Friday, 30 November 2012

State moves in to clean up CityCycle mess

Media Release
The State Government which sacked more than 14,000 people in time for Christmas has today found the resources to come to the rescue of the Brisbane City Council’s doomed CityCycle scheme.
Shadow Transport Minister Jackie Trad said the government’s announcement today that it would bail out CityCycle by linking it with go card simply highlighted the former Lord Mayor’s record of failure at City Hall.
“This CityCycle debacle will go down in history as Campbell Newman’s legacy but for the government to try and prop up this tragically flawed initiative stinks of hypocrisy,” Ms Trad said.
“At the same time this government has shown more than 14,000 people the door in time for Christmas, they have found the resources to come to the rescue of this council debacle of which Campbell Newman was the architect.
“Make no mistake – this is nothing to do with making it easier for commuters to access transport around the city.
“This is about the government trying to bail out its mates.”
Ms Trad said commuters saw through the multi-million dollar CityCycle failure and the Transport Minister’s attempts to prop it up would not lead to an increase in usage.
“It is a program that was doomed to failure from the beginning,” Ms Trad said.
“Brisbane residents are not blind – they see the rows of bikes lying unused every day and they will see that this bail out attempt is dodgy.”
Ms Trad said today’s announcement by Mr Emerson tries to gloss over the fact that people will still need to maintain two separate accounts for CityCycle and their go card
“The announcement doesn’t change the fee structure for CityCycle which has been one of the main problems in attracting users,” Ms Trad said.
“Tourists or people without a three month CityCycle subscription will not be able to use their go card to access CityCycle bikes.
“The only thing that will change is that users will swipe their go card instead of their CityCycle user card.
“CityCycle is just one of Campbell Newman's many council failures that Brisbane rate payers are continuing to pay for.
“Linking CityCycle with go card can't swipe away its poor design, costly rate and complicated subscription process.”

LNP closing TAFE campuses



 Media Release 

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government has admitted it plans to sell at least 13 TAFE campuses and close up to 25 more.
Mr Pitt said Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek had embraced 37 of the 40 recommendations of the Queensland Skills and Training Taskforce report released earlier this month which proposed slashing 38 of the 82 TAFE campuses across Queensland.
The LNP have basically accepted the report lock-stock and barrel which proposed to slash regional TAFE campuses across Queensland by cutting:
  • Far North Queensland Region from 26 to 15 campuses
  • Fraser and Sunshine Coast Region from 13 to eight campuses
  • Western Corridor Region from 16 to 11 campuses
  • Brisbane Metropolitan Region from 15 to five campuses
  • Skills Tech Australia from six to two campuses
  • Gold Coast Region from six to three campuses
“The LNP are engaging in asset sales of our educational institutions, it is disgraceful,” Mr Pitt said.
“What is worse is the LNP have not identified which TAFE campuses will be sold and which ones will stay, leaving students and teachers in limbo over the summer break.
“Mr Langbroek cannot leave regional communities wondering if they will have access to a TAFE campus in the future, he needs to tell regional communities which campuses will be sold.
“By closing regional TAFE campuses the LNP is now making it even more difficult for people in regional areas to access the training and tertiary education needed to gain what employment is left in the regional towns where the LNP Government has already cut jobs and services.
“The LNP Government has already slashed the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative which helped place young people and the long-term unemployed in work.
“Now the LNP Government is further disadvantaging regional communities by making access to education and training even more difficult.
“The LNP says their goal is to increase participation in training to boost productivity, how can you increase participation by closing campuses and reducing access to education,” he said.
Mr Pitt said local LNP MPs needed to stand-up for their local communities and demand the Education Minister tell them which TAFE campuses would be closed.
“TAFE students will be starting their summer break not knowing if they have a campus to go to next year,” he said.
“LNP MPs did not letterbox during the election campaign saying they were going to shut TAFE campuses.
“Local LNP MPs must declare where they stand and if they are happy to see local TAFE campuses shut.”

Newman Should Stay Home And Sort Out His Mess

Media Release 

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the LNP should look back with shame on the sittings of State Parliament since it won office.
“On the last day of Parliament for 2012 the Premier jumps on a plane to India and leaves behind the smoking ruins of his government and party,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The Treasurer and Minister for Trade should have taken over the trade mission allowing the Premier to stay home and sort out the mess he has created.
“Despite the Premier’s promise of higher standards, we have not seen even a small glimpse of the ‘humility, grace and dignity’ he promised.
“The first Parliamentary sittings after the LNP’s election win were marked by a Premier and Ministers who were more interested in gloating than governing.
“That arrogant approach meant it was not long before the LNP used its huge majority to break election promises by starting its mass sackings.
“We also saw it use its numbers to ram through new laws making it easier to sack workers and outsource their jobs.
“The State Budget delivered in September delivered little except jobs cuts; funding reductions for hard-working community groups; and cuts to frontline services.
“In recent weeks we saw the government’s arrogant approach again when it was caught out on issues of integrity and accountability.
“It is no wonder that as the Parliamentary year closes we have seen three LNP MPs exit the party and evidence of widespread distrust of the LNP’s leadership team among those who remain.
“Queenslanders voted for good government, not a soap opera. They deserve much better than the LNP is giving them.
“It is no wonder so many people feel disappointed and double-crossed by the LNP,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

LNP votes to disendorse first-term MP

Here is another example of deep seated problems in the LNP Government, it appears they just can't work together and if they can't work together, how can they Govern Queensland?

