not spend it on the roads in our electorates. People would not mind so much paying an increase in their registration if they knew that the money was going towards roads, but it is not. In the first years of this Labor government, for three years in a row it underspent by $3 billion per year.”

Mr Minnikin interjected.

Mr LISTER: “I take the interjection from my honourable friend the member for Chatsworth. That added up to an underspend of $9 billion and, as a result, we are still behind the eight ball.

What are the effects of that underspend in my electorate of Southern Downs? In my electorate the Gore Highway, the New England Highway and the Cunningham Highway are in very poor condition. In some cases, there are cracks in the centre of the road that are a foot deep. Motorcyclists and truck drivers come to me to complain about them. I have complained ad nauseam to the department and the minister about the condition of the highways to no avail whatsoever. The people of my electorate of Southern Downs would be happy to pay an increase in their registration if they felt that they were getting value for money from it, but they are not. I am here to say that that is the case.

What are the effects of increasing the cost of registration on families? The people in my electorate of Southern Downs—the people in the bush—are doing it tough. Small businesses, farmers and families in my electorate are facing shrinking incomes whilst this grasping government, which cannot control its own spending, is defending another increase in registration costs. If the Lions Club of Warwick has to pay more for the registration of its trailer, the money for that comes out of the good work that the Lions Club of Warwick is able to do for its community. On the weekend I visited the Navy cadets in Stanthorpe on the training ship the Kookaburra.”

Mr Nicholls: “They have come a long way from the sea.”

Mr LISTER: “I take that interjection from the member for Clayfield. The commanding officer and the parents of the unit support committee who raise funds so that those youngsters can have a great experience in the Navy cadets have to raise more money to pay for the registration for their trailers and vehicles. That is an effect of the increase in registration on the community. That is an effect of the increase in registration on our young people.

What about Red Rock Transport? I was talking to Red out at the Inglewood showgrounds— “

Mr McDonald: “He’s a good fellow.”

Mr LISTER: “I take that interjection. Yes, he is a good fellow. Red has many trucks and trailers. They cannot all be on the road at all times. He has them sitting in his yard waiting for a job, and he is paying registration for that. Red works hard for his money. He invests with no certain outcome so that he can employ people and generate jobs and generate wealth and prosperity for his community. He has been hit yet again by increases in registration by a government that cannot control its own spending.

What sort of spending am I talking about? Renaming a hospital. How much did that cost? What about the $320,000 to fete Al Gore when he came out here to lecture us? There was $111 million to take on board the privately run prisons just to appease the union. That was done for no reason other than that. We know that the union bosses who benefited from that appalling decision can afford to pay the increase in their registration, but not the people in my electorate of Southern Downs. What about the $100,000 for a weight-loss app for dogs? That was more waste. There was $45 million to build a bike track linking some Labor electorates in Brisbane. We could spend that money on fixing the problems on the Gore Highway, but, no, the money has been wasted. I can see the minister opposite. He will not look me in the eye, because he knows that that bike track is a waste of funds and that the people in my electorate of Southern Downs are paying the price for it.

We cannot afford these registration increases. This Labor government does not spend the money properly. The members opposite are in no position to charge us more when they are spending the money recklessly. I know that I speak for every family, every farmer and every small business person in Southern Downs when I say that we cannot afford these registration increases.

When the LNP was in government it froze registration costs, because the LNP understood the enormous importance of putting money back into the pockets of families so that they can spend the money in their communities, they can spend the money in their small business and not on a bunch of highly paid bureaucrats.

I urge every member in this House who knows that the people in their communities are doing it tough—and that includes those on that side of the chamber as well—to oppose any increase in registration costs. Members should support this motion that stands in the name of my good friend the member for Chatsworth.”