ANOTHER Labor Party heavyweight visited Ipswich yesterday to support the State election campaigns of Jim Madden and Jennifer Howard.
Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek launched Ms Howard's campaign to win the seat of Ipswich last night.
She earlier accompanied Mr Madden, the Ipswich West candidate, to a community forum at the Leichhardt One Mile Community Centre where she spoke about issues relating to domestic violence and the strong work done by non-government organisations in areas such as housing, tenancy advocacy and a whole range of social policies.
She made a contrast between what a Labor Government led by Annastacia Palaszczuk would do positively for such groups, in comparison to what the Newman and Abbott Governments were doing.
She took questions from the floor in a forum that included Blair MP Shayne Neumann, Mr Madden and Ipswich Women's Centre Against Domestic Violence manager Gabrielle Borggaard.
Ms Plibersek said community and advocacy groups were facing cuts to programs across the board at both a federal and state level and that was causing "a real struggle to provide services to the local community".
"But there is an additional element to it that is really concerning," she said.
"When we were in government, we wrote into the contracts of community organisations that as part of their responsibilities we expected them to lobby government to make a case for change if there was a systemic problem in a particular area.
"That has been completely reversed, with the Abbott Government writing into contracts that community organisations aren't allowed to advocate for changes in government policy. The consequences are potentially that they lose funding."
Ms Howard said she was delighted to have a politician of Ms Plibersek's stature launch her campaign before a large crowd of Labor true believers.
"One of the things I have noticed talking to people is that what they are looking for in their elected representatives is authenticity, and I that is what Tanya has in spades and why she is so popular," she said.
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