More than 10,000 people from across the state have contributed ideas to the blueprint of our future – the Queensland Plan.

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier Campbell Newman

Premier of Queensland

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With one month left to go, the Queensland Plan is starting to take shape. Emerging themes coming through include compulsory community service, taking a more personalised approach to education and overhauling the economy to reduce our reliance on mining. Respondents also want to strengthen community connections, improve our cultural and economic relationships with Asia and place greater emphasis on the role of agriculture and farming. More than 10,000 people from every corner of the state have responded to the six questions developed at the Mackay Summit – some Queenslanders have opted to join in local community events to share and debate their views, while others have gone online to have their say. Submissions close on 30 August 2013.

New police trial
The Queensland Police Service (QPS) will soon start trialling the use of mobile devices so they can use their computer system while on the beat. Later this year, 50 officers across the state will be issued with either a smart phone or tablet device with a custom built police app which will let them instantly search person, vehicle and address details through various databases. It means no more waiting for other staff to carry out checks, and much better use of their time. The QPS will regularly talk to the 50 officers trialling the app to see if the app is performing as intended.

Public housing shakeup
You may have heard about the big shakeup happening with public housing, which will result in at least 12,000 extra social housing dwellings in Queensland. The Housing 2020 Strategy will set up a flexible, regionally based, integrated system that will see at least 90 per cent of all social housing managed by community housing providers by 2020. The composition of social housing has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, with tenants now far more likely to be singles or single parents, and more than half having at least one household member with a disability. There are also many tenants who could move into private rentals if they get the right sort of support. Over the years the needs of our tenants have changed, but the system hasn’t – which is why we are overhauling the system. The end result will be new homes and a bigger role for community housing providers, as well as a focus on making housing assistance transitional rather than permanent.

Secret weapons against graffiti
Did you know that more than 1,000 charges have been laid against graffiti vandals on rail assets so far this year? We are serious about cracking down on this sort of anti-social behaviour and we’re fighting back with some ‘invisible’ weapons. One of these is a virtual fence along the Gold Coast-Beenleigh line, which uses a combination of thermal cameras and video analytics that detect vandals and send an alert back to our security centre. The best thing about this technology is vandals don’t even know they have been detected until the police arrive to arrest them. A new trial using military grade buried sensor cables that detect vandals and activate alarms at our security centre is also about to get underway and I’m confident we’ll see some good results from it as well.

As seen in bmag issue 263