Union calls for asset sale protest

A ROCKHAMPTON union leader expects hundreds of people to attend a protest this afternoon outside Robert Schwarten’s office.

Queensland Council of Unions Rockhampton secretary Craig Allen yesterday threw out an invitation to anyone in the community angered by the Bligh Government’s decision to sell key assets to attend the rally.

“We are anticipating basically the same numbers as attended the last rally in June,” Mr Allen said.

The Morning Bulletin reported about 400 people attended that protest.

As with the June rally, Mr Schwarten, the Member for Rockhampton, won’t be in the city for today’s protest.

But that won’t be deterring unionists.

“The determination of members is as strong now as what it was at the start when this short-sighted decision was made,” Mr Allen said.

“The protest is an opportunity for the community to come and show their anger against the sell-off.

“Overwhelmingly the people say they do not want to see the privatisation go ahead.”

He said Rockhampton was a key battleground for the union’s attack.

“We’ve got two sitting Labor members,” Mr Allen said.

Today’s meeting, which starts at 4pm with attendees asked to be there by 3.45pm, will include speeches from the leaders of different unions.

Mr Schwarten said people had the right to protest.

He said he’d let meeting organisers know he wouldn’t be in Rockhampton today for the protest because he would be at a ministerial conference in Alice Springs.

After the rally a sausage sizzle will be held at the nearby Riverside Stage, Quay Street, to show workers’ appreciation of the job rural and professional firefighters did to protect homes from the recent bushfires.

The barbecue will get under way about 5pm.

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