Natalie Bochenski: That brings another Brisbane Live at Work blog to a close for the day.
We'll see you tomorrow, when we're expecting a fine and partly cloudy day, with a low of 16 and top of 27.
Natalie Bochenski: Five Things We've Learned This Tuesday.
“Contestability” is the new buzzword after today’s release of the full Costello report and the government’s response.
Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party now has two sitting Queensland MPs.
Jesus Christ has been reborn and is living in Kingaroy, according to the followers of former IT specialist AJ Miller.
Crotch-based dance moves will be outlawed at a Sunshine Coast Eisteddfod.
And Michael Voss has until the end of the 2013 season to prove he’s worthy of staying on as Brisbane Lions coach.
Natalie Bochenski: An interesting Q&A coming up on ABC1 next Monday night...
Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be the sole panellist - and she'll be quizzed by an audience comprised entirely of high school students.
No doubt it'll make the #qanda fanatics on Twitter go bananas!
Julia Gillard with host Tony Jones on a previous Q&A appearance.
Natalie Bochenski: A second Queensland MP has jumped on the Clive Palmer United Australia Party bandwagon.
Member for Yeerongpilly Carl Judge has joined Gaven's Alex Douglas in the new venture.
Natalie Bochenski: Australia's five largest airports - including Brisbane - have been criticised by the competition watchdog for deteriorating service levels.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has called for increased investment to avoid excessive congestion in the future.
Natalie Bochenski: The Bureau of Meterology has released an update on Tropical Cyclone Zane.
It's fairly unusual to get a cyclone at this time of year, but this one is expected to bring destructive winds and storms to the Cape.
Updated information on Tropical Cyclone Zane. Photo: BoM
Phil Lutton: Some interesting thoughts from Brisbane Lions chief executive this afternoon about the future of head coach Michael Voss.
BT will have the story posted shortly.
The short-list for Australia's major fiction award has been announced.
The finalists for the $60,000 Miles Franklin prize are: previously shortlisted Carrie Tiffany for Mate-ship with Birds; Michelle de Kretser for Questions of Travel; and debut novelists Romy Ash for Floundering, Annah Faulkner for The Beloved and the much-awarded non-fiction writer Drusilla Modjeska for The Mountain.
Carrie Tiffany, Romy Ash and Michelle de Kretser are among the five on the all-female short-list. Photo: Peter Rae
Katherine Feeney: Any wannabe superstar knows full well how hard it is to get a break. Any musician in Queensland knows QMusic is there to help. Hence their new program in collaboration with the Sunshine Coast Council and APRA.
AMPED gives emerging musicians and industry professionals aged 18 to 30 the chance to learn from professionals about the business, including how to get your music heard and how to protect your intellectual property.
There are two major workshops coming up - one on May 2, the other June 6 - so if you're interested, check out the website or call the SCC Creative Development Officer on 5475 7272.
Amy Remeikis: Jason Young, a state organiser of the ETU, says the Commission of Audit recommendations mean jobs will be lost.
Note the t-shirt.
State organiser of the ETU Jason Young. Photo: Amy Remeikis
Multi Vehicle Accident .. Nudgee Rd Southbound blocking left lane before York St - Nundah . — Trafficnet QLD (@trafficnetqld) April 30, 2013
AAP: A cement truck driver thought he had enough room to overtake a cyclist who died after being run over by the vehicle's rear wheels, a court has heard.
Luke Michael Stevens is on trial in the Brisbane District Court over allegations he caused the death of 25-year-old Richard Pollett by driving dangerously on Brisbane's Moggill Road on September 27, 2011.
Amy Remeikis: Our reporter Amy Remeikis has sent through this picture and an explanation of the Together Union's duck.
"Big Bird's Antipodean cousin has rolled into parliament, and Alex Scott says 'if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck' - in this case it's privatisation."
A game of duck, duck, goose at parliament? Photo: Amy Remeikis
Natalie Bochenski: What is going on down at parliament today?
And a big yellow bird has just rolled into parliament, on the arm of Together Union's Alex Scott. twitter.com/AmyRemeikis/st…— Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis) April 30, 2013
Bridie Jabour: Some more quotes from Tim Nicholls' media conference on the Costello audit.
