Cabinet moves to ease living costs
THE LNP has used its first cabinet meeting to begin lowering the cost of living for Queenslanders through the axing of electricity tariffs and easing transport costs.
Nineteen LNP ministers gathered in Brisbane on Tuesday morning for the meeting and were welcomed with a traditional Chinese lion dance, symbolising good luck, wisdom and power.
For many ministers, including Toowoomba South MP and Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, John McVeigh, it was their first time on the front bench.
Mr McVeigh said there was definitely a sense of excitement at the first meeting.
"There was a sense of significant enthusiasm, no doubt about that, but there's also a sober attitude in the fact that there is a lot of work to do to implement LNP policies," he said.
The inaugural Can-Do cabinet meeting focused on slashing expenses for Queenslanders.
Premier Campbell Newman said the government would freeze or lower the standard domestic electricity tariff, known as tariff 11.
"The tariff will be at its minimum frozen and the carbon tax comes on top of that, but the Prime Minister is saying she is providing compensation for that ... we have to take that at face value," Mr Newman said.
However, Mr Newman admitted if not done properly, lower income households who consumed the lowest amounts of electricity could actually pay more in upfront costs.
"I'm concerned the way the various (tariff) increments are set and I will look at the detail of that," he said.
"I want to make sure people will not be hurt, particularly the disadvantaged in the community."
Cabinet also resolved to progress towards freezing private motor vehicle registration for three years from July 1 2012.
Public transport users are set to benefit with the government deciding to half the projected public transport fare increase introduced by Labor to 7.5% in 2013-2014.
The LNP also moved to reinstate the principal place of residence stamp duty rate, which would "save Queenslanders up to $7000".
The Premier will make his distaste for the carbon tax known when he attends his first Council of Australian Governments meeting in Canberra on Friday13/4.
Mr Newman would not rule out aligning with other state governments to fight the tax.
"I will continue to voice my position and if there is legal opinion that could be relied upon, that was credible, which said it could be challenged, I would give due consideration to doing that," he said.
"But I would want to do that with other states so the cost was spread."