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The Forum > General Discussion > How to restore democracy in Queensland

How to restore democracy in Queensland

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With the shameful capitulation today of 60% of delegates at the Queensland Labor Party conference, who voted for a "motion acknowledging that the sales are going ahead", before the Bligh/Fraser junta, democracy is effectively dead in that state.

A precedent whereby, a Government can implement policies that are gravely harmful to the public interest, that are opposed not only by its constituents, but even by the membership of its own political party, has been established.

At the recent state elections, even though at least one candidate (myself) did his utmost to make both Andrew Fraser and Anna Bligh reveal to the Queensland public their intentions in regard to privatisation and to debate the issue openly, they chose to keep the Queensland people in the dark, thereby denying them their democratic right to settle the issue at the election.

Had they made known their intentions at the time of the election, there is no way that they would be holding the respective offices of Premier and Treasurer today.

This outrage against fundamental principles of democracy, as well as the basic principle that somebody's property should never be sold without his/her consent cannnot be allowed to stand.

How can the Queensland public rectify this outrageous situation?
Posted by daggett, Sunday, 7 June 2009 8:56:18 PM
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I share your concerns Daggett.

But in order to get a better perspective of this issue, could you outline the main arguments for and against privatisation of these assets, or provide a link to this information, and suggest the main reason as to why 60% of delegates ended up supporting Bligh?

Thanks.
Posted by Ludwig, Monday, 8 June 2009 8:53:54 PM
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Ludwig,

Thanks for your interest.

Firstly, whether privatisation is a good or bad thing, it has been consistently and overwhelmingly opposed by the public for years, and this is in spite of relentless pro-privatisation propaganda from governments and the media.

70% opposed the privatisation of Telstra at the time the full privatisation legislation was passed in September 2005.

When the Iemma Government attempted to privatise NSW electricity throughout 2008 it was opposed by between 79% and 85% of the NSW public according to opinion polls.

An online Courier Mail opinion poll recently showed 91% of its readers opposed privatisation.

Anna Bligh and Andrew Fraser know full well that they will never get the consent of Queenslanders to privatise the assets.

That is why they avoided (yet again) discussion of privatisation at the last elections.

The people who push privatisation maintain that because private managers are driven by the profit motive that they must be inherently more efficient.

However, I would say that public managers are also driven by the profit motive, but 'profit' in a far broader sense.

In the broader public sector sense 'profit' would encompass all the services provided, care for the environment, decent working conditions and career structure for its workforce, training for its own needs or for the needs of the broader economy.

In the narrower private sector sense 'profit' is only the net wealth the private corporation is able to extract from the pockets of the community and its workforce to itself. The private managers are discouraged from caring whether many customers are provided with poor service or even miss out altogether, or whether they run down the infrastructure.

In theory, it should be possible by removing so-called feather bedding (or what I would consider a civilised pace of work) and improving workforce efficiency, the rest of the community should gain, but the broader community still seem to lose massively even when the workforces are practically turned into slaves as they were with Telstra.

Almost everywhere that privatisation has been tried it has been a disaster for the public interest. (more later.)
Posted by daggett, Monday, 8 June 2009 9:40:06 PM
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first off i feel were overgoverned..,but as were stuck with states[who predominantly only serve big buisness..[witnes peter beaty..currently serving big buiness openly os..

i feel having another level of govt..[two houses..not just one]..might be a good starting point...and a media that sits on govt reporting the every new act peter rewrote[thousands of em..clearly his 200 plus secerataries did more than just monitor the media

much of the current problems stem from an omnipotant state-run oligopoly..[mainly run by the public service,..via the so called two party system]..peter beaty..[lest we forget]..was a lawyer at sir joes trial...a little known fact...was he defense or offense i wonder

did the young nats take over labour[when it was clear the brand was poluted[hayden disappeard pretty quick[goss came from nowhere...[but how was that young nat sitting on the jury[lawyer making law reveals the law in qld is a joke..the just-us system

i did continue on about more info but the page disappeared..when i tried to post it..[i revealed the lawyer rewriting the constitution into act 70 of 2002..[revealed the half a billion peter beaty gave to his mate for a non egsistant magnesium plant in gladstone..[revealed how we only got one house of govt..[allways run by lawyers

revealed how the unions love the acces to govt..thus sold out the workers..[mentioned that lucrative lurk granted to that mob out west that turned a swamp into a huge dam to steal water..[revealed much more..but it disapeared when i went to post it...so will leave it as it stands

how come there is so much darkness in the sunshine state..[we let govt steal the water rights from council..[after councils put in the water meters..

