‘ BUY LO­CAL’ BID WILL DEFY FREE TRADE DEALS

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - BET­TINA WAR­BUR­TON

A MO­TION to bind the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment to le­galise vol­un­tary as­sisted dy­ing in Queens­land was passed at the La­bor con­fer­ence.

Pre­vi­ously, in Queens­land, an adult could refuse med­i­cal treat­ment if they un­der­stood the doc­tor’s in­for­ma­tion about the treat­ment and were able to make rea­son­able choices based on that in­for­ma­tion. Peo­ple can also refuse cer­tain types of treat­ment if they have an ad­vanced health di­rec­tive, also known as a liv­ing will, which is com­pleted when a per­son is still com­pe­tent to do so.

Ar­guably the most con­tro­ver­sial mo­tion to pass at the con­fer­ence, it was the only one to at­tract de­bate, with most oth­ers care­fully ne­go­ti­ated at the pre- elec­tion con­fer­ence.

The La­bor Party has had dozens of MPS pub­licly sup­port eu­thana­sia within its cau­cus, with Townsville MP Scott Ste­wart speak­ing in sup­port of the mo­tion.

“I think it’s time Queens­land had a ma­ture dis­cus­sion about this,” he said. THE Pre­mier has un­veiled the multi­bil­lion- dol­lar Queens­land Pro­cure­ment Strat­egy and Pol­icy at the Queens­land ALP Con­fer­ence in Townsville.

The new “Buy Queens­land” pro­cure­ment pol­icy will ap­ply across all agen­cies, statu­tory bod­ies and gov­ern­men­towned cor­po­ra­tions.

“Value for money means a lot more than choos­ing the cheap­est price, es­pe­cially when it comes to al­lo­cat­ing tax­pay­ers’ dol­lars,” the Pre­mier said.

“The value of a dol­lar spent can be greatly in­creased if it is spent where it’s earned – right here in Queens­land.”

The Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment spends $ 14 bil­lion a year buy­ing sup­plies and ser­vices.

An ex­tra $ 4 bil­lion is in­vested each year in build­ing and main­tain­ing the state’s in­fra­struc­ture – roads, schools and hos­pi­tals. In an Aus­tralian first, Cab­i­net has agreed the State Gov­ern­ment would no longer be con­strained or bound by free trade agree­ments that have seen jobs go off­shore or in­ter­state.

“We are go­ing our own way,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“We will ig­nore re­stric­tions that go against our in­ter­ests.

“As Pre­mier, my en­tire job is pro­tect­ing the in­ter­ests of Queens­lan­ders. Queens­land will show the way.

“We al­ready have ter­rific lo­cal en­gage­ment in the Townsville Sta­dium project

Shop, Dis­tribu­tive and Al­lied Em­ploy­ees’ As­so­ci­a­tion as­sis­tant sec­re­tary Justin Power spoke against the mo­tion, telling the con­fer­ence it could em­bar­rass La­bor as it headed to the elec­tion be­com­ing an al­ba­tross around the party’s neck.

A La­bor spokesman said the party plat­form sup­ported eu­thana­sia, and this for­malises our com­mit­ment to lo­cal jobs.”

The Aus­tralia- New Zea­land Gov­ern­ment Pro­cure­ment Agree­ment de­fines “lo­cal” as any­where in Aus­tralia and New Zea­land. “Sug­gest­ing to a Queens­land tax­payer that fund­ing a job in Christchurch is the same as fund­ing one in Cairns is patently ridicu­lous,” the Pre­mier said.

“We know some Queens­lan­ders are do­ing it tough, es­pe­cially in the re­gions.

“That’s why we need to keep look­ing for new ways to strengthen and grow Queens­land jobs and our state’s econ­omy.”

From Septem­ber 1, the Gov­ern­ment’s new pro­cure­ment pol­icy will de­fine a “lo­cal sup­plier” as a busi­ness that main­tains a work­force within a 125km ra­dius of where the goods or work­ers are needed.

Lo­cal sup­pli­ers will re­ceive a lo­cal weight­ing of up to 30 per cent on any ten­der lodged for a sig­nif­i­cant pro­cure­ment.

Jo Briskey speaks at the ALP state con­fer­ence.

Pre­mier An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk.

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