Bill Shorten is in Rocky to sell the ALP's message.
Bill Shorten is in Rocky to sell the ALP's message.

Shorten 'impatient' to win government, 'make things right'

  • Labor leader Bill Shorten is speaking in Rockhampton tonight at a townhall meeting;
  • More than 100 people in attendance at the Rockhampton Leagues Club
  • Labor's candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson has told he is ready for the fight
  • Mr Shorten has spoken about his plan to bring jobs to regional Queensland
  • Questions from the floor have focused on jobs, bullying and costs of living

 

8.15PM: ALP leader Bill Shorten says he is "impatient" to get into government to sort out major problems and help people who are struggling with the costs of living.

Earlier this evening Mr Shorten told more than 100 people at a townhall meeting at the Rockhampton Leagues Club, he was keen to "make things right" on a number of key issues,

Having outlined some of the initiatives, such as Rookwood Weir, he says will bring jobs to regional Queensland, Mr Shorten took questions from the floor.

Labor leader Bill Shorten was impressive as he spoke in Rokchampton.
Labor leader Bill Shorten was impressive as he spoke in Rokchampton. Allan Reinikka

Many of these revolved around costs of living and lack of opportunities in the regions.

One of the final questions of the night was from "Terry" who asked about the situation where 180 workers have been locked out of work from a Central Queensland mine.

He called on Mr Shorten to get the mining giant and union into the same room to "sort the c--p out".

WATCH BILL SHORTEN'S TOWN HALL MEETING LIVE STREAM HERE: 

Mr Shorten said: "I'm spewing about that dispute at Oaky North.

"It's just craziness."

He said he'd been writing to the parties involved trying to sort the situation, but he didn't have much power in opposition.

This was why he was desperate for the election to happen, "so he could get in there and make things right".

"This government is all hands off, no one wants to take responsibility, they say let the market sort it out," Mr Shorten said.

A big crowd packed the room at the Rockhampton Leagues Club.
A big crowd packed the room at the Rockhampton Leagues Club. Allan Reinikka

Shorten foreshadows public housing announcement

7.45PM: Bill Shorten has foreshadowed a future public housing announcement.

Asked by "Cheryl" what could be done "for better housing for low income people", Mr Shorten said "public housing is essential".

"We're about 200,000 houses short of our backlog so people can have public accommodation," Mr Shorten said.

In foreshadowing a future public housing announcement, he said: "Cheryl, watch this space."

ALP Govt would reduce costs to see a doctor

7.35PM: ALP leader Bill Shorten has promised a Labor government would reduce waiting lists for aged care support.

Responding to a question from "Michelle" about developing a superannuation system for carers, Mr Shorten said a solution needed to be found.

"We do have to find a way to better support our carers financially," Mr Shorten said.

"I am deeply concerned about age care packages.

"I'm determined to reduce waiting lists for aged care support, I also want to reduce the cost to see the doctor.

"If you vote for us, we're capping the big private insurers price increases at two per cent.

"We can do better. My motto is we don't leave people behind."

Bill Shorten spoke about a range of issues impacting the lives of Central Queenslanders.
Bill Shorten spoke about a range of issues impacting the lives of Central Queenslanders. Allan Reinikka

 

'Morally wrong': Pollies get pay rise as penalty rates cut

7.30PM: Terry says he "can't sleep" he's that annoyed.

He has asked Bill Shorten his position on penalty rate cuts.

Terry said it was "morally" wrong that politicians got a pay rise shortly after the Fair Work Commission's decision to cut penalty rates for people on minimum wages.

Mr Shorten said the Fair Work Commission decision was "shocking".

"This was a wrong decision and we will legislate to reverse this decision," Mr Shorten promised.

He said the LNP's George Christensen and Michelle Landry both supported the cuts.

He said the government had created a situation where there was low wage growth and rampant labour hire abuse and was now bemused "why people weren't  spending more money".

"When you stop the cash circulating, we are opposed to it," Mr Shorten said.

"We stand on strong minimum wage (and will) reverse cuts to penalty rates."

 

Educator airs concerns about prospects for region's youth

7.20PM: A RESPECTED Rockhampton educator has aired her fears for the region's youth.

The educator and mum of young adults spoke about her worry over cuts to university, the mess with vocational education and seeing so many young people having to travel to Brisbane to move forward.

The educator said hundreds of young people were applying for unskilled jobs.

"The best thing we can do is educate our young people," Mr Shorten said.

"You can't always make them happy, but we can make them resilient.

