10 April 2012
The Honourable Mark McArdle MP
Minister for Energy and Water Supply
Level 13, Mineral House
41 George Street
BRISBANE QLD 4000
Congratulations on your success in the electorate of Caloundra and thank you for accepting my invitation to serve Queensland as the Minister for Energy and Water Supply.
Our electoral success was achieved with a strong cohesive CanDo team committed to real change, and your contribution to the team played a significant part. Queenslanders have voted for change, and it is critical that we respect the trust bestowed on us by delivering on our commitments to grow a four pillar economy, lower the cost of living by cutting waste, deliver better infrastructure and better planning, revitalise front line services for families, restore accountability in Government and work towards our goal of achieving 4% unemployment in six years.
For this reason, I am writing to each Minister outlining my expectations of the priority tasks to be achieved to deliver on our election commitments. You and your Department have a vital role to play in the reform program, as reflected in the following tasks for which I am requesting you to take responsibility.
I expect that at all times Ministers will demonstrate to the public the capabilities and behaviours that will define us as the Government we undertook to be – united, energetic, disciplined and ethical. I refer you to the Queensland Cabinet Handbook, the Queensland Ministerial Handbook, the Queensland Executive Council Handbook, the Queensland Parliamentary Procedures Handbook and the Queensland Legislation Handbook.
Contribution to the 100 Day Plan
The following are the specific tasks relevant to your portfolio which you need to achieve in the first 100 days of Government.
• Freeze or lower the standard domestic tariff (Tariff 11) to address soaring electricity bills as part of cost of living relief (to take effect from 1 July 2012) in consultation with the Treasurer (First 30 days).
• Act to put the cost of the carbon tax on electricity bills.
• Start the process to amalgamate bulk water entities as part of our Four Point Plan to Reduce Water Prices.
First Term Tasks
In addition to these early milestones, the following tasks within your area of ministerial responsibility are to be achieved within the first term of Government.
• Implement all LNP election policy commitments relevant to your portfolio.
• Identify wasteful expenditure that could be redirected to front line services.
• Work to create a strong future for Energy in Queensland with a stable, clear legislative framework for industry.
• Investigate and identify infrastructure requirements to ensure the further growth of the Energy and Water sector, and the continued provision of these services to Queenslanders.
• Alongside key stakeholders and the Department, work to develop and foster the creation of clean energy alternatives.
• Undertake discussions with the Federal Government and Federal Opposition about the negative impact that the Carbon Tax will have upon Queensland jobs and industry.
• Ensure the Department leads the way in ensuring the world’s best social and environmental performance.
• Develop and implement policies and initiatives that ensure departmental resources are principally engaged for frontline service delivery and to remove unnecessary red tape.
• Work with the electricity industry to deliver initiatives that incentivise customers to reduce electricity consumption and thereby lower their cost of living.
• Commence proper planning for Queensland’s future water needs and work to create a sustainable water supply that will cater for Queensland’s population increases and ensure this planning meets the needs of households, industry and agriculture.
• Hand back control of water distribution and retailing to local councils.
• Write off any non-performing water grid assets to reduce sharp price rises.
• Adopt a 40 year price path to repay the former Bligh Labor Government’s $7 billion water grid debt over the economic life of the assets.
• Rigorously ensure your Department is aware of our overarching plan to cut Government waste and inefficiency.
• Implement the LNP’s election commitment for sustainable public sector growth.
• Implement the LNP’s election commitment to reduce red tape.
• Continue to establish effective working relationships with stakeholders and other interest groups relevant to your portfolio areas.
• Deliver consolidation of bulk water entities.
Could you please consult with your Director-General to ensure these goals are understood by the Department and that systems are in place to monitor and report on progress towards their achievement, so that you are able to update Cabinet regularly. In this regard, the Department of Premier and Cabinet will be responsible for coordinating reports to Cabinet on progress, and will assist your Department with proposed reporting formats.
I intend to review this charter and your efforts to implement it regularly.
Finally, I congratulate you again on your appointment and I look forward to working closely with you as a Ministerial colleague as we implement our policies and achieve the goal of providing a CanDo Government to get Queensland back on track.
PREMIER OF QUEENSLAND