Unions and LNP united on Cameron Dick’s comments

IT IS not often the LNP and the union movement find themselves on the same side.

But after Health Minister Cameron Dick called for unions to be removed from Labor's leadership process the long-time adversaries have found themselves calling for Mr Dick to get on with his job.

On Thursday night, and again on Friday morning, Mr Dick said he believed there should be a 50-50 vote between Labor party members and MPs in choosing party leaders. At the moment there is a three-way vote with MPs, party members and unions having equal say.

"The question remains, in my view, as to which model remains relevant and contemporary to an Australia where only 15% of the Australian workforce is unionised," he said.

Outside Parliament House in Brisbane on Friday Queensland Council of Unions general secretary Ros McLennan said Mr Dick's comments were "not-so-subtle grandstanding".

"Cameron's musings about unions in the ALP and the timing of those appear to be more about jockeying and blatant self-interest than any sincere concern," she said.

"If Cameron Dick is throwing down a challenge to Labor to ensure its structure is relevant and contemporary then I'd recommend a good place to start is to stop navel gazing, get on with the job of governing because there's an impressive and important reform agenda but there is still much more work to do."

Similarly LNP shadow attorney-general Ian Walker told reporters in Brisbane Mr Dick's comments were part due to his own leadership aspirations.

"I've never seen a more disingenuous act from a senior Labor minister, who likes unions when it suits him but turns on them when it might help his career ambitions," he said.

"Someone needs to have a word to Mr Dick and explain to him that Queensland would be better served if he gave his full attention to his role as Health Minister rather than the internal machinations of the Labor Party."

But Mr Dick said on Friday his support remained with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and denied the statements were made to undermine her.

"We have a very popular leader, Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is doing an outstanding job leading our party and leading Queensland," he said.

He said he believed the union movement was important to Queensland and the Labor Party's success.

"The reason we continue to exist as a party is that after 125 years we remain flexible and adaptable," he said.

"The Labor Party was once a party of male blue-collar workers - that was historically the source of the party and the base of the party - but that expanded over years and we are now a very open and inclusive party and we need to continue to be that way."- APN NEWSDESK



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