Friday 22 October 2010

Bligh's visit to Cairns marred by protesters and accusations by Labor MP

DO YOU WANT PEARLS WITH THAT? Cairns MP Desley Boyle and Queensland Premier Anna Bligh shake hands, sealing the opening of the multi-million new Cairns community health facility.

It should have been a day of celebration, however the official opening to the new multi-million dollar Cairns North Community Health facility was marred by around 100 protesters, representing various unions .

The new facility houses the Sexual Health Clinic, that has re-located from the historic Doll's House at Cairns Base Hospital, and the Dental Clinic. The main corridor between the two services is now affectionately known as oral sex passage or maybe the the root canal.

Protesters were made up of unions, angry at the State privatisation programme; pro-choice, that are demanding a change to Queensland abortion laws, and Bluewater/ Palm Cove public housing opponents, who all rallied outside the new health centre, as Premier Anna Bligh and Cairns MP were making speeches just inside the building.

"B.Lie shafts Queensland. Labor shafts everybody," "Anna's still not listening," "For Sale: Public Assets SOLD," read the banners. Pro-Choice lobbyists are angry that the Premier and State Labor did not intervene earlier, following a 18-month trail of a young Cairns couple that were found not guilty last week.

One guest who attending the opening celebrations said the protesters were well-behaved.

"They weren't too bad, I think they were told to shut up when the entertainment was on but they started chanting nearly all the way through the Premier's speech," he told CairnsBlog.

The OutLoad choir sang You've got a Friend, Mama Mia and We are what we are.

A Labor Party conference, held at Brothers the day after the Health Facility opening, was the scene of a bitter attack from Cairns MP Desley Boyle.

"The were children throwing lemons," Desley Boyle told the meeting. "This was part of an campaign organised by the unions."

However Cairns Police said the protesters were orderly and did not cause them any concerns. A Labor party member who was at the Sunday meeting, and asked to remain anonymous, said he took great offence to Boyle's suggestion.

"It's preposterous. I stopped by at the protest for a while on Saturday and had my 10-year-old daughter with me," he told CairnsBlog. "There were other children there was well, with the many others. However it certainly wasn't an environment where there was any overt hostility or an environment that was un-friendly for children. I think the suggestion that children were taken along to hurl lemons is a bit offensive really."

"I think she [Desley Boyle] is just clutching at straws a bit. She's just trying to sling a bit of mud. It was a time for like-minded people to get together and make their concerns heard loud and clear. The Premier came all the way to Cairns and didn't even have the courtesy to come and listen to what we had to say to her."

"When Desley Boyle made those comments to the conference on Sunday, it was greeted with surprise and astonishment," the ALP member said. "We know that it didn't happen at the protest. Desley Boyley, who is a member of the AWU, and there's those in that faction of the Cairns Labor Party, like Keith DeLacy, the former State Treasurer, who has been publicly critical of the privatisation programme, and Boyle doesn't want to speak up against him because he's in her faction, however she is quick to criticise others in the party on this issue, who have legitimate concerns about the share float. It seems to be that she's prepared to do it willy-nilly, without any substance."

Keith DeLacy was the former member for Cairns, prior to Desley Boyle. He has also criticised Labor's mining super tax.

"It's alright for DeLacy to slam the State Labor Government, but if the ETU or the RTBU want to do it, then she has a go at us," the ALP member said.

Electrical Trades Union organiser, Stuey Traill has taken offence to Boyle's suggestion, that children were throwing lemons. In an letter to her this week, he challenged the Cairns MP.

"Apparently you condemned the actions of the ETU and its members at Saturday's protest," Stuey Traill said. "Let me make it clear, at the very start of my speech to the protesters I advised that the ETU was campaigning for ALP policy and to attempt to save a Government that refuses to listen to the vast majority of Queenslanders."

Traill said there were people from many unions: ETU, AMWU, RTBU, MUA, LHMU, AFULE, QSU and the ASU.

"You allegedly said that children in the protest were throwing lemons. I strongly refute these allegations and believe they are defamatory," Stuey Traill wrote to Boyle. "On this basis the ETU will be seeking legal advice. The children that were in attendance were from families of Ergon workers, QR workers and members of the general public, that are all disgusted at the betrayal by the Bligh Government to sell the future of those very children."

Traill said he offered Desley Boyle and Anna Bligh an opportunity to talk to the protesters.

"You all refused. The Premier is consistently stating that she is coming to the regions to listen to regional Queenslanders but refuses to listen to important issues in regional Queensland and then chooses which people she will talk too."

The Unions obtained a Peaceful Assembly Permit from the Police before the weekend protest.

"After the protest, the Police Inspector approached me and congratulated the whole crowd for the way they behaved and the way our protest only interrupted the MP’s we were targeting, Steuy Traill said. "If you have any evidence to prove your allegations, I encourage you to take the matter up with the Police instead of spreading scurrilous allegations. These statements from yourself are another attempt to deflect attention from a Government that refuses to listen to the people that helped get them elected. We were promised that a re-elected Labor Government would not Privatise. We assisted in your Campaigns. Weeks later the betrayal became evident and since then the Bligh Government has changed the goal posts on many occasions."

The State Labor Government have then spent over $200 million of taxpayers money in an attempt to convince Queenslanders that privatisation is good for the future of the State.

"Your Government has repeatedly attempted to deflect the heat by specifically criticising the ETU, that is a conquer and divide tactic consistently used by employers to undermine worker solidarity," Stuey Traill told Desley Boyle.

"It’s not something that I would expect from a Government that is supposed to represent the workers and their Unions but something I am growing to expect from MP’s, such as yourself, that are out of touch with the core values of the ALP."
  • Here's Desley Boyle's car "ALP 01" spotted outside the new Health facility, parked on a yellow line.


Colin Riddell said...

What a crock of shit !!! The protesters were so well behaved I even saw "parachute pitt" shake big col riddels hand !!!
Do you do that to lemon hurling unruly protesters?
You lied you old crow I was there. And a lemon would take offence being hurled at somone sourer than itself piss off into retirement.

Kate said...

There were a couple of lemons. They were wearing suits with shoulder pads.

Desley has completely lost the plot in her old age and is now lying to her own side...hahahahaha!!

I chatted her on Saturday and the sheer arrogance of her comments of approval for the Public Housing in Palm Cove was beyond belief.
Bye Bye Desley....