"It is stupid to cut funding to universities and TAFE, we want to reverse the pendulum."

Bill Shorten.
Bill Shorten.

 

Shorten to help pensioners, tackle 'top end of town'

7.10PM: ROCKHAMPTON'S Janice Keys has asked Labor leader Bill Shorten what support he would provide people caring for those suffering with Alzheimer's.

Mrs Keys told of the tough financial fight she has having to care for her husband.

She put it to Mr Shorten there should be a change to the allowance for carers of pensioners, so they didn't have to struggle to live and pay the bills.

Mr Shorten said: "It's a big issue, it's a hard issue.

"Excuses are bulls--t, if that's the best we can do, that's not good enough given all the taxes you've paid over the years."

He said it was wrong that tens of billions of dollars could be found to help big corporations who "don't even pay taxes".

"Their priorities are wrong," Mr Shorten said.

He said Labor would keep the energy supplement for pensioners, as well as look  to unfreeze the Medicare rebate.

"We need to find scarce tax money to help aged care and carers," Mr Shorten said.

He said it could be done by "not giving the money to the top end of town".

 

Question: What will Labor do to tackle school bullying?

7PM:  Bill Shorten is taking questions from the floor.

The first came from local radio host Laurie Atlas, who asked about bullying in schools and what was being done to ensure schools enforced its codes to stop the problem.

Laurie Atlas fires in a question.
Laurie Atlas fires in a question. Allan Reinikka

Mr Shorten said as a parent of teenagers and an eight year old, he had seen the issue first hand.

He said he didn't have a clear answer to the problem on "the top of his head".

However, he wants to give more resources to schools.

"We expect a lot from our teachers but we need to give them the resources to do the job they do," Mr Shorten said.

He said schools needed to be provided as well with more councillors and social workers.

"I'm going to go away and think more on it," he said.

 

Shorten: ALP will drive job growth in regional Qld

6.30PM: ALP Leader Bill Shorten says he doesn't want to wait for an election campaign to tell Central Queenslanders what he will do if he wins power.

Mr Shorten said he was in Rockhampton to explain what Labor would do to boost jobs in the region as well as listen to the issues people raised.

He said the ALP had found the money for Rookwood Weir.

"Let's just do it," Mr Shorten said.

Colleen Fagan listens to Bill Shorten.
Colleen Fagan listens to Bill Shorten. Allan Reinikka

He said Rookwood as well as initiatives across regional Queensland including road improvement in Gladstone, port widening in Townsville, and a second ring road in Mackay would provide "a pipeline of work of blue collar and engineering jobs".

Mr Shorten said it was about "real jobs for regional Queenslanders".

"The LNP can match our promise, I'm not threatened, I'll come up with another better idea," Mr Shorten said, referring to Rookwood.

"I don't want to wait for an election to tell people what I'm going to do," he said.

He said people were measured by what they did, not their words.

 

Call me 'Robbo': ALP candidate ready for political fight

6.20PM: ALP candidate for Capricornia Russell Robertson has spoken about his plan to "take the fight to the government".

Addressing more than 100 people at the Rockhampton Leagues Club, Mr Robertson gave a brief background of himself.

He said everyone knew him as "Robbo".

 

Mr Robertson said he was a "Clermont boy" who had "grown up and worked in Capricornia electorate my whole life".

He described himself as a family man.

Mr Robertson accused the current Member for Capricornia, the LNP's Michelle Landry, of doing nothing for the region.

He has handed over the microphone to ALP leader Bill Shorten.

 

Shorten's townhall meeting opens

6.10PM: LABOR Senator Chris Ketter has opened the meeting and is introducing Mr Shorten to the large audience.

Senator Ketter has spoken about the $47.5m the ALP has committed to the Rockhampton-Yeppoon Rd, as well as the party's support for Rookwood Weir and the South Rockhampton levee.

He also acknowledged the important role CQ plays to driving the nation's economy.

Senator Chris Ketter opened the townhall meeting in Rockhampton.
Senator Chris Ketter opened the townhall meeting in Rockhampton. Allan Reinikka

 

Big crowd turns up to hear from Labor leader

5.55PM: A DECENT-sized crowd has turned up to hear Labor leader Bill Shorten speak in Rockhampton tonight.

Mr Shorten's townhall meeting is set to start in about five minutes.

More than 100 people have filed into the Rockhampton Leagues Club to hear Mr Shorten and the ALP's newly-endorsed candidate for Capricornia, Russell Robertson.

Follow all the action here tonight with our rolling coverage.

 


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