He says "presume we are going to make a [asset] sale is presumptuous".
Asked if outsourcing of sports stadiums will have an impact on ticket prices - "No, it won't."
He's emphasised the recommendations in the Commission of Audit are part of a long term plan.
"There is no immediate revolution happening tomorrow," he said.
Mr Nicholls said it is up to the credit agencies to decide if the state government has done enough to avoid another credit rating downgrade.
And he was asked if he thinks he needs a mandate to lease the ports and generators. He replied that if the state government decides to do it, it will take the issue to the election.
With that, his adviser has wrapped the press conference up.
Natalie Bochenski: Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan says almost everything in Queensland could be "under the hammer".
Mr Swan says the Costello report and the government's response shows there's very little the LNP isn't prepared to sell, privatise or outsource.
"What we're seeing today is the large-scale corporatisation of the Queensland government which will hit frontline services relied on by Queenslanders every day," Mr Swan said in a statement.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls is using a very complicated analogy when asked when Queensland will get its AAA credit rating back.
"The elevator was plummeting and we stopped it before it hit the bottom floor," he said.
"Now we have to get back to the top hit we need to take the stairs."
Two hitchhikers allegedly robbed the man who offered them a ride, making off with the victim’s car and leaving him stranded on the side of a central Queensland road.
A 37-year-old man picked up two male hitchhikers on Rosewood Street, Blackwater about 7pm on Monday, according to police.
When car reached the intersection of Yarrabee Haul Road and the Capricorn Highway, one of the men allegedly threatened the driver with a knife.
After a brief struggle, the hitchhikers allegedly made off with the car but crashed it a short time later on the Capricorn Highway near Duaringa after police spotted the vehicle.
A 29-year-old man from Spring Hill and a 27-year-old man from Flinders View were charged with one count each of armed robbery, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, stealing, fail to stop motor vehicle, unlawfully take goods and two counts of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.
Both remain in custody and are due to appear before the Rockhampton Magistrates Court today.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls has been asked if there will be more redundancies out of the Costello audit.
"What we are talking about is the testing of those services," he said.
Mr Nicholls is refusing to rule it out. Instead saying the government will "continue to reform".
He's also been asked if he can reclaim AAA rating without selling assets. Mr Nicholls says if the government doesn't follow commission of audit recommendations, the credit rating could be downgraded again.
He says voters have a choice between higher taxes or managing the budget better.
Daniel Tomlinson: King George Square has been brought to life by festivities for the inaugural International Jazz Day.
Live, improvised and smooth jazz music is the flavour of the moment in the square with an enthusiastic crowd getting into the swing of things-and jazz legend James Morrison hasn't even arrived yet!
When he does, he'll lead the supporters on a march towards Queen Street Mall in a flurry of jazz action.
Jazz festival celebrations in King George Square.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls says the Commission of Audit report puts forward many challenges - such as the ageing population - but also provides solutions.
He's thrown open the floor for questions and the first is about how it will affect the budget.
"The things recommended in the report are about improving outcomes for the money we spend," he said.
Mr Nicholls said the first budget was about fiscal cuts but the report is more focused on productivity - bang for our buck!
Tim Nicholls addressing the media about the government's response to the Costello audit. Photo: Bridie Jabour
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls has taken to the former senate room at Queensland Parliament for his media conference on the Commission of Audit report.
He says the theme of the report is clearly delivering better services at more efficient prices.
Mr Nicholls has emphasised the government will not be seeking a mandate at the next election to sell energy assets but are still deciding what they will do with the government owned ports.
"We have to the steps to improve productivity to keep delivering the devices we have in the past," he said.
Amy Remeikis: "All political parties which are bottom up are more likely to succeed."
That's Alex Douglas speaking in parliament about the United Australia Party.
He's talking about getting back to grassroots and representing electorates, rather than allowing the executive to have control.
"The UAP is a party for everyone," he says.
He says the party is ready for any snap elections and will have people standing in every electorate.
"I look forward to a long history as a UAP member for Gaven."
Mr Douglas said the UAP has its first member of parliament - and he looks forward to many more.
