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Darling Downs

In this edition:

Message from the Premier

Recently we undertook unprecedented consultation to create The Queensland Plan.

One of the biggest themes that came through from The Queensland Plan was the need for a world-class education for our children. Queenslanders told us they wanted education prioritised from pre-school to post-school and we agree; a great education leads to more secure jobs.

That is why from January next year, we are rolling out the Best Start initiative, a new early literacy program coming to public libraries across the state.

Research shows that learning to read is the single most important factor in school success. This four-year, $20 million program will give families the information, skills and tools they need to support their children in the development of early language and literacy at home.

There are about 68,000 children born in Queensland every year and we are committed to providing them all with the best start possible in life.

Find out more about the Best Start program.

Campbell Newman
Queensland Premier

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Thanks Queensland

Tolerance. Patience. Courtesy and respect. They’re all key elements to improving safety on our roads.

This October, all road users—from parents doing the school run, to early morning cyclists, to heavy vehicle drivers—are being asked to bring those qualities to the forefront as part of the new Thanks Queensland road safety campaign.

The campaign is encouraging improved safety and understanding between all road users through simple everyday courtesies. It’s also about thanking our fellow Queenslanders for being patient and showing tolerance on the roads.

So if you’re in the driver’s seat and you see a car that needs to merge, a pedestrian who needs to cross the road, or a truck or cyclist who needs a little extra safe travelling distance, do the right thing.

To get involved in other ways head to the Join the Drive website and:

  • pledge your support
  • check out the ‘10 ways to look out for each other’ infographic
  • create your own personalised ‘Thanks for’ message to share on social media
  • order a ‘Thanks for sharing the road’ bumper sticker for your vehicle.

Find out more about the Thanks Queensland road safety campaign.

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Discover Queensland

Photograph: Tourism and Events Queensland

Looking for ideas for your next outdoor adventure? Inspiration awaits on the new Queensland National Parks YouTube channel. Showcasing some of the state’s best national parks, videos presented by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service rangers provide inspiration to experience our parks in new and exciting ways. From turtle encounters at Mon Repos Turtle Centre, to mountain biking on South Molle Island, to hiking amongst the granite boulders of Girraween National Park, there are plenty of ideas on where to head and what to do to make the most of Queensland’s national parks.

View the Queensland National Park YouTube videos.

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New jobs in disability sector

Do you enjoy helping people with a disability? Do you want to work in a field where you can make a positive difference in the community? Then you might want to consider a career in the disability support sector.

With the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on the horizon for 2016, the sector is set to expand and it’s anticipated 13,000 new jobs will be created across the state by 2019. In preparation for the transition to the NDIS, the Queensland Government is providing training and resources to disability services organisations so they can develop skills and capacity.

To help increase disability support workforce numbers, the government is also subsidising Certificate III in Disability costs for eligible Queenslanders.

Find out more about Queensland’s preparation for the NDIS and disability sector workforce opportunities.

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Community safety statistics

Thanks to recent crime-boosting measures, Queensland streets are the safest they’ve been in five years. Measures such as more frontline police, improved resources, new technologies and stronger laws are delivering a significant drop in crime statistics. Across the state, the 2013–14 statistics show that reports of offences against property have dropped by 11 per cent or 22,000 offences. The number of car thefts has dropped by almost 2300 and the number of break-ins has dropped by around 8000. Unlawful entry to shops has reduced by 32 per cent and reports of robberies and arson are down 18 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

Find out more about how you can help keep Queensland safe.

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Fitness for free

Finding time to get fit can sometimes be challenging and costly, but with few of us in perfect shape it’s time for Queenslanders to get active. To help get you on track to a healthier, happier you, the Queensland Government has launched a series of free online fitness videos.

The workouts have been designed by an exercise physiologist and guide viewers through basic cardio, upper body exercises, abdominal work and lower body activities. There’s a choice of three workout videos and five mini workouts so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. There’s also a printable program for each workout, explaining correct exercise techniques.

View the Healthier. Happier. fitness workout videos.

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Road safety grants up for grabs

Communities across Queensland are being invited to use local knowledge to identify road safety issues and develop locally‑informed solutions. It could be anything from a school bicycle safety education program to roadside fatigue signage for long-distance travellers. Through the Queensland Government’s Community Road Safety Grants program, non‑profit, school and local government groups can now play an active role in making our roads safer by applying for funding of up to $25,000 to implement local road safety projects.

Applications for round four funding open 29 October 2014 and close 13 February 2015.

Find out more about the Community Road Safety Grants program.

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Spruce the Bruce

Over the next ten years a record $8.5 billion will be invested by the Queensland and Australian governments in Bruce Highway improvements. Spruce the Bruce will highlight the hundreds of projects being undertaken across the length and breadth of the highway to deliver increased safety, flood resilience and capacity. Motorists are being asked to show patience as these vital works are carried out and visit the 131940 Traffic and Travel Information website to plan their Bruce Highway journey. Queenslanders can show their support for the Spruce the Bruce initiative through a Facebook photo competition. Spruce the Bruce online activities for kids are also available.

