Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - DANNI SHAFIK danielle. shafik@ news. com. au

A FED­ERAL La­bor Gov­ern­ment would take the first real steps to have an Aus­tralian Head of State in our coun­try, by let­ting the peo­ple de­cide.

That’s the pledge Op­po­si­tion leader Bill Shorten made at La­bor’s State Con­fer­ence, at the week­end in Townsville.

“We will put a sim­ple yes or no ques­tion to the Aus­tralian peo­ple: Do you sup­port an Aus­tralian Repub­lic with an Aus­tralian head of state, yes or no,” Mr Shorten said.

“This does not change the re­spect for the Queen for her ser­vice, but we are not El­iz­a­bethans, we are Aus­tralians.”

ALP’s state con­fer­ence cov­ered a lengthy agenda at the Townsville En­ter­tain­ment Cen­tre.

La­bor MP for Her­bert Cathy O’Toole in­tro­duced Mr Shorten and said he knew and was com­mit­ted to demon­strat­ing that re­gional, ru­ral and re­mote com­mu­ni­ties in Queens­land needed to be ac­knowl­edged and the peo­ple needed to know they mat­tered.

“It can be very chal­leng­ing to get the mes­sage across about the chal­lenges we face here in the north­ern part of Queens­land, but I can tell you this; Bill’s door is al­ways open,” she said.

Mr Shorten said the La­bor Party was lis­ten­ing to the Townsville com­mu­nity about what mat­tered to them and the Party was act­ing upon the ideas.

“Townsville is a go- ahead com­mu­nity, it just needs a lit­tle bit of back­ing. That’s why we led the way on a new world- class sta­dium Townsville,” he said.

“We need the best fa­cil­i­ties and the best in­fra­struc­ture to show­case our home, and bring peo­ple here.

Mr Shorten’s speech out­lined the ALP’s com­mit­ment to jobs and its com­mit­ment to boost tourism, mak­ing North Queens­land the num­ber one des­ti­na­tion all the while tack­ling in­equal­ity.

He said in­equal­ity was much more than just a gap be­tween the rich and the poor, and that it was about in­equal­ity in our sys­tem.

“In­equal­ity af­fects us all. We want one set of rules in this coun­try: clear, sim­ple and fair,” he said.

“We in the La­bor Party have al­ways been on the side of fair­ness, of progress, of not leav­ing peo­ple be­hind.”

Mr Shorten also for an- nounced that a Shorten La­bor Gov­ern­ment would as­sign $ 1 bil­lion in fund­ing specif­i­cally to work for tourism in­fra­struc­ture in North­ern Aus­tralia.

“In the last two years, the Fed­eral LNP’s $ 5 bil­lion North­ern Aus­tralian in­fra­struc­ture fund has stayed idle. It has done noth­ing,” he said.

“This is only the be­gin­ning, not the end, for our plans for tourism and jobs in Queens­land and the North.

“We need to back An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk and we are go­ing to do that in Can­berra,” he said.

Queens­land Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk said she was proud to stand be­fore the crowd as a La­bor Pre­mier of a proud La­bor Gov­ern­ment.

“My Gov­ern­ment will never for­get that one in five Queens­lan­ders is a North Queens­lan­der, and it is vi­tal that this re­gion is heard and re­spected,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said she would re­turn to Townsville in less than three weeks to turn the sod for the of­fi­cial start of con­struc­tion on the Townsville Sta­dium.

Her­bert MP Cathy O’Toole at the ALP state con­fer­ence in Townsville at the week­end. Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

BILL SHORTEN ECO­NOMIC BOOST: Aus­tralian Man­u­fac­tur­ing Work­ers Union state sec­re­tary Ro­han Webb at the ALP state con­fer­ence held in Townsville.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.