Union money not meant to bankroll MPs
IT IS a bad look that Mundingburra MP and Labor minister Coralee O’Rourke had living expenses paid by a union in the lead- up to the election.
It is especially so when you consider the money comes from union memberships of some of the lowest- paid and hardest- working Queenslanders. Memberships are there to support workers, not political ambitions.
While links between unions and the ALP have been well documented in the past, it does not make the practice of unions bankrolling candidates right. After paying Mrs O’Rourke an undisclosed salary in the lead- up to the election, United Voice could understandably be forgiven for thinking it has a degree of sway and influence with the minister. Likewise, one could assume Mrs O’Rourke feels some sort of loyalty to the union after taking its cash.
Unions were created to support the workers and promote their rights, not to control politicians, but it seems that this is what United Voice endeavoured to do this time around.
Indeed, the head of United Voice has boasted of how the union “supported” seven successful Labor candidates, even calling them “United Voice MPs”.
Our politicians need to be the best representatives for their community and that means their entire community.
Seeming to have a group with particular goals and interests to be always in their ear is at odds with that ideal. This is an ethical issue and one that deserves closer scrutiny.
It is rare that any kind of bankrolling comes without expectations of something in return and that is a dangerous position for any MP.
Look to our reef’s future
THE region is rejoicing over the UNESCO ruling that the Great Barrier Reef isn’t in danger, and so we should be.
It’s not a decision that would have been made lightly and it's great to think that the country’s efforts have been weighed and found to be satisfactory. Now we can continue to be forward- thinking and proactive about how to protect the treasure that is the reef.
It’s time to move on from the decision and get the results we need for the reef to thrive.