An extract from ABC News Website:
29/11/12

"The Queensland Government has voted to disendorse the Member for Yeerongpilly, Carl Judge.
A party room meeting was held at Parliament House last night as the Liberal National Party Government attempts to deal with disgruntled backbenchers.
Mr Judge, elected for the first time at the March state election, was excluded from the party room earlier this week and had been considering leaving the party to become an independent.
Deputy Premier Jeff Seeney says the meeting unanimously agreed on the move.
"The party room has voted tonight without dissent to ask the state president, Bruce McIver, to consider disendorsing Carl Judge as the Member for Yeerongpilly," he said.
"The party room collectively decided that Carl Judge can no longer be part of our team and a motion to that effect was carried without dissent."
But Mr Judge says he remains committed to the LNP.
"My expulsion is really a matter for the party," he said.
"It's for the president Bruce McIver and the executive team to decide that."
Premier Campbell Newman was also expected to meet with another MP, Alex Douglas, to discuss his future in the party.
Dr Douglas, the Member for Gaven, has been seeking to reverse his removal as chairman of State Parliament's ethics committee."

1893 Wage reduction

*THE WORKER*
Brisbane November 18, 1893


THE EDITORIAL MILL.

What wages some of the storemen in Brisbane receive: The writer knows one who has a wife and three children, making five persons, to support on 5 per month and pay rent. Originally his wages were 7 pounds per month, but his employer told him to take 5 per month or leave.

Thus a correspondent. The case referred to is only one of hundreds. Employers – like the mass of humanity – are very like sheep, one jumps, all jumps. It is only necessary for a few unscrupulous employers, anxious to become rapidly rich, to lower the rate of wages, and talk of the depression of trade as an excuse, for dozens of others to follow their example, failing to observe that such a course of action aggravates and does not in the remotest degree alleviate any depression that may exist. According to the census taken on the 5th April, 1891, there were in this colony 123,983 males and 85,248 females between the ages of 15 and 50. The greater number of these persons are wage-earners. For instance about 9000 are domestic servants, 4000 tailors and dressmakers, 1500 boot and shoemakers, 2000 seamen, 4000 carpenters, joiners , &c., 2000 navvies, &c., 6000 farm servants and agricultural labourers, and so on, nearly all wage – earners, having dependent on them father, mother, sister or brother, son or daughter, showing that the great proportion of Queenslander's population of 400,000 are persons whose power to purchase goods is restricted by the amount of wages they earn. These “working classes,” as a whole, of necessity, live up to what they earn, consequently if certain employers reduce the tailors, and others the domestic servants, carpenters, &c., it necessarily follows that their ability to purchase goods is curtailed by the amount of the reductions, whatever it might be.

The carpenter has therefore to do without his new hat for a while longer, the servant girl without her new dress, the tailor without his new boots, thus decreasing all round the trade of the dressmaker, bootmaker, hatter, &c., &c., and making things intensely uncomfortable for nearly all persons in the community who are not capitalists and have to work for a living. These are facts which do not seem to be taken sufficient notice of by the average shopkeeper and working manufacturer who are nearly always the most bitter opponents of the agitators who wish to raise the wages of the working classes all round. Business was never so brisk and Australia never so prosperous as when the disagreeable agitators were supposed to “boss the show.” Employers might recollect this, and bear in mind also that reductions in wages precede depression, and that an increase in the rate of wages precedes prosperity.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

On the Flinders

From the flyleaf  of  "The Workingman's Paradise" by William Lane, 1892.

In a western billabong with a stretch of plain around, a dirty waterhole beside me, I sat and read the WORKER. Maxwellton Station was handy; and sick with a fever on me I crawled off my horse to the shed on a Sunday. They invited me to supper; I was too ill. One gave me medicine, another the WORKER, the cook gave me milk and soup. If this is Unionism, God bless it! This is the moleskin charity, not the squatter's dole. The manager gave me quinine, and this is a Union station. I read “Nellie's Sister” (from THE WORKINGMAN'S PARADISE) in your last. A woman's tenderness pervades it. Its fiction is truth. Although my feelings are blunted by a bush life, I dropped a tear on that page of the WORKER.”

