John-Paul Langbroek sorry for ‘light-hearted’ hand gestures

June 17 2016

Amy Remeikis

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The Queensland Parliament’s newest unicorn impersonator has apologised for his “light hearted” hand gestures which made headlines across Australia.

Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek apparently forgot about the Parliamentary cameras on Wednesday, and was captured demonstrating how to shake a sauce bottle, before indicating how one would polish a unicorn horn, on the footage.

While he made the gestures, following a warning from Peter Wellington to a fellow LNP MP about his own hand gestures – which although strictly G-rated, had captured the ire of the Speaker for their ability to rile up the government backbenchers.

Shortly after Mr Wellington said he could do without Member for Chatsworth Steve Minnikin’s provoking hand gestures, Mr Langbroek demonstrated his own ability to provoke, which proved much more effective, prompting Labor minister Kate Jones to rise in the chamber the following day.

“My concern is that the Member for Surfers Paradise immediately disregarded your ruling,” she said on Thursday.

“As such, I believe it is a reflection on the chair. The Member for Surfers Paradise should explain his actions and whether indeed they were directed at the Speaker or his own Opposition member.”

On Friday, Mr Wellington told Parliament in light of Mr Langbroek’s clarification and apology, no further action would be taken and he would not be referred to the Ethics Committee.

LNP leader Tim Nicholls has said he would remind Mr Langbroek of appropriate parliamentary standards.

Opposition MP John-Paul Langbroek gets busted by the parliamentary camera.
Opposition MP John-Paul Langbroek gets busted by the parliamentary camera. Photo: Supplied

While the actions rubbed the shine off the Opposition’s budget reply speech, it did make Mr Langbroek momentarily famous.

But after an appearance on his sister’s radio show, where she threatened to tell their parents, and a day of jokes within the chamber, Mr Langbroek decided to bring the matter to a head late Thursday night – and apologise.

“My gestures were a light-hearted exchange between MPs and not meant to reflect on your earlier ruling or any MP,” Mr Langbroek said.

“Please be assured of my respect for the Parliament and appropriate behaviour at all times.”

Parliament resumes on Friday, where the government, barring any more distractions, hopes to pass the budget.

 

Source : Brisbane Times

Queensland unemployment level drops below 6 per cent

January 14, 2016 – 4:33PM

Cameron Atfield

Journalist

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Acting Premier Jackie Trad says Queensland's falling unemployment rate was a "big tick" for the Palaszczuk government.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad says Queensland’s falling unemployment rate was a “big tick” for the Palaszczuk government. Photo: Chris Hyde

Queensland’s unemployment rate has dropped to below 6 per cent for the first time in two years, leading the state’s Labor government to spruik its performance since taking power almost a year ago.

But the state opposition would not have a bar of that, saying Queensland was simply following a national Australian trend.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Thursday showed Queensland’s trend unemployment rate at 5.9 per cent last month.

That was a drop from 6.6 per cent in December, 2014.

Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek.

Deputy Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek. Photo: Bradley Kanaris

“Trend employment in Queensland rose by 6200 persons (up 0.3 per cent) in December 2015,” a Queensland Treasury analysis said.

“This was the 13th consecutive monthly rise in employment.

“Part-time employment increased by 2400 persons in December and full-time employment increased by 3800 persons.”

Queensland had the second-strongest annual growth in the nation, behind New South Wales.

Acting Premier Jackie Trad said the jobs figures were a “big tick” for the Palaszczuk government.

“The two-year low for unemployment showed the state government’s pro-business, pro-jobs economic plan was working,” she said.

“This is an outstanding result that shows our government’s economic agenda is building business confidence and creating jobs for Queenslanders.

“Unemployment has fallen by 0.7 points from the high 6.7 per cent rate left by the previous LNP government.

“An average of 2010 full-time jobs have been created every month since we took office. That compares to the 330 full-time jobs lost every month under the previous government.

“Consumer confidence is up, business confidence is up and companies now have the confidence of a stable economy to put on new workers and explore new commercial opportunities.”

Deputy opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek welcomed the figures, but said Queensland was merely following a national trend.

The ABS data showed the national unemployment rate had dropped from 6.2 per cent in December 2014 to 5.8 per cent last month.

“It’s encouraging to see what we’re seeing in Queensland is something that’s being reflected nationally,” Mr Langbroek said.

“It is something that’s been happening since the start of 2015, but in three areas, there are still areas of concern.

“Whether it’s to do with property and infrastructure, today we’re seeing independent groups asking the government to come up with some infrastructure planning and property certainty and also in retail trade, the pattern in Queensland is not growing at the same level as other states.

“Finally, there are regional parts of Queensland where they are not feeling the joy of jobs.

“In Townsville, the unemployment rate remains stuck at over 8 per cent and in Cairns we still have youth unemployment being at unacceptably high levels and that’s Curtis Pitt’s home town.”

Source : Brisbane Times

Principals given out-of-school expulsion powers

August 21, 2013 – 12:01AM

Amy Remeikis

State political reporter

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has shown no sign of backing down on his opposition to the federal government's education reforms.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has introduced legislation that allows principals to expel or suspend students for out-of-school behaviour. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

School principals will be able to suspend or exclude students for offences they commit outside of school hours under new legislation introduced in Parliament on Tuesday.

 

Provisions under the Strengthening Discipline in State Schools Education Amendment Bill will also empower principals to suspend or expel students who are facing or have been convicted of criminal charges.

 

It means students who have been charged with a serious offence – as prescribed in the Children’s Commissioner’s Act – including rape, drug trafficking, armed robbery, torture, kidnapping and attempted murder, can be suspended until the charge is dealt with.

 

The bill, which expands a principal’s power for acts committed beyond the school gates, also means a principal can suspend or expel a student from school for conduct outside of school “provided the conduct adversely affects, or is likely to adversely affect, other students or the good order and management of the school or where the student’s attendance at the school poses an unacceptable risk to the safety or wellbeing of other students or staff”.

 

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Students will be provided with an educational program during their suspension.

 

Bullying and other anti-social behaviour, outside school hours and its property, could also be grounds for punishment.

 

In introducing the bill to Parliament, Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said principals understood their school community and knew what was best for it and should be given the powers to act accordingly.

 

“This provides a balance between enhancing principals’ powers to operate in accordance with local circumstances while guiding consistent decision making that affords appropriate levels of natural justice and ensures the safety and wellbeing of students and staff is paramount,” he said.

 

Under the Education Act as it currently stands, disciplinary options are limited to part of lunch breaks or short periods after school. The amended bill removes time limit restrictions for detention and includes options for Saturday detention and community service.

 

Short term suspensions can now be up to 10 schools days, up from five, meaning a long term suspension will now be between 11 and 20 days.

 

School principals will no longer require written submissions when expelling a student, however parents will still have the option to appeal a decision with the director-general.

 

“These reforms support the reforms under [the] Great Teachers = Great Results [policy] by strengthening principals’ powers and addressing limitations contained in the present legislative framework around school discipline,” Mr Langbroek said.

 

The education amendment bill has been sent to parliamentary committee for review, however Mr Langbroek expects it to be passed before the end of the year in time for the first school semester next year.

 

Brisbane Times