For the last two weeks I have worked on the pre-poll booth for the Labor party. It has been very, very hot here in Rockhampton and some days we have had huge storms where we battled with HTV cards, signage and just plain finding some shelter. As someone who never tans, I have tan lines on my feet where my shoes go and my face is a few shades lighter than Ronald McDonald’s hair. Rain, hail, shine, it all has been worth every single second of it.
A few days ago, I stood in the pouring rain holding a sign that warned about the sale of our Electricity Assets. I remember standing there thinking:
“People will either think I am crazy standing in this rain, or think I’m taking this very seriously, it must mean so much to me.”
I then thought, ‘Well, maybe I am a bit crazy, but this does mean a lot to me.” Sometimes when I think what it means to get rid of Campbell Newman and LNP out of Queensland; I am overwhelmed to tears. This has not been a small difference in ideology or the way we govern. This has been an absolute onslaught on every single sector of Queensland, from massive cuts to public services, gutting of community services, to the non-existence of jobs and training opportunities for young people, to the highest unemployment in eleven years, to turfing old people out of Nursing homes for a quick buck, to the destruction of our workplace health and safety protections, to the removal of civil rights for anyone who has tattoos or rides a motorbike, to the absolute arrogance and nepotism and sheer dodgy practices of pushing through legislation and debacles with our committee system and the disrespect to our legal professionals. The LNP are type of depression, you simply cannot get away from. I have had very serious depression in the past and I do not say this lightly.
One thing I have noticed, when listening to the mantra of the LNP and LNP supporter conversations on social media and the voices of the volunteers at the booth; is that the one thing the care about is debt. If they have any debt, it is ‘unconscionable’ to spend any money on the people. This is an absolutely load of ideological neo-liberalist nonsense. What separates LNP from Labor and some of the other social-left parties, is that parties from the left focus on the people first and foremost. They focus on the development of the state and realise that sometimes you need to spend money, to create more revenue, or to simply adhere to the Government’s absolute responsibility of providing adequate essential services to Queenslanders, regardless of any debt.
I mean, if the LNP had a grandmother on life support, they would weigh up the cost between letting her go on, or what they would save by pulling the plug. The plug would win out every time.
This brings me to the main argument on Asset Sales. What everyone needs to be clear about is that a Government who cannot fund any promises without selling assets after three years of austerity and massive reductions in funding and the sacking of 24,000 public service staff and the selling of billions of dollars in assets already “to save money” is a poor Government indeed. If through all this pain they cannot even in good faith provide adequate services without whingeing about very manageable debt; it has all been for nothing, as they have achieved nothing and stand for nothing.
We know both sides of politics have sold assets, but for many reasons. The LNP’s promises all rely on the sale of our electricity and other assets. There are assets that do mean a lot to be sold. They affect workers and the guarantee of security of proper services for the public, but not all assets are an essential service. It is vitally important we keep our electricity assets. Electricity is an essential service. We cannot live a normal life without it. The prices in QLD are already incredibly high and with privatization, it will be simply unaffordable for so many. Many elderly people now do not use the air conditioning in sweltering heat and often sit in the dark as they simply cannot afford electricity. My mind turns to people like my Mother who died of COPD and was on oxygen 24 hours per day. With no guarantee of emergency re-connections in blackouts, this could result in disaster and death for some disabled people.
Clive Palmer is stating that they already have a Chinese buyer. Clive was a member of the LNP, and would still be aware of a lot of goings on. I don’t vote for Clive, but I do believe him on this one. We will have no guarantee of service, no guarantee of timely re-connections and no guarantee of the same highly trained professionals doing the very risky work they do. This is all on top of the massive loss of jobs that will occur in areas like Townsville, Rockhampton and Brisbane. Ergon is a major employer for regional QLD. Tony Abbott’s free reign on 457 visa’s will allow a full replacement of local workers with overseas workers. This will affect small business and place a lot of pressure on families. This will only worsen the economy and debt. Not make it better.
This takes me back to ‘crazy me’ standing in the rain, holding a sign warning against the sale of our electricity assets. The LNP’s only argument is that ‘there is a debt.’ They do not mention that this is a moderate and manageable debt, but hey, this type of scaremongering worked for Abbott for three years. If I am passionate enough, as a volunteer to give up my time, to stand there getting the message out that Queensland is not for sale, then what have the LNP got?
If the LNP is so passionate about the sale of Assets being the very best thing for Queenslanders, why do they not have mobs of volunteers holding up signage begging people to approve the Asset Sales? If this does not show this is in the self – serving interest of the party only and their wealthy friends, and it means nothing to benefit the people, nothing else will. We have hundreds of volunteer Not for Sale people getting up and out every morning on every corner in so many towns fighting to save our assets. This is not political, it is a protest from the heart of people who are passionate about keeping our lifestyle and the security and assurance of a Government owning up to their responsibility of providing a high quality and affordable electricity service to every single Queensland. It is the responsibility of the Government to provide absolute certainty for electricity services.
To save our assets number every square and put LNP last.
Finally, your vote tomorrow is absolutely critical. This vote will not only endorse Newman’s harsh, unforgiving, relentless, abhorrent and shameful approach, but it also will endorse Tony Abbott’s agenda to push more austerity and hardship onto Australians. Abbott is so unpopular, he has been absent completely from the entire Queensland election campaign. It is almost as if Queensland does not exist to Tony Abbott. A vote for Campbell Newman, only endorses every single thing Tony Abbott does and will do. A vote for Campbell Newman will make Tony Abbott even more confident and enthusiastic to implement even more harsh measures, as he will feel ‘popular enough to get away with it.’
Your vote in the Queensland Election on 31 January, 2015, will change our lives. Please make it for the better.