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Rally targets LNP inaction on regions

ORGANISERS are hoping hundreds of people will turn up at a protest rally outside the Community Cabinet meeting in Bundaberg tomorrow.

The rally, to be held outside Shalom College at noon tomorrow, is part of the Stand for Bundaberg campaign run by the Queensland Council of Unions.

Bundaberg campaign convenor Greg Purches said the local community was angry the Bundaberg electorate and other regional towns had been ignored by Premier Campbell Newman and the LNP government.

"Local Member Jack Dempsey is a minister in state cabinet yet he has done nothing for the area," Mr Purches said.

He said Bundaberg suffered from high unemployment of 9.6%, 3% above the rest of the state, and youth unemployment was approaching 20%.

"Nothing is being done for Bundaberg and the regions by this government," Mr Purches said.

"Unacceptable levels of unemployment and a local member unwilling or unable to do anything about it is what the community will be rallying about.

"The government's own figures show that more than 340 jobs have been stripped from health in the Wide Bay region, including risk management positions from Bundaberg Hospital."

Mr Purches said LNP plans to lease public assets such as Ergon, rather than sell them, would still result in the closure of local depots in places such as Gin Gin, Childers and Monto, as well as major changes in Bundaberg.

Mr Dempsey was yesterday relaxed about the rally at the site of the Community Cabinet meeting.

"They've followed every one of almost 20 regional cabinets around the state," he said.

Mr Dempsey said the cabinets were worthwhile because people could meet face to face with the decision makers in government.

"More often than not we see very positive results," he said.

He said there had been about 200 deputations to Community Cabinet.

Mr Newman said his ministers were keen to hear from Bundaberg residents.

"This is a great opportunity for Bundaberg locals to discuss matters with myself, ministers and heads of departments," he said.

Topics:  bundaberg, community cabinet, jack dempsey, lnp




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