Saturday, 29 December 2012

Adelaide unemployed imprisoned.

Brisbane March 3, 1894


Our Motto: “Socialism in our time.”

Charles Stewart and Henry M'Cormick leaders of the Adelaide unemployed, have been sentenced to 10 and 14 days' imprisonment respectively for leading a procession of unemployed through the city after it had been interdicted. Very hard on Stewart and M'Cormick, but a very excellent thing for the men out of employment. There's nothing like agitation, and one can't agitate nowadays without a risk of getting into gaol. Every unemployed agitator should recognise this, and be prepared for the worst. If unemployed men want work they must stand up and say so – not idle their time away at home making their wives miserable and themselves melancholy, or reclining in the parks gazing into the “blue empyrean,” or wandering aimlessly through the country seeking the one billet for which there are twenty applicants. This unemployed question must be forced under the notice of the people and the imprisonment of unemployed leaders for merely marching through the streets is one of the best methods of drawing public notice to he circumstances that thousands of men of all trades and occupations are destitute because private employers cannot or will not employ them.

The Governments of the different colonies will always object to a public parade of rage and misery because it is a reproach to them whose duty it is to find work for all willing members of the community in need of it. The present governments, composed of members of the employer class are interested in the existence of an unemployed army to keep down the rate of wages, and will use every means of preventing the unemployed from advertising their poverty and destitution. The people as a whole do not credit the existence of a large unemployed class, because it is kept out of sight. The plain duty of those who want work is, under the circumstances, to bring their case under the notice of the people whose great generous heart would not tolerate the mass of misery which is now lurking in all sorts of holes and hiding places in what ought to be a veritable “promised land.” Stewart and M'Cormick are in gaol. Someone must take their places, even if they have to go to gaol too. John Burns has “done time,” Hyndman J. W. Wilson, Lassalle, Karl Marx, and a host of other Labour agitators, so there's no disgrace attached to imprisonment for advocating the rights of the poor in defiance of the out of date parliamentary “statoota” and municipal by-laws which an employers' government will unearth to suppress a rising of the people against class government and a refusal to provide permanent productive employment for every man and woman who requires it.

We hope the Adelaide unemployed will continue to agitate and parade despite the South Australian Government. Let them force themselves before the public and the public will stand by them. Agitate,educate, organise! Nothing will ever be done by sitting down crooning over troubles. Meet early in the morning when the thousands of Adelaide workers who are fortunate enough to be in employment are going to work, and then parade so that they may see the prospects ahead of them.
Follow the practice of the Sydney unemployed and walk in a body to church. Do everything that is likely to bring your condition under the notice of the man who has a vote to turn out every government which does not believe it is the duty of a government to find work for all who need it. Do anything but sit down – unless perhaps you sit down in a body in the precincts of Parliament House when Parliament opens and refuse to shift until the Premier promises to give you the chance of earning not only an honest crust but a good square meal, good clothes and good shelter for yourselves and for those dependents on you.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Forming a Woman's Suffrage Association.

Brisbane March 3, 1894


A public meeting was held in the Protestant Hall, Ann street, on Wednesday evening last, for the purpose of forming a Woman's Suffrage Association. A very large proportion of ladies were present and the hall was well filled by an interested audience. A very incompetent gentleman, a member of the Upper House (Dr. Taylor), occupied the chair. When he had spoken, Mrs. Cooper after a very good address, moved the following resolution:

That this meeting of Brisbane citizens is of opinion that the time has come when the electoral laws of the colony should be so altered as to extend to women the privilege of a political vote.

Mr. J. A. Clark seconded the motion.

Sir Charles Lilley, in a most excellent one-woman-one-vote speech, only requiring one thing, that it should be supported by action, supported the motion.
Miss S. A. Bailey, who had distributed copies of a circular throughout the hall, courageously ascended the platform to move her amendments. The circular ran as follows:


Ladies and Gentlemen,- As it appears to me the resolutions to be moved at this meeting are not definite enough, and would give many sympathisers the impression that there is a desire on the part of the promoters of this meeting to give some ladies two and more votes, and some women no votes at all, if you and the chairman will permit me I will move the following amendments, in order that all doubts may be set at rest:

1st Amendment, - “ That there be inserted in the motion, after the word 'altered,' these words: “ to extend to all women the right to one vote each, and one vote only, in parliamentary and municipal elections.”

2nd Amendment, - “ That in the opinion of this meeting it is desirable to form an association to be called ' The Woman's Equal Franchanise Association.'”

Trusting that you will support me in my efforts to secure equal rights for all,
I am, yours faithfully,
Sarah A. Bailey.

Mr. James Martin proceeded to second the amendment, but the chairman declined to allow him to speak.
Mr. W. G. Higgs dissented from the chairman's ruling, and hoped the chairman would allow Mr. Martin to speak in favour of the amendment.
Speak to anything,” said martin, and then proceeded to advance arguments in favour of equal rights for all. His remarks were received with loud cheers.
Sir Charles Lilley advised the meeting not to press the amendment, but Mrs. Miller considered that the matter might be settled amicably by a show of hands on the question of one-woman-one-vote.
Mr. J. Willard protested against the chairman's refusal to put the amendment.
Mrs. Moginie in a strong speech urged that the amendment be not pressed, and the Labour Party present, wishing to avoid anything approaching a disturbance, allowed the amendment to be suppressed by the chairman.
The chairman then put the resolution, which was declared carried. The larger portion of the audience refrained from voting.
Mr. W. G. Higgs immediately called for a show of hands in favour of the amendment, and eight of every ten present held up their hands, no one voting against.
The amendment was declared carried.

Mrs. Moginie moved:

That, in the opinion of this meeting, it is desirable to form an association to be called the Woman's Franchise Association.

Dr. Little seconded the resolution, which was carried.

The large and enthusiastic meeting then dispersed, many persons having joined the association before leaving.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

A Political report.

