Tag Archives: Cairns

Low Income People are NOT excluded from investing in Cryptocurrency

Low Income People are NOT excluded from investing in Cryptocurrency (lucky for me). My most frequent purchases are around $9.00 of ethereum or $12.00 of bitcoin. At least it puts you ‘in the frame’ now, before it is too late. I want Cairns at the vanguard of this! The block chain will dominate ‘old currency’ within years, so join the digital financial revolution now! https://www.coinbase.com/join/5a1bf97b94c1d901e51e923f

Pyne to support Cairns IGA and small business against southern corporations!

Today, Member for Cairns Rob Pyne and the rest of the Queensland crossbench will vote together against the Trading (Allowable Hours) Amendment Bill.

Rob and fellow crossbenchers Robbie Katter, Shane Knuth, Billy Gordon and Steve Dickson, said they could not in good conscience support a Bill that gave more power to supermarket giants Coles and Woolworths.

“This Bill is not in the best interest of our local retailers such as our IGAs and other local business operators such as hardware stores and motor traders, who employ local people and have been contributing to the Cairns Community for a long time”, he said.

“This bill is sold as making positive changes to trading hours in Queensland, but in reality, it gives more power to the giant supermarket chains Coles and Woolworths, so they can swamp local business.”

“The Parliamentary Committee that investigated the Bill could not even bring itself to recommend it be passed, that’s how bad it is,” he said. The report states: “The IGA State Board stated that following the deregulation of trading hours in December 2016, IGA supermarkets lost $1 million per week in turnover. It advised that the loss in turnover reduced wages by approx. $5.5 million, which will lead to a reduction in employment across the network of approximately fulltime jobs.”

The report suggested that these jobs were not necessarily re-created by the two major supermarkets, because of the use of self-check outs. “This will be disastrous for small business operators in Cairns and other rural and regional areas in Queensland,” Rob said. “I have shown a commitment to supporting small, local businesses, and I will continue to do so. I will not support any changes which will have a negative impact on our local economy”

Mr. Pyne concluded, “Voters want jobs and a thriving local economy which in turn creates a healthy, liveable community. I will continue to support Cairns traders and local business groups in their endeavour to survive and prosper.”

Cairns Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Rehabilitation Centre!

Cairns people are entitled to the same level of services as other Queenslanders, so it is a joy to have our first ever Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) Rehabilitation Centre. Well done SYNAPSE on your efforts. We are closing the gap and overcoming the tyranny of distance at the same time. We are caring for our most vulnerable and creating jobs. This should always be the core business of government.

 

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

New-look Collins Ave bridge Opened!

The $3.1 million Collins Avenue Bridge is finally open to traffic!

Member for Cairns Rob Pyne said the project was an essential link in the Cairns Airport connection and Captain Cook Highway.

“Motorists, pedestrians and cyclists will all benefit from this critical infrastructure project,” Mr. Pyne said.

The project contributed $1.5 million to the project through its Building our Regions critical infrastructure program, with Cairns Regional Council contributing the remaining $1.6 million.

Mr. Pyne said, “The bridge is now complete. Demolition of the existing bridge occurred in 2016. Construction of the pier and abutments commenced in September 2016 and all other works were completed this week.”

The footpaths, landscaping and lighting are all  completed now and the new bridge is open to traffic.

“Replacing this ageing bridge has improved flood mitigation, provide safer access for cyclists and pedestrians and also offers better driving conditions – particularly for heavy vehicles. This has been a critical upgrade to the Edge Hill, Captain Cook Highway and Cairns Airport connection,” Mr. Pyne said.

“The new bridge has improve safety for pedestrians, while continuing to provide an important link to a popular arts and leisure area for our city,” he said.

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

Call for a Queensland State Insurance Office

Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has called on the Palaszczuk Government to establish a state owned insurance office as an affordable insurance alternative to ease the increasing financial burden of insurance for Cairns residents.

Queensland established the State Accident Insurance Office in 1919, to provide mandatory injury compensation insurance to workers in the state’s business sector. Soon after created a larger insurance body, the State Government Insurance Office (SGIO) which took over the State Accident Insurance Office. General insurance, third party and life products were added. SGIO later expanded into building society operations, superannuation, and finance.

The privatisation of the SGIO in the 1990’s has resulted in workers and consumers paying unaffordable high insurance premiums and was bad decision for Queensland (The business was fully privatised by 1997).

Revelations by Cairns insurance broker Roger Ward reveal that the both the LNP and the ALP have accepted massive political donations from the insurance industry.  The article (Cairns Post 6 March 17) listed more than $600 000.00 in donations made by major insurance companies.

Mr. Pyne said, “This is another big issue that begs the question – are the big parties working for the people or the corporations who pay them?”

