The Maritime Union of Australia says it will bitterly fight Queensland Premier Campbell Newman’s plans to privatise Gladstone Port.
“Despite repeatedly promising Queenslanders that he would not privatise, Campbell Newman has now staged a spectacular backflip that will only hurt local jobs in Gladstone,” MUA Assistant National Secretary Ian Bray said.
“Campbell Newman has reverted to type and is now happy to see more jobs lost because of his economic policies.
“The Newman Government in Queensland on an ideological crusade and it doesn’t care how many people’s lives are affected by its conservative agenda.
“If Campbell Newman wants to get his Government’s debt under control, you don’t do this by selling off a profit-generating asset that is owned by the people of Queensland.”
In March this year, Mr Newman was reported to have told a Gladstone audience that he was personally opposed to selling Gladstone Port.
Again, only one week ago, Mr Newman said:
“I am, like most Queenslanders in the main, quite strongly against [privatisation of assets such as Gladstone Port] … I think they should be owned by the people.”
(AAP, 23 April 2013)
MUA Queensland Branch Secretary, Mick Carr, said workers in Gladstone are upset by the announcement.
“The MUA has 300 members in Gladstone that are worried about their jobs, about how to support their families,” Mr Carr said.
“The port is the economic centre of Gladstone and it’s a real concern that the Newman Government is selling off a valuable public asset that supports the local economy.”