TRANSPORT Minister and Ipswich MP Rachel Nolan claimed that she first learned Queensland Rail would be sold through the press – not from Premier Anna Bligh.
Was Ms Nolan a “puppet minister” as claimed by the LNP?
It appears not.
Ms Nolan supported the sale in cabinet as Transport Minister.
Ms Nolan wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald: “During the final term of the Bligh government, the ETU Secretary Peter Simpson was, from March 2011 to February 2012, suspended from the ALP … Our mistakes centred on two things; the enormous financial pressures that came in the wake of the GFC and a widely perceived breach of trust – the fact that Labor went to the 2009 election on a slogan of “Jobs, not cuts” and then announced a program of asset sales seemingly as soon as the result was declared.”
The Queesnland Investment Corporation lost over $27 billion by investing in high risk products on Wall Street prior and during the Global Financial Crisis.
Ms Nolan claimed: “He’d (Peter Simpson) made the mistake of suggesting the union would formally run or back candidates against Labor sitting MPs – but in a pre-election deal he was readmitted to party ranks.” – in ‘ETU is nobody’s Friend‘ by Rachel Nolan
Ms Nolan was elected to State Parliament at the age of 26 in 2001 and appointed Deputy Government Whip in March 2004, received an award as UQ ‘alumnus of the year’.
“UQ has been a part of my life since I went to Playhouse at the age of three. The quality education I’ve received through University has opened a whole world for me and I feel really privileged for my small efforts to be recognised in this way,” Ms Nolan said.
“UQ has been a part of my life since I went to Playhouse (UQ students Union still runs the playhouse, now a kindergarden) at the age of three.”
Ms Nolan claims she received a quality education through University of Queensland. Yet Ms Nolan did not have the sense to oppose the sale of Queensland Rail even though she hails from a third-generation Ipswich family.
The people of Ipswich voted her out in 2012.
Ms Nolan holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honours (1998) from UQ and studied community development in India with Community Aid Abroad. Current Premier Anastasia Palaschuk comes from a neighbouring electorate Inala and is responsible for bringing Indian magnate to Qld to mine coal. The ETU is the only Qld union to oppose the Adani project in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland.
“Dr Earls said he was honoured to receive Alumnus of the Year: “Bearing in mind the accomplishments of previous Alumni of the Year (Geoffrey Rush) – an Oscar, Nobel Prize and more – I can honestly say I’m very surprised to find myself in their company. This is a great honour, and made all the more meaningful by the close attachment I feel to UQ.” –
Geoffrey Rush was later accused of ‘inappropriate behaviour’ with an female actor many years his junior. Rush has received millions in damages as a result of a defamation claim he made against the Murdoch Press. News Corp is appealing the decision on the basis of bias by the trial judge.