[we let govt double the price of electricity/rego..[we let govt criminalise a plant..[deem a plant a drug,..via legalistic lawyers rewriting law's...even rewriting the constitution into act 70 of 2002

let govt..give private prison's to big buisness..[let govt give its mates huge infastructure work projects..[that sent the treasury broke]...

ok you got enough of an idea of the dirt i was posting...that conveniantly dissapeard when i tried to post
Posted by one under god, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 12:52:36 AM
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Daggett I share your pain, and as a unionist have concerns.
We you and I inhabit different parts of the left of center world.
We both do not like the turn coat attitude of union based members of parlement state and federal.
Some of my heros, Robo, Bill Shorten, and our new minister for defence seem to have swam a very wide river[union talk for crossing over.
But we must confront the facts, democracy is not under attack in QLD
A quick look under the blanked of dead hand managment in these enterprises can show its management no the whole that needs contracting out.
NSW has for years and years had an ALP government, failing to even care, yes I think that, who gets the contracts it takes from its own workers.
Anti union under paying far from safe firms get preference from government departments run by local big frogs in little ponds.
We must confront the fact, the ALP is not truely interested in us until needed to man the booths
The 40% who voted against must continue to look for better answers.
Posted by Belly, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 6:38:29 AM
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Belly wrote, "But we must confront the facts, democracy is not under attack in QLD"

A precedent has been established where a Labor Government can do as it pleases regardless of the wishes of the people of Queensland, the people who elected it, the trade unions for whom the Labor Party was create to represent in Parliament or the rank and file of its own party.

The Queensland Labor Government today is answerable to nobody but the same rapaciously greedy corporate interests that have ransacked the rest of the world and created the financial crisis we face today.

The issue at the weekend should have been open and shut.

The Labor Government failed at the last elections to ask the people of Queensland foo their permission to embark upon the single largest fire sale in Australia's history.

They failed to ask because they knew what answer they would get.

As it happens, public opinion and Labor policy against privatisation are as one, according to every opinion poll taken in recent years.

If nothing else, the Labor conference should have insisted that the Labor Government now ask the people of Queensland, but were too cowardly to even do that.

If an elected Government can get away with that, then what can't they get away with?
Posted by daggett, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 8:07:33 AM
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So how did Bligh manage to secure the support of 60% of the delegates at the Labor conference??
Posted by Ludwig, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 8:28:41 AM
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When a State becomes a church, it does whatever it likes. This is what has happened in Queensland. When Australia became a federation it had one state church, exercising the Judicial Power of the Commonwealth through State courts. In 1991 Queensland made itself a State Church, with its own Courts, outside the Constitution.

We have made a fundamental error in government and all should ask that it be corrected. My work with the Constitution has been working towards finding where it came from and tracing its pedigree. I have found that by tracing the Oath of Allegiance back to Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second and her Oath taken in Westminster Abbey, that in point of fact, a court is a form of divine worship, in which the Queen is deemed to be always present, and the word Court capitalized, cannot be substituted for it, because it is not a form of divine worship.

If you look at S 2 Judiciary Act 1903 you will see Court and Judge are both capitalized in the definition of Appeal. Reading the plain English of that 106 year old Statute, you can see that if a matter has been decided by any Court or Judge, an Appeal is granted automatically. This was because in 1903, the Habeas Corpus Act 1640 16 Charles 1 Ch X. was known to all the lawyers, and they knew that if a Judge decided a matter it was void.

