Too far, too much, too quickly

Posted August 19, 2012 by Vivienne Doogan

Yesterday morning the Premier was peppered with questions from concerned Queenslanders on talk back radio but was still maintaining that Queenslanders are thankful for his governments cuts. Every day more and more vital services, jobs and programs are being cut.

We know that Queenslanders are starting to feel the impact. Over the weekend Together members held a community event in Helidon which is not a place where we have a large concentration of union members living locally - the message from community members was clear - the government has gone too far. They are cutting too much, too quickly. This is a regional community that can see that very clearly.

Over the coming weeks we will be making a massive push to put make sure that we have the community onside in our fight to protect jobs and services, and we will be asking for you to help us spread the message.

We also want to take the message directly to our local MPs. If you would like to be part of a Together members delegation to see your local MP using our political lobbying guide about job cuts and cuts to services please email your name, contact details and state electorate to:

In the meantime here are some other things that are worth mentioning if you are talking to people about the cuts:

  • Queensland's debt is manageable  - the government's talk of going into a financial abyss is overstated. In fact Queensland has the same credit rating as the United States (which is still seen as a safe place to invest by most people) and one of the fastest growing economies in Australia.
  • The government's line that we have "twenty-thousand more public servants than the state can afford" uses states like Victoria and New South Wales as a benchmarks. Not to belittle the situation for our southern friends but it is much easier to deliver services in Werribee than Weipa, in Griffith than in Gordonvale. We are a highly diverse, highly decentralised state which means that it takes a few more people in a few more places to get the job done. Queenslanders, and especially those outside of the south-east corner shouldn't have to suffer because it costs a bit more to provide services.
  • This week the government started to cut preventative and public health areas. Preventative health is vitally important. If we can stop people getting sick, we can keep them out of hospital and reduce demand on our health system. Preventative health also works - between 2001 and 2007 there was a 20% decline in the number of smokers in Queensland because of preventative health programs. If we don't get preventative health right and as our population continues to age we will see health costs consume almost the entire Queensland budget by about 2030. Cutting these programs now is incredibly short sighted.

Queenslanders will pay in the long term. There are hundreds more examples of ill-thought through cuts, from public works to prisons, environment and natural resources, justice, health, communities and child safety. These cuts will damage Queensland for generations.

Thanks for all that you have been doing. The government expected to have an easy ride in slashing services. We have made it a battle for them.

Our movement is just beginning but I know that by standing together we can make a real difference and secure Queensland's future.

PS: If you can't do a meeting with your MP but you could do a street stall or other activity in your local community to promote our campaign email and put that in the body of your email - we'll be running some other activities like street stalls and letterboxing as well.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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