From a Letter


(This says a lot of how important "The Worker" was to the Bushmen)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Moody’s Rating Outlook for Queensland

Media Release 

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says today’s change from stable to negative in the rating Moody’s assigns to Queensland’s outlook reflects doubts over the Newman Government’s ability to keep its promises.
“The Treasurer will yet again trot out his tired old lines and blame the former government for this downgrade,” Mr Pitt said.
“But after eight months in office and having delivered his own State Budget, Mr Nicholls must own this latest downgrade.
“The change in outlook by Moody’s is a warning shot that the Treasurer and the LNP government must live up to their promises while also meeting the demands of a growing population.
“The LNP government has not been able to fund its election commitments without taking the axe to jobs and services.
“It made election promises totalling a minimum of $4 billion and claimed they were fully funded from identified savings.
“Yet immediately after the election it took the axe to jobs and frontline services seeking $4 billion in savings.
“Since the election the LNP’s promises on cost-of-living issues such as electricity prices, water bills, and car rego costs have either been broken or their cost has blown out.
“By comparison, Labor’s election promises totalled $1.8 billion of which almost $750 million was to be funded from existing sources.
“The LNP has since promised to maintain an average 2.5% cap on expenditure over four years.
“It is obvious Moody’s has doubts about the LNP keeping that promise too.
“The Treasurer and the LNP government are totally responsible for the scale of their election promises, the problems of funding them, the impact of mass sackings and savage cuts to frontline services, and the 2.5% spending cap.
“Which means they are totally responsible for the latest downgrade too,” Mr Pitt said.

LNP Soap Opera Continues

Media Release 

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says Ray Hopper's defection is another episode in what has become the non-stop soap opera of the Newman Government.
“Instead of delivering stable government, just eight months after taking office the Newman Government spends all its time papering over its internal divisions,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“It’s no surprise that we repeatedly hear of talk within LNP ranks about discontent with the leadership of the government.
“Ray Hopper has joined people like Clive Palmer in delivering a vote of no confidence in the LNP leadership team.
“What we are seeing just eight months after an election is a government lurching from one crisis to the next — ministers quitting, integrity standards not being met, a senior bureaucrat stood aside, and rural and regional communities ignored.
“On top of that the government has delivered little except mass sackings, jobless rates at the heights not experienced since the global financial crisis, and savage cuts to frontline services including the closure of nursing home beds that are distressing the elderly and their families.
“Queenslanders have every right to feel double-crossed by the LNP after the promises it made before the election about delivering higher standards.
“So far we have seen no evidence of higher standards or the ‘humility, grace and dignity’ promised by the Premier.
“Instead of delivering good government the LNP spends its time and energy just holding itself together.”
Ms Palaszczuk said she was not surprised by Mr Hopper’s move.
“Mr Hopper may have concerns about the LNP’s direction but he also has a history of jumping ship when things don’t go his way,” she said.
“He has made his views about the Premier and the LNP leadership team well known around the corridors of Parliament House starting on the day the Newman Cabinet was announced.
“I suspect the voters in Condamine may feel slighted having just eight months ago put their trust in Mr Hopper to be their voice in an LNP government.”