One of the regular complaints in the Far North, from residents and businesses alike is the heavy burden of excessive insurance costs.

Mr. Pyne said, “I have had people in my office in tears about the cost of insurance. People in body corporate units feel particularly discriminated against.”

“This is a major election issue in the Far North. Should I be re-elected, I will table legislation establishing a Sate Insurance Office for Queensland. I will be campaigning on this and should I be re-elected I will have a mandate to act,” Mr. Pyne said,’

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

Pyne calls on Council and Palaszczuk to support Cairns Men’s Shed

Member for Cairns Rob Pyne has condemned the Cairns Regional Council and the Palaszczuk Government for a failure to support Cairns Men’s Shed. Mr. Pyne said, “The Men’s Shed is Australia’s largest male based Community Development organisation and the Cairns Men’s Shed has strong community support. Cairns Men’s Shed should be supported by government by either an allocation of funding or a grant of land. Mr. Pyne asked the following question in Parliament:

Will the Health Minister advise what support the Palaszczuk Government is providing for Men’s Sheds, such as the Cairns Men’s Shed, in light of the important role they play in men’s health issues?

The call follows on the failure of Cairns Regional Council to find a building or land for the Men’s Shed group. Mr. Pyne said, “Most men have learned from our culture that they don’t talk about feelings and emotions and many do not take an interest in their own health and well-being. Most men are reluctant to talk about their emotions and that means that they usually don’t ask for help. Many men are less healthy than women, drink more, take more risks and suffer more from isolation, loneliness and depression. Relationship breakdown, retrenchment or early retirement from a job, loss of children following divorce, physical or mental illness are just some of the problems that men may find difficult to deal with on their own.”Cairns Mens Shed

Mr. Pyne said he felt the Health Minister should be more supportive of Cairns Men’s Shed, “Good health is based on many factors including feeling good about yourself, being productive, contributing to your community, connecting with friends and maintaining an active body and mind.” The Men’s Shed provides a great opportunity to talk with men about serious health issues. Mr. Pyne said, “It is a safe environment where men can find many of these things in an atmosphere of old-fashioned mateship.”

Members of Men’s Sheds come from all walks of life – the bond that unites them is that they are men with time on their hands and would like something meaningful to do with that time. Mr. Pyne said, “Our Men’s Shed is a great example of mateship and deserves support. Our local Council has not helped the Cairns Men’s Shed. It is time for our Council and the Palaszczuk Labor Government to step up and support this wonderful community organisation.”

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

Historic Commitment for ‘A Woman’s Right to Choose’ in Queensland.

Mr. Speaker, today I was happy to secure a commitment from this government to reform abortion laws in the state of Queensland. This commitment is consistent with my belief that in 2017 there should be no place for this procedure in the Criminal Code and that it should be treated as a women’s health issue.

Yesterday the leader of the opposition basically reneged on his commitment to give LNP members a conscience vote. It became clear a majority of MPs were not prepared to support my bills, despite the weight of public opinion. I table an article from the Courier Mail dated February 21st 2017 stating over 80 per cent of Queenslanders favour removing this matter from the Criminal Code.

Mr. Speaker, I say to Catholic MPs. Pope Francis has given all priests the power to forgive women who have had an abortion, saying that God’s mercy could wipe away for those with a repentant heart. The move marked the end of the Vatican’s holy year of mercy in 2016. Pope Francis said we should focus on the personal situations that force some women to get abortions, saying he was “well aware of the pressure that led them to this decision.” Pope Francis has indefinitely extended priests’ right to grant forgiveness. This shows an understanding that each woman’s situation is unique to her. I applaud this leadership from the Pope.

This is an emotive area and there has been considerable misinformation distributed as part of this debate. One misconception is that people who are pro-choice are in some way pro-abortion and seek to see more abortions performed. I have never met anyone who is pro-abortion, least of all medical specialists who perform the procedure. As part of their care, these medical professionals offer valuable advice on women’s sexual health and provide sound advice on contraception.

I am disappointed that misinformation has been circulated that decriminalisation will encourage terminations up to 9 months. Such claims are unfounded, nonsensical and offensive. Indeed the only medical intervention at 9 months is to induce labour. The only other name for what happens at 9 months is child birth.

Regarding late term abortions, an estimated 1.3 percent of abortions happen later than 21 weeks into pregnancy and sometimes obstetricians will induce labor at 36 weeks due to anencephaly (when a major portion of the brain is missing and the baby cannot survive). But that is not an abortion. It is induced labor to deliver a baby that will not live.