Brisbane February 24, 1894


In calling your attention to the political phase of the Labour movement, in which the A.L.F. has taken a most important part, I am pleased to report a wonderful progress during the year. As you will recollect, the last annual session of the General Council took place some short time before the late general elections. The report then submitted stated that the times were favourable to the return
of straight Labour candidates to Parliament. This opinion, as events have since proved, was correct. A synopsis of the votes cast at the general election shows: For straight Labour, 21,063; for independent Labour, 5534; Independents, 14,068; Opposition, 6060; and for Ministerialists 32,112. This voting, under our present iniquitous electoral laws, I submit augurs exceeding well for the future, which is further emphasised by the return at the only bye-election of Mr. Anthony Ogden, a straight Labour man, over a Ministerial candidate by an over whelming majority.

And this, too, in an electorate that at present has as its representative a Cabinet Minister. We regret that two seats occupied by Labour men during the last Parliament were lost at the general elections – namely, Bundamba and Bundaberg, represented by Messrs. Thos. Glassey and G.J. Hall respectively. But when it is recollected that in the last Parliament the Labour party consisted of only four members, whilst in the present the number has risen to sixteen, there is cause for much felicitation and for believing that the Labour Party has come to stay. The imperative necessity of increasing the number of Labour representatives until they form a majority of the members of Parliament is very generally recognised, so that in the interests of the whole community the true laws which should govern the distribution and production of wealth may be enacted. During the last session of Parliament the conduct and actions of the representatives of Labour in the Legislature were closely and anxiously watched, and it is pleasing to record the fact that in their independence and intellectuality the Labour Party as a whole compares more than favourably with any other like number of men in the House.

This is something to be proud of, particularly when one understands the power and privileges that Capitalism – always ready to entrap the unwary – can place at the disposal of its willing servants. We may feel assured, therefore, now that the party has had some experience of Parliamentary procedure it will become even more assertive, and when the House again meets the introduction by the party of urgent Labour Reforms will be eagerly looked for. So far as the Australian Labour Federation is concerned in the matter of politics, opposing critics must at least give it the credit of being the principal medium by which both Labour in Politics and its necessary adjunct, Labour in Journalism, have been so forcibly brought to the front in Queensland. Through the medium of the A.L.F. the Worker was made possible, and through the Worker the masses have been educated to a sense of their political rights and responsibilities. This much has been done in the past; for the future let us regard it assist by every possible means in augmenting the strength of the Labour Party, doing all we can to keep it intact and free from the demoralising and corrupting influences of all other political parties.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

The last Union prisoner to be released.

Brisbane February 24, 1894

The Union Prisoners.

The release of the 1891 strike committee in the month of November, after having honourably completed the full term of their imprisonment, was marked by enthusiastic demonstrations of welcome in various parts of the colony. The manliness and fortitude displayed by them and the other union prisoners amidst the trying circumstances of prison life has called forth the admiration of many besides those comprised within the ranks of unionism. The welcome they received at the hands of the Brisbane District Council on their liberation more than realised the most sanguine anticipation of those entrusted with its organisation, and the meeting in the Centennial Hall on the 19th November will doubtless linger long in the memories of all who were there.

This was heartily repeated by the people of Gympie, Maryborough, Rockhampton and Longreach and would have been just as heartily repeated in every other town in the colony had they been favoured with a visit from the heroes of the hour. John Macnamara is now the only other unionist prisoner, and his time expires in April next.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Carbon Capture plant opens in Biloela Queensland.

There are many Technologies already existing and being developed and improved like wind, solar tidal, fuel cells etc. for electricity generation to help combat the devastating consequences of Global Warming. Carbon Capture of Coal fired Power Stations is another very important one of these Technologies that we can add to the list.

On December 15, 2012 Australia's first pilot plant was commissioned to capture dangerous green house gas emissions at “Callide A” Power Station, Biloela Central Queensland, it is also the first in the world to be retro-fitted on to an existing power station.

The $200 million Callide Oxyfuel Project is a joint venture between Australian and Queensland Labor Governments, Japanese Government and varied Coal and Power companies from around the world such as the Australian Coal Association, Japanese firms IHI Corporation, J-Power and Mitsui, as well as Xstrata Coal and Schlumberger Limited.

It was opened by the Commonwealth Governments Minister for Energy Martin Ferguson, for more information on Carbon Capture and Storage, Global CCS Institute and Australia's CSIRO  at the moment it can reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired Power Stations by up to 90%.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

The 1894 Townsville by-election.

Brisbane January 27, 1894

Labour, 808; Capitalism, 624 – majority for Labour, 184. This Townsville straw shows how the Queensland political wind is blowing, and Labour may expect a surprisingly sudden acquisition to the ranks of those politicians who “always considered Labour entitled to a fair share of representation in the Parliament of the country.” Labour will soon have a host of friends, amongst whom will be many political rats, deserters from the now sinking ship McIIwraith. But what a victory it is! 808 to 644 at a bye-election ! Mr. Ogden polling 51 votes more than the Minister for Mines secured at the general election last year. Small wonder Mr. Philip wore a doleful expression when news of the election arrived in Brisbane, for the result means his early political extinction.

Mr. Ogden and his co-workers in Townsville deserve the hearty congratulations of the workers throughout Australia for the magnificent organisation which won the election. Every political Labour victory brings Australia one step nearer industrial emancipation. Who can estimate the changes that will take place before the end of the present century? About five years ago the four candidates chosen to run in the interests of Labour – Messrs. Albert Hinchcliffe (Toombul) Colborne (Valley), Johnston (Wooloongabba), Valentine (Toowong) – were all defeated. Not one member of Parliament was elected as a direct Labour representative. Mr. Glassey, it is true was returned in 1888 and Mr. Hoolan in 1890, but as supporters of Griffith. The maritime strike brought them to the side of the people as Labour men in 1890.

In 1892 Messrs. Ryan and Hall were returned as Labour representatives. In 1893, 15 Labour members were returned. In 1894 we find ourselves with 16 straight-out Labour members of the Legislative Assembly.