Void is the word used in the Habeas Corpus Act 1640 16 Charles 1 Ch X. This Statute is transcribed in full in the Imperial Acts Application Act 1980 ( Vic). This was a condition precedent upon the Constitution and was definitely in force when the Australian Courts Act 1828 was enacted. The fundamental mistake of making a Judge a God, must be corrected, and our right to worship in a court restored.

Queensland is in big trouble, and probably facing bankruptcy, as soon as Kevin Rudd gives Australians back their religious freedom, and makes the Federal Court a place of divine worship, now that the States have abolished theirs.
Posted by Peter the Believer, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 9:01:59 AM
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I can't answer that question completely.

In fact, 100% of delegates carried a motion reaffirming Labor's opposition to privatisation, but a second weasel word resolution, effectively recognising that privatisation would proceed, was carried.

About 44 'left wing' delegates ran away -- sorry, abstained -- when that was put to the vote. If they had not, the vote would have been closer, but not lost. On the other hand if those 'left wing' delegates had stayed and those opposed to privatisation had fought harder, others who voted for the weasel word resolution might have been persuaded to vote against it and the outcome could have been different.

A lot of the outcome of the conference, including the abstention of those 44 delegates would have been decided in secret back room deals away from the view of many other delegates.

If delegates truly reflected the views of those whom they were representing, the vote at the conference would have been in the order of 80%-98% to demand that the Government abandon its privatisation and to disendorse any Labor Party MLA's who dared proceed to vote for privatisation on the floor of Parliament.

However, few delegates, Labor Party branch delegates and, more so, delegates representing Trade Unions are not held accountable to those they represent.

They won't be made to explain to ordinary union members or Labor Party branch members why they betrayed them on the weekend.

See also "Delegates give green light to push ahead with $15b sale" at http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,27574,25601624-3102,00.html

"ALP conference gives Bligh an ovation" at http://news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-national/alp-conference-gives-bligh-an-ovation-20090607-bzfo.html

The google news search terms I use are: Queensland privatisation
Posted by daggett, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 9:05:05 AM
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That may be the answer daggett, the 44 who ran away, how true gutless that is.
NSW saw an idiot cabenet, yes my true view, try to roll us on power, left right and center stood together.
So far, do not bank on it, we have won.
Never thought I would say this but our chances of winning next election are,no chance without change.
Better to be flogged by an enemy than a friend
Trouble is I can no longer tell who is what.
Posted by Belly, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 6:25:48 PM
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Belly wrote, "Never thought I would say this but our chances of winning next election are, no chance without change."

I agree. All but two of the Queensland Parliamentary caucus have disqualified themselves from even being suitable to be officeholders in any democracy, let alone representatives of working people.

I would be happy to see this lot sacked by the Governor and have new elections called.

If the Labor Party doesn't have the nous to disendorse the whole of the current crowd, with the exception of those two who voted against privatisation at that caucus meeting, we could hardly be worse off under a LNP government.

In fact, if you read the chapter on Margaret Thatcher's Britain on Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine" you will learn that Thatcher was not able to implement much of her radical reactionary policy in her early years of Office. If it had not been for the Falklands War, it is likely that she would have lost the next election and a rejuvenated Labor Party would have come to power.

So, the dreadful outcome of the downfall of the Labor Government in 1979 was not inevitable, need not be repeated in Queensland in 2009.

I would rather take my chances in that scenario than quietly endure almost three more years of misrule by the Bligh Labor Government.
Posted by daggett, Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:28:53 AM
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ludwig<<So how did Bligh manage to secure the support of 60% of the delegates at the Labor conference??>>it really isnt that difficult[if you recall peter had over 200 secretaries,numbers are easy to select from the publicking service

im fairly sure that the national party public service took over labour party when qld realised that sir joe had bucklies to get re-elected[and as the law society runs the state,numbers are fairly easy to get]

i noted in my 20 years of activism that the greens simularily have been taken over[you must know if your calling on people to protest say a mine site[the miners send in some of their miners[or loggers or whatever]...its a numbers game...i learned of the game a long time ago

