ALP talkfest here to pay
Conference to bring $ 350k into city as Labor members gather in force
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.
EXCITEMENT: Southern Cross Catholic College students Kyle Jonsson, 15, and Cody Vecchio, 6.