Local member Brittany Lauga helps out at the Lend A Hand activity organised for the Livingstone Shire to clean up after Cyclone Marcia.   Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin
Local member Brittany Lauga helps out at the Lend A Hand activity organised for the Livingstone Shire to clean up after Cyclone Marcia. Photo: Chris Ison / The Morning Bulletin Chris Ison ROK140315ccleanup7

Lauga's answers to the rise of One Nation and tackling PTSD

KEPPEL MP Brittany Lauga took part in a Morning Bulletin question and answer session on the "mediocre LNP" controversy, how to halt the rise of One Nation, what Labor is doing to help all PTSD warriors and what she's doing for Keppel.

We put a range of questions to Ms Lauga and here are her answers:

Brandis' comments about LNP in QLD being 'mediocre' and that One Nation was taking LNP votes suggests that One Nation will cannabilise LNP voters in the next State election.

What does Ms Lauga think of this?

This is the same LNP, once again divided and throwing rocks at each other. It's the political gift that keeps on giving.

In Capricornia, One Nation received 15.49% of the Senate first-preference vote. At a number of polling centres, One Nation received over 20% of the first-preference vote.

Given that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has been back to Capricornia three times in the past four months, including an upcoming visit on Friday, How does Ms Lauga feel about this increased support from CQ for One Nation?

The only thing I am interested in is working for the people of Keppel, growing local jobs and tourism.

What is Ms Lauga doing to counter the rise in One Nation popularity?

Delivering for the people of Keppel is what I am 100% focused on. My focus on working as part of the Palaszczuk Government to create jobs and restore frontline services cut by the former LNP Government.

In terms of employment, I am urging local employers to take advantage of the $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost.  It is an incentive to take on a jobseeker aged between 15 and 24 years.  This program is designed specifically for employers in regional Queensland to grow local jobs.

Ms Hanson has organised a PTSD Forum in Emu Park after stories in the CQ media about lack of support financially and emotionally for contemporary veterans (defence force personal who served after 1975).

Given that the State Government is in charge of determining where what specialist services (PTSD treatments include psychiatry, psychology, art therapy, music therapy, etc which are all specialist trained practices), what is the ALP Government doing to do to help all PTSD warriors (which includes emergency services, rape victims, child abuse victims, people who volunteer in rescue services, domestic violence victims, etc) in regional areas like Rockhampton in terms of providing access to specialist services locally?

There are many Government funded specialist services that provide free services victims to PTSD warriors in Central Queensland, including:

  • Girls Time Out
  • Women's Health Centre
  • Micah Projects
  • Rockhampton Hospital
  • Relationships Australia
  • Headspace
  • Anglicare Central Queensland Wellbeing Centre
  • Gumbi Gumbi Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Awareness Centre
  • Central Queensland Indigenous Development
  • Mimosa Creek Healing Centre
  • Helem Yumba

What is the ALP doing to lobbying the Federal Government to have better financial access via Centrelink and the Department of Veterans Affairs, without the scrutinising testing that has a detrimental impact on the PTSD sufferers mental health?

The Turnbull Government needs to do more.  Federal Labor presented a comprehensive policy at the last Federal election to support our veterans. 


What is Ms Lauga doing at a local level?

I have working hard since the day I was elected to deliver results for Keppel. Growing full-time, permanent, secure jobs in this region is my number one priority and the Palaszczuk Government's job-creation policies are working. In the two years since I was elected, I have delivered over $100 million in job-creation infrastructure projects, including the Yeppoon Foreshore, Emu Park Foreshore and First Turkey Mountain Bike Reserve, to name just a few.

Investment in local health services, including mental health, are an important pillar of the Palaszczuk Government. In fact, just last week we announced $23 million to improve the maternity ward at the Rockhampton Hospital.

In the past year, Queensland Health has added an additional 4183 full-time equivalent staff and 93 per cent of the increase in staffing has occurred in hospital and health services - the organisations responsible for front line service delivery. Of these staff, 3070 were clinical positions.

The Palaszczuk Government is making record commitments to tackling the scourge of domestic and family violence.  The Government has also recently unveiled a $350 million plan to further strengthen its commitment to supporting Queenslanders living with mental health, alcohol and drug issues.

The Turnbull LNP Government, on the other hand, is cutting hundreds of millions of dollars out of our local Hospital and Health Service.

Our government promised Queenslanders we would rebuild the health system decimated by the Newman LNP Government - and that's what we are doing.

About one in five Australians will experience a mental illness (or PTSD) in any given year, and almost half will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.

Yet when we came to Government, three years of LNP cuts had driven Queensland's staff and spending on mental health services to the lowest level in Australia.

We've now started the job of turning this around.

We have opened new youth residential rehabilitation facilities and new mental health facilities, and we are replacing the Barrett Adolescent Centre that was catastrophically closed by the Newman Government in 2014.

In this coming year, we will spend $1.55 billion on mental health, alcohol and drug services.

But we know there is more to be done.

Just recently, our government has announced Connecting Care to Recovery - our new plan to improve mental health (including PTSD), alcohol and drug services across the state.

Over five years, we will target $350 million of additional funding towards extra investments in mental health, drug and alcohol services.

As a government, we are dedicated to fulfilling our goal of Queenslanders being among the healthiest people in the world by 2026, but as a community we all have a role to play in valuing one another's mental health.

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