Friday, 23 November 2012

Springborg Sells-Off Eight State Run Nursing Homes

Media Release 

Deputy Opposition Leader Tim Mulherin says the Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has finally confessed to the asset sales of eight state-run nursing homes across Queensland.
Mr Mulherin said in a remarkable bit of spin, even for the Minister for Health Cuts and Closures, Mr Springborg had yet again attempted to blame the previous Labor Government for his decision to sell the following nursing homes:
  •  Parklands, Townsville 
  •  Ashworth House, Zillmere 
  •  Eventide Sandgate, Brighton 
  •  Moreton Bay Nursing Care Unit, Wynnum 
  •  Redlands Residential Centre, Cleveland 
  •  Eventide, Charters Towers 
  •  North Rockhampton Nursing Centre 
  •  Yaralla Place, Maryborough
“Just weeks before Christmas Mr Springborg has thrown the lives of many elderly and frail aged Queenslanders and their families into turmoil by announcing the sale of these facilities,” Mr Mulherin said.
“To add insult to injury Mr Springborg made the announcement in a bizarre press release blaming the decision on everyone except himself.
“The simple fact is Mr Springborg is the one transferring these eight facilities from state care into the private sector, the buck stops with him and he should man-up and take responsibility for his callous decisions.
“If he finds his announcement so unpalatable that he feels the need to blame everyone but himself perhaps he should take another look at the callous decision he is making.
“As with all asset sales this could mean reduced bed numbers and closures of facilities at these eight centres across Queensland.
“For Mr Springborg to announce this asset sale just weeks before Christmas shows what little regard he has for the elderly residents of our state-run nursing homes.”
Mr Mulherin said Mr Springborg knew his claims that this was a plan of the previous Labor Government were blatantly wrong.
“Mr Springborg may have Queensland Health documents that discuss options for state-run aged care facilities but these were rejected by the Labor Government as it was not in the best interest of Queenslanders or specifically the residents of our aged care services,” he said.
“The fact is no Minister supported the idea and the proof of that is the fact that until Mr Springborg became Minister for Health those nursing homes continued to operate.
“He is the one who is throwing the lives of elderly Queenslanders and their families into chaos by closing nursing home beds.
“But far worse is the fact that Mr Springborg’s Cabinet colleague Minister John-Paul Langbroek knows full well the Health Minister’s claims are wrong.
“On 4 August 2010 Mr Langbroek — then Opposition Leader — asked a question of the Premier and the answer specifically ruled out a government exit from nursing homes. (See Hansard below)
Tomorrow from 7am hundreds of angry and frustrated family members and community supporters of Eventide Brighton will march across the new Ted Smout Bridge from Clontarf to rally on the shores of Moreton Bay at Eventide Brighton, concerned people should join the march.
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE — 4 AUGUST 2010
Aged Care
Mr LANGBROEK (10.30 am): My first question without notice is to the Premier. I refer to the
health minister’s charter of goals of 31 March this year—page 30, item 50—which under the title ‘Measure’ clearly states that the minister is expected to complete the transfer of aged-care licences to non-government and private sector facilities. I table a copy. (Tabled papers) It also includes the 15 Queensland Health run homes that are to be privatised, and I ask: will the Premier confirm that Labor has reached a new low with its plans to privatise to sell off nursing homes?
Ms BLIGH: I thank the honourable member for the question. The government has absolutely no intention of privatising any of the state owned nursing homes. That is a policy that has been put on the record and repeated over and over again. There is, however, some interest from some nursing home operators in the non-government, not-for-profit community sector and there have been discussions with them. Why are they looking at assistance from the state government? Because they have not been able to secure the finance they need to access the places available through the Commonwealth government.
In fact, as I recall, the last time the Commonwealth government issued a round of licences for new aged-care beds there were very few operators in Queensland who put forward any proposal to take up those beds. There were surplus that were not bid for. That seems to me an extraordinary thing in one of the fastest growing states in Australia. It speaks to the importance of both sides of politics revisiting the issue of how we provide for aged-care facilities. We know that not only do we have a growing population but also we have an ageing population and it has to be remedied.
How did we get into the situation in Australia where needed facilities in aged care are so far behind? Labor has been in power federally for 2½ years. How long was Tony Abbott in a portfolio looking after some of these issues? More than a decade. Everybody in this House knows that if there was one area of underfunding in the Howard government it was health. Not only was it underfunded; $1 billion was taken out of the Commonwealth-state health agreement. When Tony Abbott had a chance in government he ripped the guts out of the health portfolio. He took Commonwealth investment out of health. Anybody who believes he will not do the same thing again in areas like aged care, in areas like hospitals—
Opposition members interjected.
Ms BLIGH: Those opposite do not want to hear it, but it is true and they know it. He has already gone to the electorate and talked about the things he will cut. He will be like every other Liberal leader federally: he will cut spending in social services like aged care and health. The member for Surfers Paradise coming in here feigning care for people in aged-care facilities is nothing short of a fraud. Their side of politics has an absolutely shocking record in this regard. The Queensland government does have ownership of some aged-care facilities and we will retain them.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Government try to rush ballot – Vote NO on the ballot and support job security

An extract from the Together Union Website:

September 14  2012

It’s been another very tough week, with budget announcements, and job cuts figures and specifics still coming through. Today in Parliament the Premier even tried to claim that no one had been ‘sacked’ that everyone who had left had left voluntarily. We all know that this is just lies, lies, lies.

Now the Premier is trying to ride roughshod over the truth again – but you have a chance to stop it.
Today in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, government representatives decided that they wanted to have a vote of all staff on a collective agreement offer instead of having to argue these points in front of the independent umpire, despite refusing to offer job security - This is a desperate tactic by government however it is one we need to take very seriously. This government cannot be trusted.

Campbell Newman wants to be able to say that public servants are voting to give away job security, so a yes vote for this deal put by the government will be a vote in favour of the way that Campbell Newman is treating the public service. A yes vote will condone what Campbell Newman is doing.
This is our opportunity to have a referendum on this government’s record over the last few months and whether you think they are telling the truth about their job cuts agenda.

While it’s great that you will all get the opportunity to have a say on what you think of this government’s record, but they are trying to be tricky about how your voice is heard. It is possible that they will try to run this very serious ballot via SMS or email only. Not only that, but to conduct it using an ‘independent’ source, other than the Electoral Commission, possibly in the same way that the Peter Costello audit was ‘independent’.

I have grave concerns about how the government holds this ballot. These issues are too serious to be treated like a ridiculous political poll. These are our livelihoods and future jobs on the line.

Union prisoners remembered

*THE WORKER*
Brisbane November 18, 1893

THREE YEARS FOR AGITATING

TERMINATION OF THE SENTENCE.

Release of the Union Prisoners.

