Angry unionists to ambush Bligh

Angry unionists to ambush Bligh.
Angry unionists to ambush Bligh.

SHE managed to give them the slip on her three most recent visits to Rockhampton, but angry unionists have Premier Anna Bligh firmly in the firing line this time.

A union organiser yesterday promised Ms Bligh a “robust reception” when she and her fellow ministers attend a community cabinet at Emu Park on Sunday.

Buses have been organised to transport hundreds of protesters from across Central Queensland to the picturesque coast town.

The union movement is angry about the Queensland Government's plans to sell off key assets, including a large part of the state's rail system.

“We'll make sure every minister gets the message,” Rail Tram and Bus Union Central Queensland organiser Craig Allen said.

“I would suggest she's going to be in for the same sort of reception that our Local MPs got on Labour Day.

“We want to send a clear message from the people of Rockhampton and the regional areas that they no longer have any justification for this.

“The Queensland economy is getting better every day.”

He said Ms Bligh had avoided the heat in the past.

“She's been in town three times since the sell-off was announced, but each time she's given such short notice we've not been able to get anyone there,” Mr Allen said.

It was following the Labour Day march that Member for Keppel Paul Hoolihan announced his call for Ms Bligh to have another look at the sell-off in light of an economic report which indicated Queensland's economy was $11billion better off than the Government had forecast when it announced the sale.

Yesterday, Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten, who found himself in the firing line on Labour Day, said this wouldn't be the first community cabinet meeting where a protest was held.

Mr Schwarten said protestors had every right to hold a rally.

He said the reason the Government held the community cabinets was to hear what locals had to say.

While he expects the asset sell-off to be raised, Mr Schwarten said there were other issues Central Queenslanders wanted to speak about too.

He said there had been many enquiries to his office about the cabinet meeting.

Ms Bligh said people have a democratic right to protest peacefully.

“I'm looking forward to visiting the Rockhampton community and talking to locals about a range of issues,” she said.

“Community Cabinets are an important opportunity for government to keep in touch with all Queenslanders.”

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