State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne addresses the media on the major flood, expected to peak at 9.4m on Wednesday.
State Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne addresses the media on the major flood, expected to peak at 9.4m on Wednesday. Amber Hooker

'Crocodile tears' flow over Aurizon job cuts

CROCODILE tears are being spilt and empty words spoken.

That is what Nationals Senator Matt Canavan said about Rockhampton ALP MP Bill Byrne in relation to the Aurizon job cuts across Central Queensland this week.

"Unfortunately, this is the legacy of the double standard from the previous State Labor government,” Senator Canavan said.

"It was the Labor Party which oversaw the privatisation of the state's rail network, despite claiming to be against asset sales.

"Yet all we've seen today (Friday) from local Labor MPs including Bill Byrne are crocodile tears and empty words.”

Mr Byrne, when speaking with The Morning Bulletin on Thursday, admitted the ALP had made a major error when it decided to privatise part of the Queensland Government-owned entity in 2010.

"When we formed opposition in 2012 one of the first things our Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did was apologise to the people of Queensland for the privatisation of the previous Bligh administration,” he said.

Mr Byrne said there wasn't a current member of the Labor Party that wouldn't stand against privatisation.

"We have said as a party that was a major, major error of judgment that cost us dramatically in that 2012 election,” he said.

"All the policies we brought forward from the Campbell Newman era reflect our firm commitment to the public delivery of public services in the hands of government agencies or entities or structures.

"We apologised as soon as we were defeated and we have done everything in our power to make sure privatisation being pursued by political powers has been well and truly stopped.”

Mr Byrne said other CQ government owned entities remained in public hands because of the efforts of the Queensland Government.

"Yes, that was a regrettable piece of Queensland history,” he said.

"I wasn't in parliament at the time but I can assure you I was not in any way shape or form in favour of privatisation of the scale put forward then.

"In fact, it's the reason why I joined the Labor Party because of my strident opposition to privatisation in the forms we've seen recently.”



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