Queensland Council of Unions 'Rally for Right' protest outside Queensland Parliament on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Picture: Adam Davies
Queensland Council of Unions 'Rally for Right' protest outside Queensland Parliament on Tuesday, November 19, 2013. Picture: Adam Davies

Protestors hit parliament over Newman's industrial reforms

MORE than 500 disgruntled workers took the opportunity in the final week of State Parliament to express their anger over a host of changes which they claim threatens their livelihoods.

The protest outside State Parliament today organised by the Queensland Council of Unions saw teachers, lawyers, nurses, emergency services personnel and union members united in their disapproval surrounding a host of industrial reforms introduced this year by the State Government.

While numbers were distinctly down on the thousands predicted, those in attendance came armed with placards, banners, anti-Newman and Abbott t-shirts and there was the odd anonymous mask also spotted in the crowd.

Topping the list was changes to the industrial relations legislation introduced into State Parliament last month.

Queensland Nurses Union secretary Beth Mohle told a vocal crowd that this was "the first of many" protests planned in the lead up to the next State Election.

"Campbell Newman has treated Queensland workers with contempt," she said.

"Those of us who lived through the Bjelke-Petersen era are getting a sense of deja vu.

"We need to send a strong message to this government that we will not back down."

Earlier, Queensland Council of Unions president John Battams said the Rally for Rights event was one of a number planned across the state this week.

"These laws, which have been rammed through Parliament, with virtually no community consultation, join a raft of other legislative changes that have stripped away the rights of Queenslanders across the board," he said.

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said members would take strike action if the State Government continued to push its educational reforms without consultation.

"These changes not only represent a direct attack on teachers' and principals' negotiated working conditions, but also will cause long-term damage to Queensland's state schooling system," he said.

"The Queensland Government claims that its 'reforms' are aimed at improving student outcomes, but in developing its plans the government has failed to properly consult with the educational professionals who are best placed to advise on achieving real benefits for students."


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