ALP talk­fest here to pay

Con­fer­ence to bring $ 350k into city as La­bor mem­bers gather in force

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DOMANII CAMERON domanii. cameron@ news. com. au

MORE than $ 350,000 is ex­pected to be in­jected into the lo­cal econ­omy this week­end as politi­cians from across the coun­try de­scend on Townsville for the Aus­tralian La­bor Party State Con­fer­ence.

Op­po­si­tion Leader Bill Shorten, Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk, var­i­ous min­is­ters, lo­cal MPs and branch mem­bers will at­tend Fri­day and Satur­day’s event at the Townsville En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre.

It’s been 33 years since the an­nual con­fer­ence was held in Townsville, with the event act­ing as the “supreme rule, pol­icy and de­ci­sion- mak­ing body” of the La­bor Party.

Up to 100 ac­tivists are ex­pected to protest on Satur­day morn­ing, with lo­cal po­lice hav­ing en­gaged with var­i­ous groups al­ready.

ALP state sec­re­tary Evan Moor­head said mem­bers were look­ing for­ward to a great week­end of ideas and dis­cus­sions in Townsville.

“The de­ci­sion to hold our an­nual state con­fer­ence here recog­nises that Townsville is an es­tab­lished des­ti­na­tion for ma­jor events and con­fer­ences,” he said.

The con­fer­ence com­prises 399 del­e­gates and opens on Fri­day with a 400- per­son din­ner at the en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre.

It will con­tinue all- day Satur­day, fea­tur­ing key­note ad­dresses, with a key fo­cus to be dis­cussing pol­icy pro­pos­als that sup­port jobs, es­pe­cially in re­gional Queens­land.

Her­bert MP Cathy O’Toole said it was a big op­por­tu­nity for Townsville and would inject money into the econ­omy.

“It’s very good for the city,” she said. “I ex­pect that lively de­bate will en­sue.”

Mund­ing­burra MP Co­ralee O’Rourke said she would re­port to the con­fer­ence on her min­is­te­rial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

“I will ad­dress chal­lenges and iden­tify op­por­tu­ni­ties fac­ing North Queens­land as part of the La­bor for the Re­gions Panel,” she said.

Stop Adani Townsville mem­ber Wendy Tub­man, one of the or­gan­is­ers of the protest, said “close to 100” peo­ple would at­tend the rally.

“Adani will be the fo­cus … we want some clar­i­fi­ca­tion over the Queens­land Gov­ern­ment’s stance on the North­ern Aus­tralia In­fra­struc­ture Fa­cil­ity fund­ing in re­gards to the Adani rail line,” she said.

Act­ing su­per­in­ten­dent Damien Crosby con­firmed po­lice had en­gaged with ac­tivist groups that may be in­tend­ing to at­tend the con­fer­ence.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

EX­CITE­MENT: South­ern Cross Catholic Col­lege stu­dents Kyle Jon­s­son, 15, and Cody Vec­chio, 6.

Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk and La­bor Leader Bill Shorten.

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