Ipswich West candidate Jim Madden and Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten catch up with shoppers and workers at Riverlink Shopping Centre.
Ipswich West candidate Jim Madden and Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten catch up with shoppers and workers at Riverlink Shopping Centre. Derek Barry

Bill Shorten lends support to Jim Madden in Ipswich West

RISING medical expenses were on the agenda when Opposition leader Bill Shorten visited the region yesterday blurring the lines between Federal and State politics.

Mr Shorten was in Toowoomba and Ipswich to lend support to Queensland colleagues running in the January 31 state election and we caught up with Mr Shorten as he toured Riverlink Shopping Centre with Ipswich West candidate Jim Madden.

Mr Shorten said the people he had spoken to on the hustings were upset about what he called Prime Minister's new Medicare rules which he called a "sneaky ambush of the health care system".

"They have put in rules that start next Monday where your hardworking GPs are now going to lose $20 in rebates until they see people for 15 minutes or longer," Mr Shorten said.

"This is a surprise attack to kill off bulk billing in Australia."

Mr Shorten said Labor would move in parliament to disallow the changes and he called on the state premier to lobby against the changes with Queensland senators.

"Why has Campbell Newman done what I've done and stood up for the health system of Queensland?" he said.

Ipswich West Labor candidate Jim Madden said he was also very concerned about the changes.

"Cost of living is a major issue in Queensland and any effect on the cost of living to families is deplorable," Mr Madden said.

Mr Madden said another impact on cost of living was rising electricity prices and other costs in Queensland.

"I don't know whether cost of living is an issue for Campbell Newman that it should be," he said.

"People are concerned about the arrogance of his government, how they treat people, how they make decisions without community consultation."

Mr Madden said the major issue for Ipswich West was unemployment.

"We need to find more jobs for our young people," he said.

"One in five young people in Ipswich can't find a job and that's deplorable but I'm confident the policies of the Queensland Labor Party can address that."


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