Year ------ Labour Members.
1888 ------           0
1890 ------           2
1893 ------           15
1894 ------           16

This notwithstanding the pages of daily press misrepresentation of the aims and objects of Labour in Politics. And yet some people would say; “Do not continue to advocate straight-out Social  Democracy.” The Worker joins in congratulating Mr. Ogden. He won a fair fight between Capitalism and Labour, as the capitalistic press has had the candour to acknowledge, and the Labour Party will be proud of him. He knows what it is to seek for employment under the competitive system of Private Enterprise, having served his apprenticeship as an ironworker, and been compelled to work on the wharves because he could get nothing to do at his trade – a bitter experience which has been hard to undergo, but which will spur him on to do battle for the cause of Social – Democracy.        W.G.H.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Barrett Adolescent Centre possible closure.

Since the Newman LNP Government was elected, it has done things to satisfy it's own weird ideology, it has done things that don't make any rational sense, it has torn down, closed, stopped any of the previous Governments decisions just because it was a Labor Government.

But this one, the possible closure of the Barrett Adolescent Centre is a new low for the Newman Government does it really want to turn back the clock a hundred years in Queensland, well since it was elected it has done things that make it on track to do so.

The Barrett Adolescent Centre has had a thirty year history of providing recovery-oriented transition care between inpatient treatment and community based youth mental health services for children at high risk of self-harm.

The previous Labor Government allocated $16 million for a new Centre at Redlands, but those funds have been redirected by the LNP Government for some weird reason only known to them.

For residents of Queensland you can show your disapproval by filling out this petition:

non-residents could email the Queensland Health Minister Hon. Lawrence Springborg:

A letter to the Editor

Brisbane January 20, 1894


Under a Gum Tree.

Dear Worker, - In a paragraph in the Worker of 16th December you request bushmen to put ideas on paper and send to Worker. I think if some of us were to put our ideas on paper and that you published them you would have the Queensland Pinkertons around the office and yourself and staff would get the vacant stands left by Taylor and his mates on the “farm.”
To give you an idea of what some of us have to go through to get employment I will state my own case, which is not considered a bad one in comparison with others. I left off work on a station on the 15th Nov., 1892, after 12 weeks' work at finish of shearing, and after a few days spell started on the warpath with with bluey up, and only succeeded in getting two days' work in January. I called at all the stations and contractors' camps in the Barcaldine, Aramac, Isisford, Longreach and Blackall districts and could not get anything to do until the 1st May. I worked up till the 1st July and got discharged at finish of shearing. The first three weeks I was paid at the rate of 25s. per week, the balance during shearing 30s. per week. The next job I got was on September 2nd after walking 229 miles to get it, at a shed which lasted only four weeks and three days at 24s. per week. Since then I have done nothing but walk about the country looking for a thing called work but have not yet succeeded in finding it.

I have walked 600 miles and called at all the sheds, some of which I will name – Isis Downs, Malvern, Terrick, Lorne, Listowel, Boondoon, Gumbardo, Emudilla, Nickville (Tully's), Bulgroo Hammond's Retreat, Wilford, Gooyea, Milo and several others, and on the advice of a Mr. Jones went to all the contractors on the rabbit fence from Bulloo to the Cooper and did not get any work. 
( Mr. Jones, the fence inspector, said that he was going to write to the press contradicting the report about unemployed in this district). I think if the Government erected the rabbit fence and paid hands to do it, it would be the means of saving a good few thousand pounds in the near future as I saw a rabbit killed at the Gunadorah Hotel when I passed there six weeks ago, and the fence is not going on. I might also mention something as to the manner in which a station bearing the name of _____ is worked. At this station there were about ten to twelve natives (Black) working during mustering, including one gin bearing the aristocratic name of Judy, for over twelve weeks. I saw them when the owner hunted them off the run at the close of shearing. All the money the poor devils had was a cheque for about 30s., given to a blackfellow named Crow, for their twelve weeks' work, and I have been informed on very good authority that the owner requested them to come back next shearing – a really Christian act. I have worked three and a half months since November 18, 1892, and earned 17 pounds to clothe and feed me, and it is now three days from Christmas.

I think it is no wonder that the bush workers are not satisfied with the part they have to play in the drama of life, and grasp at any opportunity to better their condition of life even if it was the Active Service style or any other form that was offered them sooner than degrade themselves by begging from employers the right to earn what would keep them in comfort. I have met men in my travels these last few months, at most of the places I camped, that have not had a day's work this year, and others that have only had two, three, or four weeks' work. A person who read “Banjo” would hardly think it possible for a man to travel from year's end to year's end without getting work, and have to cadge his food from squatters, storekeepers and others to keep his body and soul together, but it's a fact which neither squatters nor working men can deny, I am sorry to say.
I hope you will excuse my letter; it is so near Christmas, and the thoughts of spending it under a gum tree with the possible show of some of us not having the ration bags full, is not much to look forward to – is not encouraging.
Wishing you and all unionists a merry Christmas and a better condition for all workers the coming year.

I am, &c.,

Monday, 10 December 2012

Climate change conforming to UN predictions: scientists

An extract from the ABC Website:
A new report has confirmed the world is warming at a rate consistent with a 22-year-old prediction from the United Nations' science body.
In 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) forecast the rate at which temperatures would rise over a 40-year period.
Doha climate talk decisions
  • Conference agrees to extend Kyoto Protocol until 2020.
  • Russia objects to conference rushing through protocol extension.
  • Kyoto Protocol remains the only legally-binding plan.
  • Nations recognise need to compensate poor countries.
A report published today in the journal Nature says that at the halfway mark, the rate of warming is consistent with the original predictions.
Professor Matt England from the University of New South Wales says the findings send a message to doubters.
"Anybody out there lying that the IPCC projects are overstatements or that the observations haven't kept pace with the projections is completely off line with this ... the analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true," he said.
The analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true.
Professor Matt England on the IPCC's 1990 forecast

"We've sat back and watched the two decades unfold and warming has progressed at a rate consistent with those projections."
Recent climate change reports have shown global emissions are increasing by 3 per cent per year, with emissions now sitting at 58 per cent above 1990 levels.
Professor England says the IPCC has prepared forecasts for low levels of emissions right through to the high end.
"At the moment we are tracking at the high end in terms of our emissions and so all of the projections that we look to at the moment are those high-end forecasts," he said.
"Without any action on greenhouse gas emissions, it will be those high-end IPCC scenarios that are extremely costly to society in terms of extreme events bearing out in time."

