How Labor Governs – in the ashes of Covid-19

The Queensland Labor Party arose from the shearers strike of 1890. In the words of Vere Gordon Childe “a confidence in the irresistible might of the organised workers prevailed.” and “Labour was now a force to be reckoned with in the community and had already achieved several notable victories in these years of booming trade by industrial action.” Meanwhile in N.S.W. the Labor Party of 1891, was the creation of the Maritime Strike of 1890.

In the end the unions were defeated all along the line. The Employers’ Federation and the Pastoralist Union displayed perfect solidarity, and they had at their disposal the whole force of the State – the police to guard their property, soldiers to protect the strike-breakers collected by the Federation, and the State railways to convey them wherever they were needed.” – How Labour Governs by Vere Gordon Childe.

For the century that followed the Labor Party was built around that defeat and the compromises necessary to win political power. Queensland Labor has played its role of restraining unions during the Accord and by capitulation during the SEQEB dispute and so on. As a result of these sellouts it has held the treasury benches from 1989 – 2020, with a brief break in 1996-98.

Since the collapse of Ansett Airlines in 2001, the Labor party in government has always backed Virgin Airlines, cutting its payroll tax, and offering a range of incentives. The newly appointed Treasurer, Cameron Dick, led the charge when he was State Development Minister offering incentives for Virgin to set up its headquarters in Queensland. Many of the old Ansett Airlines workers blame Labor for the collapse of Ansett, which had over 90% union membership, through the payroll incentives it offered Virgin. Virgin has virtually no union membership.

Enter the global pandemic and the economic crisis. Cameron Dick offers a $200 million bail-out to the insolvent Virgin Airlines on behalf of the Queensland taxpayers.

Is an airline built around cheap fares and tourism viable in a post-Covid world? No one in treasury is asking.

Increase in air travel before Covid 19 pandemic

Deputy-Premier Jackie Trad has been ousted from the Labor ministry because it is alleged she tried to influence the selection of head teacher of the new high school at Dutton Park. Ms Trad is currently being investigated by the Qld Crime and Corruption Commission. That’s the official reason. Truth is Trad fell out with the Construction Mining and Engineering Union. She is seen to be be too close to developers in a suburb that now votes Green.

Former Premier Anna Bligh and former deputy-premier Jackie Trad hail from the same seat of South Brisbane. Former Minister in the Goss government, Anne Warner, also held the seat. They all are said to come from the Left. Yet Anna Bligh privatised the profitable part of Queensland Rail, Jackie Trad supported the Adani coal mine plus building of high rise at Toondah harbour and Anne Warner was involved in the shredding of documents relating to child abuse – including the rape of a 14-year-old Aboriginal girl – after the Goss government aborted an inquiry into the former John Oxley Youth Detention Centre.

Ahimsa house sold by Challenger bank in 2011

But corruption does not stop there. The current expansion of the West End Primary school in Horan Street is on the site of the former community centre, AHIMSA house, funded by retired meatworker, Ross Taylor. This property was sold for half its value in 2011 by the receiver for the Challenger Bank after the Qld public trustee (who owned the building next door) refused to intervene after documented corruption allegations were filed in the Supreme Court of Qld by myself, Bernie Neville and Sam Watson.

This same property at 26 Horan Street West End was sold to the State Education department for its real value ($2.8 million) so that the school extensions promised by Labor in the 2016 election could be built.

Former South East Queensland Electricity Board (SEQEB) worker and Electrical Trades Union member, Bernie Neville, presented evidence of corruption by Brian Laver and architect Will Marcus to both Anna Bligh and Jackie Trad’s office. These allegations included the theft of a $50,000 water grant from former Federal Labor Environment Minister and Midnight Oil frontman, Peter Garret, by both Laver and Marcus.

Bernie Neville on Ahimsa house roof protesting its sale

Not only were these allegations ignored Anna Bligh’s personal assistant came out of her office to threaten Bernie Neville and myself with defamation charges if we were to continue to repeat our allegations about Marcus in public.

Also former Labor lawyer and Public Trustee, Peter Carne, assisted in the abduction of Ross Taylor from his home at Sunnybank and depriving Mr Taylor of his liberty is a high secure facility 100 kilometres from his friends under the pretext that Ross was suffering from dementia. Ross Taylor passed away in the Carramar aged care facility unable ever to return home. His house at mains Road Sunnybank was sold from under him by corrupt accountant, Suliman Sabdia.

Facility where retired meatworker, Ross Taylor, was locked up

Ironically the new Deputy Premier is Steven Miles who wrote a PhD titled Trade Union Renewal in Australia: rebuilding worker involvement. Miles worked as a policy adviser to former Treasurer Andrew Fraser and at United Voice, the ambulance union.

It was former Treasurer Andrew Fraser who amalgamated Queensland shires to ‘improve economic efficiency‘. Instead, this move helped already declining regional towns through loss of jobs. It also made it more difficult for the local community to get rid of corrupt mayors. Corruption in local government initially revealed in parliament by democratic socialist independent, Rob Pyne, was partly down to the amalgamation of 157 councils into 72. The Crime and Corruption Commission was forced to investigate and as a result a number of councillors and council officers are now in jail.

To be continued …

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