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Darling Downs

In this edition:

Message from the Premier

To make sure Queensland remains a great state for future generations we need to build on our strengths and take hold of every opportunity. The Queensland Plan is designed to do just that. It is our state’s 30-year vision, a roadmap for future growth and prosperity while preserving our fantastic quality of life.

Since we started work on the plan in 2013, more than 80,000 Queenslanders have shared their vision. I thank everyone who took part. Now the hard work begins to make our vision a reality. All levels of government, business, industry and community organisations will need to work together to deliver the outcomes Queenslanders want.

Some actions are already underway such as the Education Accord summit happening in September, while others will require more community discussion about how to achieve our goals.

I encourage everyone to consider what you can do to put the vision into practice. Find out more about The Queensland Plan.

Campbell Newman
Queensland Premier

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Apprenticeship system undergoes revamp

The path to completing an apprenticeship or traineeship is now easier than ever, with the Queensland Government’s overhaul of the further education and training sector and commitment to deliver an additional 10,000 new apprenticeships over the next six years.

New legislation developed as part of the government’s Great skills Real opportunities reform action plan means processes for both apprentices and employers are simpler and more streamlined.

The legislation has modernised the system and made trade training more accessible and flexible. For employers, employing and managing apprentices and trainees is now much easier with reduced red-tape, improved administration and financial incentives, including the $10 million School to Trade Pathway incentive.

To help students manage their apprenticeship or traineeship online, the Queensland Government has also launched a new self-service website called My Apprenticeship.

Find out more about:

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What’s on

Seniors Week
16–24 August 2014

Seniors Week is an opportunity for us all to celebrate the important role of older people throughout the state and officially recognise the senior members of our community for the positive contribution they make to our lives.

Find out more about Seniors Week and events in your local area.

Queensland Cultural Diversity Week
30 August–7 September 2014

Learn more about other cultures or share stories about your cultural heritage during this year’s Queensland Cultural Diversity Week.

Find out more about Queensland Cultural Diversity Week and events in your local area.

Queensland Small Business Week
1–6 September 2014

Small businesses help shape our communities and the 2014 Queensland Small Business Week will celebrate the vital role small business plays in the state’s economy. All Queensland small businesses are being urged to take part in the week this September and tap into the comprehensive range of events and activities that are being held to build and inspire business.

This year’s program is expected to deliver more than 120 events across Queensland, featuring local, national and international business experts, who will inspire and empower small businesses. For small business owners, this is a great opportunity to reach and connect with new and established businesses, gain information and establish networks to grow your business.

Find out more about Queensland Small Business Week and events in your local area.

Child Protection Week
7–13 September 2014

All children have a right to feel safe and secure at all times. Child Protection Week is an important opportunity to promote this message and support the hard work of community members and professionals who work in the field.

Find out more about Child Protection Week and events in your local area.

Disability Action Week
14–20 September 2014

Did you know that one in five Queenslanders has some kind of disability? Disability Action Week is a chance to focus on how we can all play a role in creating truly inclusive communities.

Find out more about Disability Action Week and events in your local area.

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The Queensland Plan
Queenslanders’ 30-year vision

Photograph © Ben Vos Productions

Built from the voice and vision of community members, business and industry representatives, The Queensland Plan is a landmark document for our state. This recently launched document—founded on the simple idea that every Queenslander should have a say in our future—outlines our shared vision for the state for the next 30 years.

Looking ahead, The Queensland Plan will be enshrined in legislation in late 2014 so that it informs policy and planning decisions well into the future. The Queensland Government will respond to the plan and outline its approach and contribution to implementation. Business, community organisations, industry and peak bodies will also be encouraged to incorporate The Queensland Plan vision into their long-term planning. We all have a role to play in achieving our vision—its success now rests in the hands of every Queenslander.

Find out more about The Queensland Plan.

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Services now only a One-Stop Shop away

Through the One-Stop Shop initiative, the government is working toward a better, more consistent customer experience.

Queenslanders told us they wanted more services online and we have delivered. Last month marked more than 130 new services available online since July 2013. Today you can renew your driver licence, report your credit card or mobile phone lost to police, book a first aid course or register your party as a ‘safe party’ online.

Never has access to Queensland Government information been simpler and quicker. Queenslanders can get the answers they need, when they need them, through a single port of call for online information—www.qld.gov.au—and phone enquiries—13 QGOV (13 74 68).

We’ve also announced new service centres for Gatton and Beaudesert as part of the One‑Stop Shop regional pilot. What we learn at these pilot centres will make face-to-face service across the state better into the future.

Find out more about the One-Stop Shop initiative.

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What’s your date to vaccinate?

For the best protection, vaccinations need to occur on time. That means they need to happen on—or as close as possible to—the due date in accordance with the national immunisation program schedule Queensland.

To keep track of your child’s immunisation records and get vaccination date reminders, download the Queensland Government’s new VacciDate app—available for free from Google Play and iTunes app stores.

Find out more about the VacciDate app.

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Protect your family against bushfires this season

Photograph © Ben Vos Productions

With Queensland’s 2014 bushfire season expected to occur between August and November, now is the time to familiarise yourself with the community bushfire warnings issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

There are three levels of bushfire warnings:

  1. Advice—Monitor conditions.
  2. Watch and act—Conditions are changing. Start taking action.
  3. Emergency warning—You are in danger. Act now.