Doha talks

The finding has been released in the wake of the latest climate talks in Doha, Qatar which some critics say achieved little.
At the marathon talks, which had to be extended due to lack of consensus, almost 200 nations, including Australia, agreed to extend the Kyoto protocol till 2020.
But the world's worst emitters, such as the US and China, are not part of that agreement.
Green groups say the Doha talks delivered a weakened Kyoto Protocol and no new money for helping poorer nations achieve cuts in emissions.
But Climate Change Minister Greg Combet says the talks were a stepping stone towards striking a deal by 2015 that will include biggest polluters.
"The science is telling us very clearly that we need a wider international agreement including all the major emitters, including the US and China, they're the biggest polluters in the world," he said.
"At this conference we've taken further steps towards having those countries included in a wider agreement.
"The Kyoto protocol is just a stepping stone on that path."

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Springborg Needs To Clarify the Future Of Moura Hospital

Media Release 

Shadow Health Minister Jo-Ann Miller says the Minister for Health Cuts and Closures, Lawrence Springborg, needs to act today to end the uncertainty about the future of Moura Hospital.
Mrs Miller said the Moura community was very concerned about suggestions its hospital would fall victim to the Springborg axe or be reduced to an aged care facility.
“Moura is a mining town which has an elevated risk of emergencies which is just one reason health services at Moura Hospital need to be maintained,” Mrs Miller said.
“There is fear and uncertainty in the Moura community as health and safety is at the forefront of everyone’s mind in a mining town.
“It is cruel of Mr Springborg to leave the community with such uncertainty about the future of the Moura Hospital, especially heading into the busy Christmas period.
“Mr Springborg needs to be upfront about what his plans are for the future of the hospital,” she said.
Mrs Miller said the Deputy Premier and Member for Callide Jeff Seeney should stand-up and represent his local community on this issue.
“It seems Mr Seeney is spending too much time in Brisbane defending his own job and has forgotten about the people who have elected him,” Mrs Miller said.
“By closing or downgrading services at the Moura Hospital the LNP government is breaking its election commitment to boost frontline services.
“It is disgraceful for the LNP government to reduce emergency response services in a regional mining town.
“If services are reduced at the Moura Hospital residents will have to travel more than 200km to Springsure to access the next closest hospital.
“This is another example of Mr Seeney and the Brisbane-centric LNP government abandoning rural Queensland.”

LNP Must Create 200 Jobs A Day

Media Release

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says under the current LNP leadership the dysfunctional Newman Government has no hope of generating almost 200 jobs a day to reach its target of 4% unemployment over six years.
“As long as the Premier, Deputy Premier and the Treasurer are preoccupied with keeping their own jobs they are not focussing on creating jobs for Queenslanders,” Mr Pitt said.
“I am pleased to see the latest ABS figures indicate a rise in the number of jobs created during November in our state,” Mr Pitt said.
“It shows that the economy the LNP inherited was fundamentally solid despite repeated claims to the contrary by the LNP over the past nine months.
“But the fact remains that 151,200 Queenslanders are unemployed, and that’s over 14,500 more than when the LNP came to office in March.
“Prior to the March state election the Premier said he needed to generate 420,000 new jobs to reach the 4% target over six years — that’s the equivalent of creating around 190 jobs a day.
“But the LNP is creating roughly 24 jobs a day while around 60 people a day join the jobless queue.
“That’s a bus full of people joining the jobless queue every day under the dysfunctional LNP government.
“Our jobless rate is also still hovering around the level not seen since the global financial crisis.”
The latest ABS unemployment figures show the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 6 % in November, roughly steady compared with the 6.1% October figure following a spike of 6.3% in September when around 20,000 jobs were lost in the LNP’s first State Budget.
Mr Pitt said a range of recently released indicators underlined the need for the Newman Government to stop its internal brawls and focus on generating jobs for Queenslanders.
“Economic growth figures released on Wednesday by the ABS showed Queensland experienced its worst quarterly result for state final demand since the global financial crisis — a 1.6% fall between the June and September quarters,” he said.
“That represented $800 million of government spending being ripped out of the state economy.
“State final demand is a key measure of economic growth and on Tim Nicholls’s watch both it and unemployment have returned to GFC levels in Queensland as a result of the LNP’s mass sackings and savage funding cuts,” he said.
“The Treasurer cannot simply blame the high $A which has been above parity with the $US for most of the past two years.”
Mr Pitt said the Commonwealth Bank’s economics research team predicted at the time of the September State Budget that the LNP’s cuts would weigh on the economy for years.
“The responsibility for this latest economic growth result rests at the feet of the LNP leadership team of the Premier, the Deputy Premier and the Treasurer,” he said.
“They are all too busy battling LNP brawling and saving their own jobs to concentrate on managing the state economy and the impact of their savage job and funding cuts.
“Last week — as the LNP lost three of its MPs — the Pitcher Partners state tax review showed the LNP had also lost Queensland’s position as the lowest taxing state for small to medium enterprises and its job cuts had generated the lowest business confidence in the nation.
“Queensland went from first to second in tax competiveness for SMEs and from first to fifth for medium sized businesses.
“The Pitcher Partners’ report attributes a drop in tax competiveness to stamp duty increases by the LNP government. The Budget Papers show tax per person has increased by $76 under the LNP.
“In addition the Sensis Business Confidence Index released last Thursday showed Queensland's business confidence had plummeted to the lowest in the nation.
“The report directly links this loss in confidence to people no longer spending and suggested the Christmas period will be tough with a 21% drop in sales from November to January.
“This is only logical because if you are worried about a job you aren’t going to be opening your wallet or using your credit card this Christmas,” Mr Pitt said.