At the latter end of 1890 and the beginning of 1891 an organised attempt was made by Australian capitalism to break down unionism, the immediate point of attack being the Queensland bush unions affiliated with the Australian Labour Federation. Smarting under the Jondaryan defeat – when the question of Unionism v. Non-unionism was decided in favour of the men – the squatters sought aid from their fellow capitalists throughout the colonies, and with that assistance resolved to commence operations by the issue of new agreements which contained the following serious alterations of conditions of labour:
Reductions in the wages to be paid for certain classes of bush work, affecting large numbers of bush workers;
The ignoring of the Eight-Hour day;
The tacit admittance of all classes of coloured labour upon an equality with white labour in White Queensland;
The withholding of the wage honestly earned by wage earners in such away that it may be forfeited as a penalty whenever an employer thinks the agreement is not adhered to by the employed;
The constitution of the employer as the sole arbiter on various questions of frequent recurrence in bush work, and the consequent penalising and possible imprisonment of the employed at the pleasure of the employer;
The total ignoring of the bush unions and the insistence by the employer on a return to the system of individual agreement on the wage-earner's side, and of collective agreement on the capitalists side, which in years past produced such intolerable conditions of labouring in the bush that the present unions were literally forced into existence.

No men with a spark of courage could accept these conditions without a bitter struggle, and after repeated requests for a conference with the employers, requests as often repeated and as often refused throughout the fight, the unionist prepared for the most terrible combat with organised capitalism that has ever taken place on this continent.
Combined capitalism was not particular as to its methods and armed black labour was introduced from all parts. The squatters had press and pulpit, police and parliament on their side, and the unionists were so grossly misrepresented that the general public were convinced that they were a set of most atrocious scoundrels for whom hanging was too good. Finding that the spirit of men could not be broken in any other way, a corrupt government put the law in motion, and under an old English Act – long since repealed in the land in which it was first passed in the reign of George IV. - arrested, among other, the following prominent unionists for “conspiracy.”

W.J. Bennett, chairman Strike Committee
W. Fothergill, secretary Strike Committee
A.J. Brown, member Strike Committee
Hugh O. Blackwell, secretary Q.L.U.
F.H. Murphy, secretary Roma branch Q.L.U.
George Taylor, organiser C.D.C.
Alex. Forrester, organiser C.D.C.
W. Hamilton, delegate Strike Committee
W.H. Smith-Barry, delegate Strike Committee
P.F. Griffin, chairman Clermont Camp
A.J.S. Stuart, member C.D.C.
Robert Prince

The above mentioned were arrested in the month of April, 1891, amid a display of military with fixed bayonets and Gatling guns, chained together (some of them) like so many bullocks, and marched from place to place previous to committal. They were brought before Judge Harding at Rockhampton in May of the same year, abused by him as if they were scoundrels, and as if their lives had been one long drawn skein of wickedness, and finally convicted by a judge-bounced jury and sentenced to three years' hard labour, and to find sureties for good behaviour for another year.
The conviction of the strike leaders explains the rottenness of our judicial system as well as of society as a whole, and shows how easy it is in times of excitement for innocent men to be sent to gaol on trumped up charges, merely to gratify the whims of a despotic class Government, which, if it had acted impartially, could have averted all the bitterness, trouble, and expense of the Shearers' Strike of 1891.
Respecting the trial, an extract from an account written by Mr. W. Lane, (then editor of this paper) is worth reproducing : “. . . . This is the court-room, and the bushman are here on trial, the judge will nay, and the lawyers and the squatters who smile cheerily as Judge Harding 'rubs it in.' But it seems to me, sitting here, that they are not on trial. It is Society which is being tried and the verdict of this jury will not matter whatever it is; Society is being tried here as a whole, prisoners and squatters and judge and jury and lawyers, tried here as it is being tried wherever the opposing elements of Society are brought face to face, wherever the up springing of Humanity finds an advocate or meets a foe. And its judge is God-the eternal God which has no defining and no dimensions, but which holds the stars in their places and makes water run down hill and brings to nought all that is unfit and in the long run makes Right Might and Justice strong, the same God-call it Law or nature or anything you like, what do names matter? - the same God that laid Rome low and shattered Greece, the home of art and slavery, and that judges our Society now weighing it in the balance, as Olive Schriener says, to know whether it be wanting.

And it is 'wanting,' indeed it is, as you would think if you were here—and thought as I do. For Justice here is a farce and Patriotism a mockery. Here in this court-room the class fight is being fought out. Here squatter band labourer face one another, and the Government and the judge and the whole judicial system chum in with the squatter and one sees how hollow the Law is and how useless it is ever to think of working together, capitalist and labourer, for the settlement of our social troubles. It is boiling over here, class-jealousy, class-hatred, class-prejudice, class-bitterness; and penned up in this boiling cauldron are the bushmen, officially said to be standing their trial and they have not two friends sitting together except in the public gallery and there – well, there the squatters could not find two friends, only the public gallery does not count yet.”

