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Speech to the Queensland ALP Campaign Launch, Brisbane

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Speech to the Queensland ALP Campaign Launch, Brisbane

SUN 11 MARCH 2012

Prime Minister

It’s a great a delight to join you here today to be with Queensland Labor.

I see great advocates for Queensland in this audience, Deputy Prime Minister Wayne Swan, Kevin Rudd, Peter Beattie, Wayne Goss.

It’s a genuine pleasure to be with representatives of the Queensland Labor movement, of federal, state and local government, of our trade unions, fellow activists, one and all.

And we’re here today for an important purpose because this state faces a very big choice. You’ve heard Joshua talk about it and I’d like to specifically acknowledge Kate Jones with us today, the current and future Member for Ashgrove - I think she’s going to change Queensland politics.

I always enjoy coming to Queensland - but I love coming and being with Queensland Labor when there’s a fight on, because you are great fighters. Whether it’s the original shearers gathering under a Queensland tree or whether it’s the people in this room today - when there is a fight on you show the strength and determination to win that fight and if anybody can win the fight on election day then Queensland Labor can.

Around Australia when people look at Queensland they look with envious eyes. They look at what is being achieved in this state: the rising school standards, the growing numbers of apprenticeships, the new jobs in mining but beyond that as well, jobs in the science and research in this state are growing faster than in the advanced world.

People see a state investing in infrastructure but keeping its taxes low. A state that is improving its health care system and making sure that people have the benefits of new facilities. People see that being achieved today and they know in their bones around Australia that Queensland has the opportunity for a great future. That you are on the cusp of ensuring that your state can be stronger and more prosperous but at the same time can be fairer.

That your state can lead the way in making sure that new wealth and new work and new opportunity is shared by all. Australians around the country know that about Queensland.

But we also know this: you don’t have today’s achievements or shape the future by accident. It takes work, it takes vision, it takes a plan.

It took Queensland Labor to introduce Prep into this state so Queensland kids have 13 years of schooling.

It took Queensland Labor to do that because Queensland Labor knew that without the benefit of those years of schooling, without rising retention rates, Queensland kids were going to be left behind.

And it’s taken Queensland Labor to oversee the current boom in this state, not only in mining, not only in LNG, but the boom you’re experiencing in biotech, in aviation. It’s taken Queensland Labor to manage your economy so that it gives your people those benefits.

It’s taken Queensland Labor to ensure that there is the biggest health infrastructure program in this state of any part in the country. It’s been Queensland Labor making those decisions and it will take Queensland Labor to shape this stronger and fairer future.

You are on the cusp of a remarkable opportunity but it will not be realised by accident.

And if the wrong choices are made, if the wrong choices are made for the future of this state, then in the blink of any eye you could slide back 20 years.

That’s why election day in Queensland is so important. The choice your face on election day is so important.

It’s a choice about who should lead this state, who should lead this state and make sure that it realises the promise the future holds for you now.

Anna Bligh is that leader. She has the vision, the courage and the plan to make sure that this state can be everything that can be realised for its future, that every opportunity is fully exploited.

When this state faced its most difficult hour it was Anna Bligh with her wisdom, her patience, her courage, her voice of reassurance that led this state through.

When this state needed rebuilding it was Anna Bligh who set about the rebuilding, not talking in slogans about can do - getting things done, that made a difference to this state.

And for your Premier, for Anna Bligh, rebuilding simply wasn’t enough. At the same time she has been building Queensland’s future. She leads a team who understands the future of this economy. She leads a team that understands the opportunities from the mining boom in this state. She leads a team with a plan for the future, a plan like using the benefits of your mineral wealth to invest in the minds of young Queenslanders so they can take their place in the future.

Friends, come election day, the choice is absolutely clear. It’s a choice as to whether or not this state is going to leap ahead or languish. It’s a choice as to whether or not Queensland is going to seize the future or slide back to the past. It’s a choice as to whether or not Queensland will be the place that the rest of the nation looks at with envious eyes or the place that’s got the reputation of having squandered a great opportunity.

Friends, the choice is clear and the fight is on.

And I ask you to welcome with me today the leader in that fight, the Labor leader, your Queensland Premier, the person who’s going to lead this state to a great future - Anna Bligh.

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