Newman Government still refuses to stand up for disabled Queenslanders

Media Release 

The Newman Government remains consistent in its callous disregard for disabled Queenslanders by refusing to follow the lead of NSW which today agreed to fund the National Insurance Disability Scheme.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Federal and NSW Governments had today reached historic agreement for the roll out of an NDIS in that state, with each government committing in excess of $3 billion for the initiative.
“But while his counterparts and colleagues in NSW are getting on with the job and doing the right thing, the Queensland Premier still has his head in the sand,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“This Premier just refuses to acknowledge the critical importance of this trial and instead cries poor.
“But while he is crying poor, he has managed to come up with the funds to launch his pet project – in fact the only new infrastructure project in the whole state – and that’s his shiny new Executive Building in the Brisbane CBD to house himself and his Ministers.”
Ms Palaszczuk said the NSW agreement was in addition to trials being established in South Australia, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT.
Shadow Disability Services Minister Desley Scott said Mr Newman would represent one of the only states to not agree to funding when he fronted tomorrow’s COAG meeting with other State Premiers.
“That makes us a national embarrassment – even the Federal Opposition Leader supports the NDIS,” Mrs Scott said.
“The Queensland NDIS trial would cost about $26 million over three years – that’s 0.06 per cent of the State Budget of $47 billion.
“The Queensland NDIS trial would help Queenslanders with a disability overcome significant obstacles and go a long way toward giving thousands of families an improved quality of life.
“Funding this trial is fundamentally the right thing to do.
“But Queenslanders have very quickly become accustomed to a government that simply refuses to do the right thing.”

Union Prisoners Released.

Brisbane November 25, 1893


All Well.

Great Enthusiasm.

A Magnificent Welcome.

A Grand Meeting.

Social a Complete Success.

An expectant and good humoured crowd of unionists and sympathisers with unionism were awaiting the arrival at the Queen's Wharf, Brisbane, of the steamer Otter on Friday, the 18th instant, for it had been whispered abroad that ten of the unionist prisoners were to be brought up from St. Helena at about 4.30 in the afternoon. “ It's no use waiting, they won't be landed here,” said one man who claimed to have a deep insight into the character of Colonial Secretary Tozer. “He'll have them landed at Breakfast Creek just to disappoint you.” Secretary Hinchcliffe, on whom has fallen the burden of the work in connection with the reception of our mates, set all immediate doubts at rest by bringing down to the wharf the information that owing to two of the “prisoners” (George Taylor and A. J. Brown) being witnesses in the trial of a warder for striking a prisoner – not a unionist prisoner – the departure of the “conspiracy” men would be delayed until the evening. They would therefore not arrive at the Queen's Wharf until about 8.30.

The disappointed visitors (including many ladies) left the wharf and returned after tea, with their numbers considerably augmented. Much speculation was indulged in as to whether Mr. Tozer would keep his word, as the word of that gentleman is generally understood to be some what unreliable. However, at about 9 o'clock, quietly, and for some reason without the customary whistle, the Otter slowly glided up until within 20 yards of the wharf when three lusty cheers to be heard a mile away rent the air: “For the Union Prisoners!” and “One for Macnamara – left behind!” A well meant endeavour was immediately made by an enthusiast to sing the “Marseillaise,” but the desire to see and grasp the hands of the unionist “conspirators” was too keen for the measured cadence of the song of the French revolutionists and after the first verse the singer gave up to join in the general rush and excited cries of “ How are you, lads?” “Welcome to Liberty!” “All well?” “How's Macnamara?” “Hullo George!” “Hullo Hamilton?” “Hullo everybody!” Such enthusiasm was evinced that it was deemed wise to give the visitors present a chance of voting on a motion of welcome, and the following was carried amid great cheering: “That this meeting extends its hearty welcome to the union prisoners; and hopes that those for whom they have suffered will never forget their services in the cause of Humanity.” This resolution was spoken to by Messrs. Saunders, E. Y. Lowry, Arthur Carroll, H. Daniels M.L.A., and W. G. Higgs.

Mr. George Taylor made a short speech on behalf of his mates and himself in which he apologised for inability to address the kind friends assembled that evening. “A man could not talk much on hominy.” (Laughter.) They had done nothing but what was the duty of every man in Queensland to do, and he had to take a slight offence at the “Martyr business.” It was the duty of every man to put himself forward to remove some abuses at any rate. (Cheers.)
A crowd of admiring sympathisers then escorted the “conspirators” to Mr. Snell's in Upper Edward Street, where a good spread was awaiting them.
Punctually at six o'clock next morning, a large omnibus conveyed the ten liberated men to Boggo-road to meet Messrs. Forrester, Smith-Barry, and Stuart, who it was understood would be “let out” at a quarter to 7 am. After many interviews with the officials, nothing of importance could be learned other than, “We have not yet received instructions to let the men out.” Mr. Tozer was again thrice blessed, and the disappointed “prisoners” left for Slawson's restaurant, where a breakfast was obtained and a happy hour spent in chatting over all sorts of subjects, from the characteristic “gentlemen” of the gaol doctor, Mr. Wray to the difference between hominy and Slawson's ham and eggs.
Messrs, Forrester and Smith-Barry were discharged from Boggo-road during the morning and soon joined their mates. Mr. A.J.S. Stuart, who had not been brought to Boggo-road from Toowoomba as expected, wired from the latter place: “Have cut out this morning. Will leave in company with Jim Martin by 2 pm. Train for Brisbane.” Messrs. Stuart and Martin were met at the railway station, and Saturday evening saw a happy band of reunited friends endeavouring to realise that they were not in dreamland.

Monday Night's Meeting.