the kingston butter factory museum called for the public to join together to form a board[it was a well attended meeting,and soon enough a commity was formed,..during the course of a few meetings i soon realised i was the only one not paid to be there[the rest were all..[ALL]..public servants

oits just as easy for peter[say]or anna..to send in his/her 200 secretaries to stack any meeting[who is going to complain..,.and even if you do..[what numbers you got to change a single thing..[heck unions been doing it forever..[why be supprised that the nats simply played the same numbers game]

other things i have noted is how howhard upped public liability insurance[this had the net affect of shutting down many groups and assosiations[groups and assosiations can[could]..play the same numbers game[so govt got them shut down,.

.anyhow there are other ways to get numbers..[i noted at the ryan by election all the labour scruiteneers were greek,males mid thirties.. where as the lib scruiterneers were of many races..[ages and sexes]

if you search you soon find out its all about the numb-ers..[they just learned not to come in buss loads]
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 11 June 2009 12:49:18 AM
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it dosnt matter who gets elected..[they must use the same public servicve]..therein lies the roots of the vile we are seeing...see how beaty re-wrote thousands of rules..[re-wrote thousands of acts..[see even krudd was a public servant

we are run by public servants..and lawyers..[who are mainly after board seats and their over generouse super/pension entitlements..[as well as the public awards and rewards]...the game is more yes minester than people could realise

govt members dont write the legislation..[publicking sewer-vants do]beuro-rock-rats..[who are after our children[by dumbing them down[or stealing them from their parents]..and all are on that ladder..that leads to the natural rewards of civic duty..[the private education..the private health care...service to multinationals..[and meeting their need for power and kids]..ever seeking their own share of the intrenched powers

the public servants that feed..at the public trough of the serfs,...legally imbisiles..they are destined to enslavment and be bleed dry..[they are charged to pump us full of mutations and cancers,pooor health care and dental..while protecting those exploiting the common weal...via increased fees for servioces[and revenue raisng from fines fees levies taxes and duties...we are kept ignorant specificlly and by colluded design with even law subverted to their perversions

demon-autocracy..[demon-mockery]by design..sir joes fed the chooks[then watched them eat each other fighting to exclusivly be the only chook..but its pretty useless to fight the system...because there are only foxes in the henyard

they just change the party..now in power and the pub-licking servants move their adgenda ever onwards..with the new party machine men..[passing their new rules/gifts and powers into law by act and legislation allong the same paRTY LINE]..using the public instruments to subvert the common weal..[colliusivly and systematiclly[deliberatly and consistabntly]..from one elect-torial cycle to the next..ever heard of the massons[or the lions apex or the many other clubs and mens groups
Posted by one under god, Thursday, 11 June 2009 8:30:23 AM
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I agree, Daggett, democracy in Queensland is indeed under threat.

I agree with OUG that the existence of an Upper House, a probing and questioning media and also a half decent opposition would improve the functioning of democracy in Queensland. Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Peter Beattie and now Anna Bligh have all misused their power. There just haven't been enough checks and balances in place to curb their autocratic instincts. A parliamentary house of review is essential to good governance.
Posted by Bronwyn, Thursday, 11 June 2009 1:25:49 PM
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dagget:

I feel gratified that there are others out there in this great wide wonderland (or should I say "Neverland") who are prepared to speak out against the sheer bastardry, bloody mindedness and inane arrogance of the Bligh "Inquisition"!

We have NEVER really experienced a TRUE Democracy, but the remaining vestiges of what has been purported to be a Democracy are vanishing rapidly down the gurgler.

These bombastic bastards who profess to represent the best interests of the community, are bulldozing their self-serving maniacal legislation through a frustrated and neutred Parliament, where any semblance of Opposition has melted into a morass of self pity and navel-gazing!

