Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the LNP Government has again shown their disregard for regional Queenslanders by using their massive majority to push through legislation to move Labour Day out of May, starting from next year.
Ms Palaszczuk said organisers of many events in regional areas were banking on a long weekend in May 2013, and the LNP Government’s changes will leave them out-of-pocket.
“Festival organisers who usually work years ahead in their planning should not be left high and dry just because the Newman Government wants to play politics,” she said.
“The Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie has admitted the government consulted nobody before deciding to move Labour Day to October.
”That’s typical of a government that is not listening to regional Queensland.”
Ms Palaszczuk said events already being promoted for all or part of what should be the 2013 May Day long weekend included:
- Hervey Bay Triathlon
- Garter Belts and Gasoline Nostalgia Festival at Tamborine Mountain
- River Rock to Mountain Top Community Festival in the Pioneer Valley
- Ten Days in the Towers Music Festival at Charters Towers
- Mount Morgan’s Golden Mountain Festival
- Maleny Wood Expo.
“Although some major annual events do not cover the actual traditional Labour Day public holiday on the first Monday in May, they depend on people taking advantage of the long weekend to travel to and from their events,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The Newman Government has made a purely political decision to shift Labour Day from the beginning of May to October, despite the massive problems this will cause to communities across our state especially those in regional Queensland.
“The previous government had kept Labour Day in its rightful place and moved the Queen’s Birthday holiday to October to give an even spread of holidays over the year.
“Typically the LNP now wants to put politics ahead of people and is not listening to those who will be affected.
“In Central Western Queensland the Barcaldine Regional Council stages a special festival on the May Day long weekend which has grown to be its biggest single tourism event featuring parades, markets, goat races, horse races, and drag races.
“The government Member for Gregory Vaughan Johnson obviously saw the ludicrously of his own government’s move as he made the unusual move of making a submission against his own government’s legislation.
“This just highlights the cracks that exist in the LNP Government’s backbench, as the Premier and his Minister’s continually do not listen to the people of regional Queensland.
“The first Labour Day march was held in Barcaldine on 3 May 1891 by striking shearers and the regional economy receives a huge boost from the festival that’s based on those events.
“Tourists book their travel and accommodation from year to year and the Council says it is no use having a festival in October because it is outside the tourism season and too hot.
“It is those sorts of problems the LNP government has failed to recognise in its rush to score political points,” Ms Palaszczuk said.