On Monday evening a crowded audience of some thousands assembled in the Centennial Hall, in response to the invitation of the A.L.F., to accord a suitable reception to our friends the bushman. Very many ladies were present, and gave quite a festive appearance to the gathering. The chair was occupied by the president of the A.L.F., Mr. David Bowman, whose table was graced by a pair of convict legirous and a banner bearing the words “Freedom without Dishonour.” The platform was crowed with representative unionists, and their wives and friends. The only four Labour members in town (Messrs. Turley, Fisher, Daniels and Cross) also occupied seats on the platform. As the bushmen made their appearance a perfect storm of applause shook the building, applause which was renewed when several ladies covered the “conspirators” with roses and other beautiful flowers.
The chairman lost no time in commencing the business of the evening, and called on a sympathiser to sing a song written by Mr. W. Kidston of Rockhampton and entitled “The Ballot is the Thing.” The singer was encored. Mr. Bowman then made a vigorous speech of welcome, and requested secretary Hinchcliffe to read the congratulatory telegrams received from Longreach, Hughenden, Rockhampton, Charters Towers, Winton, Townsville, and Creswick (Vic.) Mr. Hinchcliffe also read a letter of welcome and sympathy from Mr. Thos. Glassey; and expressions of congratulation from the new democratic Guardian, published at Bundaberg. Mr. H.Turley, M.L.A., then moved the first resolution, as follows:
That we citizens of Brisbane offer our hearty congratulations to the union prisoners on their release from gaol, after serving an iniquitous and unjust sentence, and commend them for the fortitude and manliness they have displayed in refusing to compromise themselves by asking the Government for a mitigation of their sentences as an act of clemency.

This was seconded by Mr. H. Daniels, M.L.A., and supported by Mr. Fisher, M.L.A., and declared carried amidst great enthusiasm. ( Space precludes our giving reports of any speeches but those of the union prisoners. Suffice it to say that all the speakers were well received.) The chairman then called on Messrs. George Taylor and Alex. Forrester to respond on behalf of their mates.
Mr. George Taylor said he must be excused if his address were not as clever as it might be. Having spent two years and a half at St. Helena he was slightly out of practice. Referring to the strike of '91, he said that in February of that year Mr. Fairbairn, the manager of Logan Downs, had spoken to him at the first camp formed, and stated that the squatters could get any amount of men from the Southern colonies. Mr. Fairbairn had also said that they had an intimation from the Government that they would back them up in the steps they took. (“Shame.”) He asked Mr. Fairbairn replied that ships would be chartered to bring men from the South, and that the Government would back that action up. He, the speaker, afterwards went South to attend a conference, of the A.S.U. And Pastoralists' Association, at which conference, after long discussion, certain arrangements were arrival at satisfactory to both parties, and the pastoralists' delegates gave these arrangements their full support at their committee meeting which would be held a few days later. In the meantime the Federated Employers' Association wired the S.A. branch that they had no right or power to act without the sanction of the whole – (freedom of contract) – which clearly went to prove the concerted action that was to be taken in Queensland. On his return he found the western district flooded by all the available Queensland military, who were thoroughly prepared at all hazards to not only devastate the whole country, but also to uphold capitalism.

The Government did not go back on the squatters like they had gone back on their hustings pledges. They backed the squatters up until they eventually backed himself and his mates on to St. Helena. In South Australia they were willing to meet the shearers, but here, with the Government at their backs, they determined if possible to crush the shearers. Yet, not with standing the injustice of the Queensland Government and the capitalists, he (Mr. Taylor) could say with all earnestness that they were willing to let bygones be bygones, and to meet them and discuss the same question that they offered before their arrest. (Hear,hear.) That was provided they would meet the workers as men and unionists, and not as scabs or individuals. (Cheers) He did not expect that, and from all he could hear there was a big strike looming in the distance. The squatters were talking of reducing the price for shearing by 2s. 6d. A hundred, but he did not think even the free labourers would stand that. They would fight for money if they would not for principle, (Cheers.) It was a matter of money with them, as with the capitalists, so he supposed they would soon have a few more down on the island. (Laughter.) He thanked them again for the kind welcome and reception they had given to himself and his mates. (Cheers.)
Mr. A. Forrester also returned thanks. He said that when they were sentenced it was tacitly understood that no unionist who went to St. Helena would ask for any remission. (Hear,hear.) On two or three occasions Mr. Tozer asked them whether they would not prepare a petition which would not degrade them and be at the same time acceptable to the Government, and so obtain their release; but he (Mr. Forrester) told them that he could not possibly do anything of the sort (Cheers.) 
They determined to remain there rather than sacrifice any principle or admit the justice of their punishment, (Cheers.) They never forget that they represented 10,000 men in the bush, and any dishonourable action which they committed would bring odium and disgrace upon the men they had been fighting for, (Hear,hear.) They would have degraded themselves by grovelling and asking for their release, and besides would have tacitly admitted their guilt. That they denied. They might have said and written foolish things. He acknowledged that he had done so, and he was sorry for it, as it may have given the press a handle to cast odium upon unionism, (Cheers.) Mr. Tozer had said that they were dominated by a clique in Brisbane. He (Mr. Forrester) wished it to be distinctly by no clique, (Hear,hear.) No man in the Labour movement, from Mr. Glassey downwards, asked them to remain in St. Helena. On the contrary their advice may be interpreted as a desire to see the petition tried. To prove this he quoted from a letter (Lane to Stuart, 24th Nov., 1891) - “I am not advocating any petition. Only, what Hamilton, Bennett, and Forrester, without undue pressure, would sign. I would sign, unless it were an absolute denial of my principles.” (Cheers.)
They stopped in gaol because they would not be led into an admission of guilt when they were innocent, and would not allow themselves to be made use of by their opponents during the general election. They now came out, feeling that they were better men. They went into gaol with good stout hearts, and though some of them had been slightly changed by sickness, they had tried to improve themselves. They felt that they had done that, and that intellectually, if not physically, they were better men than they were when they went in. He hoped that they would show that the movement would not suffer by their being in St. Helena, (Cheers.)
Mr. W.G. Higgs moved the following resolution, which was seconded by Mr. A. J. S. Stuart, one of the union prisoners, supported by Mr. Chas. Seymour, and carried unanimously:
That while recognising that Parliament and the local government bodies afford a most excellent means of putting an end to the competitive struggle for existence now going on, this meeting has implicit confidence in unionism as a factor in raising wages and bettering the condition of workers.
Mr. A.J.S. Stuart, in seconding the resolution, spoke of the cause for which he and others “had the honour to suffer.” He believed that it was quite possible to have unionism in politics. Trade unionism had been a baby, but political unionism was to be the giant. He considered that there had been a great change in the politicians of the day, and held that the present school of politicians had graduated in trade unionism. If the capitalists had again to be met they would be again offered conciliation, and would be offered it conscious of ultimate triumph.