Class jealously, class hatred, class prejudice, and class bitterness secured the conviction of the prisoners, who, having been well behaved in prison (as well as out of it), are to be released in accordance with gaol rules at the end of this week, having been in gaol about two years and seven months. Dan Murphy, convicted of rioting during the strike and sentenced at the same court sittings, will be released along with the “company” prisoners. Jack Macnamara, the only other unionist prisoner, remains at St. Helena until the completion of his time in April, 1894. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to secure a remission of the sentences imposed on the prisoners – sentences which have no parallel in severity since six Dorchester labourers were sent out to this colony as convicts for conspiracy in the year 1834.
In the month of July, 1891, Tom Glassey, then M.L.A. for Bundamba, with a view of finding out who were the real conspirators and of securing the release of the prisoners, asked Parliament to appoint a Commission to inquire into the causes of the shearing strike. In introducing the resolution he startled the Government by producing copies of certain letters which passed between Government officials and representatives of the Employers' Association, showing beyond question that there was collusion between these two to down the bushmen at any risk. The motion was negatived by 41 to 3. Some time later Glassey, with his usual persistency, asked Parliament to grant the unconditional release of the men, but without avail. In April last year, the biggest petition ever sent to an Australian Parliament, from 431 union officials, representing 150,000 Australasian unionists was presented to the Queensland Parliament praying for the unconditional release of all persons imprisoned through causes arising out of the bush strike without exception.

The petition was received and, like most documents of that nature, was no doubt consigned to the waste paper basket. At any rate, nothing more was ever heard of it. The men have patiently, courageously, and fearlessly borne the burden of injustice, in spite of the influences used to induce them to crawl out. Admission of guilt would have secured them liberty long ago. This admission will never be obtained, because they are conscious of their innocence of any crime. Efforts were made by Colonial Secretary Tozer to persuade them to petition for mercy, assuring them that if this were done an order for their immediate release would follow. Government emissaries, in the shape of members of Parliament and “influential” citizens, were sent to visit the prisoners. These emissaries urged them to ask for release as an act of clemency, pointing out that in so doing they would not in any way forfeit their manhood. This did not succeed. They were not to be thus entrapped. Our friends possess too much grit to accept such liberal offers of presuming kindness. Petitions of various kinds were submitted with the same result. An unconditional release was the only concession acceptable to them. As for petitions, they declined even to consider them unless such petitions had first received the approval of the A.L.F. Executive. This manly conduct, this splendid display of fortitude, amid the most trying circumstances of prison life, has excited the admiration of bitter opponents of the Labour Movement who heard of it. Even the callous-minded Tozer has been heard on more occasions than one to speak in terms of praise and admiration at the stout determination of the unionist prisoners, and many complimentary remarks concerning them have fallen from others less high in authority, but who have had even better opportunities of judging.

The men are regarded by all who know them – as the writer known most of them intimately – as straight, sterling, honest, earnest fellows. Men who would scorn to do a mean act towards one of their mates. There is not one of them whom one would not break bread with and treat as a true friend. Their sentence has not detracted in the least from this. On the contrary, it has served to increase the circle of their friends and to strengthen the friendship previously existing. Ever since their sentence their mates in the bush have been contributing to an assistance fund in order that the wives of the only two married men should not suffer from their husband's incarceration, and that when all were released they would have something to start with. About 2,500 pounds, in addition to the 2 pound per week each paid to the wives of Jeffreys (released a few weeks ago along with Irwin) and E.H. Murphy ever since the conviction of their husbands, has been raised and will be divided out amongst the prisoners on their release.
As showing the sympathy which exists in Brisbane for the “prisoners,” it may be mentioned that not the slightest difficulty was experienced in obtaining the twenty-six bondsmen required in the terms of the sentence. Indeed the difficulty came in when selecting from the numerous persons who offered themselves as sureties the names of those who were not likely to take offence at being deprived of the honour of signing the bond forms.

Those who have so unjustly yet so heroically suffered for the Cause will long be remembered, and will be revered and honoured by all true unionists. Our comrades in the bush, from whose ranks our St. Helena friends were taken, will join us in welcoming them heartily back again to the old scenes, realising that they have made redemption from thraldom possible – have done their part towards hastening on that time when

Man to man the world o'er
Shall brother be for a'that.
                                                                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                                       A. H.


Wednesday, 21 November 2012

LNP Conned Gold Coast On Cruise Ship Terminal

Media Release

Shadow Environment Minister, Jackie Trad, says the Premier has clearly indicated that he plans to use the LNP’s huge majority to force a cruise ship terminal and casino hotel on the Gold Coast regardless of the views of locals.

“The Premier’s claims on ABC Radio today that opponents to the plans are standing in the way of economic progress show he is determined to vandalise the Southport Broadwater and The Spit despite community concerns,” Ms Trad said.

“This issue is yet another example of the LNP keeping their plans secret prior to election and then using their massive majority to ram through sweeping changes without genuine community consultation.

“His statements today show the Premier is prepared to ride roughshod over people with genuine concerns about the environmental and social impacts of a cruise terminal, casino and hotel.

“The people of the Gold Coast have every right to feel conned by this Government.

