YEAR IN REVIEW: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke rolled out $52,000 for Rockhampton Agricultural Show and $20,400 for Yeppoon and District Show Society in 2019.
YEAR IN REVIEW: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga and Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke rolled out $52,000 for Rockhampton Agricultural Show and $20,400 for Yeppoon and District Show Society in 2019.

Keppel MP reflects on the triumphs and tragedies of 2019

AFTER almost five years representing the seat of Keppel in State Parliament, Brittany Lauga has finally caught her breath to speak with The Morning Bulletin and reflect on an eventful 2019.

Ms Lauga regards representing our region as an honour, a privilege and a responsibility that she doesn’t take lightly.

She walked us through the year’s triumphs, tragedies and achievements before attention shifts towards next year’s challenging state election campaign.

Jobs and the economy

“I am constantly listening to local people because responding to the community’s needs is an important part of my job.

Creating permanent, secure local jobs has been my number one priority since I was elected and my work in 2019 has been to continue with this priority. And the Palaszczuk Government’s investment in building infrastructure to grow local jobs is working.

The Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and the Queensland Labor Government are relentlessly backing Queensland jobs, creating over 226,000 new jobs since coming to Government.

I’m proud to have been working to restore the frontline health and education services cut by the Newman LNP Government.

We’ve kept our assets in public hands meaning cheaper electricity prices and a stronger economy.

While a lot’s been achieved, we know there’s more work to be done – on infrastructure, jobs, health and education.

The Palaszczuk Government has invested $29 billion in regional infrastructure, almost 70 per cent of the entire spend, to improve services and lift our CQ economy.

This year alone our infrastructure investment will support more than 25,000 jobs across regional Queensland – that’s 63 per cent of all jobs supported by our budget this year.

I’m proud to also be a part of a Government that is pro-resources - in coal, gas and renewables – supporting more than $20 billion worth of new resources investment.

I know that the Palaszczuk Government’s new payroll discount just for regional Queensland businesses is helping them to employ more people.

We’re also bringing back QBuild, employing 300 tradies and apprentices and reinvigorating regional QBuild depots.

I have been fighting for Keppel and I’m delivering job-creating projects like infrastructure for Great Keppel Island, upgrading the Capricornia Correctional Centre, building Rookwood Weir, a new Rockhampton ambulance station and upgrading Yeppoon-Rockhampton Road. We are building new classrooms at Yeppoon State High School and Parkhurst State School to give our local students and teachers state-of-the-art teaching and learning spaces. We are delivering on our commitment to build a $14.3 million 42 bed detox and rehab for local people suffering from ice, alcohol and other drug addictions. I have also delivered our local elderly people and amazing nursing staff a beautiful new $8.5 million Cec Pritchard wing and kitchen at the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre.

The Palaszczuk Government is building and upgrading hospitals, schools, social housing, police stations and a – the economy-boosting infrastructure that underpins jobs, growth and prosperity.”

Bushfire emergency

“Central Queensland has had more than its fair share of disasters in the past few years; cyclones, floods and bushfires. I am sincerely grateful for the tireless work that all of our emergency services workers and volunteers do to help keep our community safe. Our community has shown time and time again that we are so tough, we bounce back after a disaster and we come together to support one another. Throwing my joggers and gloves on to help clean up or shovel sandbags, being a sympathetic ear for those that have been impacted and fighting for our fair share of disaster support funding is what I get stuck in and do. I have and always will be there to support our community when we need it.”

Personal life

“This year my daughter Odette turned two. Since becoming a mother I have a much greater appreciation for the time, money and effort that parents dedicate to their families and raising children. I’m incredibly grateful for the support I’ve received from my family, supporters and volunteers to help me juggle being a mum and a hardworking MP.

Becoming a mum has certainly changed my perspective on life. I was fighting for ­Keppel’s future before, but now I see the future in a whole new light because I want every child in Keppel to have a bright future. Decisions we make today affect our children, well beyond our own lifespans.

This new perspective and care for our future generations helps shape my work and my vision as the Member for Keppel and also as the Assistant Minister for Education. I want to give our kids a quality education because it is the best start to life they can get. I want our kids to have access to quality healthcare and when they finish school, I want them to have opportunities for good secure jobs.

I grew up in CQ and I am passionate about our region. I love working for the community and I love standing up for our future. I fought for and delivered over $200 million in job-generating projects since I was elected but I have so much more work to do to make Keppel an even more prosperous place to live, work and raise a family.”

Key achievements

  • $14.3 million 42 bed alcohol, ice and other drugs detox and rehab centre
  • $8.5 million upgrade to the North Rockhampton Nursing Centre dementia wing and kitchen
  • New $186,000 4WD ambulance vehicle for Yeppoon Ambulance station
  • $5.7 million for new classrooms at Parkhurst State school and $5.1 million for new admin building and classrooms for Yeppoon State High School
  • $150,000 for new playground at Yeppoon State School
  • $250,000 for new tuckshop at Yeppoon State High School
  • $1.2 million for the new amphitheatre, car park and Nurim Circuit Walk at Mt Archer
  • Delivering $240 million expansion of Capricornia Correctional Centre which is growing local jobs and supporting local trades
  • Delivering $157 million Northern Access Upgrade which is growing local jobs and improving the northern access to our city.
  • Brought back QBuild, with Rocky getting a share of the 300 jobs created
  • 168 extra nurses and 95 extra doctors in CQ Hospitals since 2015
  • 185 extra teachers and 71 extra teacher aides in CQ schools since 2015
  • 10 additional paramedics in local ambulance stations
  • There are more than 540 police across the Capricornia Police District, which includes in Gladstone and Rockhampton - an increase of 24 since our government was elected.
  • The record infrastructure spend in the Queensland Government Budget will support around 3600 jobs in CQ this financial year as part of a $1.1 billion for infrastructure in CQ.
  • The Works for Queensland program has supported or created 1,272 jobs for Rockhampton, Livingstone, Woorabinda and Central Highlands, with an estimated 386 to come.
  • Tourism and events and industry in the Southern Great Barrier Reef region is worth $1.27B and supports more than 12,000 jobs – an increase of 6.4 per cent on the previous year.
  • Hundreds of CQ school leavers will be attending TAFE for free, as part of a massive rebuild of the system slaughtered by the former Newman Government.
  • I have been fighting for a medical school in CQ and I’m proud that the State Government is investing $5.4 million to progress doctor training in CQ and Wide Bay.
  • New navigational lights and markers in Coorooman Ck to help the safe passage of vessels into and out of Keppel Bay
  • $1.2 million to refurbish the Cooee Bay pool
  • $800K for the new art gallery at Emu Park
  • $80K infrastructure funding boost for Yeppoon Turf Club
  • $5 million upgrade to the Yeppoon Sewerage Treatment Plant
  • $5 million project to reinstate a disused section of the Yeppoon rail branch line, providing a direct livestock rail connection to the JBS meat processing facility in Rocky.
  • $500K in upgrades to Rosslyn Bay boat harbour including new floating walkways and disability access toilets.
  • Work is about to commence on $455K investment to extend the Pineapple Coast Rail Trail
  • The Mill Gallery in Yeppoon will soon be expanded and upgraded after receiving $250K in funding through Building our Regions program.