Victories of local MPs in 2019
LEGISLATIVE changes to the disability parking scheme is the political highlight of the year for Bundaberg MP David Batt.
The change announced by the State Government last week would allow carers of visually impaired people to apply for parking permits.
Last week was the last parliamentary session of the year, and Mr Batt was asked what his three political highlights, and his disappointments had been.
He said funding for airconditioning for all Bundaberg state schools, and an independent public inquiry into Paradise Dam were his other two highlights.
Mr Batt snuck in a fourth highlight, which was a detailed business case for a new Bundaberg hospital being approved.
But he was frustrated by a low distribution of state funding to the region despite a large population.
Another frustration was that the State Government voted against LNP's tougher sentencing on child killer laws, Mr Batt said.
And of course, he disliked the reef management legislation which led to the regulations which he said hurt the agricultural sector without having any environmental benefit.
Mr Bennett said that the most important political victory to him was the coroner's inquest into the Trawler FV Dianne which found the State Government did not make recommended safety aspects involving the Vessel Monitoring System.
"It grieves me that people had to die before this government who blocked all attempts from the coroner and others to implement improvements, and finally agreed to put this safety system in place," he said.
Mr Bennett also listed the dumping of a beer tax which would have damaged local craft breweries, and the creation of a patient travel subsidy scheme for Agnes Water and Rosedale residents who needed specialist treatment at Bundaberg Hospital.
His largest political disappointment was the lack of water security investment, which he said led to "lies and cover-ups" of Paradise Dam.
Mr Bennett's second disappointment was the dismissal of the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service chief executive.
He also criticised Gladstone Ports Corporation's lack of investment in Bundaberg.