We had Shire Amalgamations FORCED upon us, against the wishes of the populace, and are now paying dearly in every aspect of our local government`s ability to deliver services. We are facing massive rate increases and are hearing of many Regional Councils facing financial collapse. This was FORCED upon us regardless of our opposition to it, and has indicated the truth of the direction of a State Government totally out of control in it`s dealings with it`s constituents!

All that can result from continuation of this type of "Democracy" is the inevitable shift towards insurrection and revolution in an effort to overthrow a group of tyrants who are starting to make the likes of Pinochet look good!....One could be forgiven for asking "When do the killings start?..or have they already?"
Posted by Crackcup, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 10:40:11 AM
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Hyperbole and tub thumping aside this topic post is merely a conflict of ideologies.
What makes you think the LNP would have done any different?
The state has liquidity problems.

I would even question that it's the current premiers fault.
I believe Queensland gets the governments it deserves. On one hand they want the land the moon and the stars but don't want to be involved (effort) or pay. In addition most don't care or can't see beyond the the immediate or emotional.
Daylight saving
Recycled water
water restrictions.
Some councils having abundances of water yet neighbouring areas don't.
Bureaucratic in efficiencies too many councils.
No real sense of the environment. Their attitudes towards the bay is classic.
Not enough infrastructure to cope with the population.
Businesses (developer) driven government priorities including councils regardless of which political side.
No long term planning.
Credit laws the worst in the country.
The list goes on and on.
Green fields mentality of development.
SE Qld has more shopping centres per head per capita than any where else in the world (de facto control of retail).

It one thing to be an armchair pontificator but it's another thing altogether to deal with the problems given the restraints.

Yes I object to privatisation of essential services but I would ask the critics to tell me specifically
a. What they would do i.e. how would they pay
b. What 'different' do they believe the opposition would do. (I could use a good laugh)

Bronwyn,
I think the political decay is deeper than its unicameral system. I can't see that Qlders. Would even agree to an upper house being reinstituted.

Daggett,

91% of courier mail on line survey .good grief do you believe anything in the CM?
My experience is they are less than objective prone to sensationalising.
Take their argument about FOI it's all about their bottom line not the truth/information.

Ludwig,
Should they cut back on museum funding? After many of their displays are simply "ooh ahh" not really educational.
Posted by examinator, Tuesday, 23 June 2009 12:14:05 PM
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l live in Far North Queensland. So you say Queensland but the thing is, we don't have a state government up here. Orphans we are. So please only ever say the government of SE Queensland for the sake of accuracy.

Thank you.
Posted by TheMissus, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 5:42:03 PM
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Thanks all for your interested responses.

My apologies for going missing in action.

I am fairly certain that no government in Australia, with the possible exception of the Howard Government, has stooped as low as the Queensland Government in recent weeks.

Their incompetence and contempt for the wishes for the Queensland public has to be seen to be believed. Even quite a few infamous third world dictatorships are starting to look good in comparison to this crowd. I think Crackup's comparison of the Bligh Government with the Pinochet dictatorship is not too far wide of the mark. Whilst they have not yet resorted to outright repression, what they do is, nevertheless, every bit as dictatorial as the actions of the Pinochet regime were.

---

examinator's many spurious arguments almost require a Master's thesis in response.

I actually don't believe that the LNP would have been as bad as the Bligh/Fraser junta has turned out to be. In fact I did vote FOR Labor on a two-party preferred basis for reasons stated in:

"Does it matter whether the Liberal National Party or Labor win Queensland elections?" at http://candobetter.org/node/1156

... but since then the Labor Government has revealed itself to be even worse than we could reasonably have expected the LNP to be.

However, this misses the point. If both major parties are judged to be as bad as each other, then surely the Queensland public deserve to be informed, by the newsmedia, of alternatives to the major parties, such as the Greens and myself.