Alex Douglas, MP Independent Member for Gaven, who formerly headed the oversight committee. Photo: Harrison Saragossi
Amy Remeikis: We are going to take a break from bringing you the recommendations - Member for Gaven, Alex Douglas is due to address parliament in a few minutes to announce he is joining the United Australia Party (no surprises there).
Then Treasurer Tim Nicholls is addressing the media about the Commission of Audit report. Following that, we will hear from the unions and the opposition.
Just before we head off to those media conferences, here is the first few lines of the ETU's response to the Commission of Audit:
"The Costello Report confirms a worst case scenario; that a fire sale of public assets and outsourcing of jobs is clearly on the Newman government's agenda. Electrical Trades Union Secretary Peter Simpson said the report
confirms a continuation of the slash and burn approach to jobs and services that has been the hallmark of the Queensland LNP Government since taking office."
Amy Remeikis: So. Many. Recommendations.
But no matter, we shall carry on. Still on health, the report recommends "realigning" the "scope" of the state's public outpatient services to bring them into line with the best practices interstate.
-Adopting new delivery models (which includes increased private sector involvement)
-Implementing improved management models
-Improving the referral process and
-Reducing pressure on inpatient services by "implementing clinical and cost-effective models of care in outpatient services".
-The government has already commenced putting this recommendation into place.
Amy Remeikis: The Costello report recommends there be a "clear protocol" which sets out:
-What functions are performed by the states and which are performed by the federal government (so basically, a clear defining of duties).
-Where there are shared responsibilities, "common performance and compliance arrangements" are in place, so overlapping, confusing and inconsistent funding responsibilities are reduced.
Accepted! says the government.
"There are benefits from a clearly defined separation of functions for states and the Commonwealth government, including in particular reduced cost associated with confused and overlapping service delivery responsibilities and reduced reporting and compliance activity".
Bridie Jabour: Government grants could be cut as the come under the microscope thanks to the Commission of Audit report.
The state government has accepted a recommendation to "reduce the piecemeal and fragmented nature" of current programs.
The report says the government should be getting better value for money from the grants and have a "more informed" basis for making decisions on which organisations get grants.
Bridie Jabour: Sports and politics have collided in the Commission of Audit report.
A recommendation to outsource the running of five state-owned stadiums has been accepted in principle.
The state government says it will wait for the results of a more wide-ranging review before making a decision on whether to outsource the running of the stadiums to private companies.
Amy Remeikis: The best and easiest way to improve emergency departments in public hospitals is to let them concentrate on emergencies, recommends the Costello report.
That means working with Medicare Locals to reduce the number of GP presentations to the departments - by doing things like improving after-hours GP services and expansion of privately operated, co-located primary care clinics.
And then adopting the "Extended Care Paramedic model to "allow paramedics a greater scope of practice, reducing unnecessary transfers to emergency departments".
The government not only accepts this recommendation, it notes that it is all over it - pointing to the Hospital and Health Boards Act 2011.
Bridie Jabour: We are back to the caveats on the "no asset sales" policy. The government has accepted a recommendation in the Commission of Audit report which says asset costs should be reduced by "disposing of, or consolidating use of" underused assets.
Bridie Jabour: The Commission of Audit reports recommends the government commission more reports.
This is not a Monty Python joke!
One of the recommendations which has being accepted says the government should produce an "Intergenerational Report" every five years to outlines trends for the next 40 years. Each five years. Still with me?
The report will outline long-term demographic, economic and financial trends and likely implications for Queensland.
The first one is due in the 2015-16 financial year.
Amy Remeikis: Improve the efficiency of the state's public hospitals?
Already doing it, says the state - see the Blueprint for Better Healthcare in Queensland.
And here is that word "contestable" again.
The Commissioners recommend the government expand contestable markets, starting in metropolitan areas, for:
-clinical support services (pathology, radiology, pharmacy)
-non-clinical support services (catering, cleaning, laundry, ward support)
Again, the government says it has already started doing this, and notes its health blueprint.
"However, the government remains fully committed to ensuring all Queenslanders have access to a free public hospital system."
