Regional leaders urged to take stand
REGIONAL MPs have been asked to stand up for their electorate amid mass job cuts and service privatisation with the launch of a new union campaign aimed at protecting communities outside the south-east corner.
Australian Party MPs Rob Katter and Shane Knuth are the first Queensland politicians to sign Together union's backbenchers with a backbone campaign and in turn pledge to stand up for jobs in their electorate.
Together union secretary Alex Scott said the union would be approaching regional MPs to follow suit.
"We know that people in regional Queensland, their jobs and services are going to be compromised and what we need to do is get members of the LNP who live outside the south-east corner to put their electorates outside of their party affiliation," Mr Scott said on Thursday.
Mr Scott said most of 14,000 job cuts outlined in the budget would come from regional Queensland, as would the outsourcing of services.
"We know a majority of the public sector workers come from regions and we know the cuts will be occurring in regions," Mr Scott said.
"But we can't provide exact details because this Government is addicted to secrecy.
"But when we see the large scale outsourcing and privatisation that will come in the coming months, the majority of the impact of that will occur in regional Queensland communities.
"If you run your services purely for profit you will run them from Brisbane not from the regions.
"It costs more to provide services in regional Queensland. But it's regional Queensland which drives the Queensland economy and its regional Queensland that has the same right to quality of services..."
Following the huge union rally in Brisbane on Wednesday, Mr Scott said there would be a series of events held in the future to make sure communities could voice their concerns.
However, this was not welcomed by the Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry president David Goodwin.
"For the unions to go and do this - they have had wage rises over the last decade that have run far in excess of what the private sector has had - to now go and throw a tantrum of the magnitude some of them are is gutting," he said.