“It is well past the time for all LNP MPs on the Gold Coast to declare if they support or oppose the plans.

“So far we have heard from only the Member for Gaven, Dr Alex Douglas. But he is only one of 10 LNP MPs on the Gold Coast.

“It is time the other nine broke their vow of silence and actually did their job of representing their local constituents.”

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Premier Rattled On Registers

Media Release

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Premier needs to stop making wild claims as a diversionary tactic and focus on the immediate release of his and his Ministers’ lobbyist contact registers.
“The diversionary tactics being used by the Premier suggest he is clearly rattled about what is in the registers of his own Ministers,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“The only conclusion is that he may have been advised about, or has seen for himself, what is in them and is now too scared to release them.
“If he has nothing to fear from their contents, why has he still not released them a full week after promising to do so?
“Or are all the registers being revised and re-written before being released several months from now?
“The Premier seems to forget he is now in government.
“As I said last week, in my former ministerial office the procedures set down by the Ministerial Services Branch were followed in relation to the back-up and archiving of databases.
“In addition, the Integrity Commissioner undertook a snap audit of all lobbyists’ registers for September last year and all offices complied,” she said.

Premier Ignores the Facts

Media Release 

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says Premier Campbell Newman is peddling misleading information about statements he made on social media about Arts Minister Ros Bates.
“The Premier claims that my statements were mocking or ridiculing Ms Bates, but he obviously has not actually read the content of the posts I made on social media,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Premier has a habit of not sticking to the facts and this is yet another example.
“I think people will agree with me that the Premier has either misinterpreted these posts or is himself, deliberately seeking to make political mileage out of Ms Bates’ position,” he said.
“The Premier accused the Opposition of making light of Ms Bates’ absence from Parliament on the 30th October sitting day, I rose to make a point of order to correct the Premier on that occasion also.
“When Ms Bates returned to Parliament last sitting week, I had a brief conversation with Ms Bates and she acknowledged and appreciated my comments in the House.”
For the record, below are the statements Mr Pitt posted:
Posted on Twitter Sunday 18th November 7.40pm
Curtis Pitt shared a link.
Here's hoping Minister Bates makes a speedy recovery. It'd be terrible if she missed the last sitting of Parliament for the year...
Posted on Facebook Sunday 18th November 9.31pm
Curtis Pitt The report in the Brisbane Times says Minister Bates has sustained serious back injuries and has been admitted to hospital so please reserve your judgment.http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/ros-bates-taken-to-hospital-20121118-29k1u.html
Hansard of Mr Pitt’s statement in Parliament 30th October – link
Rising for a point of order
Mr PITT: A question was asked about the advice provided by a minister. We accept what is being offered by the Premier and we are concerned for Ms Bates wellbeing.

Register Questions Need Answers

Media Release 

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says both the Premier and the Education Minister acting for Ros Bates must be able to give full answers on her behalf in State Parliament next week.
“I wish Ms Bates a speedy recovery and hope she can return to her ministerial duties as soon as possible,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“But if that is not possible before next week’s sittings, then I am putting both the Premier and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek as Acting Minister on notice.
“The Opposition will be asking questions about the lobbyist contact register of Ms Bates and we expect both the Premier and Mr Langbroek to give full answers.
“They have a full week to get to know the details of her lobbyist register.
“Any ducking and weaving on their part will indicate they just do not want legitimate questions answered.”
Ms Palaszczuk also called on the Premier to meet a commitment he gave last week to release all lobbyist contact registers for himself and all his Ministers.
On Tuesday 13 November in Question Time Ms Palaszczuk asked the Premier to table by the end of that day “the lobbyist registers of each of his Ministers since their appointment and confirm that they are a true and accurate record”.
In response the Premier told Parliament: “If they want a particular minister’s diary or lobbyists register, I am happy to release it.”
“It is almost a week since that pledge was made and so far the Premier has failed to release all registers or any diaries,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“Why is he continuing to hide this material from scrutiny? What embarrassing information is in those registers that the Premier wants to keep away from public exposure?
“The Premier and his Ministers are in government. They are the decision-makers and they are the ones who need to prove they are complying with requirements designed to ensure openness and accountability.
“It is about time the Premier matched his words with action,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Emerson the Grinch stole free Christmas train travel from Pensioners

Media Release

Shadow Transport Minister Jackie Trad says Transport Minister Scott Emerson is ripping free train travel off pensioners during the Christmas period.
Ms Trad said under a new LNP Government edict pensioners cannot use free train travel vouchers over the Christmas period.
“Mr Emerson needs to explain his unfair discriminatory treatment of pensioners,” Ms Trad said.
“Christmas is a time to spend with family and friends and the Newman Government is now going to charge pensioners for train seats they used to get for free.
“To add insult to injury the LNP Government is now charging pensioners double the booking fee per one way trip, $25.
“This is an outrageous attack on pensioners who are on tight budgets, especially over the Christmas period.
“It is yet again another callous attack by the LNP Government on vulnerable members of society.
"It's a slap in the face to pensioners, after the LNP went to the election promising to ease cost of living pressures,” she said.
“Pensioners more than anyone else feel the cost of living pressures”

