Eighty per cent or more of the Queensland electorate remains solidly opposed to the state government’s privatisation agenda in spite of an expensive publicity campaign to convince them otherwise, and the employment of the former reserve bank boss, Bernie Fraser, on $2500 a day, to pacify the unions.
Even the treachery of AWU state secretary Bill Ludwig, who attempted to kill the issue in October by telling his fellow unionists, “it’s over get on with it”, has not buried the issue.
Only six days after Ludwig’s pronouncement about 70 per cent of delegates at the ALP’s Far Northern regional conference voted to reject the asset sale.
This was a slap in the face to the government and came in spite of heavy pressure on the mover, Stuart Traill, the Cairns provincial Queensland Council of Unions president and local ETU organiser, not to embarrass the government.
In the meantime the ETU and other unions walked out of the talks with Bernie Fraser to protest outside the Executive Building.
The walk out followed comments from the state treasurer, Andrew Fraser, who said that the talks were about securing workers entitlements after the sale. The ETU are adamant they are opposing the sale outright.
The ETU and others unions, too, are continuing to run advertisements opposing the sale and continuing to protest outside community cabinet meetings and other government events. The issue is far from being burried.
By Mark Gillespie
Up coming protests
Queensland State Parliament, 4.30pm-6pm, Tuesday November 10. Called by Save Our Public
Springwood Community Cabinet meeting, Springwood, November
Contact [email protected] for details