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Issue #1446      10 March 2010

Qld privatisation to affect federal Labor

A Queensland poll confirms the state government’s privatisation plans will severely affect Federal Labor’s chances in Queensland in this year’s election.

The Queensland Council of Unions-commissioned poll conducted by Essential Research surveyed 1,039 voters across Queensland and complements research from September 2009 on public attitudes towards privatisation.

QCU general secretary Ron Monaghan said the poll proved privatisation was still deeply unpopular and that it had now become a federal election issue. “The poll shows that state asset sales are so unpopular that 32 percent of respondents – or about one in three – are saying they would be more likely to vote for the Liberal National Party in the federal election.

“It would be a tragedy if the state government’s privatisation helped Tony Abbot come to office and return workers to the dark old days of WorkChoices.

And at the state level, the Bligh government has lost just over half of its voter base from a year ago with 45 percent of respondents said they voted Labor in March 2009 and now just 22 percent say they will vote Labor at the next election.”

Mr Monaghan said this was an “extremely sobering” result for the state government and that it was now time to resolve the privatisation issue once and for all.

“There can be no hiding behind cancelled state conferences and the like – the polling figures speak for themselves. It’s not too late to save these important assets and keep the jobs and services these assets provide in regional Queensland.”

Other key poll findings include:

  • Just one in 10 Queenslanders supports privatisation;
  • 59 percent of voters say the asset sales program makes them less likely to vote for the Labor Party in the next state election;
  • 66 percent will not forget the asset sales issue at the ballot box even if it has been resolved by then;
  • 80 Percent of those polled think the government has underestimated public opposition to asset sales;
  • Almost 70 percent do not agree with the share float of Queensland Rail.

Mr Monaghan said another significant finding from the poll was that Queensland voters believed they had been misled on the government’s privatisation plans.

“Seventy four percent of Queenslanders surveyed think the Bligh government lied to the public by keeping secret its plans to privatise prior to the March 2009 state election.

“This confirms that the government has been well and truly caught out and no amount of spin will convince Queensland voters otherwise.”   

Next article –  Boeing shows little respect

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