He did feel vindictive as a result of his imprisonment, but felt about a hundred times more determined than he did before, (Applause.) He referred to the illness he had suffered, and stated that it was brought about by want of proper food and by ill treatment and neglect on the part of the authoritien who administered the criminal department. He had been cautioned against saying anything that was unconstitutional, and hoped that the day would never come when the Labour Movement in Queensland would despair of redress by constitutional means, because if that day ever did come somebody should get ready to weep. They would not play at soldiers. Having taken to poetry during his imprisonment he might say:

Though days of immurement have left their trace
On body and brain and heart,
Yet I feel more of pride than I do of disgrace
At being condemned to a criminal's place
For acting a freeman's part.

The loss of my birthright I bore as long
As the criminal garb I wore;
'Twas for aiding the feeble against the strong;
And to lighten the burden of human wrong,
I'd suffer it all once more.

In conclusion he would say that where a matter of principle was concerned he would rather eat hominy than humble pie.” (Cheers.)

A young lady possessing a sweet and sympathetic voice at this stage sang “ The Marseillaise,” the audience , who had been supplied with copies of the song, joining in the chorus with much spirit.
Mr. James Martin, in moving a vote of thanks to the chairman, said that he was sentenced to two years' imprisonment for referring to their sovereign lady as “Old Mother Brown.” (Groans.) That was a lie. He had never in his life referred disrespectfully to any woman. He had said things meaning to prejudice the monarch in the eyes of the people, but never the women. He protested his innocence, but he was not believed – even some of his mates turned their backs upon him. Innocent, he had suffered, and he was vindictive. There was no forgiveness and let bygones be bygones about him. When he had his revenge – and he did not say that in a theatrical way – he would let bygones be bygones, and not till then. City people did not know what the workers suffered in the bush. He did not think life in hell could be worse than life in Western Queensland. (Laughter.) If he said he believed in revolution he would probably have to do another two years – (laughter) – but if he might not say so, there was no power here that he believed in it. (Cheers.) If the environments of their life were such that they could not constitutionally get a fair share of the fruits of their labour they had a right to revolt. (Cheers.)

If the Legislation Assembly was closed to working men, then they must fight their battles on the plains of the country. (Cheers.) That was true, and there was no denying it. He was not one of those who believed the present state of things could not be altered. Let them glance back a few centuries, and they would find that men of our class in England wore iron collars round their necks with their owners' name inscribed there on. By combination and agitation the iron collar was torn from the neck of man and a collar of circumstances placed round him that leaves him in nearly as bad a position as ever. As the iron collar system was abolished by agitation so could the collar of unjust conditions. And so it should be as soon as men understood the power of unionism. He wanted working men to understand that their interests were not identical with those of capitalists. Capital and Labour could not be friends until Labour had got the capital. (Cheers.) He would move a hearty vote of thanks to the chairman.
Mr. Wallace Nelson, who has received a call from Sydney and Melbourne and will shortly leave Brisbane, seconded the vote of thanks to the chairman in characteristic speech. The motion was carried with cheers, and Mr. Bowman suitably responded.
The spacious hall was then cleared for dancing. An excellent staff of musicians was engaged, and several clever amateurs contributed songs and step dances. During the evening the popular Sam Keenan contributed two minstrel items which were much applauded. As the evening was cool, many dancers “took the floor,” and everybody appeared to be almost regretful that 2 o'clock brought to a close such a magnificent demonstration of the sympathy of Brisbane citizens with sterling unionists.
The “prisoners” are more than delighted with the efforts made to entertain them. They say they never dreamed of anything approaching such a demonstrative gathering, and all express themselves as being more determined than ever to never cease agitating on behalf of the cause of Humanity.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012


Media Release 

Shadow Health Minister, Jo-Ann Miller, says the Newman Government is turning Queensland’s health system into a disaster waiting to happen.
“Instead of growing and improving our health system, this dysfunctional LNP government is engaged in mass sackings and savage cuts to frontline services,” Mrs Miller said.
“The Premier needs to take control of this issue as soon as he lands tonight to ensure patient treatment is not compromised or people’s lives are not lost through the actions of the Minister for Health Cuts and Closures, Lawrence Springborg.
“If Mr Newman has a shred of leadership credibility or authority left he will call time out to Mr Springborg’s cuts and closures.
“Already we are hearing of possible bed closures as nurses face the reality of having to do more work with fewer support staff and services.
“We have already seen the government attack elderly Queenslanders by closing nursing home beds and their target this week are sick Queensland children who will be affected by the cuts to children’s health services.
“These cuts come at the worst possible time of the year when children will soon be on Christmas holidays and the risk of injury increases. These cuts cannot help but compromise the safety of Queensland children.
“Leaked notes from the chair of the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Board, Susan Johnston, suggest almost 90% of jobs in the area of children’s health are frontline jobs.
“The notes also suggest the board was ‘surprised and concerned’ at the scale of the cuts demanded by the Minister.
“This shows yet again that despite Mr Springborg’s best efforts to hide behind the boards, the reality is he is directly responsible for the cuts and closures being inflicted on communities across the state.
“Mr Springborg has been trying to blame regional boards for cuts imposed by him and his government.
“He has been trying to distance the government from the decisions, but the boards are part of the government and when they act or speak they are acting and speaking as the Newman Government,” Mrs Miller said.
She said efforts by Mr Springborg to blame health payroll problems for his cuts and closures were a diversionary tactic.
“There are no payroll problems in other government departments which have also faced mass sackings and savage cuts to frontline services,” Mrs Miller said.
“Mr Springborg is also indulging in Canberra-bashing to divert attention from his direct responsibilities by claiming a cut in federal funding.
“The latest figures I saw show a 21% rise in federal health funding to Queensland over the next four years, equal to a $600 million increase from $3.1 billion to $3.7 billion in 2015-16.”