Queensland and NSW are the last two states to not have updated legislation to protect vulnerable women and the doctors that are risking prosecution to assist them. Removing termination of pregnancy from the criminal code will place abortion where it should be: in the hands of women, their health care providers and support services.
We must improve clarity for health professionals and patients in the area of medical termination of pregnancy. It is not acceptable that many medical practitioners perform their duties under the risk of criminal prosecution.
Can members of this Legislative Assembly honestly say in that if abortion was not already in the Queensland Criminal Code that we would vote to have it included as a crime?

Abortion in Australia had previously been regulated by colonial law. Before the end of the 19th century. It is now time to change the law. The great tide of history is in favour of women’s emancipation:
1902: Getting the vote
1922: Founding of CWA
1961: The Pill
1962: Women in Pubs
2010: First Female elected as our Prime Minister
2017: A Woman’s right to choose
It is a better time than ever to end the uncertainty surrounding medical termination of pregnancy, to protect and advance the law for Queensland women. I look forward to the recommendations from the Queensland Law Reform Commission later this year and a re-elected Labor Government introducing legislation into this house, in line with the commitment given today.

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

Crossbenchers unite against cuts to community legal centres

The federal government has failed Australians with its decision to slash 30% of funding to community legal centres from 1 July 2017.

Member for Cairns, Rob Pyne put a question on notice to the Attorney General and secured the support of the crossbench during the first sitting week against the cuts. Bringing together often divergent MPs as part of an agreement to cooperate on common matters affecting their constituents.

The Attorney General did not reply to the question on notice. A letter signed by crossbenchers calling for pressure on the Turnbull government to stop the cuts has been emailed to the Attorney General.

Crossbench letter to Attorney General

Mr. Pyne said “I recently visited Cairns Community Legal Centre, one of 190 free legal centres around Australia. These centres assist a range of disadvantaged people, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait peoples with essential legal needs such as family law, housing, welfare and women and children fleeing domestic violence. They do it all on a shoestring budget already.”

“Cairns Community Legal Centre faces planning uncertainty as there is no clarity on how the cuts will manifest for individual centres. If they lose 30% of federal funding, they will lose more than one full time staff, and around 400 vulnerable clients a year will be turned away.”

“Malcolm Turnbull talks about supporting action on domestic violence while his government is ripping out more than $34 million to this vital service over three years. Unfortunately some services are already shedding experienced staff, and the community is missing out on the legal help they need.”

“Talk is cheap – and they haven’t put their money where their mouth is. They have been ignoring calls from the community and domestic violence campaigners.”

Mr. Pyne and crossbenchers: Steve Dickson, Robert Katter, Shane Knut and Billy Gordon called on the Attorney General to treat this matter as a high priority saying the Queensland Government must put more pressure on the Turnbull Government. It is essential we secure long-term funding to these essential services.

Name: Rob Pyne
Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au
Education: JCU and QUT
Employment: Member for Cairns
Website: Date of Birth: 23 April 1967
Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

 

Call for a “Political Revolution” in Queensland by Cairns MP.

A first term MP, I became uncomfortable with what I saw of the politics class. People voting along party lines, often against their conscience and the interests of the people they represent. So I have decided to challenge current dysfunctional paradigm and run for election as an Independent MP.

In 2017 I will take on the major parties and their corporate funding, in a fight for political survival. I want to win, and I want my win to signal the start of a political revolution in Queensland and Australia.

I want people to donate to my campaign in an attempt to prove that as a community we can do politics in another way. A way that prioritizes people over the current politics of money and power.

Name: Rob Pyne Location: Cairns
Website: http://www.robpyne.com.au  
Education: JCU and QUT Employment: Member for Cairns
Date of Birth: 23 April 1967 Education: BA (JCU)., LLB (QUT).
State: Queensland
Country: Australia
Interests: Folk music, social justice and good government
Wins for Cairns: www.robpyne.org
Wins for Queensland: www.robpyne.net

Pyne calls to have ‘secrecy deals’ with child abuse survivors ‘set aside’ in Bill before Queensland Parliament

In the coming week (8 – 10 November) the Queensland Parliament will vote on historic law reforms to remove the civil statute of limitations for child abuse claims.

The question will be: will the reforms be adequate for survivors trying to recover from some of the most horrific abuse in this State?

The Government’s Bill proposes to retrospectively remove the Statute of Limitations; the so-called ‘time limits defence’ so that victims who have never litigated, may now do so.

Under the time limits defence survivors of child abuse in Queensland have to lodge a claim  by the age of 21 or lose their right to seek justice for the abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse ruled that the time limits defence was manifestly unjust and recommended that it be abolished immediately and retrospectively.

Hope offered by Independent’s Bill

Independent Member for Cairns Mr Rob Pyne MP has drafted a Bill based on extensive consultation with survivor NGOs and law firms and his Bill received almost unanimous support from stakeholders during the Parliamentary Committee process.

