OPPOSITION MPs this week accused the Bligh Government of betraying its supporters, ALP members and its “core values” over asset sell-off plans which will directly impact on the Gympie region.
Up for sale is the region’s historically significant and internationally regarded farm forestry industry, a Gympie trademark and major employer in the region for generations.
Speaking to a motion urging Premier Anna Bligh to oppose any move to cancel this year’s ALP State Conference, where the issue is expected to be highly contentious, Gympie MP David Gibson said the Government did not want the conference to occur because it was afraid of what its own members would say.
Ms Bligh responded that the ALP was a “Parliamentary party” and state policy debate was not as important as campaigning to retain government in a federal election year.
“2010 is a federal election year,” she said.
“The party will be on a campaign footing – no apologies, we are a political party and we are on a campaign footing.”
Mr Gibson told the House his address was the first time since the 1950s and the time of Labor MP Thomas Dunstan, “that the Member for Gympie has risen in this chamber to speak in the interests of the rank and file of the Labor Party.”
And he said historians would have to go back beyond 1993 to find a time when the ALP did not have conferences because it was an election year. “It is as if we have entered a parallel universe ... (where the) Labor Party ... has sold out its core values, a Labor Party that would not know what the labour movement was about.
“Tommy Dunstan stood for the workers of Queensland and now we on this side of the House find ourselves standing up for the workers in Queensland.”
He accused the government of running from “its own members’ views” and from “the views of Queenslanders.”
“We have seen from recent polls that this Government is so out of touch with the views of Queensland, so arrogant and so dishonest that its members would not know what ordinary Queenslanders wanted if they fell over it.
“The arrogant attitude they display shows that they do not deserve Government,” he said.