However the ABC, together with the Corporate newsmedia largely owned by Murdoch, refused to give any significant coverage to me, even though on one issue, my views of absolute opposition to further privatisation were totally consistent with the views of the electorate (84% according to the latest Galaxy Opinion Poll). For more information, see "Brisbane ABC suppresses alternative candidates in state elections despite listener dismay with major parties" at http://candobetter.org/node/1159
Posted by daggett, Sunday, 5 July 2009 9:53:02 PM
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TheMissus,

I totally accept your point about the 'Queensland' Government almost completely disregarding the wishes of those outside South East Queensland. However, in the last few weeks, they have not even paid any regard to the wishes of those inside South East Queensland.

They are certainly working their hardest to destroy the quality of life in South East Queensland (for the benefit of their land speculator and property developer benefactors) by encouraging population growth. Now they hypocritically attribute the problems of health, public transport to the very population growth that they have continued to encourage. See:

"Exposing Queensland Government population growth duplicity" at http://candobetter.org/node/1168

... and:

"End Queensland Government encouragement of population growth" section of
"Why I am contesting the Queensland state elections as an independent" at http://candobetter.org/node/1121#PopulationGrowth

In reality the problems are due to their incompetence as well as their encouragement of population growth.
Posted by daggett, Sunday, 5 July 2009 10:08:39 PM
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The Courier Mail editorial "Heavier price of progress for some" of Wednesday 15 July 09 at http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25782554-13360,00.htmlprovides provides further illustration of how that that newspaper remains a key barrier to the proper functioning of democracy in Queensland.

Essentially, although it acknowledges some of the harm caused by the construction frenzy in South East Queensland (SEQ) it nevertheless excuses it as a necessary price for 'progress'.

The Courier Mail is very good at blaming the problems on others (and often rightly so), but will never acknowledge to its readers its own role in bringing Queensland, particularly SEQ to the deplorable state that it is in today.

As an example it tries to imply that the construction chaos is in response to loud impatient demands of Brisbane residents, themselves, for a solution to Brisbane's traffic problems:

"There is another side to this. In recent years Brisbane residents have become increasingly strident when it comes to complaining about rapidly deteriorating road conditions, and demanding something be done to tackle gridlock. ..."

In fact, the Courier Mail, itself, was more strident than most in demanding that money be splurged on ever more road construction (despite alarm felt by many that the global petroleum production could soon begin to decline inexorably). Some time during the 2007 election campaign, the Courier Mail managed to corner Kevin Rudd into promising to fully fund the upgrade to the Ipswich motorway.

Then in 2008, when the Rudd Government tried to back away from that commitment, the CM denounced it savagely on front page articles until it gave in. (I have the articles buried away somewhere. I will make references to them available on http://candobetter.org/CourierMail when I find them.)

It is almost certainly largely because of the Courier Mail's own knee-jerk and strident pushing of such hobby horses, that South East Queensland's transport is in the terrible state that it is in as noted in the Auditor General's report at http://www.qao.qld.gov.au/downloadables/publications/auditor_general_reports/2009_Report_No.3.pdf

BTW a very good blog to keep track of the Courier Mail and other Murdoch-owned publications is http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com
Posted by daggett, Sunday, 19 July 2009 9:08:00 PM
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I messed up the link to the Courier Mail editorial by not having a gap before the next word. My apologies. The link should have been:

http://www.news.com.au/couriermail/story/0,23739,25782554-13360,00.html

My post has also been posted as a short article to http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/2009/07/who-is-to-blame-for-seqs-transport-woes.html
Posted by daggett, Monday, 20 July 2009 11:15:23 AM
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I realise, this is very late notice, but there will be a protest against privatisation outside Transport Minister Rachel Nolan's office in Ipswich at 2.00PM today.

The protest will be at:

Booval Professional Centre, 125 Brisbane St, Ipswich

For further information, see:

http://saveourpublicassets.org

... the web site of "Save Our Public Assets" a group formed to fight the Bligh Government's planned asset stripping of Queensland.

---

Another protest will be held at Anna Bligh's electoral office on Saturday 15 August:

Meet @ Lizard Statue, Boundary St, West End
Time/Date: 11am Saturday, 15 August
March to Bligh's Office (90 Vulture St)
Posted by daggett, Friday, 31 July 2009 12:39:08 PM
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