By contrast, the Committee report identifies that the Government’s consultation on the Government Bill was limited to sending two letters – to the Qld Law Society, and the Bar Association – to which they admit receiving no reply.child-abuse

Mr Pyne’s bill uses the New South Wales definition of child abuse, that includes serious physical abuse and is not restricted to institutions.

His bill also creates a framework for courts to revoke past unjust secret settlement deeds where the time limits defence was used.

My Pyne’s Bill is the only legislation before the House that will provide equal rights to all victims of child abuse in Queensland.

Despite this, the ALP-led Committee handed down a report on 1 November backing its own Government, ignoring community submissions and recommending that the Pyne Bill be rejected in favour of the Government bill.

No help in Government Bill for victims who were forced to sign secrecy agreements

The problem is, that the Government’s plan offers no help for any survivor of abuse who had already tried to litigate, and had the time limits defence used against them, and so are now trapped in unjust and secret ‘settlement deeds’.

Hetty Johnstone AM of Bravehearts
Hetty Johnstone AM of Bravehearts

By ignoring this group of victims the Government will be creating two classes of child abuse victim in Queensland: giving some victims a right to seek compensation, and others no right to pursue justice.

The community, survivor-NGOs, law firms and survivors themselves have spoken in public and private submissions to the Legal Affairs and Community Safety Parliamentary Committee in support of basic reforms to provide equality to survivors.

The submissions almost unanimously call upon the Government to amend their own Bill to include the important reform of revoking past unjust secret deeds.

Narrow definition of abuse

Another issue for the rights of child abuse victims in Queensland that hangs in the balance this week is the definition of child abuse.

NSW has adopted a definition of child abuse that includes sexual abuse as well as serious physical abuse.

The Queensland Government has limited its definition to only sexual abuse, ignoring victims of serious physical abuse.

Queensland’s new legislation also restricts compensation to victims of abuse perpetrated inside institutions, ignoring child abuse that occurs in other contexts, such as foster care or within families.

During the Committee process, stakeholders have called overwhelmingly for the Government to adopt the wider definition of child abuse used in the New South Wales legislation.

This would be consistent with the Royal Commission’s recommendation for national consistency.

This has the support of prominent organisations such as Bravehearts, Knowmore (the legal service of the Royal Commission), the Indigenous Lawyers Association and organisations with close ALP association, such as Micah Projects and the Executive of the Labor Lawyers Association.

All have made public submissions calling for the Government to amend their own Bill.

Opposition amendments

The Opposition agrees that the Government Bill does not go far enough and has flagged its intention to amend the Government Bill when it is before the Parliament this week.

The Opposition has stated they will put forward an amendment to revoke past unjust settlement deeds, however they are refusing to release the wording until moments before they move the amendments in Parliament, leaving survivor and legal NGOs in the dark as to the suitability or otherwise of the wording of the Opposition’s amendment.

The Opposition has also stated they will extend the definition of child abuse to include non-institutional abuse.

But the Opposition is not willing to extend the definition of abuse to include serious physical abuse, despite horrific physical assaults of children in state and private care facilities and the recent high profile deaths of vulnerable young children in state or foster care in Queensland.

The LNP amendments have been written by the LNP Shadow Attorney-General, Ian Walker who until recently, was a senior executive officer of the Anglican Diocese of Southern Queensland.

The Diocese has been rocked by sex abuse scandals in several of its schools including Toowoomba Preparatory School, St Paul’s School, The Southport School and ‘Churchie’ the Anglican Church Grammar School.

Mr Walker, a past pupil of Churchie, resigned from his position in the Diocese this year in response to concerns raised by survivors of child abuse of a perceived conflict of interest.

Plea to Premier to amend Bill

Despite Mr Pyne’s reforms having widespread support they have little chance of becoming law unless the Attorney-General and Premier adopt them in amendments to the Government’s Bill.

Survivors and advocates are calling on the Premier to put personal and party politics aside for the sake of survivors of child abuse in Queensland.

Please see attached the public quotes of organisations such as Bravehearts, Micah, Knowmore, Soroptomist (spokesperson Kylie Hillard, also an executive for Labor Lawyers Association),  Centre Against Sexual Violence, Queensland Child Sexual Abuse Law Reform Council and many others.  These are verbatim quotes from the organisations’ public submissions to the Parliamentary Committee and are on the public record.

Attached:

 

  1. One page colour graphical summary of the community submissions to the Parliamentary Committee (who supports which reform)
  2. List of exact quotes from stakeholders supporting Mr Pyne’s reforms (calling on the Government to amend their bill) – on the public record and may be used