BUREAUCRACY will be banished under a new LNP State Government, according to opposition leader Campbell Newman (pictured).

Addressing the city’s business leaders at a Surfers Paradise-Broadbeach Chamber of Commerce luncheon at Jupiter’s Casino, the Brisbane Lord Mayor-turned LNP leader says he will ‘drastically reduce’ red tape if elected.

Newman told the 100-strong crowd that too much state funding has been spent on ‘the processes of government,’ and as a result Queensland has ‘gone bust’. He says a priority for an LNP State Government would be to reform the Local Government Act.

“We’ve got to make this (new) infrastructure happen, but we’ve got this problem with the budget. The state is bust, we have no money,” he says.

“Quite clearly, unambiguously I say to you it’s going to be about the economy. We’re going to go for growth; we will energise the state’s economy. We’re going to get all the relevant industry sectors back on line.

“Frankly, your councillors and your mayor, like all councils across the state, have been tied up in red tape. They have less power and less authority than they did when I started in local government in 2004.

“I’m saying to you that our policy will be about empowering local government to do the heavy lifting, (to have) local people following local officials and have a local focus on how to get things going. We’ll be doing those things but particularly we’ll be asking State Government agencies to get behind councils, to support them rather than getting in the way.”

Newman says business owners involved in the property sector ‘know what he’s talking about’. He says the GFC ended the boom, but the real problem for property is due to red tape and bureaucratic bungling.

“The red tape of this government (is the problem),” says Newman.

“If you want to see a demonstration of that, look no further than Victoria. The Victorian property sector is booming at the moment because government there made the commitment to get out of the way and open up land supply; to let people get on and do the development.

“We’re going to reform the Sustainable Planning Act. We’re going to make sure that the statutory timeframes in there are actually something that works. That its not only councils that have to deliver, but also State Government agencies.”

In addressing each of the major Queensland industries, Newman says the mining, energy and resources sector ‘is the key to unlocking the wealth of Queensland’, but has again fallen victim to bureaucracy.

“Once upon a time a mine would take two to three years to get through the approval process. These days, if you talk to the Queensland Resources Council, (it takes) five to seven years,” he says.

“That’s money from royalties that could have been going into better hospitals and schools, and better infrastructure across Queensland.

“There is so much waste and deficiency in the Queensland Government today. These are the things that we can focus on, by applying savings, by restructuring the public service to take Queensland forward. I am confident we can rebuild the state’s finances.”

When Surfers Paradise Councillor Susie Douglas asked about Allconnex, Newman made a promise to fully integrate water into GCCC’s portfolio and back onto the rates bill.

On three other Gold Coast points, Newman says he fully supports the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Bid; ‘didn’t know enough’ about a proposed cruise terminal at the Broadwater; and says a heavy rail line to Gold Coast Airport was ‘absolutely’ in his long-term plans.

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