Amy Remeikis: While we are talking about clearly defined functions between governments, let's get specific: the Costello report recommends the state and the federal governments work out who is responsible for individual health obligations.
Part of that would mean "vigorously" resisting any attempts at "cost shifting" from the feds to the state, and secondly, if the state provides health services which are under the purview of the federal government, then the state "seek reimbursement" for those costs.
The state response - it is already working with the federal government on a "bilateral plan for primary health care" to ensure there is a clear line between state and federal responsibilities.
Some interesting bits and pieces around the sports desk this morning. Queensland Cricket has announced the signing of Ben McDermott, a promising young batsman who came through the Australian Under 19s. He's the brother of Bulls quick Alister and of course, the son of former Australian paceman Craig.
And in rugby, former Wallaby captain Nathan Sharpe hasn't stayed out of the game for long. Sharpe recently retired but will be part of the forward coaching staff as the Wallabies prepare for the British and Irish Lions.
Amy Remeikis: The Costello report recommends the state government 'negotiate' with the federal government and other states on measures "to reduce the states' reliance on narrowly-based and inefficient taxes".
The government thinks that is a great idea: "It is essential that states have an adequately robust revenue base to allow them access to the revenue and funding required to meet their expenditure and service delivery responsibilities".
The best way to do this? An "open and mature debate".
Katherine Feeney: Want to be the boss of racing in Queensland? Well, you can now that RQ is looking for a Chief Executive Officer to join the inaugural board members of RQ and the Code Control Boards announced by Racing Minister Steve Dickson 11 days ago.
RQ Chairman Kevin Dixon believes this appointment is vital for the Queensland racing industry which has been without a permanent CEO for over a year.
To be considered, applicants will need to demonstrate extensive racing industry involvement and related knowledge at the strategic level, including an understanding of the rules governing racing across the three codes.
Got what it takes? Get your application in by May 15...
Bridie Jabour: Private companies could run buses and trains with the government opening up public transport to bids from private companies.
Recommendations by the Commission of Audit buses and trains be opened up to "contestability" allowing private companies to bid on them, have been accepted by the state government.
Competing tendering will be introduced long distance and tourist rail services as well as for bus service contracts throughout the state.
The tender process will include the evaluation of routes.
Bridie Jabour: It seems the government is using some "tricky" language in its commitment not to sell state assets.
It has accepted a Commission of Audit recommendation to sell "non-core businesses".
The coal export revenues of Stanwell is cited as the only example of a "non-core business", and in accepting the recommendation the state government says proposals will be evaluated based on "commercial merits".
As for what else is a "non-core business", I guess we will have to wait and see.
Natalie Bochenski: Fancy a little light reading?
The full Costello Commission of Audit report is now online - as well as the government's response.
Bridie Jabour: The state government has rejected the first two of the Commission of Audit's recommendations.
They included appointing a single shareholding minister for all Governmet Owned Corporations and establishing an office for them.
However the Government Owned Corporations Act will be amended so the chair and members of GOC boards serve a maximum of 10 years.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls has finished up and I'm about to get stuck into the 1000 page Commission of Audit report. Details forthcoming!
Bridie Jabour: Standing orders have been suspended to let Treasurer Tim Nicholls keep talking about the Commission of Audit report.
"I thank the house for its indulgence," he said.
He continued on to say the government is focused on having a clear road map to make Queensland the best state.
Mr Nicholls said some of the report's recommendations will take years to implement.
Bridie Jabour: The buzz word from Premier Campbell Newman and Treasurer Tim Nicholls today is "contestability".
It's a very bureaucratic way of saying private companies should be able to pitch plans to take over government service delivery.
In other words, outsourcing - as flagged by political reporter Amy Remeikis this morning.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls, speaking in parliament on the tabling of the Commission of Audit report, says "if we do nothing Queenslanders will not be able to escape the debt burden".
He is now on to productivity saying it needs to be improved by 1 per cent each year.
"The only way we an expand and improve services is to fundamentally change the way they are structured," he said.
Mr Nicholls says people do not care who provides services, as long as they are delivered well.
I don't know if he could have dropped a bigger hint on potentially outsourcing government services.
