News

Swan denies Labor's in election mode

IT'S GOING to be a long year for Queenslanders who do not care for politics, or politicians for that matter.

The sunshine state, along with News South Wales, is home to the highest number of marginal seats with 17.

For the past 12 months Queensland has had more than its fair share of visits from high profile MPs from both sides of the divide.

With an election due later this year, the state can expect an even greater influx.

It began today in the marginal seat of Brisbane, which Liberal Party MP Teresa Gambaro holds by just 1.13%, with Treasurer Wayne Swan and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott holding press conference within an hour of one another.

Mr Swan, who will have a battle of his own just to hold his Queensland seat of Lilley (3.18%), was joined by Families Minister Jenny Macklin to remind voters about the SchoolKids Bonus.

Given the bonus - worth $410 for each child in primary school and $820 a year for each high school student - was a key feature of last year's Federal Budget, the pair had nothing new to reveal.

But they were eager to point out cash from the scheme began hitting bank accounts this month, with $588 million already being dished out to 1.2 million families across Australia in the past fortnight.

In Queensland alone, 256,139 families will share in $125 million.

The Sunshine Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba are also among the top 10 local government areas in the state for SchoolKids Bonus payments, each raking in $9.6 million, $6.8 million and $4.9 million respectively from the scheme.

Mr Swan denied the party was already in election mode.

"No, what I'm absolutely out here doing is talking to the Australian people about our positive plans for the future.

And what I've done today is to contrast them with the wreck-and-burn approach of Mr Abbott and, of course, the State LNP," Mr Swan said.

Not surprisingly, the SchoolKids Bonus failed to rate a mention during Mr Abbott's media conference in Brisbane, but children were a key issue of his the did speak about childcare.

He repeated his call for a Productivity Commission inquiry into Australia's childcare system, saying it would be "one of the first acts of an incoming Coalition government".

Mr Abbott also stood by his controversial paid parental leave scheme, which he admitted had critics on both sides of politics.

"I'm very proud of our positions on these very important issues," Mr Abbott said.

"This is a critical year. At some point in this year, there'll be an election and the election will determine whether we really do move towards a better childcare system and a fair dinkum paid parental leave scheme."

Topics:  federal election 2013, tony abbott, wayne swan



Teenager taken to hospital after motorbike crash

Emergency crews have just left Warwick.

UPDATE: The teenager came off his motorbike this morning.

5 places hiring in Warwick right now

GET HUNTING: Nab your dream job today.

Nab your dream job today.

Hoon's case goes up in smoke

school04a
A car rammed into a set of gates at Woodcrest College at the weekend.
Photo: Sarah Harvey JA0410HL
News: Andrew Korner

A hoon told the magistrate he did donuts because he was bored.

Local Partners

9000 reasons to support our community clubs

Community clubs are good at what they do. They are not so good at telling the world about what they do, as Clubs Queensland CEO Doug Flockhart explains.


What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

How the Gruen guy's t-shirts took on a life of their own

Documentary filmmaker and Gruen panellist Todd Sampson.

What started out as simple workwear has become a trademark

Rural properties expected to soar as investors seek income

Rural properties are should become highly sought after

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state