Jo-Ann Miller says jibes won't silence her passion
BUNDAMBA MP Jo-Ann Miller believes the people of Ipswich have been "Newmanised" in the first two years of the LNP Government's term.
The Labor politician and her seven counterparts found the going tough in the chamber this term facing a barrage of shouting and screaming from the Government.
Since the election loss, Mrs Miller has found herself the centre of controversy for her fiery debates and run-ins with premier Campbell Newman and Ipswich MP Ian Berry.
The MP of 14 years in the Beattie and Bligh Governments was yet to experience a parliament from opposition.
Mrs Miller was sin-binned from the parliamentary chamber four times - once for refusing to bow to the acting speaker Mr Berry in an age-old parliamentary tradition during a late night sitting.
But Mrs Miller took pride in her never back down attitude.
"I have been thrown out of the house on a number of occasions but I'm very honest and get enquiries about the policies they have been implementing and upsetting the local people. I talk to them everyday and I know how it's hurting them," she said.
"In Parliament they have tried to shut me down and certainly thrown me out on a few occasions. But whether I'm inside parliament or outside I will raise the issues on behalf of my electorate and the people of Ipswich.
"It's not nice to be thrown out of parliament at all but I'm doing my job. A lot of people thank me and say they are grateful for raising the issues."
Facing such a lopsided chamber posed a new set of challenges and a very different atmosphere.
"There is a definite change in the tone by the LNP members; they display a cockiness in the chamber," she said.
"When we were in government, we were hosts with respect.
"If the opposition had points to be heard we listened to them because it is the people's chamber. However, they have taken an arrogant attitude to the chamber and it shows.
"I've always made my voice heard, whether we've been in government or opposition.
"The Newman Government is so arrogant and out of control that there is no choice but to raise the issues."
Mrs Miller was disappointed the second budget delivered by the Newman Government didn't address the infrastructure needs of the Bundamba electorate.
Cuts to training programs and rising costs of TAFE courses to retrain the unemployed also figured prominently in her concerns for the people of Bundamba.
"In the last budget they delivered almost nothing in the Bundamba electorate, whereas in the previous budget we delivered all the infrastructure ahead of time, especially in the new suburbs.
"We planned to build five new schools but they have cut that back to two. We'll be holding them to account for that. Closing down the Redbank railway workshops is totally and utterly disgraceful."
As the next election approaches Mrs Miller said her party was trying to rebuild the Labor brand from the grassroots.
"We are taking nothing for granted. We are out there working every day to rebuild the trust. We are listening and reconnecting with Queenslanders," she said.
"In relation to our policies we have released over 20 policies already and in the leadup to the election there will be a lot more policies to be released.
"It's so hard for people that have been sacked or retrenched or their hours have been reduced to almost nothing."