Simon Holt: May 18-19 is shaping up as a big weekend in Brisbane. It's Paniyiri Greek Festival in Musgrave Park which is proudly being partnered by brisbanetimes.com.au.
And those seeking some relaxing nostalgia can pop along to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra concert - tapping into movie themes, including music from Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries forever linked to Apocalypse Now, Bernstein’s West Side Story and Addinsell’s Warsaw Concerto from Dangerous Moonlight.
The concern kicks off at 11.30am at QPAC Concert Hall.
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls now has the floor. He says what is clear from the report is "business as usual is not an option" - a line we have all heard before!
Mr Nicholls said the government is still working on a policy to do with energy generators despite deciding not to sell energy assets.
He said the report does not recommend looking at energy generators until 2015.
Bridie Jabour: Premier Campbell Newman is finally talking about the hot issue, asset sales. He says only five of the 155 recommendations are to do with asset sales.
Mr Newman says the government will NOT be seeking a mandate at the next election to sell assets. Instead the government will look at other way to increase productivity and pay down debt.
Bridie Jabour: Premier Campbell Newman speaking about the Commission of Audit in parliament says the report is about making Queensland the best state in Australia.
"It's a plan to supercharge the state's economy," he said.
"...it's about being upfront and honest about our vision.
"We will not be deceitful and underhanded."
Bridie Jabour: Treasurer Tim Nicholls has tabled the Commission of Audit and the government's response.
Premier Campbell Newman is the first to speak on the report saying he "greatly appreciates" the hard work of the Treasurer and his department on the report.
Mr Newman said the government response has been tabled with the report so Queenslanders "know exactly where they stand".
He is now taking a trip down memory lane and telling the chamber the same courtesy was not extended to Queenslanders under the previous Bligh Government.
The Commission of Audit report makes 155 recommendations& the Gov's response sets out the way forward. #COA #qldpol -PT — Campbell Newman (@theqldpremier) April 29, 2013
Natalie Bochenski: We're all holding our breath to discover the government's response to the Costello Commission of Audit.
State parliament is about to start, and we'll have reporters Amy Remeikis and Bridie Jabour filing live.
Scott Beveridge: The Cowboys are mourning the loss of one of their rising stars.
20-year-old Alex Elisala died yesterday afternoon after his life support was turned off following a mysterious incident.
Mystery death of Cowboys player
North Queensland Cowboys players are offered counselling following the mysterious death of 20-year-old squad member Alex Elisala on Monday after his life support was switched off. Nine NewsPT0M26S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2ipn6 620 349 April 30, 2013
Meanwhile in the far north ...
A Cyclone WARNING has been declared for coastal areas from Cape Grenville to Cape Tribulation. #TCZane— QPS Media Unit (@QPSmedia) April 29, 2013
Natalie Bochenski: Our resident Blunt Instrument John Birmingham knows a thing or two about being a tenant - he did write He Died With a Felafel in His Hand, after all.
Today he's looking at the Newman government's imminent axing of tenant advisory services.
Simon Holt: It's a shock quite a few have had to endure over the past 12 months in Queensland. Our resident finance expert Olivia Maragna has put together a few tips to help plan for redundancy.
The first, she says, is to ensure you have at least three to eight months worth of your living expenses and commitments in an emergency fund or savings account that is accessible. Sounds easy, right? But don't worry, there are nine other tips where that came from.
Danielle Cronin: Here’s what is making news on the site this morning:
- Major asset sales may be off the table, but outsourcing services is still very much in play as the Newman Government puts forward its plan to reduce the state's debt and regain its AAA credit rating.
- Doctors and nurses have been warned to stop criticising the state government and blaming them for budget cuts in front of patients at one of the state's biggest hospitals.
- A young North Queensland Cowboys squad member is dead after a mystery incident that left him in intensive care.
- Clive Palmer's United Australia Party is set to gain its first sitting MPs with two Liberal National Party defectors planning to announce their membership.
- Certain "crotch" movements will be banned and tights will be compulsory at future Sunshine Coast Dance Eisteddfods.
It should be a trouble-free commute for train, ferry and most bus passengers.
But a few crashes have been reported.