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

LNP slash Central Queensland police funding

Media Release 

Shadow Police Minister and Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne says the LNP Government has slashed the police overtime budget of the Central Region by $110,000 this financial year.
Mr Byrne said the Police Minister Jack Dempsey needed to explain the potential impacts of his reduced overtime budget outlined in his answer to Question on Notice 699.
“The Minister must explain if his reduced police overtime budget will mean fewer cops on the beat late at night at peak crime times,” Mr Byrne said.
“It would be typical of this dysfunctional LNP government that as we go into the busy Christmas and New Year’s season Central Queensland communities will see fewer police on the streets and there will be fewer arrests being made as a result.
“A reduced overtime budget could also result in police working unpaid overtime adding to increased levels of stress and fatigue in the service.
“With less overtime being paid it puts our police officers in an unenviable position because they may need to respond to incidents towards the end of their shifts but they won’t be paid for the time it will take to detain and process people through the watch house.
“During the busy party season this can only mean the Central Queensland streets will not be as safe this summer,” he said.
Mr Byrne said the Central Region police overtime budget had been slashed from $2.1 million in 2011-12 to $1.99 million in 2012-13.
Each district within the Central Region had also had its overtime budget slashed this financial year, including:
- Gladstone District from $509,000 down to $483,000
- Longreach District from $117,000 down to $110,000
- Mackay District from $683,000 down to $648,000
- Rockhampton District from $790,000 down to $749,000
“The LNP Government went to the election with a so-called ‘tough on crime’ stance but now it seems no-one is immune from their slash and burn mentality,” Mr Byrne said.

LNP Government continues to rip itself apart

Media Release

Members of the Newman Government care more about protecting their own jobs than governing for Queensland as insiders continue to focus on battling each other.
Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk said the latest revelations by former LNP Gaven MP Alex Douglas showed a government in crisis, with little hope of recovery as its leadership team continued to arrogantly call the shots.
“What we are seeing is simply extraordinary – this LNP Government is literally imploding before our eyes just nine months after it won government,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“You have three people in the Premier, Deputy Premier and Treasurer who think they can do whatever they like and get away with it but Dr Douglas dared to fight back.
“You have a government that has lurched from crisis to crisis since March but this latest debacle proves they don’t have the strength to govern.
“What we are hearing is the truth of what this government is really about from a key insider and it does not make a pretty story. They are about looking after themselves first.
“What we are hearing would normally come from the Opposition, not one of their own.
“But it gives a unique insight into this shambles of a government.”
Ms Palaszczuk said while Campbell Newman was treading the world stage in India at home his government was in tatters because of its arrogant treatment of not only Queenslanders but its own Members.
“Campbell Newman should be getting the first flight home today to try and sort out this growing mess.
“Things are probably beyond repair but the least Mr Newman can do is set the record straight.
“Why was Dr Douglas dumped from the Ethics Committee – the most powerful committee of the Parliament?
“Who was really behind the dodgy deal to push Dr Douglas aside?
“What did Mr Newman know and when did he know it and did he subsequently mislead the Parliament?
“Until these questions are answered and until this extraordinary display of a government ripping itself to shreds ends, Queenslanders can have no faith that anyone is running the state.”

Springborg And Langbroek Must Answer On Barrett Centre

Media Release 

Opposition Leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, says the Newman Government has double crossed youth at risk and their families by refusing to clarify the future of the Barrett Adolescent Centre and school at Wacol.
“The Barrett Centre is a unique facility in Queensland offering a school and residential care for adolescents with serious mental health problems and the LNP government has callously refused to commit to keep it open in 2013,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“As the school year ends the Minister for Education and the Minister for Health must give certainty to students and parents. Will the Barrett Centre be open in 2013 or not?
“If not, what will happen to the students who come from throughout the state and what is the future of the staff?”
Ms Palaszczuk and Shadow Health Minister, Jo-Ann Miller, today met parents and other representatives of the Barrett Centre to discuss their concerns.
“The Barrett Centre is literally a lifeline for many young people with psychiatric disorders and the last thing they and their families need is to have their lives thrown into crisis by its closure,” Mrs Miller said.
“Closing it would be the equivalent of shutting a hospital’s intensive care unit. The centre is an intensive care unit for young people at risk and parents and staff have fears for the safety of some students if it shuts.”
Mrs Miller said at present there were up to 16 young people living at the centre and attending its school at any one time along with eight day students.
“The former government planned to relocate the Barrett Centre to a new site at the Redlands Hospital and although there had been some delays in the process, the former government was never going to shut the centre and school,” she said.
“By contrast, the dysfunctional LNP government has no qualms about abandoning the young people who need help and their families. Of all the callous cuts to frontline services made by the Newman Government this would have to be one of the very worst.
“There is no way the centre can be described as anything but a frontline education and health facility.
“It is no use Mr Springborg hiding behind the regional board, yet again. The boards are part of the LNP government and their decisions are government decisions.
“Yesterday we saw the announcement of 500 jobs going in our state’s health system in critical frontline areas including children’s health across the state, on Brisbane’s northside and in the rapidly growing Gold Coast region.
“In Townsville the LNP’s cuts mean it is almost a case of BYO bandages. These are all decisions that are the direct responsibility of Mr Springborg.”