Find out more about Spruce the Bruce projects.

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Have your say on pest and disease management

The Biosecurity Act 2014 represents the biggest change in legislation affecting farmers and other people who deal with plants and animals, including backyard gardeners and interstate travellers.

The Act—which will replace various pieces of existing legislation and come into force in late 2015—is about protecting our state’s environment and agricultural sector, managing the risk of infectious diseases in crops and livestock, and containing pest contaminants. It’s about introducing a consistent and flexible law that will enable industry to take immediate action to minimise biosecurity risks. Before the Act can commence, existing regulations must be reviewed and repealed, and where necessary, new regulations put in place.

As part of this transition, a Regulatory Impact Statement for the new regulations has been prepared and will be open for public consultation until 5 pm 21 November 2014.

Find out more about the Biosecurity Act 2014.

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Online options for land valuations

The Queensland Government has launched a new email service to provide landowners with quick, easy access to land valuation information. At present, up to 1.6 million landowners receive their annual land valuation in the post. Queensland landowners with a preference for online communication now have the option to sign up to receive their next notice electronically. Anyone who provides an email address should note that their postal address will not be retained and all future valuation notices and other information will be sent electronically.

Find out more about signing up to the land valuation email service.

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RACQ Get Ready Queensland

The summer storm season is nearly upon us. Don’t wait until it’s too late—get ready now! Simple steps taken today will help ensure you and your family are safeguarded against extreme weather events. The RACQ Get Ready Queensland website is a great year‑round resource designed to help Queenslanders prepare for all sorts of extreme weather. Download a handy range of fact sheets covering everything from essential emergency kit items, to preparing your pet for an emergency event. You can even sign up for a personalised online program that gives you one simple task to complete each week to build up your family’s emergency preparedness.

Find out more about preparing for the summer storm season.

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Cool shorts:

Free navigation maps for boaties

Boating enthusiasts can now get free access to the latest navigational maps for Queensland’s most popular boating spots with the online release of 13 new Beacon to Beacon guides. The guides cover waterways from the Gold Coast to Yeppoon and are available in PDF format for easy download and printing.

Find out more about the Beacon to Beacon guides.

Rego labels—a thing of the past

Did you know that you no longer need to display your registration label on your car? These changes also apply to motorcycles, light trailers, light caravans, light buses and motorised wheelchairs. Registration renewal notices will still be issued and you will still need to register your vehicle—you just won’t get a label.

Find out more about changes to registration labels.

Grandparents Day 2014

Grandparents play a significant role in the lives of many families and on 26 October Queensland will celebrate their contribution to the community with Grandparents Day. Take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on your grandparents and show gratitude and appreciation for the contribution they’ve made over the years.

Find out more about Grandparents Day.

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New vegetation codes save time and money

Farmers, graziers and landholders looking to undertake vegetation management activities are being encouraged to check out the Queensland Government’s new self-assessable vegetation management codes.

The codes, which came into effect in August 2014, expand the number of activities landholders are able to undertake without having to apply for a permit.

The codes apply to a range of vegetation categories and regional ecosystems and mean that many routine clearing activities can now be carried out under an exemption or by simply notifying the Department of Natural Resources and Mines.

Find out more about self‑assessable vegetation management codes.

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Fighting feral animals

Primary producers in the region are getting a helping hand in their fight against feral animals with the Queensland Government’s delivery of drought-assistance funds to the Condamine Alliance. The funds—sourced from the Federal Government’s drought-assistance grants package—will see the Alliance work with landholders and a range of organisations to coordinate an expanded program of wild dog, feral pig and rabbit control. The project will include trapping and baiting activities in priority drought‑affected areas and will complement existing pest animal management work being undertaken in the region.

Find out more about feral animal assistance package projects.

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Water trading for Condamine and Balonne catchments

Water security is essential for the region’s agricultural sector. The Queensland Government’s recent approval of trading in water allocations is ensuring that farmers are better equipped to source this essential resource. Recent amendments to the Condamine and Balonne Resource Operations Plan mean water users can now buy or sell water either on a permanent or temporary basis, in a way that suits their business needs. In practical terms, the changes have created more than 200 new tradeable water allocations in the Gowrie and Oakey Creek system.

Find out more about the Condamine and Balonne Resource Operations Plan.

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Miles Hospital welcomes women’s health doctor

Registered Nurse Alice Wood welcomes Dr Debra Tennett to the Miles Hospital

Miles Hospital is now offering women in the local area the services of a dedicated women’s health doctor. With the support of the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Dr Debra Tennett is now based at the Miles Hospital for two days every second month. The availability of a doctor with specialised skills in women’s health issues has been embraced by the local community. Free consultation sessions are in demand and must be booked in advance.

Find out more about the Darling Downs Hospital and Health Service.

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Last updated
17 October, 2014

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