Find out more about protecting your family against bushfires and how to develop a Bushfire Survival Plan.

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Queensland Government keeps concessions

The Queensland Government offers concessions across a wide range of services including transport, electricity and water. For many pensioners, seniors and vulnerable Queensland families, concessions are a key part of managing cost of living pressures. In view of that, the government recently announced that Queenslanders who benefit from concession payments will not suffer any reduction in payments as a result of cuts announced in the Federal Budget.

Find out more about concessions.

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Queensland’s vision for electricity and water

Photograph © Stanwell Corporation

PowerQ

Change in Queensland’s energy sector is underway. New technology means there are more ways to make, move, sell and use electricity. With the recent launch of PowerQ: a 30-year strategy for Queensland’s electricity sector, the Queensland Government is setting a clear direction to ensure a brighter energy future for all Queenslanders.

PowerQ is designed to provide a more resilient, cost-effective and consumer-focused electricity system. Reforms in the sector will enable increased retail competition and greater consumer choice, tariff restructures, improved network efficiencies and agreed concessions for vulnerable consumers.

Find out more about PowerQ.

WaterQ

WaterQ: a 30-year strategy for Queensland’s water sector establishes a long-term framework to deliver a safe, secure and affordable water supply well into the future.

The strategy sets out a high-level framework of priorities and actions for the water sector and looks to ensure that Queensland families have greater say and more product choice, transparent pricing and access to information. In addition, WaterQ seeks to promote efficient water use and the adoption of innovative water technology and infrastructure.

Find out more about WaterQ.

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Cool shorts:

Queensland Week sponsorships

We may have only just closed the calendar on Queensland Week celebrations but preparations are already underway for next year’s events. If you’re in a community group and have a great idea for an event to help celebrate Queensland Week in 2015, why not apply for a sponsorship? Sponsorships of up to $8000 are available for a limited number of events across the state. Applications close on 29 August 2014.

Find out more about the Queensland Week sponsorship program.

Have your say about education

The Queensland Government is asking you to have your say on the development of the state’s first Education Accord. The Accord will bring together ideas from across the community to determine the priorities for our schools and ensure students are given the best possible education and job opportunities.

Find out more about the Education Accord.

Carer Business Discount Card

Earlier this year, the Queensland Government expanded the Carer Business Discount Scheme to include foster and kinship carers. If you’re an approved foster or kinship carer in Queensland, you are eligible for a Carer Business Discount Card and should have received your new card in the post. If you’ve been a foster or kinship carer for at least two months and haven’t yet received your new card, contact Smart Service Queensland, Card Services on 13 QGOV (13 74 68).

Find out more about the Carer Business Discount Card.

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Funding for community groups

Community and volunteer groups play a vital role in improving the lives of local residents. In recognition of that, the Queensland Government has delivered another round of grants through the Caring for our Community program.

The program helps regional community groups and volunteer organisations deliver quality services by providing funds for the purchase of essential equipment such as computers, printers, white goods and furniture. There are two types of grants available—small grants of $5000 and larger grants of $15,000 for more significant equipment.

Local grant recipients from the latest funding round include:

  • Dalby Broadcasting Association—for two computers and software.
  • East Creek Neighbourhood Centre—for reading and teaching resources.
  • St John’s Ambulance Toowoomba Combined Division—for a defibrillator.
  • Texas Men’s Shed—for furniture, electrical equipment and improved disability access.

Find out more about the Caring for our Community program and other grant recipients.

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Better health for the bush

Living in a rural or remote part of Queensland can sometimes be tough, particularly if you need access to complex health care services. The good news is that the Queensland Government is working to address those challenges with the new Better Health for the Bush (PDF, 3.3MB) plan.

The plan—drawn up by the Statewide Rural and Remote Clinical Network and published by the Queensland Government—aims to provide a roadmap for the future of rural and remote health care in our state.

Better Health for the Bush outlines wide reaching health system innovations and protocols—like telehealth—that are being implemented across the state. It also looks at ways to improve community access to complex and complicated health care and infrastructure.

Find out more about the Better Health for the Bush plan (PDF, 3.3MB).

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Works underway on Toowoomba flood protection

Toowoomba’s central business district will be better equipped to handle any future flooding thanks to the Queensland Government’s allocation of $2.6 million towards flood resilience works.

The project—which includes the upgrade of major stormwater and drainage systems on the northern end of Ruthven Street—will help protect the critical north‑south road through the city and greatly reduce the chance of flooding at the Ruthven Street crossing of East Creek.

The project will also involve upstream channel works that will deliver a reduction in flood levels.

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Tech tool for farmers

Photograph © Ben Vos Productions

If you’re a farmer or agri-business owner and are thinking of expanding your agricultural production there’s now an online tool to help you source information to support your investment and planning decisions. The new Agricultural Values Assessment online tool brings together information from a range of sources in a concise, user-friendly report complete with customised maps.

The tool is free to use and enables users to identify an assessment area and determine what its agricultural use is, as well as its future potential, within a radius of 25 kilometres from a central point set by the user.

Find out more about the Agricultural Values Assessment or submit a request for a free, customised report.

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Last updated
15 August, 2014

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