THE HON. BILL SHORTEN
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
SPEECH TO THE QUEENSLAND LABOR 2015 CAMPAIGN LAUNCH
TUESDAY, 20 JANUARY 2015
IPSWICH CIVIC CENTRE
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Thank you very much. I'd like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land upon which we meet and I pay my respects to their elders both past and present.
I think that this is the perfect place to launch the 2015 Queensland Labor campaign.
When you think about it, the Ipswich Community Centre, opened by the great Gough Whitlam, at the heart of a vibrant community of Queenslanders working hard to build a better future for their children and their grandchildren.
Queensland is indeed a beautiful state, blessed with some of the world's great natural wonders.
But I have to say that today, nothing can top the view from here. A sea of Labor faces, a congregation of true believers.
And on behalf of our national Labor movement I want to thank Annastacia and Queensland Labor.
What you have done to rebuild the party right across this state is truly remarkable.
But I'm also here to say don't stop now.
You've got 11 days to go. Every conversation, every door knock, every telephone call, and you can help change the government of Queensland.
You can make Queensland a great destination again.
And I have to say it is great to have Roisin Goss here today.
Roisin, your remarkable husband lived a life dedicated to the state that he loved and serving the people.
We in Queensland and Australia will never forget Wayne and his achievements.
We will always be inspired by his truth, his belief that a strong economy and a fair society go hand in hand.
And friends, we are privileged to have two more generations of Labor icons here with us today, Peter and Heather Beattie and Bill and Dallas Hayden.
Peter, you led a government that delivered for all Queenslanders.
A government that delivered new jobs, new infrastructure, new hospitals and a new commitment to making Queensland the smart state in its schools, in its universities and research centres.
Poor old LNP, they couldn't even keep it on the number plates.
And you convinced Queenslanders to trust Labor after just one term in Opposition.
And Bill, when you became our federal leader, Labor was at one of its lowest ebbs in our proud history.
You rebuilt our party into a fighting force, laying the foundations for an era of nation-changing reforms.
And you helped build another great Australian institution, universal health care.
We don't forget.
Bill, we don't forget that 40 years ago the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in Australia was medical expense.
For hundreds of thousands of Australians then, a sudden illness or injury in the family meant poverty.
Getting sick meant going broke, and our Labor changed this.
Our Labor movement to which we belong changed this.
We built Medicare because we believe that the health of any Australian matters to every Australian.
We believe in an Australia where it is your Medicare card, not your credit card, which determines the quality of your health care in Australia.
But the Liberals have always hated Medicare.
Now we see in the middle of the Queensland election Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey squabbling over the best way to trash bulk-billing and to put a new tax on the sick and the vulnerable.
Today, let me give Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey a message.
Even if both of you live to be 150 Labor will still keep fighting for Medicare and we will prevail.
And again, let us declare that we will stand strong too against a GST on fresh food, a new tax to hit working families, working harder than ever to make ends week.
And how do we know in the middle of a Queensland election that a bigger and broader GST is irrefutably in the mix?
Because Tony Abbott has promised that it's not.
What we know in Queensland, and what we know after 500 days of the Abbott Government, we know this one thing about the Liberal Party.
When they say something is off the table, we know it's on the menu.
Now Newman's LNP in Queensland have tried to turn Tony Abbott into the invisible man.
But we are all witness to the very visible harm that that government is causing in Queensland.
And even if Campbell Newman can't do live acts with Tony Abbott anymore, they're still a double act.
They are still working together to sack nurses, to close hospital beds, to ruin our health care system.
They're still teaming up to sack teachers, to cut money from our children in the classrooms and to rob our students of a great education at school, in TAFE and at university.
With unemployment on the rise and youth unemployment at dreadful record highs, Queensland cannot afford another three years of LNP tax and cut.
Queensland cannot afford another three years of slash and sack.
As I've travelled around Queensland these past two weeks, I've heard the same message again and again and again.
Queenslanders want a Premier who will stand up for their state and all of their state.
Queenslanders don't want a Premier acting like a vaudeville magician trying to hypnotise people by the repetition of the word ‘strong’ 20 times a day.
They want the real deal, someone who'll stand up on the side of Queenslanders every day.
Queenslanders want a Premier who will do more than just try and save their own seat.
Queenslanders want a Premier with a plan to save the reef, with a plan to revitalise our regions.
Queenslanders want a Premier who will govern for the whole of Queensland.
For families in Cairns, for students in Townsville, apprentices in Rockhampton, pensioners in Gladstone, small business owners in Toowoomba and teachers in Mackay.
Friends, I've been lucky, I've known Annastacia Palaszczuk for a long time.
It has been great in this election campaign to see so many Queenslanders get to know her as I do.
Annastacia has a detailed plan for the Queensland economy, a list of actions to create jobs.
Campbell Newman only has a list of assets he wants to sell.
He splashes the cash, but his only real plan is a fire sale in an uncertain market.
He talks about getting the best price, but he's already declared that everything must go and he's spent the money.
That's not a policy, that's an ad on Gumtree.
That's not a strong plan, it's a manic panic.
Queenslanders can do better than this.
Queensland can choose a better way on 31 January.
And it is my pleasure and privilege to introduce the leader who's been working every day to get us there, and every day Queenslanders get to know her, the more they see the more they like.
Please welcome, friends, the next Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk.
MEDIA CONTACT: LEADER’S OFFICE MEDIA UNIT 02 6277 4053
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