Friday, 16 November 2012

Lobbyist Contact Register

Media Release

Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk says the Premier should stop making wild claims about the shredding of her ministerial lobbyist contact register and release the registers of all of his Ministers as he was asked to do three days ago.
“I know in my ministerial office the procedures set down by the Ministerial Services Branch were followed in relation to the back-up and archiving of databases,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
Ms Palaszczuk said the only person who needed to release lobbyist contact registers was the Premier who for the past three days had refused to make public his Ministers’ registers.
“What has he got to hide? What information is in those registers that the Premier wants to keep away from public exposure,” she said.
“He and his Ministers are now the decision-makers and they are the ones who need to show they are complying with requirements designed to ensure openness and accountability.
“His claims show how panicky he is as his government lurches from crisis to crisis and he is unable to control its high dive into the abyss.”

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Ministers Knowingly Peddle False Claims

Media Release 

Shadow Health Minister, Jo-Ann Miller, says Health Minister Lawrence Springborg has been caught out trying to peddle false claims about the former government’s position on government nursing homes.
“But wait, there’s more. Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek sat in silence next to the Minister knowing that what Mr Springborg said was totally wrong,” Mrs Miller said.
She said Mr Springborg today “revealed” in State Parliament documents he alleged showed the former government planned to close government nursing homes.
“These documents related to a health department idea floated in 2009 which the then Labor Government rejected,” Mrs Miller said.
“The fact is no Minister supported the idea and the proof of that is the fact that until Mr Springborg became Minister for Health those nursing homes continued to operate.
“He is the one who is throwing the lives of elderly Queenslanders and their families into chaos by closing nursing home beds.
“But far worse was the fact Mr Langbroek sat in silence beside Mr Springborg today when he knows full well the Health Minister’s claims are wrong.
“On 4 August 2010 Mr Langbroek — then Opposition Leader — asked a question of the Premier and the answer specifically ruled out a government exit from nursing homes. (See Hansard below)
“Mr Langbroek also tabled documents including one which was tabled yet again by the Health Minister today.
“Mr Springborg has peddled false claims about the former government and his colleague Mr Langbroek has sat idly by while knowing what the Health Minister was saying was untrue.
“Both of them should go back to Parliament and apologise for their actions designed to deliberately deceive Queenslanders.
“Unfortunately I am not surprised by this behaviour because it simply reflects the low stands of LNP Ministers and the low standards the Premier sets for his government.
Hansard extract……..
QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE — 4 AUGUST 2010
Aged Care
Mr LANGBROEK (10.30 am): My first question without notice is to the Premier. I refer to the
health minister’s charter of goals of 31 March this year—page 30, item 50—which under the title ‘Measure’ clearly states that the minister is expected to complete the transfer of aged-care licences to non-government and private sector facilities. I table a copy. (Tabled papers) It also includes the 15 Queensland Health run homes that are to be privatised, and I ask: will the Premier confirm that Labor has reached a new low with its plans to privatise to sell off nursing homes?
Ms BLIGH: I thank the honourable member for the question. The government has absolutely no intention of privatising any of the state owned nursing homes. That is a policy that has been put on the record and repeated over and over again. There is, however, some interest from some nursing home operators in the non-government, not-for-profit community sector and there have been discussions with them. Why are they looking at assistance from the state government? Because they have not been able to secure the finance they need to access the places available through the Commonwealth government.
In fact, as I recall, the last time the Commonwealth government issued a round of licences for new aged-care beds there were very few operators in Queensland who put forward any proposal to take up those beds. There were surplus that were not bid for. That seems to me an extraordinary thing in one of the fastest growing states in Australia. It speaks to the importance of both sides of politics revisiting the issue of how we provide for aged-care facilities. We know that not only do we have a growing population but also we have an ageing population and it has to be remedied.
How did we get into the situation in Australia where needed facilities in aged care are so far behind? Labor has been in power federally for 2½ years. How long was Tony Abbott in a portfolio looking after some of these issues? More than a decade. Everybody in this House knows that if there was one area of underfunding in the Howard government it was health. Not only was it underfunded; $1 billion was taken out of the Commonwealth-state health agreement. When Tony Abbott had a chance in government he ripped the guts out of the health portfolio. He took Commonwealth investment out of health. Anybody who believes he will not do the same thing again in areas like aged care, in areas like hospitals—
Opposition members interjected.
Ms BLIGH: Those opposite do not want to hear it, but it is true and they know it. He has already gone to the electorate and talked about the things he will cut. He will be like every other Liberal leader federally: he will cut spending in social services like aged care and health. The member for Surfers Paradise coming in here feigning care for people in aged-care facilities is nothing short of a fraud. Their side of politics has an absolutely shocking record in this regard. The Queensland government does have ownership of some aged-care facilities and we will retain them.