Mr HART (Burleigh—LNP) (4.36 pm): I rise to add to the debate on the committee estimates process. I would like to start by thanking my committee colleagues, especially the chair, the member for Gympie, who does a wonderful job of chairing our committee. We all learn a lot as new members of parliament—most of us are new members—from our chair, the member for Gympie, as we did from the member for Mirani before him and also the member for Mackay. We all get on very well. I think as a committee we perform very well. I thank the member for Mackay for his contributions to our committee.
Mr Crandon interjected.
Mr HART: I also thank our new member, the member for Coomera. We are obviously learning a few things from him—some good, some bad. The member for Mount Isa adds something to the committee and also the member for Sandgate and the member for Keppel. At the estimates hearings we were also visited by the Leader of the Opposition, the member for Gaven, the member for Logan and the member for Bundamba.
We could not exist as a committee without the wonderful staff that we have, led by Erin Pasley, our Research Director. We also have Margaret Telford, Mary Westcott and Dianne Christian. They do a wonderful for our committee. They are people who work in the background most of the time, but they are always there for us, they are always there supporting us and they do a wonderful job.
I would also like to acknowledge the assistance provided by the Department of State Development, Infrastructure and Planning, the Department of Energy and Water Supply and the Department of Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games during the committee inquiry. The committee investigated a number of service areas across a number of portfolios including: driving business and economic growth; leading infrastructure policy and planning for the state; reforming Queensland’s planning system; and major project assessment, approval, facilitation and delivery.
We have already heard from our chair, the member for Gympie, and he was backed up by our deputy chair, the member for Mackay. I think the estimates process this year was very constructive. The Deputy Premier came in at nine o’clock on the first day and he was there till five o’clock in the afternoon.
We broke the day up into a number of periods. We spent two hours purely on economic development and another two hours on planning and property. We spent an hour on major projects, another hour on the GasFields Commission, and the Deputy Premier then answered questions on any field whatsoever for another hour. You cannot say that the Deputy Premier was not available or avoided any questions. He answered as many questions as were asked. As we have already heard from the member for Mackay, he was straightforward in his answers. The assistant minister, the member for Southport, answered some questions on the Gold Coast Hospital site.
As the member for Coomera has mentioned, the committee also heard from the Minister for Energy and Water Supply. That is a very important area for the people of my electorate. When you mention the cost of living, people talk about increases to electricity and water. They talk about what this government is doing to keep the prices down as best we can. This minister is doing a wonderful job of that. He was able to explain quite a bit to the members of the committee how he is going about that in his position. We talked about solar panels. We talked about desalination plants and the western corridor recycling project. We talked about the problems that were left behind by the former Labor government that are really driving up the cost of living because of the amount of debt they have left us in and the way they mishandled this state over the 20-odd years they were in power.
We heard from the member for Tourism, Major Events, Small Business and the Commonwealth Games. We all know that the minister has been in Glasgow for the last week or so representing the state and collecting the flag to come back to have what will be a wonderful Commonwealth Games in 2018 on the Gold Coast. It is the Queensland games but it will be based on the Gold Coast. We are expecting to have a great legacy for the Gold Coast from the Commonwealth Games. The minister was able to tell us how that process is going, how it is starting and where it will end. I commend the members of the committee for the process and—
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