SIDESTEPPED: Protesters outside Maroochydore State High School were angry yesterday after State Government ministers failed to meet with them.
SIDESTEPPED: Protesters outside Maroochydore State High School were angry yesterday after State Government ministers failed to meet with them.

Ministers called ‘cowards’ after evading protesters

THE Electrical Trades Union has labelled Queensland's ministers "cowards" for avoiding locals protesting against proposed government asset sales by slipping in through the back gates to attend the Community Cabinet meeting in Maroochydore.

However, at least some of the ministers did drive past the 50 "Not4Sale" protesters waving banners outside Maroochydore State High School as part of the ETU's two-year campaign opposing any sell-off of publicly owned assets.

"We've asked the government to give Queensland a referendum on asset sales and they've refused," ETU state organiser Stuart Traill said.

"They've said they'll take it to an election.

"We have to stop them getting a mandate, otherwise our state is going to suffer for future generations."

Mr Traill said the campaign opposed the sale of Queensland's ports, power stations, the Townsville to Mt Isa rail link and the sale of 49% of Ergon, Powerlink and Energex.

However, the protesters claim they were left standing in the rain as the ministers were chauffeured in through back entrances to the front door of the Maroochydore State High School hall.

"They're supposed to be bringing the Cabinet to the Sunshine Coast and they refused to face the people of the Sunshine Coast on asset sales," Mr Traill said.

"They're a bunch of cowards.

"They left 40 police standing in the rain, which they had arranged, even though there have been no complaints from any protests that we've held before.

"And yet these cowards go through the back door.

"These are local Energex workers that deserve (some) answers."



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